The Living Arts
Zia Playschool is a Lifeways Aligned Program. Lifeways, created by Cynthia Aldinger, is a set of Waldorf-inspired practices that take a family-style approach to early childcare that is relationship-based and uses home as the educational model and life as the curriculum. Central to this model is the use of the living arts (creative, domestic, nurturing, and social arts) as a necessary foundation to the advancement of children’s social, emotional, and intellectual growth.
We encourage all children to engage in open play in order to follow their creative inclinations and reap the benefits of uninterrupted thought processes. We also structure arts and crafts projects in connection to holiday celebrations throughout the year to avoid the modality popular in conventional childcare in which children are given decorative activities that are seen as complete when the allotted time is up because their main purpose is merely to fill time. Instead, we use quality materials and give children time to create items over a period of days or weeks to promote a true sense of beauty and purpose.
The domestic arts encompasses the wide range of practical tasks that make life work for us on a daily basis. These are tasks that in our modern society have been relegated to the concept of "drudgery" or the idea of even being beneath us if we have acquired a certain status in life. And yet, the transformative nature that this kind of work instills in its repetitive actions is good for learning, general health, as well as confidence-building in our children. Observe how a young child naturally delights in being able to experience the magic of wiping away a spill, the triumph of learning how to fold a napkin, or the physically satisfying exertion of moving a pile of firewood to a better location.
nurturing & social arts
As classic academic rigor seeps into our children's lives at an earlier and earlier age we have a greater need for spaces where loving care and understanding are integral to the transference of knowledge and wisdom. Emotional-social development grows in a positive way when children are in environments where caretakers are encouraged to build loving, communal bonds that are fostered over a series of years rather than based on short care-taking assignments that strictly segregate ages. In our daycare educators can become attuned to each individual child's temperament and can guide conflict resolution in a more meaningful way.