Kindergarten & First Grade Readiness

“We have such a brief opportunity to pass on to our children our love for this Earth, and to tell our stories. These are the moments when the world is made whole. In my children's memories, the adventures we've had together in nature will always exist.”

—Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods

smiling little girl with clay art

Our approach to education is like no other in Central Missouri. Our students are not confined to desks in classrooms and children who participate in our nature-based kindergarten program will enjoy many benefits to their physical, mental, and emotional development. Schedule a visit today to learn more about our kindergarten and why it would be a wonderful fit for your family.

These days, public school kindergarten determines eligibility based solely on age. This has not always been the case. Whether a child was ready for kindergarten in the past was based on physical and social/emotional factors as well as age. City Garden School takes the whole child into account to determine "readiness" for anything.

“The task of the kindergarten teacher is to adapt the practical activities of daily life so that they are suitable for the child’s imitation through play. In kindergarten, the most important thing is to give the children the opportunity to directly imitate life itself.”

– Rudolf Steiner, Founder of Waldorf Education

City Garden School will accept incoming first graders who turn 6 years old before August 1st of the year they enroll. One of our primary goals is to honor the development of each child. In order to do so, teachers work from the understanding of child development taught by Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Waldorf Education.

For first grade readiness, we are similar to many European models of education in that we do not begin formal, teacher-led instruction until the child is in his/her 7th year. Much new research demonstrates that children who begin school later benefit academically, socially, and emotionally. If you are interested in this topic, the links below offer discussion.

An introduction to first-grade readiness:

Determining a Child’s Readiness for First Grade

A call to later start dates for formal schooling in England:

School starting age: the evidence, University of Cambridge

The importance of play in early education and readiness for formal schooling:

Let the Kids Learn Through Play, The New York Times

kindergarten children in circle