Parent & child group sessions
Parent & Child Groups
10.30am to 12.30pm Family Group (for parents/carers of children up to 4 years of age)
1.30pm to 3pm Parent & Baby group from Birth to 1st Steps (inspired by the work of Rudolf Steiner and Emmi Pikler)
10.30am to 12.30pm: Family Group
1.30pm to 3pm: Woodland Garden Outdoor Forest Group (for parents/carers ofÂ children up to 6 years of age)
10am to 12noon: Family Group
Groups commence Wednesday 13 September and conclude Friday 8 December.
Half term is week commencing 23 October (no groups)
Your first visit to one of our groups is complementary. If you enjoy the group and wish to continue, we ask you to book and pay half termly. The Woodland Garden session is a weekly drop-in and is booked by mid-day on the actual day.
Each session is £6.00, or £33.00 per half term (6 weeks)
Bookings are made through Grace at our Reception: 020 8893 1299 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The principles that underlie all of our work at The St Michael Steiner School are also at the heart of our Parent and Child groups. These principles come out of observation of the developmental stages that children go through as they grow and a perception of what they need at each stage. With this in mind, our aim is to provide a supportive environment for parents and carers of young children and a nurturing one for the children themselves, from birth to three and a half.
Our most important task is to support you in the most important task in the world – raising your children. We know that parents of young children can often feel exhausted and isolated and, although there is an enormous amount of information and advice out there about what to do and what not to do, sometimes it only makes parents worry or feel guilty if they are not stimulating and interacting with their children all the time. In contrast, our Parent and Child Groups offer a place to just relax, have a cup of tea, perhaps make something and talk with other parents while your children play with each other. Nothing more will be demanded of you, but our group leaders can offer information about Steiner Waldorf education and parenting issues, if you ask them.
Each session lasts about two hours and has a gentle but clear rhythm. Rhythm is natural and nourishing for young children and helps them feel secure and happy, so each session consciously has the same basic form. There are times when we move about freely and find our own space, and times when we all come together. All sessions include periods of free play, led by the children themselves with minimal adult involvement, which is so important for children’s healthy development. There are also more structured and social activities, such as ring games and singing, a shared snack, seasonal crafts for the adults and, of course ‘tidy-up time’. During these times, we welcome and encourage parents to participate with hands and voices. When they are small, children learn about the world through imitating what the people around them are doing rather than by being told what to do, so we do not expect you to compel your children to join in with structured activities, but if you do so yourself, they will usually follow. If not, at this age, it doesn’t really matter.
A QUIET MOOD
City children are constantly surrounded by noise and busy activity and they need a break from it even more than their parents do. We try as much as possible to provide a quiet, peaceful place where the children can get lost in their play, where they can experience joy in simple wooden toys, soft dolls and gentle colours. Because our own lives are so full of technology, strong images, background music and constant chatter, these things have become normal for us and we are able to block them out when we need to. Small children can’t do this and, as parents, we sometimes have to work hard to create a simple environment for our children. When you come into the Parent and Child room we hope you will find that much of the hard work has been done for you and all you have to do is switch off your mobile (please!). As always when we are around children, we also need to be mindful of our topics of conversation and the language and tone of voice we use. Although they won’t understand what we say most of the time, they will pick up our mood and feelings.
WATCHING WITHOUT WATCHING
Parents and children are together in one room during Parent and Child group sessions, so we are there if the children need us. From time to time they will come to us, of course, but, ideally, they should be able to forget about us much of the time. If we are focussed on painting or sewing, the children will feel that we are settled and relaxed and they too will relax and play more freely. If, on the other hand, we sit and watch them, chat to them and intervene in their play, they will not be able to immerse themselves and will become frustrated and distracted. It’s a wonderful realisation for a harassed, guilt-ridden parent that the best thing we can do for our children is leave them to play by themselves!