Natural Dye Workshop

Our fabulous handwork teacher, Heather Collis Puro, led a fascinating workshop on natural dyes on a recent Saturday morning.  Lindsay Miles, one of our equally fabulous kindergarten teachers and also a very experienced dyer, co-led the workshop. About 20 people from the community attended. Heather started by describing various materials that make up natural dyes.  Here, she’s holding a jar of cochineal (bugs!), famous for the crimson-colored dye they make. Heather and Lindsay straining the sandalwood dye. The dye pots Stirring the osage orange (left), black walnut (center), and cochineal (right). Stirring the alkanet (left) and sandalwood (right). Lindsay and Heather holding the various shades of yellow that have been made recently at school.  The silk capes are made every fall for the kindergartners. A detail of the yarns and silks that Lindsay Miles has dyed.  Aren’t they beautiful? Pulling the yarn from the cochineal pot. Amazing that these little critters produces such a beautiful color. The finished...

Prescription for Play

A great little film on  the importance of free play in children’s lives. Dr. Ken Ginsburg, pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and author of Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Kids Roots and Wings, and Dr. Marilyn Benoit, Chief Clinical Officer at Devereux Behavioral Health and former president of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, address critical issues facing children and families today — rising levels of stress and anxiety, obesity-related health problems, dramatically reduced time for free play and play outdoors, hectic and overscheduled family life — and offer solutions to addressing these problems....

Creativity on the Decline in American Schoolchildren

Waldorf Education encourages the type of critical thinking too-often being neglected  in other schools today.  This article tells how education – and creative thinking – have changed in the last few decades.   From the author: “Creativity is nurtured by freedom and stifled by the continuous monitoring, evaluation, adult-direction, and pressure to conform that restrict children’s lives today. In the real world few questions have one right answer, few problems have one right solution; that’s why creativity is crucial to success in the real world. But more and more we are subjecting children to an educational system that assumes one right answer to every question and one correct solution to every problem, a system that punishes children (and their teachers too) for daring to try different routes.”...

Why Does Arts Integration Work?

Arts integration has been shown in brain-based research to improve comprehension and  long-term retention; something Waldorf students and alums can attest to! — Kelly Hiselman A Research-Based Approach to Arts Integration At Bates Middle School in Annapolis, Maryland, arts integration has helped raise student achievement. Job-embedded professional development, differentiated arts instruction, and critical-thinking skills integrated into the curricula have been key to their success....

Scientific Inquiry Among the Preschool Set

By SINDYA N. BHANOO When engaged in what looks like child’s play, preschoolers are actually behaving like scientists, according to a new report in the journal Science: forming hypotheses, running experiments, calculating probabilities and deciphering causal relationships about the world....