A Musical Visit

Musician David Coffin came to CAWS recently to present “Music from the King’s Court: Exploring the Early Winds.” He was quite pleased when he asked who played the recorder and every student raised his/her hand.  CAWS students play various recorders in grades 1-8, adding a stringed intrument (violin, viola, or cello) in 3rd grade.  To hear the instruments he played, please visit his very cool web site here.  ...

Penelope the Sheep

On an unusually warm December day, the Cape Ann Waldorf School third grade went outside to work on Penelope’s fleece.  Penelope is an English Leicester sheep from Cranberry Moon Farm whose fleece, over the course of the year, the class will turn into yarn for a project. Here’s Penelope, before she was shorn: This is part of a weekly fabric arts block taught the handwork teacher.  At Waldorf schools, children learn to knit, sew, crochet, and more, beginning in first grade and continuing up through high school.  More than just learning skills, they gain a sense of what it takes to make everyday items that we take for granted (knitting hats in second grade, socks in fifth).  They also get to experience the satisfaction of finishing a project that may last weeks or months. Below are photos of washing, rinsing, and setting the wool out to...

What is Education For?

An interesting article asking, “What is education for?” It’s from a lecture to future Waldorf high school teachers and poses some interesting questions. Enjoy! Education in the Presence of the Unknown from “In Context”, Fall 2012 by Craig Holdredge Most parents are deeply concerned about the education of their children. They want their children to become capable individuals who live satisfied lives and who are productive in their chosen professions. They feel that school education should facilitate this development: it should give students the knowledge and skills to master life and to find and thrive in a good job. Nevertheless, parental thinking about “what is education for?” tends to shrink toward the short term. Are you preparing my teenager for college? This direction of thought often manifests itself when the students are in 7th or 8th grades and leads the parents to wonder whether they should send their students to a different high school, which they sometimes do. In such a frame of mind, thinking about education becomes narrow. Each stage of the educational process becomes the preparation for the next: kindergarten prepares for elementary school, which prepares for middle school, which prepares for high school, which prepares for college, which prepares for a profession. When curricula are developed out of this perspective, the tendency is to bring what is perceived as needed at a later stage into an earlier one. A public school teacher in the U.S. may now receive training to teach her students how to use PowerPoint in the 2nd grade! Why? Well, they will need to do their middle school reports using PowerPoint so they need to be...

Debut of the Bread Oven

If you had your parent conference on Tuesday, November 20, you might have been lucky enough to see the debut firing of the new CAWS bread oven.  Peter Rudd (facilities manager) and Kristen Fehlhaber (business manager) built this dry stack brick oven.  The plan is to use it over the winter and build the school a more permanent, clay oven in the spring. After getting the oven to 500+ degrees, we reheated a pizza — it took about 2 minutes for the cheese to bubble. Next up were pita breads — they puffed up nicely and were devoured by young and old alike. Finally, as the oven cooled, we made a batch of cornbread; 1st grade assistant, Daniel Masi, stopped by to have some. We hope to have some bread baking classes in the future and would welcome help when the permanent oven is built.  If you’d like to be involved with the wood-fired oven at CAWS, please contact Peter  or...