Rose Ceremony Celebrates Seacoast Waldorf School’s First Day

DSC_0881The Seacoast Waldorf School 2015/2016 school year commenced Wednesday morning, September 9th, with the annual Rose Ceremony. Students, families and faculty gathered in the school’s veggie- and flower-filled gardens to welcome the new first grade class through the grade school.

Each first grader walked over a wooden bridge and was then greeted by a fifth or sixth grade student who presented the child with a red rose – a tradition repeated at Waldorf schools across the globe.

The grade school children then formed a sunflower bridge over the first grade class as the proceeded to their classroom to begin the new school year.


Seacoast Waldorf School, founded in 1999, is one of over 1,000 Waldorf schools worldwide with over 90 years of experience offering inspired education. Waldorf education is one of the fastest growing independent school movements in the world.

Since opening its doors at its current location, 403 Route 236 in Eliot, Maine, Seacoast Waldorf School has nearly doubled enrollment. The school is now is the planning stages for a construction project in 2016 to add a middle school, community auditorium and more. Click here to learn more about our Capital Campaign and plans to expand the school.


Academics for preschoolers – at what cost?

A recent article from Angela Hanscom, occupational therapist and founder of  nature-based development program, TimberNook, draws connections between the decline of unorganized, self-directed free play for two, three and four year olds and troubling changes in these young children’s social and physical development.


Preschoolers at play at Seacoast Waldorf School

In the article, The Decline of Play in Preschoolers – And the Rise in Sensory Issues, Hanscom explores the growing trend of preschools transitioning from play-based learning to becoming more academic in nature and the impact on those preschoolers.

“They are more likely to be clumsy, have difficulty paying attention, trouble controlling their emotions, utilize poor problem-solving methods, and demonstrate difficulties with social interactions. We are consistently seeing sensory, motor, and cognitive issues pop up more and more in later childhood, partly because of inadequate opportunities to move and play at an early age,” says Hanscom.

Similarly, an article by Peter Gray, featured in the Journal of Play, states: “Over the past half century, in the United States and other developed nations, children’s free play with other children has declined sharply. Over the same period, anxiety, depression, suicide, feelings of helplessness, and narcissism have increased sharply in children, adolescents, and young adults.

The Gray article highlights the benefits of free-play – which uniquely and organically allows children to:

  • develop intrinsic interests and competencies
  • learn how to make decisions, solve problems, exert self-control, and follow rules
  • learn to regulate their emotions
  • make friends, take turns and get along with others
  • experience joy

Hanscom argues that children under the age of seven “desperately need to have a multitude of whole-body sensory experiences on a daily basis in order to develop strong bodies and minds.”  She concludes “Children just need the time, the space, and the permission to be kids.”

At a time where increased time and weight are given to academics, parents are seeking alternatives to the results-driven, test-driven direction most preschools are headed.  Waldorf schools take a different approach – centering the early childhood curriculum around experiential learning, developing skills and confidence via self-directed free play, practical life skills, and artistic opportunities.

Learn more. Visit or call 207-686-3140 to schedule a private tour of one of our beautiful early childhood classrooms.

Primed for Success: In Waldorf Schools, Kindergarteners Hone Critical Social Skills

Earlier this month, the American Journal of Public Health published an important study on the relationship between a 5-year old’s social competence and their ‘future wellness’ as adults. The study, which followed nearly 800 kindergarteners into adulthood, concludes: “”Kindergarten pro-social skills were significantly and uniquely predictive of whether participants graduated from high school on time, completed a college degree, obtained stable employment in young adulthood, and were employed full-time in young adulthood.”

In other words: Early childhood is the foundation of a healthy, productive life. Kids who developed social and emotional skills during their preschool years fared better in school, were more likely to stay gainfully employed, and were more likely to stay out of trouble as adults.

Michaelmas at TidewaterAs more and more schools focus on academics at younger and younger ages, Waldorf schools take a different approach – centering the early childhood curriculum around experiential learning, developing skills and confidence via imaginative play, practical life skills, and artistic opportunities.

“Traditionally, we’re focused much more on academic achievement and more and more we’re realizing through many studies that academic achievement is only one part of making somebody successful,” said Damon of Penn State University, lead researcher for the study Early Social-Emotional Functioning and Public Health: The Relationship Between Kindergarten Social Competence and Future Wellness.

In a Waldorf kindergarten classroom, the child becomes accustomed to working within a group, listening to stories, interacting with a teacher, and following a daily routine. Most importantly, a Waldorf kindergarten gives young children the gift of free play. Self-directed free play allows children to process what is happening in their own lives and helps children to self-regulate, to share and take turns, to collaborate, create and problem-solve. It is from these interactions that they develop open-hearted kindness and consideration and respect for others – all skills that are critical to a person’s long-term well-being.

Waldorf schools teach young children empathy with the goal of helping them develop into morally responsible, integrated individuals with a high degree of social-emotional intelligence.

A Waldorf early childhood education imbues a lifelong love of learning, social and emotional intelligence, the ability to think creatively and solve problems and an appreciation for a deeper connection to the world.

Learn more. Visit or call 207-686-3140 to schedule a private tour of one of our beautiful early childhood classrooms.

Seacoast Waldorf School Celebrates Michelmas and Deeds of Goodness

Last week, Seacoast Waldorf School celebrated the harvest festival of Michelmas. First, with a re-enactment of St. Michael, the protector of humanity, battling the dragon to save the kingdom.

Then, grade school children and teachers gathered on the sunny slope of the early childhood playground to sing and recite verses as the nursery, preschool and kindergarten children and friends and families looked on. The stories and verse contained themes of courage, light conquering dark, inner strength, and deeds of goodness.

Families, students and faculty then moved to the grades playground for an outdoor feast of soup, corn bread, cider and apple crisp and time together enjoying the beautiful sunny day before heading indoors to tour the classrooms.

The Michelmas festival reminds us to both summon and honor the courage displayed each and every day – in noble acts big and strong. It reminds us to perform acts of kindness – to make good choices even when no one is looking and to seek the good in others.

Seacoast Waldorf Welcomes 1st Graders with Beautiful Back-to-School Ceremony

Wednesday, September 3rd, marked the first day of the 2014/2015 school year for children in first through fourth grade at Seacoast Waldorf School.

On the first day of school each year, we welcome the incoming first grade class with a Rose Ceremony, a rite of passage honored in Waldorf Schools all over the globe. The faculty and grades children gather together as the kindergarten teachers lead the students onto the campus to greet their new Grade 1 teacher with a handshake, and to receive a rose from the eldest grades class.

Welcome first graders!

You’re Invited: Auction Fundraiser at Seacoast Waldorf School

Seacoast Waldorf School’s ‘Under the Trees’ spring fling fundraiser is underway culminating in a gala event Saturday, June 7. 

Dozens of live and silent auction items will be up for bid. Proceeds will help offset the costs, which tuition alone does not cover, of running and growing the school. This event is an evening of fun in which families, friends and more come together in support and celebration of Seacoast Waldorf School.

imageAuction items range from fabulous hand painted items to massage packages to gift certificates to donated items guaranteed to delight and surprise.

Cost to attend the gala is $10 per person for tickets purchased prior to the event or $15 per person for tickets purchased at the door.  The event will feature fabulous food from award-winning Tulsi, live music, and a cash bar.  Dress is casual.

Support our school and join us for a night of fun. Tell your friends, family, community.

Click here for directions.  Questions? Call 207-686-3140.

If you are unable to attend and would like to support Seacoast Waldorf School, please visit our School Development page.