The mission of Singing Cedars is to preserve childhood while nurturing the mind, body and spirit of the child.
Singing Cedars began in 2002 when parents and members of the community sought an alternative to standard education. They reached out to Eniko Reeder, a Waldorf-trained teacher, to start a kindergarten that would provide their children with an authentic, creative and loving environment. With her husband Robert and a handful of children, Eniko started a kindergarten on her farmstead.
The school grew and the farmhouse could no longer accommodate all the children. In the summer of 2008, the community came together and built a free-standing one-room schoolhouse on the Reeder farm. They painted the outside red and furnished the inside with a wood-burning stove, child-sized tables and chairs, handmade toys, felted dolls, polished stones, and treasures from nature.
Outside, vegetable and flower gardens were planted and a shed was made to house miniature shovels, rakes and wagons. A wooden playground was built in the cedar grove with a play cottage, an enormous sand box, and a rain barrel stocked with buckets and watering cans. A stone oven was assembled to bake bread for the children’s snack and pizzas for festivals and celebrations. Through it all, the Reeder’s cows grazed peacefully nearby, sometimes joined by deer or the occasional pheasant. Across the lane, a rustic trail was cleared for daily walks through the ‘Magic Forest’ and, once a year, a wondrous night-time winter lantern walk–lit only candles and the moon..
Families who had fallen in love with the school and the Waldorf approach to education wanted the school to expand. Some left Fairfield to move to areas of the country where Waldorf schools had already been established so their children could continue their education. In 2017, Singing Cedars began its expansion program in earnest. The farmhouse opened its doors once more to accommodate a new class of younger children ages 1-3 and the community came together again to fundraise enough money to purchase a new schoolhouse for 1st and 2nd grade. Expansion efforts to meet the needs of the community are still underway.
Singing Cedars places its highest value on honoring the social, emotional, physical, and spiritual needs of each child. It holds space for students to learn at the pace that’s right for them, understanding that a child will grasp a concept or achieve a skill when he or she is ready. Cooperation takes priority over competition. Social skills are explicitly taught. Singing Cedars actively engages parents in the education of their children in a respectful partnership with its teachers. It is committed to contributing to spiritual, social, and economic renewal. The school, its parents, practitioners and administrators are free to work out of a clear recognition of and commitment to the development of the spiritual nature of the human being. Singing Cedars requires that parents restrict the influence of media via television, internet, and movies in order to nurture the natural curiosity, protect appropriate child development and stimulate creative play.
Curriculum and Program Development
Lead Teachers at Singing Cedars are granted a high degree of autonomy based on the following Waldorf philosophy: a holistic approach to education aimed at the development of free individuals can only be successful when based on a school model that expresses the same principles.
Singing Cedars’ students can expect to have daily and weekly rhythms that include (or will include) the following: the integration of art and Earth stewardship into school subjects; the inclusion of the fine arts and the “practical arts”; the practice of foreign languages; cooperative sports; woodshop; movement and dance; the same class teacher from Grade 1 to 8.
All curriculum, activities, and programs are guided by the following principles:
Learning should be child centered
Learning should have a respect for and celebration of diversity
Learning should involve Earth stewardship
Learning should be active
Learning should engage the whole child
Learning should have purpose
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
To contact Singing Cedars School fill out the following form or call 641.469.3196.