See For Yourself Why Waldorf Education Works

  See For Yourself Why Waldorf Education Works On Saturday, October 19, from 10 a.m. to noon, families of students entering Pre-K through Grade Eight are invited to Cape Ann Waldorf School to learn more about Waldorf education.  Parents and children can speak with teachers, parents and students, and experience for themselves some of the activities that enliven a Waldorf classroom. Kelly Hiselman, the school’s admissions director, is organizing the open house. “At Cape Ann Waldorf School, and Waldorf schools all around the world, our goal is to ignite each child’s passion for learning,” Hiselman explained.  “We do this by focusing on how and when children develop, and tailoring the curriculum to the needs of the children in each grade level.  We also make sure the lessons are multi-sensory, and filled with opportunities for students to experience the material first hand.  In other schools children may read a story and write about it, and that’s it.  Our students may read and write about the same story, but they may also turn it into a play.  At many schools, music class is focused on listening to and appreciating music.  At our school, every student plays an instrument, so each of them can create their own music.  Through drama, movement, handwork and storytelling, we give our students continuous opportunities to directly experience what they are learning about.  This approach makes learning more fun, and more effective.  When you talk with our eighth graders, the results are impossible to miss—they love learning, they are self-aware and self-confident, they are creative, and they are completely engaged with the world around them.” Parents at the school agree. ...

A Grandmother’s Story about the Impact of Today’s Kindergarten on One Little Boy

reposted from the blog, “Defending the Early Years” A Grandmother’s Story about the Impact of Today’s Kindergarten on One Little Boy Posted on October 6, 2013   This piece was written by our colleague Blakely Bundy. Bundy is the Outgoing Executive Director of The Alliance for Early Childhood, based on the North Shore of Chicago. We share her story here as an illustration of what is happening in too many kindergarten classrooms across our country. A Grandmother’s Story about the Impact of Today’s Kindergarten on One Little Boy I wanted to relate my “tale of woe” about my grandson’s experience in kindergarten this fall.   I will call him William. I know that it’s a common story now, but this is a first for me on a personal level.  Aside from being William’s grandmother, I am a former teacher and have been involved as an early childhood professional in several different capacities for my entire career. Over the summer, my daughter and her family moved from Winnetka, IL, a progressive school district on the North Shore of Chicago, to a town on the East Coast. They chose that town after doing quite a bit of research on the schools and I even accompanied them and talked to teachers and administrators in three of the communities that they were considering.  We thought that the town they chose was the most similar to the school system they had just left. William, a third child with two older sisters, had had a happy, fulfilling experience at  Willow Wood Preschool in Winnetka ,  a half-day (afternoon), play-based, NAEYC accredited program (where I had actually taught for...

Working Outdoors

Monday saw the whole school working outside, helping to weed and improve the kindergarten playground.  This was part of the annual Michaelmas celebration.  Unfamiliar to many, Michaelmas was celebrated in England on September 29 and marked the end (and beginning) of the farmer’s year.  At Cape Ann Waldorf School, it’s a time to work on school projects, as well as use one’s muscles in the annual all-school tug-of-war.  ...