Ashwood Waldorf School will be hosting a book group with crafting at Zoot Coffee in Camden this fall on four Thursday mornings, October 29-November 19 from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. Ashwood early-childhood teacher, Beth Lunt, will lead discussions of the book, Connecting with Young Children, by Stephen Spitalny, and teach participants to create simple items for young children out of natural materials. The sessions are free of charge; a donation of $5.00 for materials is requested.
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!
Bid for a getaway at Sugarloaf; a windjammer cruise; horseback riding lessons; restaurant meals; a CSA share; bodywork sessions galore; and much, much more. February 28 through March 14, Ashwood Waldorf School is hosting an online auction. The array of offerings includes items for all budgets and tastes. Online bidding is easy and quick.
Ashwood is also hosting a gala event at the Rockport Opera House: Sparkle: Music, Food, and Community, on March 28 at 7:00 p.m. Showcasing music by the
Gawler Family and Friends and a dance performance by Droplet Dance, the evening also features great food, a cash bar by 40 Paper, a silent auction, and a 50/50 raffle.
Tickets for the celebration at the Rockport Opera House are $20 advance online at Bidding Owl or at Ashwood Waldorf School, $25 at the door.
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!
School’s Out: Lessons from a Forest Kindergarten. Ashwood Waldorf School Hosts Film Screenings
On Sunday, August 10, Ashwood Waldorf School hosts two free showings of the film, School’s Out: Lessons from a Forest Kindergarten. The short film will be presented at the Rockland Public Library at 2:00 p.m., and again at 4:00 p.m. at Ashwood’s early-childhood center at 180 Park St. Childcare will be provided for both screenings.
Ashwood is launching a forest kindergarten program this fall, the first in the Rockport area. The forest kindergarten will offer a full Waldorf early-childhood experience, outdoors. Fall, winter, and spring, in all weathers, children will enjoy seasonal activities, circle time, gardening, forest walks, and creative free play. The Forest Kindergarten movement is growing rapidly in the U.S. after more than 40 years’ success in Europe and Scandinavia.
Both film showings are free. Please RSVP no later than Friday, August 8: 207.236.8021
It was a damp, foggy, almost springlike day on Friday, January 17, when the Grade 3-4 class left campus to hike Beech Hill in Rockport. We had been studying local geography and it was my hope that we would be able to see and sketch some of the islands and mountains the students had been learning about. It was obvious even before we left campus that the low clouds and thick fog were going to be a hindrance on this endeavor but I decided we would go for it anyway.
Though my plan would certainly need to be modified, the students seemed unperturbed by the conditions. As we hiked/ran/splashed/trudged up the dirt path to the top of the hill, the students sang, talked, and joked with one another in high spirits. As we looked out the blueberry fields faded away into the fog and, before us, the path itself seemed to disappear into nothing.
“It looks like we’re walking off the end of the world” one student observed. I was feeling the same way. I was determined to find some worthwhile experience from this trip since my original plan for the day was being swallowed by the ubiquitous fog so we took a moment to imagine that we were at the edge of the world. Then I let the student run to explore the stone Beech Nut “hut.”
In the first local geography block, I start in concentric circles from our immediate surroundings, the classroom, school building, campus, and gradually work to the range of the furthest students’ homes. Though not very tall or difficult to hike, Beech Hill offers a view of just about that distance and certainly manifest the character of the Camden Hills and Penobscot Bay. The fog however, was forcing us to focus back in on our immediate surroundings so we explored the grounds of Beech Nut and identified some of the plants and trees that we found; black spruce, blueberries, bayberries, wild rose, etc.
“An owl!” called one student excitedly. More enthusiastic echoes came from his classmates. I hurried over to see. About 50 yards from us, almost our total visibility, perched a large bird with a bright white head.
“A bald eagle perhaps?” I suggested.
“No, it’s turning its head like an owl.” Indeed, it was, and, it had the unmistakable face of an owl. But what kind of owl? White face; grey plumage; LARGE body. We observed it as carefully as we could but it had already assessed us far better.
It decided that our romping around was either going to scare up some critters or convince them to stay in their homes. With a few wide flaps it took off into the air and circled right over our heads to see if any of us were small enough to carry off; we stayed bunched together. As it flew directly over us, it was clear to me what we were seeing. From below the owl was as white as the fog it was carving through. Had it not already been reported in the area I might not have known that it was – a snowy owl.
It circled above us for a few more silent moments before disappearing into the fog. I felt my eyes well slightly at such a rare and beautiful sight. The students also seemed to sense the significance of what we had just seen and began to dance and play and recount the experience to one another.
The rest of our visit to Beech Hill was as stimulating as I had hoped it would be. We walked the forest paths and identified any and all of the local flora and fauna that we could. By the time we made it back to the hut for a snack, the sky had finally cleared enough for us to look out and take in Penobscot Bay and the Camden Hills.
Our trip to Beech Hill was not as I imagined it would be. The paper I brought to make sketches was damp and we didn’t have a lot of time to identify all the geographical features around us, though we named many. However, the real lesson that I took away from that day, and hope the students did too, was perseverance; we could easily have rescheduled our trip for a nicer day but we stayed committed and were rewarded for it.
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”
-William Hutchinson Murray, The Scottish Himalayan Expedition
Join us for a Parent Ambassadors Workshop on Monday, November 4. With veteran Waldorf educator and school consultant Kathleen Young, we will explore the hallmarks of an Ashwood Waldorf School education. This workshop will be tailored to the interests of participants, and may address such questions as:
- How do I explain Waldorf education to my family and acquaintances?
- What can I say to people who seem misinformed about the values, accomplishments, and mission of Ashwood Waldorf School?
- What resources are available for busy parents to learn more about Waldorf education?
Designed for current Ashwood parents and grandparents who want to improve their ability to articulate their school choice to others, this workshop is also open to any community member interested in learning more about the value of a Waldorf education in Midcoast Maine.
When: Monday, November 4, 6:00–8:00 p.m.
Where: Ashwood Waldorf School, Grade School building, garden level
Register at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 207-236-8021 for more information.
“Shrek, the Musical,” based on the Oscar-winning film, is this year’s Camden Hills Regional High School fall musical. Several Ashwood Waldorf School alumni are cast in this show, so don’t miss the chance to cheer on our talented students!
Duncan Hall ’10, plays Lord Farquaad, while Fiona Hall ’13 turns in a performance as one of the Three Pigs, along with her cohort Chloe Isis ’13. Jamie Oshima ’12 plays a Singing Knight, while Jonas Eichenlaub ’13 rounds out the ensemble.
“Shrek, the Musical” will run Fridays and Saturdays, November 8, 9, 15, and 16 at 7:00 p.m.; and Sunday, November 10, at 2 p.m. in the Strom Auditorium, Rockport. Advance ticket sales are $12 reserved and $10 general admission; $6 for students and senior citizens. There will be a special Family Show on Wednesday, November 13, at 6:00 p.m. with the reduced ticket price of $5, all general admission. For more information: 207-236-7800, ext. 282 or stromtickets.com. Link