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. As 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 www.seacoastwaldorfschool.org or call 207-686-3140 to schedule a private tour of one of our beautiful early childhood classrooms.
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 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. Auction 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.
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:
- 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.
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. More 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.
Seacoast 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