Parent-Child Classes

“It is absolutely essential that before we think, before we so much as begin to set our thinking in motion, we experience the condition of wonder.”
—Rudolf Steiner

All classes are held at our Cedar campus in North Berkeley. *Spaces still available in most classes which started mid-September.

 

Parent-Infant Classes

Classes are held on

  • Thursday morning group for children born March 2016 to September 2016 from 10:00 to 11:30am
  • Monday morning group for children born September 2015 to March 2016 from 10:00 to 11:30am (currently full – fill out an enrollment request to be put on the waiting list)

$20/class (sliding scale available) with free trial for the first class

Learn respectful and mindful parenting guided by Magda Gerber’s Educaring® Approach (also known as RIE®). This class is a combination of discussion and sensitive observation of your baby at play. The pace is determined by the parent’s interests and the children’s needs as you grow together throughout the first two years of the infant’s life.

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Parent-Toddler Classes

Classes are held on

  • Tuesdays 9:00am – 10:30am for children 11 to 18 months
  • Tuesdays 10:00am – 12:00am for children 19 months to turning 3 years
  • Wednesdays 10:00am – 12:00pm for children11 months to turning 3 years

$20/class (sliding scale available)

This class offers older toddlers a warm environment in which to play and explore and parents a place to connect, find a supportive group, discuss and share child development and parenting issues, and learn about Waldorf education. Classes include a circle time with nursery or seasonal rhymes, songs, gross and fine motor activities, imaginative play and exploration, quiet observation, and guided discussion.

 

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From Theresa Catlin

(Teacher of the Tuesday Parent and older toddler group)

What happens when you have a room full of parents and children three and under? Magic! Conversations take place that enrich everyone. Parents share stories of their joys and challenges, favorite books are discussed, deep questions raised and pondered creatively.

And all the time, we observe the wonder of young children freely playing and moving, interacting with one another and their beautiful environment.

Our discussion in the Tuesday morning Parent – Child group has started around the importance of rhythm in a child’s life. Though few of us maintain the old-fashioned rhythms of “Monday – wash day,” “Tuesday – ironing day,” and so on, we still partake of the rhythms of the day – providing regular meal times and bedtimes, play times and rest times. We share weekly rhythms – maybe a family walk to the park on the weekend, a church service, or an older sibling’s Saturday soccer practice followed by a picnic. And, of course, yearly rhythms are much anticipated by little ones: the changing of the seasons and what they bring. How lovely now to see leaves on the sidewalk and in the yard, anticipate the cooler days to come, fires in the fireplace, candles on the table at meals. Yearly rhythms bring the delights of holidays and seasonal festivals, and birthdays.

Rhythm gives structure and meaning to a child’s life. We can, in fact, prevent many discipline issues by creating rhythm in our homes. Often, discipline issues arise from not knowing what is expected. Waldorf educator and family therapist Kim Payne in his profoundly insightful book “Simplicity Parenting” gives many examples of how simple everyday rhythms create healthy and calming order, predictability, stability.  Children thrive when events are anticipated. We parents tend to do this naturally. The trick is to find a rhythm that works for our family and is one we actually like and think we can maintain.

Here is an example of an after-dinner rhythm one family follows. (Their children are 2 1/2 and 5.) Dinner is always a sit down time with all members of the family present. Dinner is followed by getting into pajamas and then brushing teeth. One story is read or told to each child on the couch. Then it’s off to bed for much anticipated snuggles and a bedtime prayer, followed by a song. As the parent closes the door their last words are always, “Sleep with the angels.” When this rhythm is followed warmly and in a non-harried manner (and that does take some practice and allowing ample time!) the children in the house feel the pull of the rhythm. “This is the way we do it in our house” becomes a simple and true way to help children anticipate what is next, and over time, the routine has become a beloved family ritual.

Our Parent-Child group will soon be talking about what Rudolf Steiner spoke of as “The Twelve Senses.” The first four of these are the “will senses: the sense of touch, the sense of life, the sense of movement and the sense of balance.” As we watch the little ones move and touch and balance, it will be a rich conversation, I’m sure. Stayed tuned!

From Christina Vlinder

(Teacher of the RIE® Parent-Infant groups)

Respectful Caregiving: Balanced Families, Secure Babies
Respectful Caregiving is dedicated to supporting families with babies and toddlers throughout the Bay Area. My work is inspired by Magda Gerber’s Educaring® Approach (RIE). This Approach encourages trust in the infant for knowing how and when to develop. We caregivers do not consider it our responsibility to “teach” children how to move, play, or learn. Instead, it is our responsibility to provide a safe environment conducive to self-initiated play and discovery. The Approach places emphasis on the quality of the nurturing relationship between caregiver and child, and has many specific suggestions for how to make that relationship as respectful and cooperative as possible.Parents using the Educaring® Approach report a significant decrease in the perceived burden of parenthood, and a corresponding increase in their confidence and enjoyment as parents. Children raised with this Approach are emotionally aware, confident, graceful, creative, independent, and secure in their sense of selves.

From Bonnie Romanow

(Teacher of the Tuesday Parent & younger toddler and Wednesday Parent-toddler groups)
During each class we will nourish the sensory experiences of the young child and his/her caregiver through a rhythmic flow of free, unstructured play time for the child, and observation/simple craft activities for the adult. Children will explore in an atmosphere that supports imaginative play, healthy movement, and imitation. Bonnie works with parents to explore themes related to child development and establishing healthy family rhythms. Classes include a circle time with nursery or seasonal rhymes, songs, gross and fine motor activities, imaginative play and exploration, quiet observation, and guided discussion.