"The Menu is Not the Meal"
--Alan Watts’ way of re-stating Alfred Korzybski’s
famous quote “the map is not the territory.”
Twelve Lifeways Practices
Adult and child activities include practical life skills such as building, gardening, cleaning, cooking, washing, repairing and sewing, among other things.
Movement/play curriculum emphasizes child-initiated activities that promote healthy musculoskeletal development, providing opportunities for unstructured, spontaneous movement in a safe environment. Traditional games and finger-plays provide opportunities for the children to imitate healthy movement, develop proprioception and increase both small and large motor skills.
The children go outside in all but the most inclement weather. This helps them become more robust and strengthens their bond with the environment in which they live. A protected area is provided for crawlers and infants.
Child guidance is based on the L.O.V.E. Approach to Discipline: Listening, Laughter, Order, Objectivity, Versatility, Vulnerability, Energy, and Enthusiasm.
Natural organic foods are provided (whenever this is possible) and the children can participate in the food preparation.
Foundation for lifelong literacy is fostered through storytelling and puppetry, individual lap time with a book, through poetry, verse, and music on a daily basis, through drama, and through the daily interactions of play and movement in a healthy, secure environment.
Emphasis is on loving human interaction with warm speech, live singing, verses and stories rather than technology. LifeWays Centers and Childcare Homes are television-and video-free environments except for use in administration and adult education.
Festivals and celebrations honoring traditional seasonal festivals, cultural backgrounds of the families, and children's birthdays are offered.
When possible, ongoing relationships are established with senior adults and youth who visit on a regular basis.
Community friends who speak a native language other than English may be invited to play simple games or sing simple songs with the children on a routine basis.
In child care, "suites" consist of small groups of children who stay together with the same caregivers over a several-year period, creating a more homelike atmosphere and better teacher-child ratios.
Pre-School/Kindergarten programs provide a developmentally appropriate, play-based approach found in Waldorf preschools and kindergartens throughout the world.