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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!


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.


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.

Sparkle! Event and Online Auction

spark logo

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.


Middle School Presents the Pirates of Penzance

By Rachel Sizeler-Fletcher, Grade 7

By Rachel Sizeler-Fletcher, Grade 7

The pirates are coming to Rockport! Ashwood Waldorf School’s middle school will present Gilbert & Sullivan’s swashbuckling comedic operetta, The Pirates of Penzance, at the Rockport Opera House on Thursday, March 19 at 11:00 a.m. and Friday, March 20 at 6:30 p.m. The public is invited. A $10 donation is suggested. Under 16 free.

Adapted for teen voices, this production includes all of the elements for which the Victorian-era theatrical partners W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan are so well known.

Startling plot twists, physical comedy, word play, sword play, and more all come together in this classic musical comedy to create a perfect storm of romance, adventure, hilarity, and hijinks.

The Pirates of Penzance includes one of the most famous patter songs in the history of musical theater, “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General,” sung in this production by Isaiah Doble. The show also features Aspen Laurita-Spanglet as the courageous Mabel; Caleb Edwards as Frederic, “the slave of duty;” Ryan Hart as the Pirate Queen; Julian King as the Sergeant of Police; and Kate Kemper as the lovesick and matronly Ruth.

Backed by a 24-member chorus of bumbling constables, sentimental pirates, and feisty maidens, the cast not only upends a few gender stereotypes, but may just give audiences a whole new perspective on what it means to be a teenager. Chorus members include: Jasper Berryman-Moore, Elsa Chandler, Leah Doolen, Sylvan Eichenlaub, Morgan MacDougal, Jacob Mills-Lightner, Eli Moore, Sofia Mott, Ocean Rancourt, Daniel Snider, Yonah Wienges, Michael Frampton, Cullan Hamilton, Isabella LaBranche, Andrew Levitt, Jasper Louden, Frances Ostensen, Anikka Reinwand, Rachel Sizeler-Fletcher, Ella Finger, Tessa Mott, Zaela Newcomb, Kayla Olds, and Christian Ray.

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!

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