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Waldorf News

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Aurora Waldorf School Completes First Year of New City Scholarship Program: Six students from “Persistently Lowest Achieving” Buffalo Schools Now Enrolled at AWS

A new scholarship program at Aurora Waldorf School (AWS) has just completed its first year of implementation thanks to a generous anonymous donor. Six students in kindergarten to third grade who had previously attended “persistently lowest achieving” (PLA) Buffalo city schools are now AWS students all the way through eighth grade. As part of the school’s mission to foster social responsibility in its students, AWS and the donor have partnered to begin this initiative as a direct reflection of that mission. The anonymous donor wished to give students in the city of Buffalo who could not afford a private school the opportunity to receive a rigorous education, in a stimulating and developmentally-appropriate environment. The donation helps to cover all expenses, including tuition, bus transportation from the city, lunch, and all fees and supplies. More »

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Waldorf Taught Me How to Learn: Reflections from an Alumna

When most people think of spring break they don’t imagine high school seniors going back to their k-8 school, but that is exactly what I did. I was offered the opportunity to intern with Allison Budschalow in the Development office, and it has been such a great time. It always feels a bit like coming home when I return to The Waldorf School of Philadelphia, seeing the familiar faces and spaces, but this time I got to see the school through a much different lens than the one I have known most of my life. The world around me has changed a lot since I left Waldorf. I felt a little rebellious traipsing into the building with my laptop in tow, headphones dangling out of my bag. More »

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Waldorf Impulses in Turkey

In Izmir we are also dealing with a general loss of old Turkish traditions. Many people today have become disconnected from the traditions, rituals, songs, poems and stories that provide deep insights into our humanity. After much research and through our pedagogical activity, we need to bring these lost traditions back to the surface (and in a certain way, awaken the folk soul of Turkey). Weaving the Turkish culture into the day-to-day rhythms of the nursery/kindergarten is very important to us, and so we created our own solstice festival in December, inspired by the Old Turkish ritual of of Nardoğan, which celebrated the "New Birth of the Sun." More »

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The Sword, the Pen, and the Arrow: Transforming Discipline through Disciplines

The Middle School aged student is at a time of crossroads, leaving the relative peace of childhood and encountering the first bewildering gusts of the high-school whirlwinds ahead. The body is a cycloned chemistry lab, and the emotions as random as they are unpredictable. Often the heaviness of adolescence weighs on the body and on the fragile teenage psyche as well. Communication can be a major challenge for the adolescent. Disciplinary words from well-meaning parents do not always fall on receptive ears. Jaimen McMillan, master fencer and founder of Spacial Dynamics®, and Katie Moran, certified archery instructor and experienced movement education teacher, are on a mission to introduce children aged 11 to 14 not to discipline, but to disciplines. McMillan and Moran are teaming up this July at the Spacial Dynamics Institute in upstate New York to offer middle-schoolers a weeklong summer program that interfaces the disciplines of fencing, archery, and writing. Youth need real disciplines from which they can discover, learn, and internalize real life lessons. Fencing and Archery are ancient arts that are perfectly suited to give youth a wholesome introduction to discipline. Both of these activities allow the participant to experience “in-deed” that an adherence to form gives freedom. Age-old, tried and proven methods are not chains that bind but are keys to new possibilities. Adolescents will persist in, and painstakingly practice, such exacting parameters of performance because they simultaneously give results and insight. More »

Why we need to separate kids from tech — now

It doesn't seem that long ago that many parents felt guilty for using even the highly acclaimed "Sesame Street" to baby-sit their kids while they cooked dinner. But a not-so-funny thing happened on our way to our high-tech-enamored world of 2015: Children's recreational use of screens, phones and entertainment media has exploded. "It's up considerably from years past," says Richard Freed, a Walnut Creek child and adolescent psychologist, in his new book, "Wired Child: Debunking Popular Technology Myths." Digital entertainment is now the "dominant activity in their lives," says Freed, who is also the father of two daughters, 11 and 7. And that's not a recipe for a balanced, well-adjusted life, he and other media and educational experts say. Emerging research shows that kids' overuse of TV, computers, video games, tablets and smartphones hinders their physical, intellectual, social and emotional development. More »