Early Childhood
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Parent/Toddler Program

Apply online or download and complete the application form in our Admissions section

Morning Garden is a special gathering where young children and their parents, guided by a Waldorf teacher, enjoy a rhythmic morning of songs, movement, handwork, snack, and conversation. Parents learn from each other, sharing life experiences and insights, while modeling for the children the joy of meaningful activity. The Morning Garden program is an opportunity to slow down, enjoy our children and each other, and bring a precious moment of peace into our lives.

Approximately eight families participate for one morning each week. Children will benefit most from this program if they are 1 1/2 years (and walking) to 3 1/2 years.

Morning Garden activities include:
  • As the children arrive, they are greeted by the teacher in the play yard.
  • Outdoor play is an important aspect of the morning as children experience freedom through movement.
  • Circle time, lasting about ten minutes, is a special part of the morning. During this time, seasonal songs, nursery rhymes, and verses are brought to life through movement.
  • Families are invited to share in the preparation of a snack and table setting.
  • Adults engage in and model the art of conversation and social graces during snack time.
  • Play is the work of the young child; during free play, a true imaginative faculty begins to develop as children learn about sharing, taking risks, role modeling, and resolving conflict.
  • Parents engage in purposeful work (doing simple crafts and projects) while keeping a loving eye on the children's play. This is also a time for parents to share ideas and experiences about child development and education, facilitated by weekly articles and excerpts from Beyond the Rainbow Bridge.
  • The teacher presents a short story, bringing to life objects from nature according to one's imagination.
  • Morning Garden ends with a goodbye song.

Enrollment is underway for our Winter 2015 Morning Garden program.

At our Early Childhood Center at Inman Park (Inman Park United Methodist Church at 1015 Edgewood Avenue NE, Atlanta 30307), the Morning Garden program will be offered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The teacher will be Sondi Eugene. Ms. Eugene is in her fifteenth year as a preschool/kindergarten teacher at The Waldorf School and her ninth year as a Morning Garden teacher.

In Decatur (827 Kirk Road, Decatur 30030), the program will be offered on Thursdays and Fridays. The teacher will be Gabriela Muresan. Ms. Muresan taught a Waldorf playgroup in her home for 17 years and has taught the Morning Garden program at WSA for 7 years.

Questions or more information? Contact Stacey Alston at (404) 377-1315 x1060.

To apply for the Morning Garden program, either apply online or download and complete the application form in our Admissions section and mail it to the school at 827 Kirk Road, Decatur, GA 30030.

Morning Garden Teachers

Sondi Eugene

Sondi Eugene was raised in rural New Jersey. She later moved to Louisiana to attend Grambling State University. Sondi received her Waldorf certificate in early childhood education from Sunbridge College in 2004 and she became certified in the Lifeways Early Childhood and Human Development Program in 2009. Sondi has been teaching at WSA since 2000. She helped develop and now teaches the Afternoon kindergarten class, as well as the Morning Garden Program. Sondi enjoys hiking, bike rides, cooking, crafts, and singing. She has two children, both of whom attended WSA since kindergarten and then the Waldorf high school Academe of the Oaks, before enrolling in college.

Gabriela Muresan

Gabriela Muresan was born and raised in Romania. She attended a Pedagogical High School and became a primary school teacher in 1987 at the age of 18. She acquired the Waldorf Teacher Certificate in 1992 and opened a Waldorf class in the primary school where she had taught previously. She and her husband, Ovidiu, won the Green Card Lottery and came to the United States in 1995. Gabriela attended the Waldorf Early Childhood program in Spring Valley where she graduated in 1996, a few weeks after her first son was born. Their family moved to Atlanta in 1997 and Gabriela opened a small playgroup in her home, which has continued for seventeen years. Gabriela also taught the Morning Garden program at WSA for 7 years. In 2013, Gabriela received her BS in Education from Mercer University. Gabriela has two sons, an eighth grader at WSA and a high school senior at Decatur H.S. Gabriela's passions are music, reading, storytelling, handwork, cooking and Anthroposophy. She also loves outdoor adventures, such as hiking, skiing and rafting.