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Tumble & Rumble Summer Camp 2013

Tumble & Rumble Campers show off their hand decorated staves and cool off on our slip-and-slide hill. 

Ashwood Alumni to Perform at Summer Venues

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.

First Day of Summer Camp 2013

Waldorf and Montessori: What’s the Difference?

Early Childhood Bridge Crossing 2013

Early Childhood Bridge Crossing 2013

A question we often hear from parents is: “What are the differences between Montessori and Waldorf eduction?”

These two educational philosophies actually started with a similar goal: to design a curriculum that was developmentally appropriate to the child and that addressed the child’s need to learn in multiple ways.

A fundamental difference between these two forms of schooling has to do with the role of the teacher. Montessori teachers act primarily as facilitators, intervening only when a child requests help with an independent learning activity that has been selected by the student. In a Waldorf classroom, on the other hand, the teacher is an authority who leads the class in a variety of teacher-directed activities. This means that Waldorf children participate in activities such as singing or acting or math games or juggling that they may not have chosen to do on their own. Balance, rather than specialization, is encouraged.

In the social realm, Montessori students are taught not to interrupt their peers while they are working, but are encouraged to help younger children complete a task with which they are unfamiliar. Waldorf education, on the other hand, puts particular emphasis on the development of the young child within a group. Barbara Shell, a teacher who worked in public, Montessori, and Waldorf schools, put it this way:

“Waldorf teachers orchestrate this [social] development by modeling good social behavior with their children, by getting the children to join together in movement activities, by introducing songs and games that develop group consciousness, and by helping children learn to work through disagreements.”

Read Barbara Shell’s article in its entirety by downloading the following PDF:

A Look at Waldorf and Montessori Education in the Early Childhood Programs.pdf

If you have any questions about Waldorf education, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 207-236-8021 or fill out our contact form. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Early Childhood Bridge Crossing 2013

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.

Parents Muse on Why We Were Late. Meh!

log bookThe Ashwood Waldorf School Log Book: It’s the battered tome where our hardworking parents have a chance to “confess” their  reasons for arriving late to school with their children. Once again this year, the Ashwood office staff has meticulously combed through the list and nominated a few of our favorites. These creative and quirky responses to a hectic situation remind us of what a great community of fun-loving and caring people we live and work amongst.

“Reason? You want a reason?”

“Who knows?”

“You know.”

“Family issues.”

“Time management.”

“Talking in hallway with Miss Leonore.”


“Dead car battery.”

“Daylight came late.”

“Sleepy girl.”

“Never mind.”

“Four children!”

“Don’t. Even. Ask.”

“Gas + rain + life + poor decision-making.”

“Staying up too late for election results.”

“Goofing off. (Just kidding.)”

“Wrong time on clock!”


“Oh… never mind.”

“Slow morning.”

“Slackin’ .”

“No good reason.”


“Traffic. (Really!)”

“Truant again!”




Ashwood Alumni to Perform with Village Harmony

VHC2 on stageVillage Harmony, the Vermont-based youth world music singing ensemble will present five Maine concerts, and this year, our very own Chloe Isis ’13 and Jamie Oshima ’12 will be performing with the ensemble.

All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. The complete schedule of Maine concerts is: Monday, July 1, Whitefield, Saint Denis Church (207-549-3820); Tuesday, July 2, Vienna, Union Hall (207- 495-2928); Wednesday, July 3, Belfast, First Congregational Church (207-899-8234); Thursday, July 4, Newcastle, Saint Andrews Episcopal Church (207-563-8440); and Friday, July 5, Starks, United in Christ Presbyterian Church (207- 578-8024). For a complete schedule of concerts visit the website at:

The program features traditional music from Georgia, Bulgaria, South Africa, Corsica, Sardinia and the U.S. Suggested donation at the door is $10; $5 for students and seniors. For more information call 802-426-3210 or the local numbers listed above.

Surrounded by Music


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.

The “Ultimate” Sport


It was not until I entered college that I heard of Ultimate Frisbee. I immediately fell in love with the game. It’s easy for beginners to learn and play. Yet, despite it’s accessibility, there’s no end to how skilled you can become at this extremely athletic game.

When I became a Waldorf teacher I began to fully appreciate another aspect of Ultimate. There are no referees, even in competitive tournament play. All officiating is done by the players on the field who make their decisions in light of the Spirit of the Game™ “a tradition of sportsmanship that places the responsibility for fair play on the players rather than referees.”

The benefits of self-officiating are clear to me as someone who has taught games and sports to children for many years. Children need opportunities to work through disagreements and conflict in healthy ways. They need chances to learn and practice good sportsmanship.

Traditionally, team sports were an avenue for those opportunities. However, as we’ve moved away from sandlot baseball to televised Little League World Championships, in too many cases winning has become more important than interacting with the other team, and adults have taken over the officiating.

Ultimate provides players with the opportunity to develop the healthy sportsmanship that is so needed in our sports-crazed society.

This is the fourth year I have taught the afterschool Ultimate Club at Ashwood Waldorf School for grades four through seven. Even after a long day of teaching I’m excited to get out on the field and play Ultimate with these enthusiastic students.

I’ve been impressed with the conduct and skill level of this year’s club team. It’s truly a joy to coach them. Adults are always welcome to join in the fun!

We have more Ultimate planned for the summer. I will be leading Ashwood’s Ultimate Frisbee Summer Campa August 3-7, a weeklong experience for students in grades four through seven. This year, the camp will be a full day (9:00 a.m. – 3::00 p.m.), and we’ll be adding archery to the mix.

Sign up for the Ultimate and Archery Summer Camp 2015

Want to know more about Ultimate?

Thinking About Art

Eighth Grade Projects

Building a pedal-powered ice cream maker

Ashwood’s art program features prominently in Nancy Harris Frohlich’s May 7 blog Thinking About Art. In it she refers to her experiences with Ashwood students and families at the opening exhibition of the CMCA student art show as well as her impressions of the Eighth Grade Projects at our recent open house: “These young thinkers were solving authentic problems, and through this project they learned about the process of solving more complex and challenging problems – the kind they would face in adulthood.”

More: Eighth Grade Project Night