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Let’s Play! Puppets & More

royal puppets

“The ability to play is one of the principal criteria of mental health.” (Ashley Montagu.)

Play enhances language development, social competence, creativity, imagination, and thinking skills, as well as perceptual-motor abilities, in infants and young children. Play is a vital element of early-childhood education, and a delightful one!

Join Ashwood teacher Beth Lunt in a celebration of play for children ages 2-6 with an adult at venues around the midcoast. Beth will offer a simple puppet show, and lead circle and finger games you can learn and enjoy at home. $5.00 suggested donation.

January
1/8 Belfast Public Library, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Shingebiss
1/21: Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland: 10:30-11:30 a.m.: Shingebiss

February:
2/4 Ashwood Waldorf School, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Shingebiss
2/11 Ashwood Waldorf School, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Old Gnome in the Winter
2/25 Ashwood Waldorf School, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: The Turnip
2/12 Belfast Public Library, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Old Gnome in the Winter
2/26: Vose Library, Union, 10:30-11:30 a.m.: Old Gnome in the Winter

March:
3/10: Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland: 10:30-11:30 a.m.: Mashenka and the Bear
3/11: Belfast Public Library, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Mashenka and the Bear
3/17: Toy Library, Rockland, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Old Gnome in the Winter
3/24: Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland: 10:30-11:30 a.m.: Old Gnome in the Winter
3/31: Toy Library, Rockland, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Mashenka and the Bear

April
4/1 Belfast Public Library, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Sun and Rain Fairies
4/7 Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland: 10:30-11:30 a.m.: Sun and Rain Fairies
4/8 Vose Library, Union, 10:30-11:30 a.m.: Sun and Rain Fairies
4/14 Toy Library, Rockland, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Sun and Rain Fairies
4/15 Toy Library, Rockland, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: The Brave Little Rabbit
4/28 Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland: 10:30-11:30 a.m.: The Brave Little Rabbit
4/29 Vose Library, Union, 10:30-11:30 a.m.: The Brave Little Rabbit

New Dollmaking Class, January 2016

An ideal doll for a very young child is the “heavy baby,” a soft doll weighted with millet that little ones love to cuddle, hug, and lug around with them. The doll’s weight provides grounding, and children can both nurture the doll and feel nurtured when it sits on their lap or rests in their arms.

Ashwood Waldorf School is offering a free, four-week workshop where early-childhood teacher, Beth Lunt, will teach participants how to make a “heavy” (or ”bunting”) baby doll. Dates will be January 7, 14, 21, and 28 (all Thursdays), 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Register no later than December 30; space is limited. A materials list will be provided when you register.heavy baby flyer

Annual Winter Revels at the Camden Opera House

Singing, dancing, strings ensemble, skits, poetry, humor, and lots of fun! Ashwood Waldorf School students and faculty invite everyone to join us for our wonderful, annual winter assembly. Free, and open to the public. Celebrate the season!Revels winter 2015 flyer

Winter Spiral of Light for the Community

This year, on Wednesday, December 2 at 6:00 p.m., Ashwood is inviting parents, alumni, and friends to participate in the Winter Spiral of Light celebration in the early-childhood center.

The winter spiral is a lovely tradition celebrated in Waldorf schools around the world. The theme is nonsectarian and embraces all beliefs; we honor simply the light that each of us brings to the world, particularly when we share that light with others. We especially need this as the days grow shorter and the light wanes earlier and earlier each day.

Participants quietly enter a darkened room. As soft music plays, each receives an apple “candleholder” bearing a taper. A large spiral of evergreens waits on the floor, adorned with golden stars. In the center of the spiral a tree stump supports a lighted candle. Each person walks, one by one, from the beginning of the spiral into the center and lights their candle from the central flame, then turns and walks back, setting their candle down on a golden star along the way. One by one, each small flame lights up the whole room. When everyone has walked, they leave the room silently to bask in the inner image of the glowing spiral as they wait in the foyer of the early-childhood center for the delivery of their candleholders, which all are invited to take home.

If you plan to attend, please arrive no later that 5:50; thank you!

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Alumni Forum Rocks the House!

Ashwood Waldorf School hosted it’s annual all-school meeting on Tuesday, November 17, featuring a conversation with alumni moderated by alumni parent, Sarah Baldwin, a Waldorf educator and proprietor of Bella Luna Toys, and online retail site based in Rockland.

Alumni Aidan Acosta (2012), Caroline Ginsberg (2000), Alden Robinson (1998), Abraham Stimson (1998), Emily Seymour (2006), Valerie Shepard (1998), and Jesse Snider (2012) spoke with gratitude and enthusiasm about their time at Ashwood. Ginsberg stated, “This [education] is one of the biggest gifts my parents could have given me. I feel so appreciative of my parents for that.”

The graduates addressed two common misconceptions about Waldorf education: that students don’t learn to read, and that they are at a competitive disadvantage because no electronic technologies are used during grade school.

Shepard, a Mt. Holyoke graduate, said that her development as a reader was gradual. “At Ashwood there was no pressure on me. I could take my time. I had the freedom to develop on my own. Now I am a fast reader. It might have hampered me if I had been pushed.” All the alumni read regularly for pleasure.

Two of the former Ashwood students are web designers; both cite the school’s emphasis on “learning how to learn” and on imagination and creativity as crucial elements of their education. Robinson noted that modern technologies are designed to be easy to learn: “If you know how to learn then you can learn technologies.” Abraham added, “Curiosity is so much a part of the Ashwood Waldorf experience. It becomes part of your DNA and part of how you navigate the world.” And, graduates spoke of the need for balance in how we use technology: “I grew up without technology; it’s taking over people’s lives now. Without it you can tune in to who you are and who you are with and be more present in the moment.” (Valerie Shepard)

Looking toward the future, the graduates all said that they would choose a Waldorf education for their children. They cited the values of community, academic excellence, respect for and love of the natural world, imagination, empathy, and wonder as the hallmarks of their experience at Ashwood.

alums 2015

From Molding Beeswax to Shaping the World

all school meet 2015 flyer

Dollmaking Classes for Adults

Ashwood Waldorf School is offering an opportunity to create a beautiful, soft doll in time for holiday giving on six Thursday evenings: September 17, 24, and October 1, 8, 15 & 22 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Classes will be held in the Rosewood Early-Childhood Center on Ashwood’s campus in Rockport.

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

Call or email to register by September 8.

Dolls

Ashwood at the Farnsworth Art Museum

This fall, Ashwood Waldorf School early-childhood teacher, Beth Lunt, will be offering a series of crafting classes at the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland. These classes are for children ages 2-6 with an adult, and feature simple, artistic creations made from natural materials. Meet new friends and gain new skills!

Friday mornings, 10:30-11:30 a.m., beginning September 11 and continuing through November 21.

We request a $5.00 donation per project for materials. Contact us with any questions; we look forward to seeing you!

EC Outreach flyer 2015

Parent-Child Classes Set for 2015-2016

Parent-Child 15-16 fly

Ashwood will be offering five sessions of Parent-Child classes in 2015-16. These gentle, nurturing classes are for children ages 18 months to three years and their accompanying caregiver, and will be led by longtime teacher Marianne Böckli. Each session lasts for five weeks, and the cost is $150 per session. Ask about discounts when you enroll in more than one session. Register no later than one week prior to a session’s start date.

In our parent-child program, children engage in creative play with simple and natural toys provided as the tools for their imaginations. Those parents not engaged in child-led play may work on a craft project provided by the teacher, help with snack preparation, or discuss a reading on an aspect of parenting or child development.

The morning ends with a walk through the woods on one of our trails, culminating on the playground for time to climb and swing. A goodbye song in a circle completes the morning.

Each week the same flow of activities takes place so that even the youngest children observe the weekly rhythms and begin to participate as part of the larger group.

The 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, children may transition to the mixed-age Early Childhood classroom.

Eighth-Grade Graduation 2015

Save the date for Ashwood Waldorf School’s eighth-grade graduation! The Class of 2015, along with their dedicated teacher, Amy Watson, look forward to seeing you at the Strom Auditorium at Camden Hills Regional High School on Saturday, June 6, at 1:00 p.m.

Graduation is the culminating moment of each student’s time at Ashwood. It is the students’ last chance to share their talents with our school community and for our community to honor their growth and achievements.

At Ashwood, graduation is seen as a significant moment for the whole community: for the younger children who are inspired by the eighth graders and who look forward to their own graduation; for the teachers who have all had a hand in their education; for the parents of children in other grades who have watched and helped the eighth graders grow through the years.

Our hope is that all parents and friends of Ashwood will also join us. It truly is a wonderful event!

Ashwood Grads, 2015

Ashwood Grads, 2015