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.

 

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

maypole

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.

 

 

 

 

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.

Seacoast Waldorf School Celebrates Light, Community & Sharing

Each December, students, faculty and families at Seacoast Waldorf School gather to celebrate light, community and sharing.

Seacoast Waldorf School students walking in the 2014 Portsmouth Illuminated Holiday Parade

Seacoast Waldorf School students walking in the 2013 Portsmouth Illuminated Holiday Parade

Whether it’s walking in the Portsmouth Illuminated Holiday Parade, decorating our school and grounds with stars and lights, the lighting of fires in our garden and candles in our classrooms, or the exchange of gifts and thanks, we take the time to honor the winter Solstice with special joy.

Today, at dusk, Seacoast Waldorf School will be celebrating the Winter Spiral. This event marks the moving from darkness to light.

In a simple but moving ceremony, as quiet music plays, children walk in turn to the center of a spiral path of evergreen boughs, each carrying an unlit candle.

When they reach the center of the spiral, there is a single burning candle, from which they light their own – a symbol of life amidst the dead of winter. They then carefully place their candle down along the path as they walk back out. The light brightens the path for those who follow.

Winter Spiral Celebration at Seacoast Waldorf School

Winter Spiral Celebration at Seacoast Waldorf School

This is a quiet celebration, symbolizing the carrying of light in darkness and of sharing our light with others. The festival begins in darkness and ends brightly lit by the many candles – and gives all those in attendance a way to experience quiet beauty in a season of constant, harried motion.

Lantern Walk Celebrates Light Within & a Time of Sharing

Luminaries line the Lantern Walk at Seacoast Waldorf School

Luminairies line the Lantern Walk at Seacoast Waldorf School

In the Waldorf tradition, each November, Seacoast Waldorf School faculty, students and their families gather to celebrate Martinmas, a festival of inner light in the outer darkness of the approaching winter.

Martinmas is held in honor of St. Martin, a soldier in Rome in the 4th century, who one wintry night came upon a poor beggar, half-naked and freezing. St. Martin removed the heavy cloak from his shoulders and, drawing his sword, cut it in two, and gave half to the beggar.

The Lantern Walk symbolizes the dimming of the light as winter approaches and honors St. Martin by the gesture of sharing with others who are in need.

Young and old unite in song around a roaring bonfire under a dazzling starry sky

Young and old unite in song around a roaring bonfire under a dazzling starry sky

On Friday, November 8th, the Seacoast Waldorf Community celebrated with a potluck dinner by candlelight. School Director, Deirdre McEachern shared the story of St. Martin and announced, in the spirit of sharing and thanksgiving, a clothing drive to benefit those in need.

All headed out to the bonfire to sign songs and enjoy the warmth of the fire.

As darkness fell, families ventured out into the night with the children’s self-made lanterns, decorated with stars, suns, moons and foliage, walking reverently along a path lit with glowing luminaries, carefully carrying their lanterns as a symbol of their own individual light.

Preschooler displays her paper lantern

Preschooler displays her paper lantern

GLIMMER, LANTERN, GLIMMER
Glimmer, lantern, glimmer
Little stars a-shimmer
Over meadow, moor and dale
Flitter, flutter, elfin veil
Pee-wit, pee-wit, tikka-tikka-tik
Rucoo, rucoo.

Glimmer, lantern, glimmer
Little stars a-shimmer
Over rock and stock and stone
Wandering, skipping, little gnome
Pee-wit, pee-wit, tikka-tikka-tik
Rucoo, rucoo.

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.

image

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

Register Now.


Register

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.