Waldorf School at Moraine Farm | Blog

Waldorf Education Featured on The Simpsons Season Finale

The Simpsons gave a comic shout out to Waldorf Education during their Season 26 finale for 2015 — “Mathlete’s Feat”, which aired May 17, 2015. The Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) was pleased with the level of in-depth knowledge The Simpsons writers clearly possessed about pedagogy and stereotypes associated with Waldorf Education, which made this fun caricature both lighthearted and flattering.

So how did Waldorf Education end up in an episode of The Simpsons? After Springfield Elementary School is bested in a mathlete competition, a well intentioned group donates servers, laptops and smart boards to the school so that students can better compete. Shortly after this tech revolution, there’s a massive server crash and teaching is at a standstill. This is when Lisa comes up with an idea that will save the school — “Learning while Doing.” Springfield Elementary becomes a Waldorf School! From there the students learn by doing — in Simpson-esque, tongue-in-cheek fashion, of course. By the end of the episode, their new Waldorf Education helps them win a mathlete rematch.

 

AWSNA was honored to have been featured in such a positive light in The Simpsons Season Finale and several Waldorf schools are responding with tributes to The Simpsons. A collective of handmade hats is being created to send to The Simpsons writers. The Waldorf School of Philadelphia is having students create beeswax figures of The Simpsons characters to share online and with The Simpsons execs.

 

First Grade at Waldorf School at Moraine Farm

We’re not exactly Finland, but we do agree that first graders need a balanced day (see link, below). First grade at Waldorf School at Moraine Farms starts with half days for the first six weeks. Full days start after Columbus Day, but afternoons are filled with painting, gym, nature walks, and even free play. If this sounds what you’d like your child’s first grade to be like, please call Erin Milner, Admissions Director, at 978-927-1936.

Link: First Grade in Finland: Every Day is a Half-Day – Taught by Finland

Let the Kids Learn Through Play (Op Ed by David Kohn, New York Times, May 16, 2015)

We keep reading articles that emphasize the importance of play in early childhood education.  This one stands out for being well supported and succinct.  Waldorf schools emphasize play in the early years and do not formally introduce reading until 1st grade. From the article –

“Reading, in particular, can’t be rushed. It has been around for only about 6,000 years, so the ability to transform marks on paper into complex meaning is not pre-wired into the brain. It doesn’t develop “naturally,” as do other complex skills such as walking; it can be fostered, but not forced. Too often that’s what schools are trying to do now. This is not to suggest that we shouldn’t increase access to preschool, and improve early education for disadvantaged children. But the early education that kids get — whatever their socioeconomic background — should truly help their development. We must hope that those who make education policy will start paying attention to this science.”

http://nyti.ms/1EOrycG

 

2015 Screen-Free Week Activities May 4 – 8

ScreenFreeWk Visual

Waldorf School at Moraine Farm invites you to participate in Screen Free Week with us. We’re offering a variety of activities that are FREE and open to the public that encourage us all to disconnect from our screens, reconnect with nature, get outside and have some fun!

For more information, or to register for any of these events, please contact Erin Milner at 978-927-1936.

 

 

Our Week of FREE Activities Includes – 

Monday, May 4th: Fairy House Building, 1:00 – 3:00 pm & Family Pot Luck Dinner, 5:30-7:30 pm

Tuesday, May 5th: Kids’ Yoga with Kara Harris at 4 pm

Wednesday, May 6th: Wet-on-Wet Watercolor Painting, 4:30-6:00 pm

Thursday, May 7th: Nature Journaling, 10:00 am-12 pm

Friday, May 8th: Invertebrate Scooping, 3:00-5:00 pm (Grade 2 and up, limit 10)

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!

 

Hey Kids! Go Outside, Already.

WBUR Radio’s On Point recently explored the trend of today’s children being further and further disconnected from nature and what is being lost along the way. Tom Ashbrook and guest, Dr. Scott Sampson, author of the new book, “How To Raise A Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling In Love With Nature,” discussed the shocking drop in outdoor time seen in our children’s generation — they are spending up to 90% less time outdoors than most of their parents did. And the cost is high. Sampson cited the “skyrocketing” instances of childhood obesity, diabetes, attention deficit disorder and depression faced by this generation. Sampson’s position is that while going outside isn’t the entire answer, that, “Nature is a great step in the right direction to get these kids more active and engaged.”

This discussion is well worth the listen — please click here for the full story. The insights shared are so consistent with the values of Waldorf Education because it’s really a discussion about the health of our children and the health of the places we live. As Sampson notes, in order to solve the big challenges facing our planet today, “We need to engage people with where they live, so they understand it and care about it if we’re going to be sustainable as well.” Anything less impoverishes our children’s growth and the health of the places we live.WaldorfKids

 

Waldorf School at Moraine Farm

701 Cabot Street
Beverly, MA 01915

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