Nate was received and nurtured with so much kindness, beauty and intention at Sungarden Preschool. His imagination was given space to flourish through the inviting garden play space, thoughtful toy choices and Ms. Sara's stories and songs. We felt his whole self honored and lovingly guided.
- Jennifer, mother of Nate
My favorite aspect of Sungarden Preschool was how present Sara was for the children. Whenever my child or any child had anything to say, she was right in the moment with them. She was right there with their fantasy, concern, hurt, troubles, squabbles, fun, wonder, or joy!
Another favorite part was how much my child loved going to Sungarden. I LOVED dropping him off in the play yard, with the garden growing, and knowing he was going to have a MAGICAL day! Another favorite part of Sungarden Preschool was the community of parents and the fostering of that community. I really appreciated the few parent meetings we had. I loved the festivals and celebrations with the families, also. We were a small group, but I felt togetherness and a coherent love and holding of our children. I also loved the sweet stories told to the children and the precious songs they learned.
We LOVED Sungarden Preschool! If you are looking for a warm, magical place of love, nurturing, open-heartedness, and growth for your child, this is it! Sara is amazingly talented to connect with the children on such a deep level. She brings out the best in them while helping them with their struggles. She is INCREDIBLY talented, wise, patient, and loving and she has an amazing, calming presence about her. She is incredibly wonderful to really be in the moment with the children - in joy, quiet times, and in chaos. I have stayed to observe my child in her program several times and she is an incredibly gifted teacher. My son was very challenging and I feel that Sara was such a gift to us! She partnered well with us in helping him, in communication, ideas, and sharing. I really felt we were a team. I felt his year with her was incredibly special and I will be forever thankful for the time spent at Sungarden Preschool.
- April, mother of Coltrane
It was Sara's warm, nurturing nature and inspirational classroom that led us to choose Sungarden for our children but over the last three years that they have been there the list of why we have stayed has grown past what we could have expected. We couldn't be more satisfied with our experience at Sungarden. From the sweet rhythm of each school day to the stories and verses they are immersed in, our children feel safe and nurtured while having their sense of wonder cultivated. Upon arriving each day the children are greeted with loving attention, and come home surprising us with new songs they have learned that coordinate with the transitions of the day. These are just a few of the reasons we feel that Sungarden has been one of the best gifts we have given our children.
- Emma and Benny, parents of 6 year old Matreya and 3 year olds Luca and Willow
The environment Sara Michelson has created honors childhood as a sacred space. As a parent, I would describe Sara's greatest assets as being smart, solution-oriented, a gentle guide and a person with a high degree of commitment. Being a part of Sungarden, we have consistently connected with other families who genuinely and joyfully share similar values, such as the importance of nutrition and expressing kindness towards all children and people. Through Sungarden, our son has experienced and practiced a balance of developmentally and age appropriate work, rest and play. As a family, we always hope our son can be a part of communities which value beauty and goodness in the world - and Sara Michelson and Sungarden- has definitely been for us just that.
- Beverly, mother of Logan
I have always admired Sara's approach with my son while he attended Sungarden. I have noticed Sara being patient, kind, and also firm with my child. She would get down on his level and greet him every morning. When he had a conflict with his friend, she would assist my son to use his words and help him express his feelings.
These skills did not come natural to me! I observed her methods with the children. As a parent, it gave me the skills and tools I needed to help me with my child. I recall a moment when my son did not want to go home from Sungarden and he insisted staying a while longer. I felt frustrated and did not know how to handle the situation. Sara seemed to work her magic and patiently guided him to follow after me. I remember her acknowledging his feelings and showing how she understood him. Sara has been a role model for me with my children. She is creative, supportive, and filled with love.
- Jackie, mother of Luminous
Sungarden was the perfect experience for our daughter. A warm home-environment provided her with plenty of time outdoors to play, explore, garden and start to take on other various jobs. This gave her a real sense of responsibility and accomplishment. Sara creates a wonderful atmosphere for the children to play, work and collaborate on artistic projects. Imaginary play, simple culinary endeavors, and plenty of time with close friends was valuable in her development.
She was always proud to tell us about how she could peel the apples for snack time, or how tall the pea shoots were in the garden, that she recently helped to plant. She was very much the observer as a young three-year old, but at the end of our two years at SunGarden, she had a very strong voice and sense of self that served her well as she entered Kindergarten. We are very thankful that Sara was able to cultivate this confidence and sense of community in our child.
- Buff and Kate, parents of June
We chose Sungarden Preschool because we wanted to start our children out in Waldorf education, but did not want them to be in a large classroom. The small loving class Sara offers was perfect for our daughter. Our daughter enjoyed Sara's methods because of how she so calmly and lovingly dealt with all of the children as if they were her own. She also loved all of the time they spent outdoors and how involved she was in free play. My favorite aspect of Sungarden was how Sara nurtured the children. It shows in the kind voice she uses, the beautiful songs she sings, the stories she tells and the nutritious meals she serves. After attending Sungarden Preschool I noticed how calm and compassionate our daughter was. She also brought her love for songs and storytelling into our home.
- Jenifer, mother of Lillian
Our family enjoyed a wonderful experience at Sungarden. The class comprised very different stages and personalities, and Sara was skilled at meeting every child where they were. She has a unique ability to give just the right words, encouragement, redirection or space – whatever is necessary for each child at any given moment. Sara was also a valued ally who was open to suggestions, helpful, and understanding when family life didn’t run exactly to plan. Sungarden’s rich offering of festivals and celebrations helped frame our year and gave us the opportunity to form strong bonds with the other families in the class. We were sad when our child outgrew the program, and would not hesitate to recommend Sungarden.
- Helen Schwake, mother of Alexander
We wanted a pre-school experience that would allow our spirited, creative, energetic little girl an outlet to learn and be appreciated for all of her personality. We were right in choosing Sungarden Preschool with Sara. Sara truly embraced our daughter and brought out her best. Our daughter really responded to Sara's teaching methods, especially the whole concept of "rhythm of the day". My daughter grew as a person and absolutely thrived with Sara. My daughter came home humming songs, and was always loving showing me a peaceful way of doing everyday tasks.
If you are looking for a Waldorf style pre-school where children learn through experience, using their hands and hearts you will love this place. With Sara at the helm your child's day will be rich with a wonderful, caring, compassionate, fun, and experienced teacher that truly embraces the Waldorf lifestyle. We couldn't have been happier!
- The Phillips Family
Sungarden was an answer to my prayers. I was searching for a loving and safe place for my 2 year old daughter to play a few mornings a week while her big sister was at school. Just a few precious hours for me to take care of life tasks while my daughter had a richer experience of play and rhythm. Because of Sungarden, my daughter got to hear stories and puppet shows, instead of running errands with me! It was her first experience of being away from her momma, and I am so grateful that Ms. Sara was there to show her how beautiful and good the world is! Sara’s gentleness and unwavering patience were exactly what we needed!
- Angela, mother of Pippi