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Waldorf News

My return to Deer Hill and the Navajo Nation

Do you know that feeling when you get home from a life-changing trip, and you try to share your experience with your family and friends, hoping they can somehow relate? How do you find the right words to describe all that you saw, and did, and felt? Well, that’s how it was for me last spring when my classmates from Marin Waldorf School and I returned from an incredible 10-day Deer Hill field trip through the American Southwest. As we departed Deer Hill’s basecamp for home, waving goodbye as we traveled down the bumpy gravel road, I still remember hearing a little voice inside myself saying this would not be the last time I would be in this beautiful place. More »

Planting the seeds of Waldorf education in Iran

My hopes for the future of Waldorf education in Iran: Several individuals have contacted me after the event and have asked for workshops or just have let me know of their interest to join me in my path toward establishing Waldorf education in Iran. At the present time one school for disadvantaged Afghan children who live in Iran has began to transform its system toward Waldorf education and one other center for early childhood education has requested to begin a joint project to adopt the Waldorf approach in their educational system. My hope is that I can provide services such as workshops, lectures, translation of Waldorf resources and help schools move toward Waldorf education or adopt aspects of it in their curriculum. I hope that my country can join the world-wide family of Waldorf education and be part of this universal movement for bringing peace, love and inner freedom to human beings. More »

I Don’t Want My Son To Read In Kindergarten

I remember few details from kindergarten: a giant slide in the middle of our classroom, a mid-year visit by Smokey the Bear, the gentle voice and red hair of my teacher. Kindergarten was its own little world within the school — a nurturing cocoon — with its own special playground, its own tiny buses, its own half-day schedule. This spring when my son’s wonderful teacher recommended an additional year of preschool for him, instead of advancing with the rest of his class to kindergarten, I didn’t panic. After all, the school he was attending was small and academically challenging, and I understood he might not be ready for its particular standards. The teacher’s concerns — that he had trouble writing his letters, didn’t focus all the time in class, didn’t answer questions about literature with enough detail — didn’t worry me much. He was four. Just a little boy who liked garbage trucks and Sesame Street. We were moving to the suburbs anyway, and I figured my son would do just fine at our local public school, where he would spend his days listening to stories, playing in sandboxes, making friends, and learning the basic routines of classroom life. More »

The Gift of Nature: Reflections of a Forest Kindergarten Parent

It was this quest for natural and authentic outdoor experiences for my kids that led me to being a Forest Kindergarten parent. After seeing the value of simple moments in nature for my older two kids, my husband and I jumped at the chance to take it a step further for our youngest, Cara. When it came time for her to go to school five days a week, we enrolled her in the Forest Kindergarten that had recently launched at the Waldorf school where our two older children attended. Established in 2009, The Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs’ Forest Kindergarten was inspired by Nokken, the oft-touted forest kindergarten in Denmark. At our Forest Kindergarten, children spend most of the day outside year-round, exploring 300-plus-acres of state park land on the southern edge of our small city. More »

The decline of play in preschoolers — and the rise in sensory issues How play preschool can cure sensory issues

I still recall the days of preschool for my oldest daughter. I remember wanting to desperately enrich her life in any way possible – to give her an edge before she even got to formal schooling. I put her in a preschool that was academic in nature – the focus on pre-reading, writing, and math skills. At home, I bought her special puzzles, set up organized play dates with children her age, read to her every night, signed her up for music lessons, put her in dance, and drove her to local museums. My friends and I even did “enrichment classes” with our kids to practice sorting, coloring, counting, numbers, letters, and yes….even to practice sitting! We thought this would help prepare them for kindergarten. More »

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