Why You’ll Love Us
Our constant quest to improve ourselves and our services to children has steered us towards an intensive training for teachers and a deeper understanding of Waldorf education (based on Rudolf Steiner’s indication). Like Montessori, Waldorf curriculum too is developmentally appropriate i.e., it caters to the age-specific developmental needs of a child.
Uninterrupted, individual work undertaken with a self-driven attitude of ‘freedom with responsibility’ holds a lot of importance in the Montessori system. Pursuit of uninterrupted free play, connecting to nature, and artistic expressions offered with an attitude of ‘loving authority‘ from the teacher forms a central focus of Waldorf curriculum.
Inspired by the rhythm of ‘Breathing In and Breathing Out’ of Waldorf curriculum, we alternate deeply engaging work (breathing in) with relaxing activities (breathing out). This rhythm helps children take in the new experiences gained during the focused period of work, and deeply internalise it in the following period of rest. At Neev it is our endeavour to bring in the best practices from both the education systems for optimal child development.
At Neev we truly believe that children who grow up feeling closely connected to nature carry its beauty in their souls and become caring and compassionate human beings. Connecting with nature means teaching our children to be more attentive to the world around, to be in the moment and to observe different things and people in their immediate environment. We take great efforts to bring the beauty and bounty of nature by connecting to earth, caring for small pets and caring for the environment.
Connecting to Earth
At Neev, every morning we take time to feed birds, smell the flowers (literally), pick leaves, collect pebbles, watch insects and build sand castles. Dry soft sand in the play area enables children to play barefoot. We inspire our children to prepare a ‘nature bowl’ every morning with flowers, fruits and seeds collected from the ground. Most school outings are planned to help children get close to nature and animals.
Caring for Pets
Children who care for pets learn important values such as responsibility, kindness and compassion for all living things. At Neev we maintain an enclosure for love birds, rabbits, hamster, hens and roosters. Our children enjoy shelling corn and grating carrots and beetroot to prepare daily feed for the pets.
Caring for the Environment
At Neev, we are careful not to waste food, water and electricity. Many sick/injured animals and birds find a loving care and rehabilitation at Neev. Children enjoy observing the daily care process. We all share deep joy and great satisfaction in releasing these animals back into the nature. All the children, parents and staff at Neev wait eagerly for the turtle season every year to participate in the nightly turtle walks and hatchlings release program. In all our school events, we strictly avoid using disposable cups and plates while using bio-degradable or recyclable alternatives.
The play area at Neev is meticulously planned and offers various types of physical activities and challenges to the children. The children make use of it not only to explore, but deeply experience their own physical body, and to develop gross motor skills. In addition, our play area boasts of being built mostly using natural materials.
Our play area offers the following:
- Challenging outdoor play equipment such as a hanging bridge, rope ladders, climbing nets, rope walking, monkey bars, Tarzan jump etc. These invite the young children to take up new challenges and achieve new milestones with their bodies.
- Soft, dry and loose beach sand that provides safe flooring, as well as a good opportunity to strengthen the lower leg muscles. Running bare feet on loose, dry sand takes much more energy than running on grass.
- Additionally, digging wet sand with bare hands and building sand castles provide excellent sensorial activity. Patting, sieving and filtering the sand through fingers aid in the development of fine motor skills.
- A long terracotta-tile pathway that provides a smooth surface that encourages children to crawl, run, hop, skip and kick. Mastering these basic physical skills helps build their confidence and ensures readiness to take on more complex physical challenges.
The carpentry corner at Neev is a small, cozy and well-equipped area for young children to try their hands-on basic tools and simple carpentry. They learn to use simple tools such as the hammer, screw drivers, spanner and plier. They also learn the hard work of smoothing a piece of wood or coconut shell using a sand paper to make simple key holders, photo frames, incense stick stand etc. Bigger projects such as making chowkis, bird house etc., are often taken up as weekend workshops.
Learning to use tools is an excellent way to enhance the children’s fine motor and self-help skills. But more importantly it provides them with a concrete opportunity to experience the power they hold in their little hands. “What I visualise in my mind, can be manifested with my hands.”
At Neev it is our endeavour to bring children face to face with their own inner intelligence and creative potential they hold in their hands.
Separation anxiety is a normal stage of emotional development and is mostly observed in infants and children aged between six months and three years. In the recent times, due to lifestyle changes, more children are enrolled into schools even before they turn two.
This causes a Separation anxiety that can get frustrating for both the child and the parent. While it is traumatic for the child to be left abruptly in a strange environment, it is heart wrenching for the parents to leave their wailing child in a stranger’s arms and just walk away.
At Neev, we understand that parting with someone you love is difficult. So, we deal with this empathetically. We have developed a system that ensures gentle transition into this school. Although it is a tedious and time-consuming process for both teachers and parents alike, it is done in the best interest of the child.
So how do we do it?
- We begin by briefing the parents on the dos and don’ts while waiting.
- We encourage the parents to wait in a specified area and allow the child to visit the parent/s when he/she needs reassurance.
- We then let the children play uninterrupted in our beautiful and colorful play area to which they easily are attracted to.
- We recommend shorter school hours for the new children to start with, which is then gradually increased as the child feels more secure in our environment.
- Since children are naturally drawn to animals, we encourage them to watch and feed the birds. In our experience, this method helps a lot for the child to settle in.
We also encourage the parents to gradually step away from their children for five to ten minutes initially. Then, increase this time day by day until the time when the child loses the fear of being without you. This ensures that the child’s belief that he/she is safe at Neev is established completely.