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
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.


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

Register Now.


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

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.


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.