Crickets on the Hearth

Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School’s Home Learning Support Program

for children ages 4 to 6 years old


child holding star ball


A new initiative for our extended Hawthorne Valley community has been born out the 2020 school year… “Crickets on the Hearth” is a new schooling option created to serve the need for diverse schooling options to be available for families during pandemic uncertainty. “Crickets” is an offering from our early childhood teachers that seeks to support families who are not ready, or are unable, to join our in-person educational programming in the valley.


“Remote”, or distance, learning is the antithesis of early childhood education. The young child learns from being intimately “at-one” with their environment; it is essential that the context of meaningful relationships with people and place is alive within the learning experience. Thus, we have designed support for home learning that does not center on distance but is rather a bridge – building a connection for the child and family to our valley, our learning community, and the rich Waldorf Early Childhood curriculum that we offer.


Each week the Crickets program offers support that can be accessed through an on-line parent portal classroom. The classroom site holds curriculum offerings that are a rich resource for children 4 – 6 years old. These curriculum offerings include:

  • Recorded seasonal songs and verses
  • Audio stories
  • Festival inspirations
  • Articles on child development and parenting
  • Arts and Craft patterns and activity packets
  • Monthly puppet shows
  • Support for the creation of daily and weekly rhythms
  • Nature Inspirations
  • Recipes for Children’s “Baking on the Hearth”


“Baking on the Hearth” is offered most Wednesdays of the month, and is the one use of screen technology that engages children – but with parents and other family members as well! It is wonderful for the children, who may be isolated from others, to be able to see other friends in their kitchens, hands sticky with dough, busy with baking while songs are sung, and stories are told. It is an actively engaging session, filled with joy!


“Crickets on the Hearth” also offers an optional weekly tutorial session for children who live close to Hawthorne Valley and are able to meet in person with a teacher. These sessions are 1.5 hours long and include a walk in the valley or on the farm, a painting session, seasonal activities, and an introduction to our arts and crafts project of the week with the children taking home the material packet needed for the project’s completion at the end of the shared time.


It is our hope that all children have a meaningful experience of joyful learning through the curriculum offered in our Crickets program. For more information please contact Janene Ping.


Testimonials from Cricket Parents….

“When I asked Henry today about his favorite songs and tales he said, “all of them!” He is such an avid listener to lyrics and stories, and he’s truly loved every one of your recordings thus far. We listened to everything once through again this morning…He responds greatly to rhyming language!”

~ K. Nesin


I want to thank you for the beautiful stories and songs. They make our mornings so special. Lillian (and I) can’t get enough of them.” 

~E. Mason



To register, contact Amy Flaum by email or 518-672-7092 x110.

Early Childhood Tuition and Fees

Tuition Aid Adjustments will be made as applicable to awards

Crickets On the Hearth
Tuition for Home Learning Support Curriculum Model:
$4,320 for the year ($140/week)
If a family working with this model has more than one child registered, the fee applies for the family with an additional materials fee for each participating sibling.