This article by Eugene Schwartz gives an explanation of why we try to keep All Hallows’ a scare-free experience for our youngest children. Please read and comment.
For the younger child, this festival reaffirms the goodness of the world. Eons ago, as they looked upon the mists that wove around their fjords and heaths, ancient Europeans had a particular experience as the days grew shorter. Toward the end of the month that we call October, they perceived the souls of all of those who had died in the past year gathering and preparing to ascend to their heavenly home, making a space for the souls due to be born in the year to come. But before they could assume their place in the ethereal realm, the departed souls had to sweep away all the detritus of the life just past and cast it to the earth. Thus the popular image of witches riding on their broomsticks is a misperception: in reality, the brooms are sweeping away the witches!
At the time when the child is in fourth grade, a sense of human mortality begins to dawn within her. Children of this age are rightfully and healthily drawn to all of the frightful and gruesome aspects of Halloween, and they look forward with trembling anticipation to visiting a haunted house, watching an horrific form arise out of a swamp, or, if only through a well-told story, being scared out of their senses!
For the younger child, however, the situation is different. The spirits and creatures with whom the younger child communes are not those created by human error, but rather those in whom the innocent and wise powers of Nature reside: gnomes and undines, fairies and elves, the spirits of stones and streams, sun and wind. For young children to be exposed only to the dark and demonic qualities of Halloween is to deny the unspoken conviction that they carry in their souls that the world is good.
— Eugene Schwartz
Gulf Hagas, the “Grand Canyon of the East”, is a three-mile-long slate gorge located in the mountains of central Maine. Last week Ashwood Waldorf School’s Middle School students enjoyed a two-night camping trip to the area crowned by a day-long hike along the rim of the gorge. It was an amazing trip: waterfalls cascading through narrow passages, sheer slate cliffs, crisp fall colors, and even a moose on our way home. Our profound thanks go to all of the parents who helped make the trip possible by cooking and shopping and providing equipment. We’d also like to send a big shout-out to our chaperone/guides: Buck O’Herin, David Ray, and John Luft.
Amy Watson, Seventh Grade Teacher, and Laura Purdom, Sixth Grade Teacher
Photos by John Luft.
In honor of our Ashwood Waldorf School’s upcoming Parent-Child classes, we offer you this quote from the 19th-century American humorist, Josh Billings:
“To bring up your child in the way he should go, travel that way yourself once in awhile.”
We think our Parent-Child Classes offer the perfect way to “travel that way yourself.” For 10 beautiful mornings this fall, join a group of dynamic parents, their young children (18–36 months) and Ashwood’s veteran early childhood educator and awesome Waldorf mom, Cherry Short-Lee.
The children engage in creative play while parents may engage in child-led play or work on a craft project, help with snack, or discuss a reading on an aspect of parenting with Miss Cherry and other thoughtful parents.
The morning ends with a walk through the woods and time to climb and swing on our playground. A goodbye circle completes the morning.
Ashwood’s Parent-Child program nurtures the whole family and provides a bridge from home to school. When ready, the young child may transition to the mixed-age Early Childhood classroom.
Parent-Child 2013-14 Schedule
- Weekly on Thursdays, September 19–November 21
- Weekly Thursdays, January 9–March 20 (with no session on February 20)
For more information or to receive an application form, please contact the enrollment director at 207-236-8021 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two summer concerts are coming up that feature some of our talented Ashwood alumni!
Mostly Brothers at the Locavore Festival: On Saturday, July 13, Mostly Brothers (Jamie Oshima ’12, Sean Oshima ’08, Alex Wilder ’08) will appear at the the Locavore Festival in Waldoboro Maine, at Cider Hill Farm. There is music and food all day, and their set is from 2–3 p.m.
Round Pond Family Concert with the Oshima Brothers. On Wednesday, July 17 at 7:30 p.m. there will be a concert at the Little Brown Church, Route 32, Round Pond, featuring the Oshima Brothers, with special guests—their parents (also known as Toki Oshima and John Pranio). Bring a cushion as the pews are hard. For more information call 207-549-3820.
Sean Oshima, Alex Wilder, and Jamie Oshima, three “almost” brothers are multi-instrumentalists and singers. The trio has been performing theater and music together since before they knew how to tie their shoes. Their tight harmonies have, on occasion, been reported to make passersby swoon. They will feature many original songs as well as rocking covers.
At the end of each school year, the Early Childhood children, teachers, and families gather for the Bridge Crossing. In this joyful ceremony, first-grade ready children, wearing silken capes and golden crowns, cross over a wooden bridge festooned with fresh flowers. The crossing symbolizes their readiness to enter the Grade School. They are then followed by the younger children, who wear different colored capes and cross the bridge into “Summerland,” receiving a hug from their teacher on the other side.
Click on one of the photos below for a slideshow.
One of the great joys of teaching at Ashwood is being surrounded by music almost everywhere I turn.
Walking the halls of the Grade School building is often like taking a musical tour of the world. The younger children play soaring tunes on their flutes and recorders. Morning math games echo in the halls with rhythmic taps, claps and stomps. The 4th & 5th Grade Chorus makes a joyful sound, indeed–pure voices strong and true. And then there are the strings, fiddling their bouncy tunes. I’m might also hear an odd French Canadian folk song, a beguiling round, or a silly jingle.
I have had the pleasure of teaching Ashwood’s Middle School Chorus this year. We started with folk songs, ranging from classic Americana like the Carter Family, to contemporary songwriters like M. Ward, and we sprinkled in a few Beatles songs for fun.
These were sung first in unison, and we then worked on harmony and upped the complexity of the music bit by bit. Some of our singers have even added their own sophisticated harmonies to jazz up our arrangements.
We have sung pieces from Africa, France, Russia, and England. We’ve sung gospel music, Civil Rights music, classic rock and roll, and some songs simply beyond category. I wish everyone could experience those moments when the Chorus is truly feeling the music, filling up the room with their youthful voices.
Please join the Middle School Chorus, as well as the 4th & 5th Grade Chorus and our String Ensembles, on May 22, 6 p.m. at the Rockport Opera House for our Spring Concert!
If you have a child performing at the event, we ask that he or she arrives at 5:15 p.m. in assembly dress. Students should have an early supper before arriving for the concert.
Gabe as Dr. Horrible
For his Eighth Grade Project, Gabe Ferrero decided that he would star in and direct the musical “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog.” After a year of planning and rehearsals, Gabe’s debut as a director will be at the Waldo Theater, 916 Main Street, Waldoboro. Show times are Friday, May 10 at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday May 11 at 1:00 p.m.
The show runs to about 50 minutes. (Please note that the very young might find some parts of the story too intense.)
Set in Dr. Horrible’s Lab, a city street, and a laundry mat, this musical weaves the sorrowful tale of superhero Dr. Horrible, played by Gabe. Horrible’s problem? He’s just not evil enough. To make matters worse, he accidentally introduces his love interest Penny (Ashwood Eighth Grader Chloe Isis) to his nemesis, “the too good and quite conceited“ Captain Hammer (Lincoln Academy senior Griffin Han-Lalime). But, not to worry! Horrible’s good friend Moist (Ashwood Eighth Grader Taliesin Peck) is by his side—along with a talented cast of actors and singers—to help Horrible reach his dream.
This weekend’s shows will benefit the Waldo Theatre as a thank-you for the many years of plays and friendships that have enriched the lives of the young people in the community. Many of the actors in this show first experienced the thrill of the stage while performing at the Waldo.
Gabe would like to thank Beth Preston, Linda Blanchard, and Griffin Han-Lalime for sharing their musical talents. Thanks also to Melissa Hearth for assisting with logistics and Cayleigh Hearth for lending her hand in tech support.
Only two weeks to bid on your special items!
Check out the new items!
Over 250 items on which to bid!
Bidding ends April 25th at 8pm.
Live event to follow on April 27th, 6:30pm at the Rockport Opera House
Example of what you might receive every month!
Creature a Month – Surprise yourself, or someone you love, with 12 magical monthly gifts. Once a month for a year, you will receive a felted item in the mail, handmade by the talented and creative Early Childhood teacher Liz Ferrero. If you’ve seen LIz’s remarkable fairy houses and charming little gnomes and critters, you know how incredible her work is, and how much children and adults love it. You choose the dates, the theme, and the recipient, and Liz will do the rest. All items will be handmade and felted, with the potential for some embroidered accents and other varying details depending on the chosen theme.
Home, Clean, Home!
Chemical-Free House Cleaning – It’s Spring, the sun is warm and strong… illuminating all the spots in your house that could use some attention! Treat yourself to the gift of 2 hours of Chemical – Free House Cleaning with Marlee Luehman! Using only non-toxic cleaners, Marlee will give you a jump start on your spring cleaning. She has been in business for 3 years and it can be hard to break into her weekly schedule, so this is your chance to pamper your home… creating a “Healthy Haven” for your family.
Everybody loves Toki!
Wearable Toki Art and Birthday Calendar – Everyone loves TokiArt, and you’ll especially love wearing it with these two 100 percent cotton white t-shirts, each featuring one of Maine artist and Waldorf teacher Toki Oshima’s lovely, folksy drawings. You’ll get “The Neighbor’s Tractor” (adult small), featuring a fabulous red vintage machine drawn in Toki’s trademark style, and “Afternoon Visit” (adult medium), featuring a sweet image of a cow with a blackbird perched on its head. Also,
Ashwood students in all grades will have art on display this year at ARTicipation, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art‘s annual pre-season community celebration of student art from the Five Town Community School District. There will be hands-on art-making activities for all ages throughout the galleries and in ArtLab. Join us for the Opening Reception, from 2 to 4pm on Saturday, April 27. Admission is free.
Dates and times to visit the exhibition will be April 27- May 12, 9-5 pm.