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.

Seacoast Waldorf School ‘Winter Warmer’ a Success

On Saturday, January 25th, the Seacoast Waldorf School opened its doors to families of the seacoast for a morning of crafts, music, song, puppetry and yummy eats.

IMG_3807More than 100 children and their families spent the morning visiting and playing in Seacoast Waldorf School’s cozy toddler, preschool, kindergarten and elementary classrooms and dining on a self-serve hot oatmeal bar with all the fixings, pastries, cider, tea and more.

Children participated in sing-a-longs in both Spanish and English, received knitting instruction, played in the preschool and kindergarten classroom tree forts and dozens of children sat mesmerized for a puppet show and singing.

Parents mingled in the classrooms and common areas, met with Seacoast Waldorf School teachers and families, and learned about the many things that make Waldorf schools special and unique – and why Waldorf is the fastest growing education movement in the world.

To take a virtual tour of the Winter Warmer, click on photo below:

To schedule a personal tour of the school, located at 403 Route 236, Eliot, Maine, call 207-686-3140.

 

Exploring the Links Between Nature, the Child & the Brain

imageSeacoast Waldorf School will be hosting a lecture on the critical links between nature, the child, and the brain!

Angela Hanscom, founder of the unique and unconventional TimberNook camps that are spreading in New England, will talk about the how lack of movement and play outdoors is affecting child development and academic success.

Join us Tuesday, November 19, from 6:30-8:30pm for this exciting lecture. Here is a sampling of the topics that will be covered:

    • Nature as the ultimate sensory experience
    • The Upright Children – balance system affected by lack of full-body play
    • Water Works – emotional regulation and time spent outdoors
    • Double Vision – how movement supports eye function
    • Sick, Pale, and Frail – children are getting weaker…
    • Promoting Independence Outside
    • Fostering Creativity in the Great Outdoors

Today’s children are constantly in an upright position. It is rare to find children rolling down the hill, climbing trees, or spinning in circles just for fun. We’ve taken away merry-go-rounds, shortened the length of swings, and done away with teeter-totters to keep children safe. What we don’t realize is that we are keeping children from attaining the very skills needed to keep them safe in the first place!

Hanscom upends traditional thought and practice by revealing the critical links between the child, the brain, and the great outdoors. Hanscom’s upcoming book, Sensory by Design, discusses the critical links between play outdoors, child development, and academic success.

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Admission is $10 for one or $15 for two.

Register Now.


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Preparing Our Children for a World We Cannot Envision

first-gradeOur world is experiencing rapid, unprecedented and unforeseen change.  How then, can we begin to imagine the world our young children will face in the years to come? And, more importantly, how can we prepare them for a world we cannot envision?

According to Jack Petrash, acclaimed author and educator: “The best way to do that is to educate our children to develop three essential capacities: a capacity for vibrant and vigorous activity, a capacity for a sensitive and yet resilient emotional life, and a capacity for clear, focused, original, thinking.”

In order to develop these three capacities, Petrash argues, we must educate our children in a multidimensional way in school. But, most schools today focus on developing just the left-side of the brain.

In Petrash’s widely circulated 2013 TEDx talk, he maintains: “No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top have created a standards driven educational system that only asks our children to use half of their human intelligence, just the left side of their brains. And sadly, fifty percent is a failing grade by any standard. Our children deserve more, much more.”

Waldorf, the world’s fastest-growing independent educational movement, offers an alternative.

Since the late 19th century, Waldorf educators have been focusing on multidimensional education - educating the “whole child” by integrating creative, academic and practical work. The rich Waldorf curriculum aims to develop equally the students’ intellectual, social and physical skills. Every subject, including the sciences, mathematics, and languages, incorporates images (visual art), sounds (music), narrative (drama) and movement that speaks to the child’s developmental stage.

Not familiar with Waldorf? Visit a Waldorf School in your area and check out Petrash’s TEDx talk: Educating Children For the Journey

 

 

 

 

Third Graders Continue Farm Studies with Trip To NH Farm Museum

Third Grader grinding corn to feed the chickens at NH Farm Museum

Third Grader grinding corn to feed the chickens at NH Farm Museum

On the heels of last month’s three-day farm field trip at Wolf’s Neck Farm in Freeport, Maine, last friday, third graders at Seacoast Waldorf School paid a visit to the New Hampshire Farm Museum.

The New Hampshire Farm Museum sits on two adjoining farmsteads situated on 50 acres located on Plummer’s Ridge in Milton, New Hampshire.  There, the children had the opportunity to learn about three centuries of farm life in New Hampshire.

The morning was spent meeting the chicken, goats, sheep and pigs on the farm and exploring the historic Jones house and tavern, followed by a tour of the three-story barn filled with an incredible assortment of farm tools, wagons and sleighs. The third graders also helped grind the corn to feed the chickens and churned cream to make butter.

3501Farming and gardening, along with arithmetic, language arts, measurement, shelter and house building, German and Spanish, and music and the arts, is a core focus for Waldorf third graders. In learning how the gardener and the farmer live and work, students learn how animals and humans depend upon the earth’s soil and how they make best use of it throughout the yearly cycle of seed, to plant, to food, to compost, then back to seed .

3483Following the experiential learning offered in field trips to NH Farm Museum and Wolf’s Neck Farm, the third graders will take their practical knowledge back to their outdoor classroom at Seacoast Waldorf School and, this coming Spring, will plant an array of organically-grown vegetables in the school’s raised garden beds.

This fall, Seacoast Waldorf School students harvested eggplants, potatoes, kale, tomatoes, squash and more. Once the crop was ready for harvest, the vegetables were shared by all students and used in each of the classrooms for a weekly pot of Stone Soup.

 

 

Register Now for Simplicity Parenting Events at Seacoast Waldorf School Nov 1 & 2

Simplicity Parenting Workshop at Seacoast Waldorf School

Kim John Payne to give Simplicity Parenting lecture and workshop November 1 & 2 at Seacoast Waldorf School

In his critically acclaimed book, Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids, internationally renowned author and family consultant, Kim John Payne, offers a clear and effective pathway to simplify four realms at home, which reduces stress on children and their parents, and allows room for connection, creativity and relaxation.

On November 1st and 2nd, as part of the new Seacoast Simplicity Parenting Center, Kim will be delivering a lecture and parent/educator workshop at Seacoast Waldorf School located just 10 minutes outside of Portsmouth, NH.

Nov. 1 Simplicity Parenting Lecture

On Friday, November 1st from 7-9pm, Kim explains why “less is more” and presents a step-by-step process you can take to help your child feel calmer, happier and more secure.

  • Step One: Simplify your environment
  • Step Two: Simplify food and mealtimes
  • Step Three: Simplify your family’s schedule
  • Step Four: Simplify the amount of information and involvement about the adult world

These changes ultimately reduce stress on parents and provide more opportunity for care, connection
and creativity with their children.

Admission for the lecture is $15.

Nov. 2 Simplicity Parenting Workshop

In the workshop on Saturday, November 2nd, 9am-1pm, Kim dives deeper into pathways-to-simplicity, allowing attendees to work one-on-one with Kim and other parents in attendance to discuss the lecture and address other parenting concerns, such as discipline and social resilience.

Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to gain insight from a professional with 27 years of experience working as a family and school counselor, adult educator, researcher and as a consultant and trainer to over 110 U.S. independent and public schools.

Admission for the workshop is $45. Attend both the lecture and workshop for $50.

For more information about Kim John Payne and Simplicity Parenting visit www.simplicityparenting.com

Register Now

Register now to reserve your spot with PayPal! Or, if you wish to pay by check, please send to Seacoast Waldorf School, 401 Harold L. Dow Highway, Eliot, ME 03903.


Submit

Waldorf Alumn Wins 2013 Nobel Prize in Medicine

Waldorf-educated neuroscientist Thomas Südhof, MD, and two others earned the prize for their discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic and for solving the mystery of how the cell organizes its transport system.

Südhof, a graduate of the Hannover Waldorf School in Germany, is a professor of molecular and cellular physiology at Stanford University.  Congratulations, Dr. Südhof!

Read more here: Thomas Sudhof wins Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

Another German Nobel Prize winner had this to say about Waldorf education:

“The advent of the Waldorf Schools was in my opinion the greatest contribution to world peace and understanding…” – Willy Brandt, Former Chancellor of West Germany, 1971 Nobel Peace Prize Winner.

Check out this list of other Accomplished Waldorf Alumni.

And, learn more abut Waldorf education at Seacoast Waldorf School’s Fall Open House this Saturday, October 19th, from 10am to noon.  Call 207-439-7911 for details.

Third Grade Farming Field Trip Offers Hands-On Learning

Wolf's Neck Farm Think back to your school years. What were the most memorable experiences? For most of us, working and visiting with people and places from outside of our day-to-day school environment are among the most memorable.

Studies show that the most effective education stems from real world applications in which students learn organically as a result of their school work. But, with budget cuts limiting field trip opportunities, avenues for teachers to provide  field experiential learning are dwindling.

Not so at Seacoast Waldorf School. Last week the third grade students embarked on their third field trip of the year – this time to Wolf’s Neck Farm a historic 626 acre farm on the Maine coast dedicated to sustainable agriculture, environmental education, and community well-being.

Seacoast Waldorf School farm campWaldorf schools offer a developmentally appropriate, experiential approach to education -  integrating the arts, practical arts and academics in order to inspire life-long learning in all students and to enable them to fully develop their unique capacities.  In Waldorf, the third grade curriculum includes an introduction to the basic practical aspects of food and shelter. Third graders are given an opportunity to work on the farm, where they learn about barnyard structures, livestock practices and agriculture.

At Wolf’s Neck Farm, surrounded by beautiful green pastures overlooking Casco Bay, the Seacoast Waldorf School third graders soaked up three days of sunshine while exploring life on the farm.

Third grader on farm camp tripThe first afternoon, after a tour of the farm, collecting more than two dozen eggs, and watching the ducks take a bath, the class headed to their campsite along the water’s edge via a hay wagon ride. Once at the campsite, they ate lunch, explored the shore, and unpacked their gear before heading back to the farm for more farm chores. Then, back to the camp site to set up their tents and settle in for a fitting meal of shepherds’ pie.

The following day, waking to the sound of hungry cows moo-ing, the third graders tended to the animals and then helped pick carrots, blue cabbage and other produce in preparation for the Freeport Farmer’s Market. That night, they bundled up and had lasagna by firelight before s’mores and a game of glow-tag.

The final day included collecting more eggs and feeding the pigs before packing up the campsite and heading back to school. The three days on the farm provided the children with dynamic, hands-on education about the food we eat, the animals and plants we depend on, and the environment around us.

WFN_sheep“I loved all the animals: the pigs, goats, chickens, sheep, ducks and rabbits, ” said third-grader, Seamus. “Each day, we fed the animals, made sure they had fresh water, and played with them. We even got to work together to help corral the sheep so they could get shorn.”

Why This Parent Chose Waldorf Education Over Public School For Her Two Children

At the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for our new building I shared how I had once heard one of our original founders say “every community needs to have a Waldorf school” and admitted that at the time I didn’t quite understand why she would make that claim. Now, five years into my own children’s journey between public and private education and having become familiar with the methodology of the Waldorf curriculum, I understand perfectly. Here are my top three reasons why I agree that Waldorf education should be available in every community and why we are so fortunate to have a Waldorf school in our own backyard.

A Seacoast Waldorf Student proudly displays his self-created math lesson book.

A Seacoast Waldorf Student proudly displays his self-created math lesson book.

Foremost, I have never met a more passionate and dedicated group of teachers. Waldorf teachers are by far the most enthusiastic educators in the world. They are in love with their curriculum, methodology and their students. Each morning Waldorf teachers greet every child at the classroom door by name, shake their hand and make eye contact. They are genuinely devoted to these children’s academic and life success. They devise extremely interactive and creative lessons which often require them to work long days in preparation, they frequently make themselves available for school events on weekends and have chosen to train and teach in the Waldorf method because they believe in it. (It is certainly not for the pay!) Unfortunately in conditions of overcrowded classrooms, institutionalized teaching procedures and forced standardized testing curriculum, most public school teachers are frustrated rather than enthusiastic. In an age where too many children hate school or exhibit a variety of classroom disrupting behaviors, by sharp contrast, Waldorf students are excited to come to school. Upon arriving at school this September I heard a child declare to his parent “I love coming here!”. Shouldn’t every student be saying that? Waldorf teachers create a vibrant learning environment which promotes joyful learning. This positive experience of school creates a lifelong love of learning. This is a far reaching gift I feel I am giving to my children.

Second, the Waldorf curriculum, though developed almost one hundred years ago in 1919, couldn’t be more appropriate for preparing our children and grandchildren for a future we cannot predict. Through its use of experiential learning Waldorf education teaches to a multitude of learning styles; visual, auditory, artistic, kinesthetic and many others, creating in the children the ability to synthesize new information and problem solve from many modes. Through the use of biographical stories and fairy tale characters the children create a vivid emotional interest in new material being presented and retain information for the long term. Creativity is included in every lesson – math, science, reading, writing and of course the traditional arts & music programs. This permeating facet of creativity in all lessons promotes critical and original thinking, advanced problem solving skills, clear self-expression and the strong self confidence needed to create something from scratch. These are all skills that tomorrow’s innovators are going to need. Unfortunately, most traditional American public schools teach only in two dimensions and the lessons are primarily passive. Lessons in Waldorf Education are three dimensional and very, very active! There is a saying; “Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.” Waldorf Education involves the student from their earliest sensory experiences in the nursery school program to living history lessons in the elementary grades. I cannot imagine a better preparation for the twenty-first century for my children than the ability to creativity problem solve, collaborate, generate original thought, communicate clearly and have self-confidence in their ability to produce results.

German lesson

German lesson

Finally, the Waldorf curriculum cultivates awareness of the the larger world around the student. Awareness of multiculturalism is presented through study topics broadly ranging from ancient Hebrew Sukkah dwellings to festivals celebrating the good deeds of the Celtic Saint Michael to singing of an African lullabye, “allunde, allunde” in the early childhood program. Also, awareness of the global environment and the human place in it, is present every day in a Waldorf School. All Waldorf students spend a significant portion of each day outdoors enjoying our beautiful five acre wooded campus, working in our outdoor farm classroom with the chickens and vegetable beds or taking nature hikes at one of our picturesque local mountains. As my seven year old son told his former public school friends, “Recess is never canceled at my Waldorf school!”. Waldorf students learn to experience and appreciate all of nature’s seasons from spring mud to winter sledding. Waldorf children also build their awareness of the greater world around them by learning not one but two foreign languages beginning at age six. This is a full seven years earlier than most public schools offer foreign language study. I believe all of these – cultural awareness, environmental gratitude and early exposure to foreign languages are the building blocks for developing a child’s sense of social responsibility. I certainly want my children to be good global citizens and a Waldorf education is strongly supports the early foundations for that.

These gifts of a joyful learning experience, self-confidence built on original thinking and the building blocks of adult social responsibility are just a few of the reasons I have chosen to enroll my children in a Waldorf school. There are so many others. I am moved when I imagine the difference a generation of Waldorf graduates might go on to make in our world! Yes, indeed, there should be a Waldorf school in every community. I am so grateful we have ours.

Lecture & Workshop by “Simplicity Parenting” Author, Kim John Payne, Nov. 1 & 2

Simplicity Parenting Workshop at Seacoast Waldorf School

Kim John Payne to give Simplicity Parenting lecture and workshop November 1 & 2 at Seacoast Waldorf School

Today’s busier, faster, technology-centric society is compromising childhood. Faced with too much stuff, too many choices, too much information and too little time, children become anxious and overwhelmed, have trouble with friends and school, or may even be diagnosed with behavioral problems.

In his critically acclaimed book, Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids, internationally renowned author and family consultant, Kim John Payne, offers a clear and effective pathway to simplify four realms at home, which reduces stress on children and their parents, and allows room for connection, creativity and relaxation.

On November 1st and 2nd, as part of the new Seacoast Simplicity Parenting Center, Seacoast Waldorf School will be hosting Kim for a lecture and parent/educator workshop.

Nov. 1 Simplicity Parenting Lecture

On Friday, November 1st from 7-9pm, Kim explains why “less is more” and presents a step-by-step process you can take to help your child feel calmer, happier and more secure.

  • Step One: Simplify your environment
  • Step Two: Simplify food and mealtimes
  • Step Three: Simplify your family’s schedule
  • Step Four: Simplify the amount of information and involvement about the adult world

These changes ultimately reduce stress on parents and provide more opportunity for care, connection
and creativity with their children.

Admission for the lecture is $15.

Nov. 2 Simplicity Parenting Workshop

In the workshop on Saturday, November 2nd, 9am-1pm, Kim dives deeper into pathways-to-simplicity, allowing attendees to work one-on-one with Kim and other parents in attendance to discuss the lecture and address other parenting concerns, such as discipline and social resilience.

Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to gain insight from a professional with 27 years of experience working as a family and school counselor, adult educator, researcher and as a consultant and trainer to over 110 U.S. independent and public schools.

Admission for the workshop is $45. Attend both the lecture and workshop for $50.

For more information about Kim John Payne and Simplicity Parenting visit www.simplicityparenting.com

Register Now

Register now to reserve your spot with PayPal!


Submit
If you wish to pay by check, please send to Seacoast Waldorf School, 401 Harold L. Dow Highway, Eliot, ME 03903.