Fall Hootenanny Festival!

Join us for a festive children’s morning with live music, crafts, apple pressing, puppet storytelling, sing-a-longs, harvest parade, snacks and more. A fun event for the whole family!

Open to the public and free of charge.

 

Saturday, October 18th

10am-12noon 

 

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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.

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.

 

Celebrate Spring at Seacoast Waldorf School’s Annual May Faire Festival May 17th

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Celebrate May Faire Saturday, May 17th, from 10am-2pm at Seacoast Waldorf School

Crafts, Pony Rides, Live Music, Games, Puppet Show, Maypole Singing and Dancing, and More!

Seacoast Waldorf School invites the public to celebrate the school’s 15th annual May Faire Festival Saturday, May 17th from 10am-2pm.

This festival celebrates the traditional holiday of May Day with:

  • games
  • a Maypole dance
  • puppet shows and other performances
  • great food
  • a cake walk
  • live music
  • face painting
  • pony rides
  • kids’ crafts
  • town square shopping
  • and so much more.

DSC_0472Join us for this fun-filled family event and community-wide celebration. Don’t miss the opportunity to revel in the glorious Spring weather at our beautiful school located at 403 Route 236 (HL Dow Highway), Eliot, Maine 03903.

Click here for directions or call 207-686-3140.

 

 

 

 

2014 Summer Camps!

Preschool and Kindergarten Children at Seacoast Waldorf School

The Seacoast Waldorf School is excited to offer six summer camps over three weeks,  July 7th-25th, 2014.All six week-long camps will take place on our school campus taking advantage of its many beautiful acres of surrounding forest, trails and ponds.  The camps serve children ranging in age from 3 years old to 12 years old.  Space is limited! To read details and register children for summer camp  click here

 

 

What is Anthroposophy?

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I spent the weekend of March 21st-23rd in Freeport, Maine attending the AWSNA (Association of Waldorf Schools of North America) Northeast regional conference held at Merriconeag Waldorf School. The conference was attended by over one hundred and fifty people representing Waldorf schools from all six New England states as well as the province of Quebec.  The keynote speaker was Florian Oswald, the head of pedagogy at the Goetheanum in Switzerland. The Goetheanum is also the world headquarter of the General Anthropological Society. Hearing Mr. Oswald’s thought provoking and inspirational speeches got me thinking more about what exactly is Anthroposophy? As a parent in a Waldorf school (not to mention a Director) I felt compelled to learn more about this important underpinning of this highly effective form of education.

I feel fairly well versed in the benefits of a Waldorf Education for children: integrated free play, art and music which develop neural pathways, original thinking and executive function, handwork and form drawing to develop fine motor skills and higher ordered thinking, rhythmic teaching via a concentrated main lesson and four week blocks for true retention of information and fostering curiosity, early introduction of foreign languages, much active year-round time spent outdoors developing a reverence for the beauty of earth, etc…and that is just the tip of the iceberg!  I have no doubt that our children receive much freedom, inspiration and fortitude from their Waldorf Education everyday.

What I was not at all as familiar with, and sometimes wondered about, is the philosophical basis underlying this very creative yet deliberate system of teaching: Anthroposophy.  I share with you what I have learned in the hope of not only de-mystify Anthroposophy but also embracing it for what it is: a key component in Waldorf Education’s evolution into the fastest growing independent school movement in the world.  Anthroposophy is a broad philosophy founded by Rudolph Steiner that has been applied practically in Waldorf Education, biodynamic agriculture, medicine, ethical banking, special education (the Camphilll Movement) and organizational development. The term Anthroposophy comes from the Greek words for “human” and “wisdom”.

Generally speaking, Anthroposophy advocates inner development of the human being’s intuition or inspiration, in order to develop our abilities of perceptive imagination beyond just sensory experience. This is often done via meditation, reflection, sleep, envisioning etc.  Anthroposophy, as a study, strives to apply the precision of science to investigations of such intuition. The idea is that when we have a powerful experience of imagination or intuition it is supported by a spiritual source which exists to help us – some may call this source the realm of the whole of shared human consciousness, some may call it God, some may call it the spiritual world, some may call it angels;  the terminology is entirely a personal choice.  The point is that intuition on the level of genius comes from somewhere beyond our own personal experiences.

Please note,  Anthroposophy is the philosophical foundation of Waldorf Education, it is not taught to children! Teachers and staff study Anthroposophy and strive to use it’s techniques in their work. For example, if a student is having a difficult behavioral issue, the teacher might make observations of that child, meditate that evening on the concerns – holding the child in the highest regard – and then sleep on it and see what ideas or inspiration they awaken the following day. Another example are the highly creative, sometimes impromptu lessons Waldorf teachers are famous for — where did these brilliant, on-the-spot ideas come from that reach the children exactly where they need to be reached in that moment, in that lesson, on that day? Some would say they come from the teacher’s previous Anthropological practices of meditation and reflection leading to their heightened imagination and intuition in the moment.

It is important to also note that Anthroposophy is not a religion. As a philosopher and writer, Rudolph Steiner’s work touched upon elements of many organized religions including Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Muslim and Hindu faiths. According the U.S. Center for Anthroposophy, “Anthroposophy is a method of inquiry, a path of research, rather than a fixed set of ideas. Rudolf Steineronce characterized Anthroposophy as an upside-down plant, with its roots in the heavens (the world of the spirit) and its blossom and fruit in practical life on earth. This ‘growing down’ means that clear insights born of disciplined spiritual research can help us re-enliven the practice of education, health, farming, technology, and countless other areas of daily life.”

There are about 10,000 institutions around the world working on the basis of Anthroposophy today including sixteen Waldorf schools affiliated with the United Nations’ UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network, which “sponsors education projects that foster improved quality of education throughout the world, in particular in terms of its ethical, cultural, and international dimensions”.*   And many Waldorf schools receive full or partial governmental funding in European nations, Australia and in parts of the United States (as Waldorf Education charter schools).

Overall Athroposophy is a very optimistic philosophy advocating the spiritual dimension of all human beings and advocating our ability to use our spiritual abilities of intuition, imagination and inspiration to improve the work we do.  This conference was a truly enjoyable learning experience for me and I invite anyone interested in learning more about Waldorf Education, its teaching practices, history or underlying philosophy of Anthroposophy to attend an AWSNA conference.  If you are intrigued by this article and wish to discuss it or the study of Athroposophy as related to Waldorf Education,  I would welcome the opportunity to continue the conversation or even organize a study group.
* Agenda Fact Sheet, United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization dated 18 April 2001

Sports Illustrated Reporter to Speak at Seacoast Waldorf School

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Keep Your Kid in the Game!  
Friday, April 11th –  7pm
How to Strike a Balance Between Fun and Performance in Youth Sports:  a lecture by Sports Illustrated reporter Luis Fernando Llosa

Three out of four kids quit youth sports by the age of thirteen and orthopedic doctors are seeing a dramatic increase in serious repetitive sports injuries in kids, previously reserved for professional athletes.  In this talk we examine common problems which can curtail a young athlete’s development and find out how you can keep your kids enjoying sports in a healthy way. 

Beyond Winning: Smart Parenting in a Toxic Sports Environment (Lyons Press), co-authored with Kim John Payne (Simplicity Parenting) and Scott B. Lancaster (former National Football League youth sports director) is a candid, practical guide to help parents navigate the fanatical, results-obsessed world of youth sports. On Friday night, April 11th, co-author of Beyond Winning Luis Fernando Llosa speak at the Seacoast Waldorf School highlighting his concerns about youth sports today and offer suggestions for change.

Tickets can be purchased online here or by calling Seacoast Waldorf School at 207-686-3140.
Luis Fernando Llosa PhotoMr. Llosa has made more than 500 national and local television and radio appearances, including CBS Evening News, CBS Early Show, CNN, FOX, FOX News,  Nancy Grace, Univision, and CNBC, NPR, ESPN Radio and The Jim Rome Show to discuss sports-related issues.  An award winning former Sports Illustrated reporter, Luis Fernando Llosa exposed Little Leaguer Danny Almonte’s 2001 age fraud, which was ranked among the top ten sports scandals of the past century. Llosa was also the most sourced journalist in the Mitchell Report on Steroids in Major League Baseball and broke stories on boxer Shane Mosley’s use of EPO and testosterone and the federal indictment of New York Mets clubhouse employee Kirk Rodomski. In 2008 he co-wrote “Sins of a Father” a Sports Illustrated exclusive about a 13-year-old in-line skater injected with HGH and testosterone by his father, who became the first parent ever convicted and jailed for providing his child with steroids. That story was sent to every member of the U.S. Congress during the Roger Clemens hearings and referenced in those proceedings.
Location: Seacoast Waldorf School 403 Harold L. Dow Highway, Eliot, Maine 03903
Date & Time:  Friday, April 11th  7pm
Cost: $15 per ticket.

Free Magical Children’s Fairytale Morning, March 15th, at SWS

MagicalFairytaleMorningSeacoast Waldorf School invites families of the Seacoast to join us Saturday, March 15th, from 10am-12noon for our FREE Magical Children’s Fairytale Morning!

Morning activities will include live Celtic music, a children’s craft, make-your-own frozen yogurt sundae with all-natural toppings, storytelling, a puppet show, a German sing-along, and fairytale dress-up in the school’s ‘costume castle’.
This event marks the second seasonal Saturday morning series for Seacoast Waldorf School. Once a season the school hosts a free morning with food, music and teacher-led activities for the children.

Children’s ‘Magical Fairytale Morning’:
Saturday, March 15, 2014. 10am-12pm.
Seacoast Waldorf School, 403 Route 236, Eliot, ME (207) 686-3140.

Seacoast Waldorf School opened in 1999 and is a member of AWSNA (Association of Waldorf Schools of North America) and WECAN — Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America. The school serves children from the entire Seacoast area, nursery school through middle school.  Waldorf schools collectively form the largest and the fastest growing group of independent private schools in the world.

Turning Education on its Head: New Research Discovers How Children Really Learn

classroom4Recent discoveries in neuroscience have completely changed our picture of how human beings learn. In this ground-breaking talk Douglas Gerwin, Ph.D. will review the contemporary research which sheds new light on how—and for how long—our brains develop.

New neurological research shows that the brain behaves less like a “hard-wired” computer and more like a dense forest in which pathways appear through repeated use and disappear through neglect. The implications of this research for the future of education are powerful, especially since the neurological functions of children and young adults do not fully develop until they reach their early twenties. Douglas Gerwin, Ph.D., will explore how education can spur children to develop their powers of multiple intelligence.

This not-to-be-missed lecture will show parents, educators, and doctors the newest research about how our brains work, with a special emphasis on our children’s brains. We all know our kids are smart but their special skills and intelligence  may not always be able to be measured by schools and tests. How can we foster our children’s own special brand of intelligence? How can we help them become creative problem solvers who can face the world’s challenges? This lecture led by Douglas Gerwin, Ph.D. should be “required” attendance for all educators and parents.

Douglas Gerwin, Ph.D., has been an educator for more than 30 years, is currently Director of the Center for Anthroposophy in Wilton, NH and  co-Director of the Research Institute for Waldorf Education.

Date: Friday, March 28, 2014

Location: Seacoast Waldorf School

Time: 7pm-9pm

Cost: $10 per person

Space is limited. Advanced ticket purchase is strongly suggested. To purchase tickets click here.

For more information, please call the school office at 207-686-3140.

Seacoast Waldorf School Announces $5,000 Scholarship Contest

first-gradeSeacoast Waldorf School’s Board of Trustees has announced today a scholarship essay contest open to all new students entering Grade 1 for the 2014-2015 academic year. The winner will receive an award worth $5,000 applicable only towards tuition at Seacoast Waldorf School.

“We have experienced fantastic growth in enrollment since the move to our new location on Route 236 just this past year and our goal is to continue to promote Waldorf education on the Seacoast,” said Deirdre McEachern, Director, adding, “This scholarship contest is our way of encouraging those parents considering an alternative education to investigate Waldorf education”

The essay theme is, “Why I would love my child to have a Waldorf Education”. Entries may be hand-written or printed but must not exceed 500 words and must be mailed directly to the school at: Seacoast Waldorf School, 403 Harold Dow Highway, Eliot, ME 03903 or emailed to: director@seacoastwaldorfschool.org. Deadline for all entries is February 28, 2014. Winner to be announced March 31, 2014. All essays must be accompanied by a no-fee, pre-application to the school.

For more details on the essay contest and to download the no-fee, pre-application, please visit:  http://www.seacoastwaldorfschool.org/essaycontest

Seacoast Waldorf School opened in 1999 and is a member of AWSNA (Association of Waldorf Schools of North America) and WECAN — Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America. The school serves children from the entire Seacoast area, nursery school through middle school.  Waldorf schools collectively form the largest and the fastest growing group of independent private schools in the world.