Waldorf School at Moraine Farm Alumni Stand Out in Science

Earlier this year, one of our class of 2011 students was selected as a finalist in the Massachusetts State Science and Engineering Fair for her research on the Effects of BPA on the Regeneration Rate of Lumbriculus Variegatus (Effect of plastics on worm reproduction).  She presented with other finalists at MIT in early May. From the class of 2014, we had a student selected to represent his high school in the New England 1:1 Summit in Burlington, Massachusetts. This is a regional education summit where schools leading the way in technology-based education systems share their successes and challenges. Students are selected to represent the school based on their mastery of the technology and their clear perspective on its educational value. Well done Waldorf School at Moraine Farm graduates!...

Five Reasons Why Parents Choose a Waldorf Education for Their Child

(reposted, from our northern neighbors at  Waldorf Canada, www.waldorf.ca) As a parent you can be sure that choosing a Waldorf education for your child is a safe and smart choice.  Your homework has already been done by millions of parents who’ve sent their own children to Waldorf schools across the globe. Here are 5 reasons why, over the past century, parents have made Waldorf one of the world’s largest independent schools systems: 1) Waldorf parents can be sure their child will be prepared and successful Research shows that 94% of North American Waldorf graduates attend university and an incredible 50% attain a Masters or PhD. University professors speak very highly of the assertive and engaged Waldorf graduates in their classes. Yet, leaders and employers are not looking for people who can simply pass tests and follow orders. Waldorf graduates are successful because they are confident, creative thinking individuals with the courage to change the world. Our alumni go on to rewarding careers and continue to value learning, work, relationships and an ethical approach to their chosen path. 2) Waldorf teachers are personable, insightful and committed Waldorf teachers are well trained professionals whom are experts at understanding what makes children tick. We know how to orchestrate a class of diverse learning styles and temperaments, using multiple methods of teaching to ensure that each child is warmed in their heart, skilled with their hands and sees clearly with their mind before advancing to the next thing. In the classroom Waldorf teachers interact with others with thoughtfulness and compassion, are capable and interested in many things and they make good decisions. They are...

Torin Finser on Parent-Teacher Relationships this Tuesday

Please join us on Tuesday evening, March 17, to hear Torin Finser speak about his latest book, “A Second Classroom: Parent-Teacher Relationships in a Waldorf School.” Torin Finser, PhD., is Chair of the Education Department at Antioch University New England.  He has written extensively on Waldorf Education and consulted world-wide. More information on the event is here: http://waldorfmoraine.org/event/adult-speaker-series-3/   BOOK REVIEW: A Second Classroom: Parent-Teacher Relationships in a Waldorf School|by Kathy McElveen, Austin Waldorf School The doorway to a classroom is a threshold where teacher and student meet. There is another kind of meeting at this threshold, that between the child’s parents and teacher. This important relationship receives thorough attention and its just due in Torin Finser’s book, The Second Classroom. “How adults work together can be as important as the curriculum on any given day.”  This is true at all levels of work in a school, in what the children learn as they watch adults interacting, in the effective working of the school community, and in the success of addressing the needs of a particular child.  Consciously and carefully cultivating relationships is the hard work of community building and this book is a treasure trove of practical advice, diverse experiences, and a call for action. There is value here for new and experienced parents, teachers, and school administrators or anyone interested in education.  There are practical tips for improving parent conferences and class meetings, strategies for “hard to handle parents”, as well as chapters on parent volunteers and the value of effective administration. Parents are challenged to be “co-responsible for the social health” of the class and encouraged to become part of an active...

Waldorf School at Moraine Farm & Tuition Adjustment in the National News

Jenny Helmick was interviewed by U.S. News & World Report last week for a story on the affordability of a private school education. Throughout the interview, Jenny was able to talk about the new Tuition Adjustment Program. It is wonderful to see this school’s forward-thinking approach to tuition highlighted nationally. It is also wonderful to be reminded about the fundamental ways in which this new program is so firmly rooted in the values and ideals of this school. As U.S. News & World Report notes, “the approach has allowed a more economically diverse student body to attend the school, which the staff sees as a major plus.” Tuition adjustment is a means to help the school fulfill its educational and social mission. Vibrant, inclusive classrooms, where people from different backgrounds work and learn together, benefit every student and the whole school community. We extend our thanks to Jenny for all her work on the Tuition Review Task Force and for generously spending her time working with the reporter at U.S. News & World Report. To read the U.S. News & World Report article, please click here. For more information about the Tuition Adjustment Program, please visit...

Kindergarten Children Step Further Into Nature

By Lindsay Miles, Kindergarten Teacher Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone. —Wendell Berry, A Place on Earth This year’s kindergarten has taken an even larger step into nature by creating a daily rhythm that is held primarily outside. While indoor work and play remain a part of the curriculum, our meals and circle time have been brought outdoors, and we have added a nature walk and extra time for gardening to our outdoor routine.  With work in the social realm being so prominent in the Waldorf Kindergarten, what better place to foster these lessons than the natural world around us? Gathering together and sharing a meal is an important part of the Kindergarten curriculum (photo J. Benoit).  The children take part in preparing the snack and setting the snack table, and they take turns serving their friends. This year we are eating more food harvested from our very own gardens. To prepare for the day, the children begin indoors in our newly designed two-room classroom. In the larger room, everyone is bathed in sunlight as we chop apples, prepare the basket for our nature walk, fill our canisters with dried teas and other supplies, water plants and otherwise tend to the important chores of everyday life. Play goes on simultaneously, with the children tending to babies, creating fairy and gnome villages and building elaborate creations out of large wooden blocks.  In our smaller room, there are two tables for indoor activities such as painting, bread...

A Case for Writing by Hand

This happens to be the most emailed story on the New York Times web site today. At Waldorf schools, handwriting is an integral part of how students learn to read and write. What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades WWW.NYTIMES.COM Even as the emphasis shifts to the keyboard, experts say that learning to write by hand improves motor skills, memory and creativity. Does handwriting matter? Not very much, according to many educators. The Common Core standards, which have been adopted in most states, call for teaching legible writing, but only in kindergarten and first grade. After that, the emphasis quickly shifts to proficiency on the keyboard. But psychologists and neuroscientists say it is far too soon to declare handwriting a relic of the past. New evidence suggests that the links between handwriting and broader educational development run deep. Read more...