Open House Slideshow

A few photos from Saturday’s Moraine Farm Open House.  Vanya Yoors led children and adults in some circus arts activities, getting everyone moving, while Brian Macdonald conducted a few organic chemistry experiments.  That’s pure carbon smoking in the beaker, formed by sulfuric acid being poured over sugar.  Thanks to everyone at Moraine Farm for putting on such a nice event!  Thanks to Jen Benoit for these photos....

Reading Is Elemental

Professor Helen Vendler, a distinguished scholar and leading American poetry critic, imagines what kind of early schooling would produce great readers.   Here’s what she says: In a utopian world, I would propose, for the ultimate maintenance of the humanities and all other higher learning, an elementary-school curriculum that would make every ordinary child a proficient reader by the end of the fourth grade—not to pass a test, but rather to ensure progressive expansion of awareness. Other than mathematics, the curriculum of my ideal elementary school would be wholly occupied, all day, every day, with “reading” in its very fullest sense. Let us imagine the day divided into short 20-minute “periods.” Here are 14 daily such periods of “reading,” each divisible into two 10-minute periods, or extended to a half-hour, as seems most practical to teachers in different grades. Many such periods can be spent outside, to break up the tedium of long sitting for young children. The pupils would: engage in choral singing of traditional melodic song (folk songs, country songs, rounds);  be read to from poems and stories beyond their own current ability to read;  mount short plays—learning roles, rehearsing, and eventually performing;  march or dance to counting rhymes, poems, or music, “reading” rhythms and sentences with their bodies;  read aloud, chorally, to the teacher;  read aloud singly to the teacher, and recite memorized poems either chorally or singly; notice, and describe aloud, the reproduced images of powerful works of art, with the accompanying story told by the teacher (Orpheus, the three kings at Bethlehem, etc.); read silently, and retell in their own words, for discussion, the...

Kindergarten Testing

Below is an alarming article on the current state of testing in  public school kindergartens: Kindergarten teacher details ‘lunacy’ of standardized tests for kids (by Nancy Creech in The Washington Post) At Cape Ann Waldorf School, there are assessments, but the Kindergartners think it’s a game. In fact, they get very excited about their visit with the “Red Queen”. To find out more about Kindergarten at Cape Ann Waldorf, please contact Admissions Director Kelly...

Waldorf Early Childhood — Why Play Is So Important

Imaginative play is an essential foundation for future health and success in school and beyond.  Listed below are links to some of the current education research that corroborates what Waldorf Educators have known for almost a century. — Kelly Hiselman, CAWS Admissions Director Want to get your kids into college? Let them play. By Erika Christakis and Nicholas Christakis, Special to CNN, December 29, 2010 7:57 a.m. EST Effort to Restore Children’s Play Gains Momentum January 5, 2011 New York Times article by Hilary Stout Can the Right Kinds of Play Teach Self-Control? New York Times Sunday Magazine (Sept 2009) article by Paul Tough Kindergarten Cram. New York Times Sunday Magazine (April 2009) essay by Peggy Orenstein Crisis in the Kindergarten: A New Report on the Disappearance of Play (March 2009) Alliance for Childhood, a non-profit research & advocacy organization The 3 R’s? A Fourth is Crucial Too: Recess, New York Times Health Section (Feb 2009) article by Tara Parker-Pope The Serious Need for Play, Scientific American (Feb 2009) article by Melinda Wenner U.S. School Children Need Less Work More Play, Michael Conlon reports on a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (Jan 2009) Pressure Cooker Kindergarten, Boston Globe Sunday Magazine (Aug 2008) Article by Patty Hartigan  ...

Raffle Winner Announced!

The “Dinner for Two Anywhere in the World” raffle was a great success, raising $20,000 for CAWS. The winner of the big raffle couldn’t be more excited! He lives in Boise, Idaho, and is uncle to parent Margie DeWeese-Boyd. Gary couldn’t be reached on Saturday night after his ticket was drawn, but he sent this kind email the next day. We love Paris in the springtime… Guess where we’re going? When Bev and I were dating (she 18, me 20), she went to Europe with her aunt. They traveled around to various countries and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. I missed her so much that when she came back, I proposed to her at the airport… I always hoped I would get a chance to take her back to Europe and we could enjoy it together. That just never seemed to happen. We retired recently and have been talking about making that long awaited trip together. Imagine our delight when we heard we had won the drawing. Our 45th anniversary is coming up next April 1st. (Our anniversary date should give you some clue as to our personality.) We hopefully will be able to fly to Paris from San Francisco, spend 3-4 days there and then get a Euro Rail pass and go to Amsterdam, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and then back to Paris. We figure about three weeks. Our attitude has always been that whenever children are involved in fund raising, we buy in, never expecting to ever win anything, because that isn’t what is important. That is not to say we don’t enjoy winning this. We are ecstatic and will give...