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Zoot Student Art Show

zootZoot Coffee on Elm St. in Camden, Maine is hosting an exhibit of artworks by Ashwood Waldorf School students during the months of December and January.

Ashwood’s professional faculty is devoted to challenging and engaging each student through a curriculum that integrates science and mathematics with literature, history, and the arts.

Every Waldorf student can play an instrument, paint, draw, and create handcrafts. However, we are not an art school. Waldorf schools around the world integrate the arts into every subject to bring lessons to life and draw out the children’s inherent capacities. The classroom atmosphere fosters interest, wonder, and enthusiasm.

In kindergarten and the lower grades, children paint with watercolors weekly. Younger children focus on the primary colors; later, they encounter more colors and techniques. They also have regular opportunities to color with crayons and model with beeswax. In the early grades, teachers emphasize the artistic process; as the children mature, the result of their artistic work becomes more important.

In the upper elementary grades, students continue with watercolor painting, and may also work with pastels, draw with pencils and charcoal, and paint in layers. Students paint and draw still-lifes and portraits and depict moods and landscapes. Students work with clay in many settings, integrating the arts into other subject areas.

Form drawing is a unique component of the Waldorf curriculum and has both pedagogical and artistic value. Form drawing in first grade leads to the formation of the letters of the alphabet. As the grades progress, form drawing hones fine-motor skills and hand-eye coordination, which leads to later precision in free hand geometric drawing.

Stop by and feast your eyes!

All Hallows’ Eve Walk 2014

all hallows flyer 2014 jpg

Ashwood Waldorf School’s annual All Hallows’ Eve Walk will be on Friday, October 31 from 4:15 to 5:30 p.m. at Merryspring Nature Center, Conway Road, Camden. The All Hallows’ Eve Walk is specially designed as a gift for young children, a place where the littlest ones in our community can have a happy and scare-free Halloween experience.

Wind your way through the enchanted, jack-o-lantern lit woods. Catch glimpses of princesses, knights, dragons, and characters from your favorite tales and legends. Come in costume if you like (not scary, please.) The walk is for families with children aged nine and younger. There will be ghost stories by the campfire for children aged 9 to 14. Free cookie and cider for all! FMI: (207) 236-8021 or info@ashwoodwaldorf.org

Forest Kindergarten’s First Weeks

forest tree
For three glorious Wednesday mornings, Ashwood’s newest Early Childhood program, the Forest Kindergarten, has been going to the woods! When the children arrive at school, they put their backpacks, containing a full water bottle and a change of clothes, on an outside bench, go to the bathroom, then don their rain pants and say goodbye to their parents.

Once everyone has arrived, we say goodbye to Ms. Beth and the children in her group. The children take their backpacks, Jen and I hoist our bags (the teachers’ bags carry a water jug, towels, snack food, ropes, tools…) onto our backs, we sing a gathering song, and head for the woods; one adult in front (usually holding a hand or two), the other at the back.

The morning walk is a very social time. Children have many stories to tell, usually triggered by something we see. Looking at tracks: “Oh, I wonder which animal passed through this muddy puddle?” Stories emerge from the children, often based on their observations or experiences and always enriched by their imagination.

On our way we greet “grandfather maple tree”; we notice his little round holes from the sap collected in past winters (an occasion for children to tell about maple syrup experiences, pancake breakfasts, etc.) We tell him how we look forward to collecting some of his sap late next winter. We notice “squirrels’ restaurants,” stumps covered in acorn or pinecone debris; see how this week there are many more yellow leaves…. Marvel at how Big Rock sits all alone at the edge of the woods…. Many of those passing remarks and the stories we create and tell are foundations for future scientific learning. In the Forest Kindergarten we observe, marvel, wonder, and learn to feel at home in the woods.

When we arrive to our “home clearing” by the stream, we have a short greeting and seasonal circle, a game or two, and then the children take off to play. During that time the teachers, always with some children’s help, occupy themselves at preparing our snack; tying colored strings between trees to mark the boundaries; fixing tools; building a temporary shelter (ropes and a tarp, until we have a permanent one). These activities render our space more hospitable and allow us teachers to roam close by without hovering over the children. We influence or transform (if necessary) the children’s play without words, just by imitation. The children play in total freedom and safety!

With a flute song, the children are called to snack. Mud-covered hands are roughly washed in some puddles before a real tub wash, a rinse with clear water from our jug, and drying. We sit on the leafy ground, around a tablecloth, sing a grace in French, eat our snack, and return to play until story time, at the end of the morning. Then we go back to Rosewood, dirty, hungry, and tired. What a treat to arrive to a classroom where the table is set and lunch smells SO GOOD! The “indoor” kindergarteners and their teacher have been busy! The Forest Kindergarten day ends with cleaning up, changing into clean clothes, and sitting at the table for a lunch of delicious soup!
-Marianne Bockli

Dollmaking Workshop

Ashwood Waldorf School is offering an opportunity to create a beautiful, soft doll in time for holiday giving on four Mondays evenings: Nov. 3, 10, 17, and Dec. 2. from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Ashwood’s early-childhood teacher, Beth Lunt, will provide free instruction, and guide participants in purchasing necessary materials.

Call or email to register (by October 20), or with any questions: 207.236.8021 info@ashwoodwaldorf.orgdoll

Trip to Beech Hill

Friday, September 19, first, second, and third graders ascended Beech Hill on a clear and lovely day.
beech group

Apple Picking

First, second, and third grade students picked apples on Friday, September 19. It was a glorious, bright fall day, and the fruit was plentiful. A fine time was had by all!

apple picking

Seasonal Handwork Workshops

Creating beautiful handwork can enrich our connection with the changing seasons. Cherry Short-Lee, longtime parent-child class leader and one of Ashwood’s founders, has offered to share her enthusiasm and expertise with parents of children ages 18-36 months, with or without their children, this fall. In three sessions, October 7, 14, and 21, from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m., learn to create grapevine wreaths and decorate them with natural materials to reflect the changing seasons. Sessions are free of charge; fee for materials is $5.00.

Register no later than October 2 by phoning or emailing Judith Soleil: 236-8021 ext. 105; info@ashwoodwaldorf.org
spiral-bittersweet-wreath

Parent-Child Classes: Register Now for Fall 2014

Marianne Böckli, Ashwood Waldorf School’s Forest Kindergarten teacher, will lead Ashwood’s Parent-Child classes this fall. Classes will be offered on six Tuesday mornings from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m., beginning October 28. Cost for the six sessions is $150, and you must register by October 21.

Parent-child classes are a gentle and nurturing program for children ages 18 months to three years and their accompanying caregiver.

While children engage in creative play with simple, natural toys, adults may work on a craft project provided by the teacher, help with snack preparation, or discuss parenting or child development. A walk through the woods on one of our trails, time on the playground to climb and swing, and a goodbye song together complete the morning.

Ashwood’s Parent-Child program nurtures the whole family (moms, dads, babies, toddlers, and grandparents are all welcome) and provides a bridge from home to school. When ready, young children may transition to Ashwood’s mixed-age Early Childhood classroom.

Contact Judith Soleil: jsoleil@ashwoodwaldorf.org 207.236.8021

Parent-Child Classes Fall 2014

Ashwood Waldorf School’s Parent-Child program offers a sanctuary of safe play for children and an oasis of peace and friendship for parents. The children play freely, enjoying simple group activities while their parents are nearby making toys or crafts and sharing their concerns and questions as parents of young children. This will be a valuable opportunity to meet other parents with similar questions, ideas, and resources.

Share your questions and explore the importance of nutrition, routine, and stages of development with other parents and our experienced facilitator within our friendly and informal setting. Parent-Child classes are specially designed for children 18 to 36 months old with an accompanying parent or caregiver.

This fall’s six-week session will meet on Tuesdays from 9 to 11:00 a.m., October 28 – December 9, 2014.

Ashwood Waldorf School’s Parent-Child program offers a sanctuary of safe play for children and an oasis of peace and friendship for parents. The children play freely, enjoying simple group activities while their parents are nearby making toys or crafts and sharing their concerns and questions as parents of young children. This will be a valuable opportunity to meet other parents with similar questions, ideas, and resources.

Classes are led by early-childhood educator Marianne Böckli, who has decades of experience as a Waldorf teacher and mother.

The fee for each six-week session is $150. Infant siblings are welcome at no extra charge. A sibling over six months old may be enrolled for half of the tuition. Enrollment deadline is Tuesday, October 21. For more information, or to receive a registration form, please contact Judith Soleil at info@ashwoodwaldorf.org or 207-236-8021 or go to: www.ashwoodwaldorf.org/parent-child to download a registration form.

Located on Park Street in Rockport, Ashwood Waldorf School is an accredited independent school serving children 18 months through eighth grade. At Ashwood, children grow and learn gracefully in an unhurried way, gaining strength and skills through the joy of play in their earliest years and meeting increasingly complex physical, social, and academic challenges as they mature. Ashwood has had a presence in midcoast Maine for 27 years, educating children from Damariscotta to Belfast and beyond. For more information about Ashwood Waldorf School please call the office at 207-236-8021, email info@ashwoodwaldorf.org or visit www.ashwoodwaldorf.org.

New! Forest Kindergarten Now Enrolling.

A full Waldorf kindergarten experience, outdoors.

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