Document 104915

Into Waldorf Education
Emerson Waldorf School
6211 New Jericho Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27516
Issue 4, Spring 2006
A publication of the Emerson Waldorf School to inform and educate about our school and Waldorf education in general.
Inside this issue:
Puppetry: A new 7th Grade
My $40,000 Wooden Spoon
Trading in our Flutes
Class Trip 2005
Book Corner
The Challenge of Math
College and the Waldorf Graduate
West Meets East
Biodynamic Agriculture
Animals and Saints: Second Grade
with Ms. Holley
EWS College of Teachers
Stephen Beck
Eric Boesch
Ingeborg Boesch
Lorraine Davis
Ameli Fairman-Evans
Judith Grant
Dennis Hagerman
Carol Kubik
Andrew Levitt
Whitney MacDonald
Peter Moyers
Robin Olson
Victoria Palazzo
Rob Rich
Edward Schuldt (ex officio)
Kathleen Stone-Michael
Parent Organization Officers
President: Kelly Calegar
Vice-Pres: Charles Viles
Treasurer: Jeff Kottiel
Secretaries: Kim Moore,
Colleen McCarron-Case
Each class has a Parent Organization Representative and each
parent is a member of the
Parent Organization
Busy Little Finger People:
Handwork through the Grades
From an interview with Carol Kubik,
EWS Lower School Handwork teacher
In the EWS Kindergarten, the children sing a song about “Busy Little Finger
People”, and that is what our students are.
The movement and education of the fingers
and hands is an important part of Waldorf
education, and one of the things that distinguishes Waldorf Schools from other kinds
of schools. Throughout their education at
EWS, Grades 1-12, students do handwork.
Research in the last 20 years has shown
the wisdom of this. There is a growing
emphasis in remedial education on the
education of the body, as well as the mind,
or even before the mind. Teachers working
with children with disabilities have them do
patterned crawling. Neurological research is
starting to show how the use of the fingers is
involved in brain development. All of this
simply confirms the experiences of Waldorf
teachers in the past 80 years. Rudolf Steiner
said that knitting in 1st grade helps students
with their math in 11th grade. Now science
is showing the truth of that.
We also do Handwork because practical things connect them to the practical side
of life. We crochet hats and knit socks that
they can actually use. This teaches them
skills that go far beyond knitting and purling. In all of handwork, as in most of their
subjects, there is also the goal of accomplishment, perseverance, patience, waiting
your turn. These are very important skills.
It not only makes the classroom more harmonious; it also makes them more orderly
in their thinking as adults, and more willing
to see a project through.
Handwork begins in Kindergarten with
making pom-poms, finger knitting, making
shoe bags. The skills and concentration
needed to do these tasks help prepare the
children for the beginning of concentrated
learning in 1st grade.
In 1st grade, the first thing we do is
to make our own knitting needles. We try
to introduce the knitting, the needles and
the yarn in a way that is connected to life,
continued on page 9
Adolescence as a Journey: The Waldorf Approach
From an Interview with Andrew Levitt,
HS English teacher
Adolescence is a journey. As the child
approaches 18 years, the moon reaches the
place where it was in the zodiac when they
were born. Just as the moon has completed
a journey, so the child completes the
journey of childhood: the journey towards
individuality, towards the birth of the self.
The Waldorf curriculum in High School
mirrors this journey, giving the student
pictures and stories to help chart the course,
and meeting them with experiences that
help them cope with the identity crisis that
the birthing of the self entails.
All schools these days are enthusiastic
about looking at the development of young
people and adjusting their curriculum in
relationship to development. However,
the model of development is very different
in Waldorf education, because the
understanding of the human being is very
different. In mainstream education, there
is a strong understanding of the intellectual
development of the student, and they make
adjustments in education to accommodate
the child’s cognitive development. But by
the time students get to High School, they
are expected to be able to work with abstract
ideas and develop their abstract thinking.
Although there is an understanding that
their intellectual powers are developing over
the 4 years of High School, the emotional
journey of the adolescent is not fully
recognized. In a Waldorf High School, the
literature curriculum grows precisely from
that emotional journey.
9th graders come into High School
torn, in their emotional lives, between
their sympathies and their antipathies,
what they like and what they don’t like.
Our curriculum recognizes and accepts
that that is where they are, and tries
to help balance this tumultuous time.
Everything is confronted in 9th grade as
the interplay of opposites: hot and cold in
thermodynamics, comedy and tragedy in
literature, to help students feel the laughter
and the sorrow, the pity and the fear, the
good and the evil, and to begin to integrate
these oppositions. The goal is not to become
one or the other--happy or sad--but to
integrate these opposing forces. In a Main
Lesson Block on Comedy and Tragedy,
we read Greek tragedies and Roman
comedies (Roman comedy is the basis for
all modern comedy, even sitcoms!). We
study Commedia dell’ arte, which has had
so much influence on the contemporary
theater world, reading Servant of Two
Masters by Goldoni and playing around
with some of the improvisational routines
of Commedia. We then do Shakespeare:
Romeo and Juliet is ideal because of this
balancing of the male and the female, the
romantic and the practical. 9th grade is
the year of balancing. In 9th grade is also
the year of Change. We do a Main Lesson
block in Mythology, including Ovid’s
Metamorphosis. We read this great book of
changes, perhaps the most quoted book
in literature, at the time that they, too, are
going through their own great changes.
In addition to the Main Lesson blocks,
we have literature track classes, which meet
several times a week throughout the year.
In 9th grade we study different genres: short
story, novel, poetry and personal essay. We
write a lot--a short story, poems, a 1000
word personal essay-- and we read a lot of
great personal essays: Annie Dillard, Aldous
Huxley, John Muir, Scott Russell Sanders-these are the great essayists, who also help
us to understand our selves. I also weave
in an understanding of nature through the
essays and poetry we read. We do a unit on
poetry, which I call the Poetry of Nature, in
which we go out into the natural world and
write poetry in nature.
10th grade is the year of the Outward
Journey. In 10th grade, one of the major
continued on page 10
Into Waldorf Education
Page 2
Issue 4, Spring 2006
Puppetry: A new 7th Grade Program
By Kathleen Stone-Michaels, Nursery Teacher
Puppetry is an art that has existed for
many years. Long ago masks were used by
the Greeks to tell stories. Not only did it
allow the sound to travel and they could be
seen from afar, but the stories told would be
larger than life. They carried the mysteries
and deeply held images and truths of the
people. The puppet served as a vessel to
carry and act out those stories. The reverent quality held for the puppet continues
throughout the ages, and in
many diverse cultures.
Puppetry is used in
many ways; for therapy,
education, artistic performance, social commentary,
political statements or
in play. Steiner has indicated that it is a healing art.
Think of a young child who
sees a marionette, whether
it is a person or animal. If
the puppet begins to engage
the child, soon the child
will respond openly. A
puppet comes to life and
brings healthy communication to a situation.
Puppetry is an avenue
to bring stories, poems, or
moral lessons to the world.
One might think that the
puppeteer hides behind the puppet but it
is the human who “ensouls” the puppet.
There are many kinds of puppets: rod, fin-
capable all of them are to
do a show. Being on both
sides of the age spectrum
was interesting. I do
puppet shows every day
for the 2- 4 year olds and
they are so mesmerized
by them. I hope the 7th
grade students see how
deeply a puppet show
penetrates a child and
feel the joy of the gift
they gave to the younger
children in the school.
ger, table, shadow and marionettes. Which
ever one is used, the more “ensouled” the
puppet is by the performer, the more alive
the performance is for the audience.
This year the 7th grade class is currently divided into 2 groups: one doing their
dolls and the other doing puppetry. Beginning the class they all experienced some of
my puppets, moving them across stage and
trying to have them do something. After
that we got to work selecting a story and
each of the students made their own puppet
for the performance.
The making of the puppet entails making the head and selecting and attaching the
hair. For the garment and body, we selected
colors, and dyed the silk with plant dyes.
Once the base of the puppet is complete,
final touches create the real character, then
the hands are the last step for the final
When the puppets are ready we draw
the stage scene and begin gathering the
parts to assemble the set. Setting the stage is
important, as it gives the puppets a place to
come alive. Mr. Child has had the students
compose music for the show which they
will incorporate into the performance. Now,
with a few rehearsals with the reader, musicians, lights and marionettes the show will
be presented to the grades.
Everyone enjoyed the process of the
creation of the show. It was a great experience for me to see how willing and very
My $40,000 Wooden Spoon
By Alyson Ramesh, EWS Parent
My older son finished Sixth Grade last
summer. As part of his Waldorf curriculum
he partook of Woodworking with Dennis
Hagerman. For my birthday I was given a
much anticipated present: a wooden spoon
hand carved by my son. I first fell in love
with the idea of this present ten years prior. You
see, I have this “thing”
about wooden spoons – I
love them. I covet them.
I collect them. But let me
share the story.
When Neal was born
(in Texas) I knew with no
doubt that current public
school methods were not
what I wanted for him.
My husband David and
I began to search for
alternatives. We found
lots of Montessori Schools
but found their standards
varied quite a bit from school to school.
We found high-intense college prep schools,
but did not feel that our child (age 2) was
in need for SAT prep, yet. Then I saw an
ad for the Austin Waldorf School. Quite
honestly, the ad, done in purple was what
caught my eye – color in an ad – simple,
yet it spoke volumes to what the education
brings to childhood, color.
We set up a meeting to visit the school
– 15 miles outside of Austin in the rolling
hill country covered with cedar trees. I
loved all the trees; David sneezed. When
we were left by ourselves in the Kindergarten to wait for our guide, we fell in love. As
any parent in Emerson Waldorf can attest
– a Waldorf Kindergarten classroom is a
sight to behold. Grown adults have been
known to get down on their hands and
knees to build castles and play with wooden
animals in a barn. I climbed the tree fort
and built houses with tree blocks. I was in
the midst of play when I was caught red-
handed. The guide came in and welcomed
us warmly and began our introduction to
The colors in the Kindergarten and the
philosophy in the lower school resonated
with what I believed and I began to believe
we had found a home. We continued to
the middle school to see the advanced
curriculum. Everything for me ended when
we stepped into the woodworking building.
There the guide explained that as part of
the “practical arts” curriculum in 6th grade
the students carve a wooden spoon. She
went on to explain convex and concave
and all the mathematical applications but
I had stopped listening. I turned to Dave
and said that this was it; this is where Neal
would go to school, and learn how to carve
a wooden spoon.
Pretty silly reason to enroll in a school,
right? – and a very expensive reason, too.
However my spoon is a bargain for what
we gained. In the first years (enrolled in a
Waldorf-inspired preschool) his creative
play blossomed. His play was
rich and varied and a delight to
behold. As the years progressed
I saw him continue to grow in
academics but also in spirit. And
the teachers always ‘held’ him.
By that I mean, he was not a
student or even a finished work,
but always a work in progress:
always a spirit that had been
entrusted to our care. Even
when social difficulties arose the
teachers always spoke
with love that there
‘was work to do’ not
that he was doomed.
He learned a variety
of materials – weaving, knitting,
music, writing and art. He also
learned Spanish, German and
Eurythmy – a movement class.
By fifth grade I saw a
confident young man emerging
as he trained for his Olympic
Games – he knew he was part
of a larger community and his
contributions were valued. He knew even if
there were rough days, a class stuck together
through thick and thin.
New Polarity Practitioner
(former Waldorf teacher)
offering sessions at half-price
with the mention of this ad
Contact Nancy Preitz at
When the class went on the Geology field
trip they emerged from the cave as a unit
– they had helped each other out of the
dark and up steep ravines as a team. So for
my birthday last spring I received what I
had hoped for long, long ago – my wooden
spoon. Wrapped modestly in yellow tissue
paper was the most beautiful spoon I have
seen anywhere. Carved out of walnut by my
son’s hands. Sanded and sanded and sanded
by his fingers and given to me at last. I see
this spoon as representation of a journey
of so much and the beginning of so much
more. It is in my china cabinet – held in
In ninth grade he will make me a
copper bowl.
Issue 4, Spring 2006
Page 3
Into Waldorf Education
Trading in Our Flutes
By Jason Child, EWS Music Teacher
Not long ago, the third graders of EWS
made a gift to our first grade. They entered
the first grade room early one Friday
morning and, after a short visit, left behind
not only a lovely song, but the very flutes
that they had played.
Those flutes waited in a basket for a
few weeks, all the while being eyed with
curiosity by Class One as they continued
using their simple one-hole flutes. Finally,
the day arrived. The new flutes were
handed out and their one-hole flutes were
collected. The children reverently cleaned
and oiled their new instruments and
examined them with wonder- six holes! It
was yet another week before they began
playing the first simple melodies on their
new instruments.
Meanwhile, the third grade students
also had new flutes with nine handsome
holes. Over the past few weeks, they had
gradually become aware that their old flutes
actually had large gaps and that they seemed
to skip completely over some notes that
they now realized should have been there.
Their new instruments allow them to play
up and down a full scale. This also brought
to their awareness the tonic note, the
“home tone” around which Western music
revolves. Enter a third grade music lesson
and you will now find students merrily
singing up and down the scale, playing on
their flutes tunes that step up and down the
scale or beginning to notate the music that
they play.
This careful progression in the early
years is just one aspect of the attention
paid to the pedagogy of the Waldorf music
curriculum. In 1919, Rudolf Steiner
suggested that music instruction should
begin by working in conformity with the
nature of the young child. About third
grade, however, he asks that teachers change
the instruction and begin to work in a way
that compels the child to conform to the
Thus, music lessons for the early grades
are not didactic or intellectual. Rather,
the children experience simple, dreamy
and uncomplicated melodies. In a playful,
exploratory way, music lessons bring to the
children aspects of music such as rhythms
based on words, high and low sounds, fast
and slow tempos, or loud and quiet sounds.
The focus of early music learning is on
these inner, experiential
aspects of music.
The third grade
year is the pivotal year
in music instruction at
a Waldorf school. To
begin, it is the year of
naming things. Each
note now has its own
name, and all of the
discoveries made in our
early music explorations
begin to crystallize as,
for example, we name
the types
of notes
that make
up rhythms (quarter notes,
eighth notes, etc.) or name
the ways in which a melody
weaves between pitches (by
steps, skips or jumps). The
music also has a new quality.
We leave behind the dreamy
five-note music of the early
years and begin working in
earnest with the typical major
scale. The children must now
“conform” to the standards
of Western music and, by third grade, they
love it!
The third grade year is the launching
pad for the rest of their music experiences
at EWS. The work started in third grade
deepens the strong intuitive sense for music
that was developed in the early years with
a new understanding of the inner workings
of music. They continue this learning in
the subsequent years, but they are also able
to begin applying what they’ve learned. By
fourth grade, they are more than ready to
begin their chosen string instrument, and
in fifth grade they become members of our
choir. They are growing into intelligent,
sensitive and versatile musicians, and it all
began with a few simple melodies and a
one-hole flute.
my friend came up with was taking salt and
pepper shakers and
hitting them across
the table sort of like
paper football. That
consumed hours
of our after dinner
time. We spent time
with each other and
enjoyed it.
The really
wonderful thing
about our class
trips is that along
with discovering
different aspects
of nature or art or
whatever subject we may be studying, we
also learn more about the dynamics of our
class and about
each person
in our class.
We know each
other pretty well, but on class trips we
become even closer. On the last day
we sat around the fire pit and said
something we learned about the
forest and about a single classmate
or the class as a group that we hadn’t
known before the trip. In my opinion
we understand each other better on
our trips because we are not in school
and don’t have to focus on studying
for our next test, etc. The only things
that we have to worry about are
making dinner, drawing or keeping
a journal, learning in nature and
becoming better friends. Our class
trips are one of the things that I love
about Waldorf.
Photos by Boris Elisayeff
Class Trip 2005
By Molly Metz, High School Junior
In October my eleventh grade class
at Emerson Waldorf School went on our
annual class trip. This year we had the
pleasure of going to Fries (pronounced
freeze), Virginia. In many Waldorf schools
the eleventh grade class
trip is a forestry intensive
week, ninth grade is
farming, tenth grade is
crafts, and twelfth grade
is zoology. We spent five
days in an old
farmhouse, located on
approximately twelve
acres, studying the flora
and fauna of the area.
On Monday we
arrived at the school fairly
early and the first few
hours of the day were
spent driving. Upon our
arrival at the Farmhouse
we all unloaded and ran upstairs to find our
rooms. All three of us girls made sure
that we got our room first. When we
had unpacked we went across the hall
to the boys’ room and the three of us
had to laugh, because the six boys were
crammed into the room with exactly
one bed to each one of them. The next
step was to figure out who was signed
up for dinner, lunch, and breakfast for
the next four and a half days and to go
exploring. A few people had brought
instruments, a few guitars and drums,
so they started to jam on the porch.
We walked down the hill that
our house was on and across a field
through a few trees and found a river,
fire pit and a path. We walked along
the path and eventually into the ice
cold river water. Over the next four
days the river became our congregating
place. We would go down to the fire
pit to receive our assignment, then we
would split up into groups or all of us
would walk together into the woods.
In the mornings we would have a
short lesson on a couple of trees, draw
them if we wanted and then we had
free time to walk in the woods or up the
river. If we really felt like it we would work
on our working assignment which was to
draw nine trees with descriptions of their
characteristics. Along with fauna we learned
about the different types of
soil and hiked part of the
Appalachian Trail.
At night we played Frisbee
or lay in the open field looking
at the moon and
stars. On Wednesday night we
built a fire in the fire pit, told
stories, sang songs, and joked.
The great thing about Fries,
Va. is that there is no traffic.
The only thing you could
hear was the wind, birds, and
nature in general. We didn’t
have any electronic devices
with us so there was no music
other than what we created.
We came up with games of our own that we
could play to amuse ourselves. One game
at Emerson Waldorf School
Chapel Hill, NC
“Devoted to the Natural Child”
specializing in handcrafted gifts, toys,
art/handwork supplies, maternity supplies and more.
hours: Tu 8:30-12:30 Wed 8:30-1:30
Th/Fr 8:30-4:00 Sat 10:30-2:00
Page 4
Into Waldorf Education
Issue 4, Spring 2006
Book Corner
Dear Parent: Caring for
Infants with Respect
by Magda Gerber
Working with Nervous, Anxious and Depressed Children
by Henning Kohler
Reviewed by Lauren Mills, EWS Parent
I was asked separately to review two
different books and realized the benefit of
reviewing them together: if you worked
with the ideas of the book about infants,
you’d be less likely to need the other book’s
advice when your children are older. I say
this laughingly because the truth is that
both are packed with ideas that can support
healthy relationships and development at
any age and can support us (the adults) in
our own personal striving, wherever we are
in our paths.
The author of Dear Parent, Magda
Gerber, was associated with the Pikler
Institute, a place where they work with
children under the age of three in Hungary.
She took the ideas developed at the Institute
and started Resources for Infant Educators
(RIE, pronounced “rye”) in Los Angeles.
Members of the Waldorf Birth to age Three
movement noticed the connections between
their own work and the work of RIE and
have incorporated many of the RIE approaches into Waldorf Early Childhood
classes and training programs. The basic
principles of the RIE approach are Respect,
Trust in the Infant’s Competence, Sensitive
Observation, Child Involvement in Caregiving Times, A Safe, Challenging, Predictable Environment, Time for Uninterrupted
Play, Freedom to Explore, and Consistency.
Sound like Waldorf recommendations? The
ideas presented in this book are also very
do-able and enjoyable. I followed this approach with my second child and noticed
benefits in our relating, cooperating, and
level of enjoyment of each other. I have
also noticed that the approach works well
for the first child, but is harder to do as we
don’t have the strong foundation of trust
that we might have had from the beginning
– we’re getting there, though! Following
the recommendations in this book will also
increase the likelihood of healthy (or at least
healthier) development of the senses, the
importance of which is really in the awareness of parents, teachers, and therapists.
If you missed working on healthy
Pudding and Chips
by Penny Matthews
illustrated by Janine Dawson
framework (writing in a Steiner-style of
creating images, so expect to read the book
several times or look for a group of people
to read it with to get the most practical
ideas from the book) and bases his approach
on Steiner’s image of people having twelve
Senses with the first four developing from
birth to age 7, the middle four developing
in the middle years, and the last four having
the potential to develop near and during
adulthood. Well-developed lower senses lay
a foundation for development of the higher
senses and an adult working on the higher
senses will help nearby children develop
their lower senses. (So it’s never too late!)
Kohler focuses on fostering development of
the four lower senses interwoven with ideas
for fostering the higher senses. His book
can be a help for children with behavior
issues, and issues of attention, restlessness,
or anxiety. It has been my experience that
parents without these challenges still find
the book helpful for the daily lives of their
children and for themselves. One person
who reads it says she uses the “drop-down
technique” where she just opens the book,
reads a passage and finds something helpful.
She says it actually makes more sense that
way than reading it in order. Any way of
reading this book can be beneficial.
Let me know what you think of these
books. Enjoy!
Lauren leads a monthly discussion Group for
EWS parents.
In the Land of Fairies
by Daniella Drescher
Reviewed by Alyson Ramesh, EWS Parent
Reviewed by Alyson Ramesh, EWS Parent
“The dusk brings deer into the glade
where flowers grow,
As dappled light gives way to shade.”
This is a heartwarming tale of two
friends: Pudding, a white goose, and Chips,
a black and white sheepdog. Both live and
work at Annie’s farm. Pudding is a strongminded goose, known for her overly loud
honk which intimidates the other farm
animals. Chips takes his herding skills and
his watchdog responsibilities to heart, but
he is no match for Pudding. The two work
out a relationship of respect that blossoms
into something deeper when a fox comes in
the night. All may be lost, only the strongwilled will survive.
Two new additions to the Waldorf shelf of
classics, Ms Drescher has written In the Land of
Fairies and In the Land of Elves. Each book takes its
respected subject and shows the diminutive world of
fairies and elves through the year. Short poetic text
graces expansive watercolor illustrations to weave
magical scenes that touch upon the true magic of
childhood. The reader is catapulted into a richly
colored world full of animals and nature spirits as
the Earth turns through her seasons.
Nourishing Traditions: The
Cookbook that Challenges
Politically Correct Nutrition
and the Diet Dictocrats
by Sally Fallon with Mary G. Enig
Reviewed by Claire Viadro, EWS Parent
When I was first introduced to Nourishing Traditions, I was both tickled and intrigued by the forthright and provocative title. Upon reading the 60-page introduction,
however, my understanding of nutrition was
shaken to its foundations. With graduate
degrees in public health, I had been trained
in many of the firmly held tenets of the
mainstream nutritional establishment (see if you are interested
in the current version of “politically correct
nutrition”). Nourishing Traditions boldly
contradicts much of this canon and asserts
that our bodies need “old-fashioned” animal
fats as well as traditional foods that promote
digestion and assimilation of nutrients. The
book also promotes “ancient preservation
methods” such as lacto-fermentation over
newfangled food processing techniques, and
supplies numerous scientific references to
support its claims.
Far more than a cookbook, Nourishing
Traditions is the brainchild of Sally Fallon, founder and president of the Weston
A. Price Foundation. (The Foundation’s
informative website,,
is well worth a visit.) Weston A. Price was a
dentist and “nutrition pioneer” who spent
10 years in the 1920s and ‘30s studying
14 isolated traditional societies around the
globe in an effort to “establish the param-
sense development in the early years,
you can catch up by working with the
book, Working with Anxious, Nervous, and
Depressed Children by Henning Kohler.
Kohler works out of an anthroposophical
eters of human health and determine the
optimum characteristics of human diets.”
Dr. Price’s seminal book, Nutrition and
Physical Degeneration, first published in
1939, provides convincing scientific and
photo documentation that modern diets
adversely affect both dental and overall
health. And, as Ms. Fallon notes in the
preface to Nourishing Traditions, many subsequent studies “have confirmed Dr. Price’s
observations that the so-called civilized
diet, particularly the Western diet of refined
carbohydrates and devitalized fats and oils,
spoils our God-given genetic inheritance of
physical perfection and vibrant health.”
Weighing in at nearly 700 pages,
Nourishing Traditions has something for
everyone. Following the lengthy introduction, which reviews and questions politically
correct nutrition and defines basic nutrients
ranging from fats to enzymes, the book
travels through wide-ranging culinary
terrain. In “Mastering the Basics,” Fallon
provides easy-to-follow instruction on culturing, fermenting, sprouting, and making
stocks and sauces. Subsequent chapters
cover other basics: appetizers, soups, salads,
main dishes, vegetables, grains, legumes,
snacks, desserts, and beverages. I found
the chapters on whole grains and breads to
be particularly educational, because they
make the key point that consumption of
improperly prepared whole grains can have
harmful consequences. As Fallon notes,
when our ancestors ate whole grains, “they
did not consume them…in the form of
quick-rise breads, granolas and other hastily
prepared casseroles and concoctions. Our
ancestors…soaked or fermented their grains
before making them into porridge, breads,
cakes and casseroles” (p. 452). Continuing,
Fallon explains that all grains contain phytic
acid in the outer layer or bran, which can
block the absorption of important minerals
(including calcium and zinc) if the grains
are not first soaked or fermented.
A warning: Nourishing Traditions may
be a challenging read for many people,
including vegetarians, processed food
aficionados, and adherents to low fat or
other recent fad diets. At the time that the
book entered my life, I was a vegetarian and
had been one for most of my adult years,
including during my first pregnancy. The
book forced me to question my nutritional
beliefs and ultimately led my family down
a very different path. On the other hand, I
find Nourishing Traditions very compatible
Crispy Nuts
Pecans and walnuts: Mix 4 cups pecan or
walnut halves or pieces with 2 teaspoons sea
salt and filtered water and soak in a warm
place for at least 7 hours or overnight.
Drain in a colander, spread nuts on a
stainless steel baking pan, and place in a
warm oven (no more than 150 degrees)
for 12 to 24 hours, turning occasionally,
until completely dry and crisp. Store in
an airtight container. (Walnuts should be
Peanuts, pine nuts, hazelnuts, and whole
or slivered almonds: Use instructions for
pecans/walnuts but use 1 tablespoon sea
salt. Hazelnuts will need to have the skins
rubbed off.
Nut butter: A delicious nut butter can
be made with 2 cups crispy nuts, ¾ cup
coconut oil, 2 tablespoons raw honey, and
1 teaspoon sea salt. Place nuts and salt in a
food processor and grind to a fine powder.
Add honey and coconut oil and process
until “butter” becomes smooth. It will be
somewhat liquid but will harden when
chilled. Store in an airtight container in the
refrigerator but serve at room temperature.
with the Waldorf “way of life,” through the
book’s commonsense emphasis on whole
and nourishing foods, back-to-basics food
preparation, old-fashioned family meals,
and support for local and organic farming.
Issue 4, Spring 2006
Into Waldorf Education
The Challenge of Math
By Rob Rich, EWS High School
Math teacher
One of the most rewarding elements
of teaching at the Emerson Waldorf School
is having the opportunity to collaborate
with other teachers. For the past three years
I have been fortunate to be able to share
the teaching of the eighth grade math track
classes with the respective 8th grade class
teachers – Mr. McDonald, Mr. Moyers, and
Mr. Boesch. I have brought the perspective
and experience of a high school math
teacher and aerospace design engineer, and
they have brought a knowledge of their
students, of middle school math, and of
middle school Waldorf pedagogy. Together,
I believe we have provided the students with
a firm foundation in Algebra.
We use a highly-regarded Algebra I
text that provides clear explanations of new
concepts, a section of “oral exercises” that
give students an opportunity to demonstrate
the new skills ‘out loud’ in class, and three
comprehensive sets of increasingly complex
“written exercises”. When applicable, these
exercises are followed by problems presented
in text form (word problems) that must be
translated into algebraic form before being
The math track classes meet four
times per week throughout the year, and
math homework is assigned three times
per week. This year Mr. Boesch and I have
implemented a “hybrid” grouping approach
that has been used very successfully at other
Page 5
Waldorf schools. In our application, two
a four year institution. Our earlier use of
the founders of Shodor, who is a former
days per week the class is taught as one
an Integrated Math Program curriculum
research chemist. They combined the best
group, and two days per week it is divided
has been supplanted by a more traditional
principles of Waldorf science education
in half and taught separately by
with techniques of computational
myself and Mr. Boesch. In one
science with great success. The
I used to believe that the purpose of math was
group, those students who can
simply to develop student‛s thinking. I now see math high school is currently planning
benefit from additional practice
additional collaborative work with
as a means to develop the whole human being--not
with the new skills can engage
the Shodor staff.
just thinking, but also feeling and willing as well.
in that work; and in the other
Incidentally, four of our
Good math students have not only developed their
group, those students who are
school students are currently
ability to think, but, in the feeling realm, they find
ready for additional challenges
in Shodor’s Information
joy in learning and are able to overcome frustration,
can go deeper into the material.
Certification Program.
and, in the willing realm, they are determined,
With this approach, by the end of hard workers. It is clear to me that developing
After successful summer workshops
the school year both groups will
with Shodor in Computational
the whole human being, is the key to solving many
have covered the same Algebra
Science, high school Juniors Alex
of the problems in our world today. Mathematics
topics, but at levels appropriate to education is part of that noble effort.
Kesling, Kate Brady, and Molly
their developmental readiness.
Metz, and Freshman Sandy
Jamie York, Making Math Meaningful
This collaborative work grew
Brady were accepted into this
out of periodic meetings held between the
progression that ranges from track classes of apprenticeship program. The program
high school math teacher and the middle
Algebra I - Part B, to Geometry, to Algebra
provides enrichment opportunities for
school class teachers during the 2004-2005
II, and finally Pre-Calculus in the 12th
those students with a particular interest
school year. At that time the participation
grade. The main lesson blocks, one per year in computer modeling. The program,
of the high school math teacher in the 8th
from 9th through 12th are: Probability,
which is underwritten by a $1 million
grade math track classes had been working
Trigonometry, (the very abstract) Projective
National Science Foundation Grant, not
successfully for over a year. This had, we
Geometry, and Calculus.
only trains the students in critical elements
believe, added to the rigor of the math
In addition, the high school is
of information technology, but actually
curriculum and begun to solidify the bridge currently working in partnership with the
pays them moderate amounts of money
between middle school math and high
Shodor Educational Foundation. This non- for completing each of the seven blocks of
school math. But beyond that, there was
profit institution generates curricula that
technical and interpersonal skills.
a collective desire to see the varying levels
blend mathematics, the physical sciences,
We are excited about the growth and
of student math readiness addressed in a
and ‘computational science’ – a branch of
strengthening of our math curriculum
more targeted manner. This was the impulse computer science that precisely models
at EWS, and we feel confident that our
behind the “hybrid” approach.
natural phenomena. Our chemistry teacher, students are benefiting from these changes.
The high school math curriculum
Linda Schmallbeck, taught her 12th grade
We will try to keep you informed of further
has been growing as well, even as the
chemistry main lesson block this past fall
developments as they occur.
high school itself has been evolving into
in conjunction with Bob Gotwals, one of
Come Visit Emerson Waldorf School!
You are cordially invited to any or all of the events below.
Open House: April 4, Tuesday, 8:00 - 10:00 am
May Faire: May 6, Saturday, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Open House: May 2, Tuesday, 8:00 - 10:30 am
Open House: June 6, Tuesday, 1:00 - 4:00 pm
Tours arranged any morning
R.S.V.P. to Matina Metz
tel: 919-967-1858 ext. 14
fax: 919-967-2732
email: [email protected]
Emerson Waldorf School, 6211 New Jericho Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27516
“MakeASmart Move.”
Call Toll Free
(888 733 5839)
E-mail me at [email protected]
Visit my web site at
Donating to EWS with every sale.
Page 6
Into Waldorf Education
Issue 4, Spring 2006
College and the Waldorf Graduate
By Lorraine Davis, High School Guidance
The process of college guidance is a
partnership between the school, students,
and parents. The primary goal is to help
every student develop good options for life
after high school. For almost all students,
this involves creating several college options;
for some, it will mean charting a ‘gap year’
course that may involve, travel, work,
service, or some other opportunity for
personal growth.
The guidance process begins early
in the 11th grade, providing a general
framework for planning and a timeline to
de-mystify the world of college admissions.
We meet with parents and students to help
them become familiar with the big picture
-admissions’ terminology, standardized tests,
financial aid, and our school’s role in the
Planning for standardized tests is a
critical piece to consider early in junior
year. All students take the PSAT in the fall
of junior year, here at EWS (some also take
it earlier in high school). For some of our
students this is the first standardized test
they’ve taken. The PSAT does not affect
college admissions, but it provides practice
for the SAT, and very high test scores
may qualify students for national merit
scholarship eligibility.
The SAT is the most common
standardized test required for college
admission. We offer an after-school
preparation class for the SAT. Thus far, we
have contacted with Study Works to provide
this service at a discounted group rate.
The 20 hour course is offered at EWS for
a few weeks before a test date in the spring
of the 11th grade. This prep course is not
required, but most students find the guided,
focused practice time valuable. Other
standardized tests include the ACT and
SAT II subject tests. Understanding testing
requirements for each college of interest is
crucial; good advance planning is essential
to meet registration deadlines for individual
tests. Other than the PSAT, EWS is not a
testing site for standardized tests.
Occasionally, we are asked whether
Waldorf students are in any way
disadvantaged by their inexperience with
standardized tests. We think that we can
offer substantial reassurance on this point.
First, we have the experience of other
Waldorf high schools, which have seen that
their students have the same range of scores
as do students from non-Waldorf schools.
Second, we can look at the test scores of
our first two classes, whose scores show that
Waldorf students can do well, and excel, on
these tests. Of course there will always be
some students who shine in standardized
tests, and others whose strengths do not
show up through this format. Education
about how these tests work is essential. For
many students, learning and regular practice
of certain strategies can improve their score.
For example, careful management of time,
to enable the student to answer all or almost
all of the questions, can have an important
positive impact on one’s score. One should
also know that, while random guesswork
rarely will improve a score, more targeted
guessing usually will be beneficial. These
test-taking tools are relatively simple and
easy to learn. We recommend that students
take the PSAT as a means of practicing
these techniques, and that they take
advantage of either our own or some other
test-preparation service. However, both
our own experience, and the experience of
other Waldorf schools, indicates that there
is no real advantage to having taken a large
number of standardized tests; only a brief
exposure to the “number two pencil” type
of test is necessary to acquire the basic
In spring of 11th grade, parents and
students fill out questionnaires and meet
with me to discuss their college preferences
and concerns. This process helps me
discern a student’s interests and whether
parents and students are thinking along
similar lines about college. It also begins to
create a profile for each student to help us
work together to create a first list of colleges
that are good potential ‘matches’ for that
student. The heart of the college guidance
process is helping each student develop a
plan to research colleges of interest. I am
currently creating a small resource library
of various college guides, college catalogues,
and books such as The Fiske Guide to
Colleges, Colleges that Change Lives, and
Beyond the Ivy League. Students and parents
have begun to utilize these guides, and
to discover the multiple online resources
Starting last year, in the spring of
2005, several college representatives have
visited the high school to talk with students
about their schools, and to learn about
EWS. Visiting schools included NC State
University, Duke University, Antioch
College, Warren Wilson College, and
Guilford College. Each year, the college
guidance program will expand these visits,
and build greater awareness of EWS in the
world of college admissions. We also have
taken students to visit nearby campuses,
including Elon University and UNCGreensboro. Each year, we will continue
to increase the scope of our trips to college
During October and November of
senior year, the goal of the college guidance
program is for seniors to have a solid
“college list” (including likely, 50/50 and
reach schools). Often campus visits are
part of this research process, and we allow
seniors to miss three days of school for
college visits. Once schools are selected,
the formal application process begins. We
have a “kick off” pizza party in October
with HS faculty and seniors, where we
can share general advice on filling out
applications and creating a portfolio. The
college admissions process can be daunting
and a bit isolating - we hope to counter
that by doing some of the preliminary work
Usually, the application process
includes writing one or two personal essays.
In the fall of senior year, our humanities
teachers will be offering instruction and
review for essay writing. We will also
encourage our seniors to create a portfolio,
which is a compilation of their best
academic and artistic work, primarily from
junior and senior years. This is not a formal
portfolio like those required in an art school
application. (Some students will apply to
art schools; those portfolio requirements
will be determined by individual colleges.)
It is common for Waldorf students to create
portfolios containing written and artistic
work, with perhaps some lab experiments,
and photographs of other kinds of work.
Typically, it is about 8-10 pages long. Many
colleges are now aware that portfolios often
accompany applications from Waldorf
students. Students also commonly bring the
portfolio with them to college interviews.
The portfolio can be a distinguishing feature
of a Waldorf applicant and helps him or
her to stand out among the hundreds or
thousands of applicants to a college. It is
the responsibility of the student and the
parents to create the portfolio — the school
is in a supportive role, helping to make
sure the portfolio
is representative of
their best work.
As in most
schools, each student
will have an official
school transcript,
which will be
submitted with their
application. Parents
who have students
in the lower school
may not realize that
in the high school,
students continue
to receive narrative
reports, but they
also receive letter
for purposes of college applications, those letter
grades are translated into a GPA (grade point
average). The transcript shows the courses
taken, the grades and credits received, and the
conversion to GPA. Students who have attended
another high school must also request formal
transcripts from the other schools. Students
will also ask specific teachers to write personal
recommendations, I will write a counselor
recommendation for each student application.
Our high school profile must also accompany
each application--a summary introduction to
the philosophy and curriculum structure of the
We also have a number of high school
teachers who have a great deal of experience
in the college world. They have written
recommendations, which have helped students
at other schools get into college. This experience
can help teachers recommend good matches for
a student’s needs and abilities. This is a strong
advantage of a small school like ours--we have
teachers who really know their students, and can
offer personal advice unmatched by a very large
high school. This is very helpful for students
who may be overwhelmed by the sheer number
of college choices. Our students will benefit
from the closeness of their relationships with
their teachers in the college admissions process,
as they have throughout their education.
Across the country, Waldorf schools are
by now well known and very desirable to most
colleges, Waldorf students have been accepted
into every type of school. Of course every
continued on page 11
- Mahatma
grades. Additionally,
for businesses that make the world better
919 834 5484
Issue 4, Spring 2006
Into Waldorf Education
Page 7
West Meets East
by David Nikias, EWS 7th grade teacher
For over ten years I have taught
adolescents in a Waldorf school and had
the very good fortune to spend much of the
2004-2005 school year teaching in south
India. In fact, I declined a position at EWS
to pursue the opportunity. With my 14year-old son, I lived and worked in three
cities, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Mumbai,
(Bombay), each of which is recognizably
different in their cultural makeup. To be
sure there are many differences between
our two countries, and on an almost a daily
basis, I found myself scratching my head
in an attempt to understand the cultural
nuances of this magical and mysterious
country. Traveling always tests and stretches
us in interesting ways. In India one must
adapt on many levels at once, for daily life
can be initially incomprehensible to the
uninitiated westerner, and even ways of
being a human being and a part of society
can seem so very contrary and confusing to
our linear thinking. So, as a teacher, I was
most interested in what the children would
be like and how the Waldorf curriculum
would meet their needs.
What I found in India were
recognizably “normal” kids, early teens
who are boisterous, energetic, playful,
and at times, a bit rebellious, as well
as challenged with the anxieties, social
pressures, and questions which we
view as typical of the age. The religious
upbringing of these children was varied
and although predominantly my students
were Hindus, every one of my classes also
included Muslims and Christians. Their
economic backgrounds were also varied
but comparable and even proportionate
to the children I have taught in U.S.
Waldorf schools in California and here in
North Carolina. So, these children came
from rather privileged homes, practiced
different spiritual paths and led lives which
were surprisingly similar to american
children in many ways, including media
consumption. However, despite many
similarities mainly in the reflection of the
personal challenges of their developmental
stage, these children were remarkably
different from the children to whom I
am accustomed to teaching. What I was
met with in Indian Waldorf schools was
essentially the same in every instance,
adolescents who were still young of soul,
consistently very respectful, and actively
interested, eager, and hard working in their
studies. Of course, not all the children
were “golden”, but by far, these were the
qualities which dominated the mood of
the classroom. Certainly, these are qualities
which we find in our own classrooms,
but in my experience, these virtues and
characteristics are not as common as we
might wish and I have observed a significant
increase in behaviors and attitudes which
should be of concern to us all. Often,
american students are challenged with
basic social skills particularly in the
expression of simple courtesy and gratitude,
display an increasingly combative attitude
and a lack of boundaries with regards
to social and classroom propriety, are
increasingly difficult to motivate, and can
be significantly challenged with listening
skills and a willingness to apply themselves
objectively with care and effort. While
these qualities and attitudes are generally
not severe in our own community (and
when they do arise they are consciously
the lookout for rascally behavior and the
teenage bad attitude with which we are so
familiar. I must confess that none of the
responses to my questions were satisfactory
and I never encountered, with any note, the
behaviors or the attitudes to which I have
referred. So, just what is so different here? I
cannot pretend to have the answers and can
only reflect on my observations.
In India it is the family which
holds society together and it matters not
whether the family is Hindu, Muslim,
Sikh, or Buddhist. The country struggles
with profound challenges for the system
is bursting at the seams with unchecked
growth and a ballooning population puts
tremendous strain on the supporting
infrastructure and any potential services,
particularly in the urban centers. It is the
family which provides the individual with
a “safety net” most clearly apparent in
times of hardship whether it is personal
injury, unemployment, or the eventuality
of old age. It is very common for three
or more generations to live together in
the same household and there is a clearly
defined hierarchy where the elders are
unquestioningly respected and honored.
The elders are a connection to the
past, one’s roots, and in short, families
stick together. It is only with the rapid
modernization of today that individuals
have begun to move long distances from
their extended families, but even then
regular communication and visits are the
norm. I believe that the essential point here
is that one’s extended family provides a
foundation for the individual, a basis from
which to grow, develop, and mature. There
are complicated issues of equality with the
traditions of the caste system which are
still active and the distinctly different roles
which men and women play within the
family and in society generally are not what
we would find to be acceptable. While the
traditionalists can from our perspective be
quite oppressive to women, such limitations
and inequalities are not compatible with the
modernization of Indian society; therefore,
if the family can afford it most girls who
have passed their exams go on to college
and successful careers. The old order is
changing but like all cultural ideas, change
can be very slow in coming.
Such inequalities and injustices,
which seem so prominent to us, are greatly
overshadowed by the issue of wealth. It
is hard for us to fully comprehend the
masses of underprivileged, underemployed,
continued on page 11
and compassionately addressed), they do
point to something which requires greater
attention. My intention is not to be an
alarmist nor to be overly negative, but
such observations do call up questions
about cultural differences, the effects of our
permissive society, and perhaps even some
aspects of how we raise our children. What
is it in the Indian culture that encourages
and raises young people with many
characteristics and attributes that appear
to be on the decline in our own culture,
one might even say, qualities which seem
to have been lost with the 50’s and 60’s? I
asked this very question of numerous people
while in country and I was constantly on
Biodynamic Agriculture
By Jon Lyerly
Biodynamic agriculture or biodynamics
is a method of farming and gardening
that originated in the 1920’s in central
Europe. It developed from a series of
lectures by Rudolf Steiner, a gifted scientist,
philosopher and spiritual researcher.
Through detailed observations of nature,
clear and objective thinking and spiritual
insights, Dr. Steiner was able to give details
of how to best build up fertile soil, enhance
plant and animal life and increase the
quality of our food. These improvements
have been born out on biodynamic farms
and gardens over the last 80+ years. Various
comparative studies of biodynamic, organic
and chemically grown plants and produce
have likewise shown the beneficial effects of
biodynamic practices.
Biodynamic agriculture is similar in
many ways to organic methods. Both use
composting and cover cropping instead
of mineral fertilizers. Both ban the use of
pesticides, herbicides and other poisons.
Neither use hormones or antibiotics on
livestock. However, biodynamics differs
from organics in several ways.
The first is the idea of the farm as
a living being, an individual entity that
should be as self-sufficient as possible. For
example, on a biodynamic farm this would
lead to establishing the proper number
of animals necessary to satisfy that farm’s
fertility needs without importing manure.
The second difference from organics
is the recognition of cosmic influences as
well as earthly influences on plant growth.
The earthly factors (water, temperature, soil
chemistry, etc.) are rightly acknowledged
by modern science. However the forces
streaming in from the cosmos are equally as
important for healthy plant development.
The sun’s effects are obvious and the moon’s
influences (i.e. increased germination rates
sowing near full moon) are slowly being
accepted as fact as it was in olden times.
There are also many other forces coming
in from the periphery as all of the heavenly
bodies and even the starry constellations
play their part in nature here on earth. Just
as we would take into account not only the
compass needle and its properties but also
the entire magnetic field of the earth when
considering how a compass works, we must
look down on earth and up above in order
to better understand nature and improve
our agricultural practices.
A third departure from organic
agriculture is the use of the biodynamic
preparations. These preparations make use
of the unique qualities of specific herbs
as well as certain animal organs. Each
preparation works in its own way to aid
plant growth. They undergo a potentizing
(almost a composting) process and the result
is highly energized substance containing
beneficial forces. The preparations are then
applied homeopathically (finely diluted)
either directly in compost piles or used as
field sprays. The use of these preparations
aids in germination, photosynthesis, the
forming of extensive root structure and
increased nutrient absorption. This leads
to healthier plants, thus more nutritious
produce with longer storage capacity.
Biodynamics is, in a nutshell, making
use of forces in nature through substance.
These forces are very real even though
modern science has no names for them as
it does for the forces of gravity, magnetism
and so on. Every activity in nature from
germination to seed formation and all in
between could not happen without forces
at work. Biodynamics strives to understand
the interaction of these forces and influences
between the natural world and its greater
surroundings and apply this knowledge in
agricultural practices.
For more information about
biodynamic agriculture, go to….
Infinity Farm is a local biodynamic
farm located in northern Orange
County. A wide variety of biodynamic
vegetables, herbs, flowers and strawberries
are available from May to
November. For more info go to www. or contact Jon Lyerly
at infi[email protected] or
Into Waldorf Education
Page 8
Animals and Saints:
Second Grade with Ms. Holley
The second in our annual series, following
Ms. Holley’s class in their journey through the
Grades, as told to our Insights reporter.
First Grade is the year of wonder and
joy, the year of the Fairy Tale. Second
Grade is the year of polarities, thus we bring
the stories of the Saints and the Animal
Fables. There are great polarities in the
animal fables: the cat and the mouse, the
tortoise and the hare. It is often a great
surprise to find out which animal prevails.
This is a wonderful lesson for the children.
I started with the Fables of La Fontaine
and Aesop. Then we did Asian fables - the
sources are limitless. We learn a lot from
the characters of the animals, even a lot
about ourselves. For the children’s birthdays
this year I have created little books for them
out of watercolor paintings. The first page
is an animal totem verse I write for them,
and the children love to guess what animal
I’ve chosen for each child.
For the Stories of the Saints, I started
with Christian saints, and then went on to
Buddhist and Hindu saints. The final saint
block will be living saints. I think it is really
important for the children to understand
that there are saints walking among us
now, and that each person holds the quality
of a saint within them. We don’t always
exercise it, but it’s definitely part of who we
are. I really want them to hold that within
For our Arithmetic, we practice the
four processes. The key to 2nd grade is repetition, repetition, repetition. The children
know that ‘Practice makes perfect’ is one of
my favorite sayings. Last year we had the
story of the gnomes who had gone to the
ocean to count shells. This year their wise,
wise King noticed that the gnomes were
becoming confused by counting all those
shells. He built a lovely wooden shelf with
three sections to help them. The children
put the single shells in the first section. When they have counted ten
shells, they put them in a pouch in
the second section. When there were
10 pouches, they put the pouches in
a basket in the third section. In this
way we introduce place value. We’re
still really living into that: we are
learning and practicing how a number such as 324, can be 3 baskets, 2
pouches, and 4 individual shells. We
are also taking the 324 shells and
separating them into two different
numbers: always starting with the
whole and going to the part.
We have done a lot of writing
this year. We started by sharing colored
pencils, as we shared crayons last year. For
St. Nicholas day the children each received
a wooden box with 8 colored pencils to
use for their writing. We are working with
word families, introduced through stories.
For instance, I told them the story of a
very frail snail, who left a trail. We draw a
picture of this snail and its very faint trail
behind him, and then we write those words
in our word family book.
We have also started writing books. In
November, we wrote a book called The Case
of the Missing Blue Putty. The story arose
from the fact that, whenever I tried to hang
paintings on the wall, they would fall. I
finally discovered a kind of blue putty that
would keep the pictures on the wall, but
then the putty kept disappearing. What a
mystery!! Recently, we created a little book
about St. Valentine.
We have started reading together as a
class, beginning with the book, Hay For My
Ox. In January there were some children
who had no concept of where we were on
the page, whatsoever, and there were other
children who could already read, and who
followed right along. Now, in mid-February, all the children know what line we’re
on, and what word we’re on. They may
not know what the word is, but they know
that’s the word we’re on. So there has been
amazing growth in that area. We do this for
ten minutes a day. It’s the same way with
the pentatonic flutes - their playing has
grown tremendously, their flexibility and
dexterity with their fingers. We continue to
sing our way through the day. Most of my
cues are given via song. When it’s time to
start cleaning up, a certain song will come.
We have many days in which we move all
the desks back and all our work is in the
middle of the room - whether it’s the material for arithmetic, or whether we are acting
out the stories of the saints. Main Lesson
involves, of course, the Main Lesson book,
where the images are brought alive, but also
the physical experience.
At the beginning of the year, to start
the day, we drew pictures in our Wonder Book. I saw this as an early morning
activity, which would allow the children
to express whatever they had been holding
since the previous day. When I reviewed
these drawings it gave me wonderful insight
into what each child was experiencing. I
started by providing the drawing, and then
began let them do their own drawings.
However, I began to find that the children
would rush through. They were driven to
produce quantity rather than quality. Some
children wanted to do 2 or 3 drawings, but
the drawings were not really alive. I found
myself really struggling to slow the children
In our second grade year, we are beginning to feel the effects of media exposure
and over-activity. I see the children challenged with impatience, and struggles to express themselves with creativity that comes
Form Drawing
from within. I think this is a symptom
of too much stimulation from the outside
world: after-school activities, soccer games,
ice skating with loud music, family dances
on Friday after a whole week at school,
birthday parties - all these influences are
seeping into the children’s lives. What each
child does has an effect on the whole class
- they bring these influences into the class as
a whole.
Second grade is hard. We are having
conversations about all these issues, and parents have very different viewpoints. It’s not
the fairy tale land any more. Social preferences are emerging, and hard social lessons
are coming in. Their eyes are beginning to
open. We have a large class of 26, which
is a little microcosm of the social world,
and conflicts arise. This is sometimes hard
for us, as parents and teachers, to embrace.
Our children very much manifest our
struggles, and it is hard for us to recognize
We all, as parents, need to ask them-
Issue 4, Spring 2006
The Wolf and the Crane
selves, what do we want from Waldorf
Education? We should ask this question
anew every year. Some parents in my class
have put together a survey, which touches
social issues, the curriculum and household
culture, so that we can all know where we
are coming from. This was handed out in
our Feb. parent meeting, and we will discuss
the results in our March meeting.
I have put the Wonder Books aside for
now, and as our early morning activity we
do seasonal projects, such as necklace and
bracelet making, candles, leaf plaques from
leaves we collect on our nature walks, candle
holders, lanterns - the children love these.
In the early morning, it gets them into their
hands, into their limbs, and brings their
creativity from within. They share in the set
up and the clean up. This has been wonderful for them in the morning.
Then we prepare for our morning
circle, which either takes place outside on
the field, or the basketball court, or in the
Eurythmy room if the weather is cold or
rainy. Our Morning Circles are always
very lively and physical: running, jumping,
skipping. We do various different types of
tumbling exercises, which carry the feeling
of different animals: cartwheels for crabs,
etc. And always lots of jump roping.
On Mondays, we come together in the
Eurythmy room with the rest of the lower
school, Grades 1-4 to sing a few songs and
hear a story from a teacher.
Ms. Callaway continues to allow me to
be part of the children’s Eurythmy class - a
real treat for me and for the children! I feel
that leading by example is one of the best
gifts we can give to our children. My love
for Eurythmy, as well as my struggles alongside them, is a wonderful dynamic, unique
to the EWS tradition.
We continue with our hikes through
the campus forest. The children absolutely love it. We hike down the trail past
the kindergarten and take the trail that
doubles back to the border of the campus
property. There are all kinds of fallen trees
that we scale and shimmy. We walk over
tree bridges. Watching them helps me to
see where each child is, on a particular day.
These hikes also build appreciation of the
children for each other, and brings the class
together. I hear the children expressing
appreciation: “Wow, Alice went all the way
to the end of that tree trunk!! She’s the only
one that went all the way!!” and, “Look at
Benner, he’s hanging from the tree! Only
Benner would hang from the tree!” It’s
really fun, and builds appreciation in a way
that doesn’t happen in play alone.
We gave the fairy meadow over to the
1st graders this year, and moved to the area
next to the Woodland shop. It’s much more
of a forest than the fairy meadow, and that
has been good for them. We are looking at
projects to improve the area.
Starting in January we began making
soup on Fridays. Parents send in the ingredients, and we cut the vegetables and cook
it. We also make biscuits. They love this.
For the first time this calendar year, 2006,
I’ve been able to leave half of
them in the classroom working on things, and be with
the other half in the kitchen.
This shows a wonderful, mutual trust has developed.
This summer I went over
to the Farm, and Suzanna
Hough graciously gave me a
complete tour. Now, our class
goes to the Farm and we do
what I call “chicken observation”. It’s a kind of role reversal. We sit on the outside of
the chicken coop and the chickens observe
us. It’s phenomenal what the chickens will
do when we sit there quietly. There are a
couple of rabbits over there, and a horse
- different things that we find and enjoy.
This is my way to introduce them to the
Farm, and lead into our farming curriculum
for next year. I’ve been in conversation
with Robert Long and John Lyerly, and we
want to really bring the Farm alive, and
make it an integral part of our Farming and
Gardening studies.
Second Grade is a year of polarities,
in each child and in the class as a whole.
The children still have one foot in Fairytale
Land, but one foot is creeping outwards
towards the world. Some of the children
are more awake and some are still dreamy.
Second Grade is also a year of tremendous
growth. The children’s skills are growing
daily as we continue on our path together.
I have seen that in all areas, from jump roping, to reading, to drawing, to flute playing,
to fitting into the play structure perch for
afternoon reading!
EWS Board Members
President: Dee Anne Lamb
Vice President: Rich Schmalbeck
Treasurer: Bob Durovich
Secretary: Alice Armstrong
Joyce Felder
Amy Knight
Ingeborg Boesch
Nick Meyers
Gart Davis
Tobi Reil (Parent Rep)
Edward Schuldt (ex officio)
Director of Administraton:
Edward Schuldt
Enrollment Coordinator:
Matina Metz
Business Coordinator:
Kim Anderson
Benjamin Trueblood
Facility Manager:
Tom Wright
High School Coordinator:
Lorraine Davis
HS Receptionist:
Bri Godwin
Issue 4, Spring 2006
Into Waldorf Education
Page 9
Handwork through the Grades
continued from page 1
so I tell a story about a little birch tree that
wanted to come
inside and see what
was happening.
When this tree is
turned into knitting
needles the plain
wooden needles
they are making
can have more of a
connection to their
feelings and imagination. We try to
keep the children’s
natural feelings for
reverence, wonder
and awe in all that
we bring to them. This keeps the knitting
needles from just being something abstract,
for drumming on the table or poking your
We do a verse at the beginning of every
class, to bring a moment of stillness and reverence--at least I aim for that. Then we do
some finger exercises to wake up the fingers,
as we recite poems that have something to
do with knitting or handwork. Repetition
is important: we do it over and over and
over again. Interestingly, I have seen these
same finger exercises used in screening for
learning disabilities.
We start with something very simple,
like a square. They work very hard, and we
always have the problem of some finishing
before the others. I give the quicker ones
extra projects to do. There is always a spread
of abilities in each class but that’s ok, as long
as each does his or her best. I don’t point
out their mistakes to them at the beginning
of first grade because I want them to have
enthusiasm for the work and if they are too
concerned about their mistakes they will
get stalled. Towards the end of first grade
and in 2nd grade, they can become more
responsible for their mistakes, for recognizing them and fixing them
Then we add a skill, so that after the
square we do a flute bag, which changes
colors. They have to count their
stitches and count their rows.
They learn to cast on, cast off,
change colors, thread a needle,
sew up the edge, knit holes.
Everything I teach, I teach with
a picture, with the imagination.
It makes me slow down as an
adult, and look at what I am
actually doing, every little step.
So when we knit, for example,
we sing “In through the front
door, run around the back,
out through the front door, off
jumps Jack.”
I introduce knitting with
stories: the third son of the king had to go
through 20 archways, (20 stitches on the
needle), and get a red apple and bring it
out to tame the dragon. There is a picture
of going in through an arch, which is what
the stitch looks like, getting something red
which is the color of the
yarn, and going out.
In 2nd grade we finish
the flute bags, and then we
do animals and gnomes,
something they can love
and play with. Animals are
linked to the animal fables
they are hearing in main
lesson. The gnome is used
to introduce purling, as the
face needs to be smooth.
In 3rd grade we do
crocheting. This is the
year of farming, the year
of landing on earth, and so
everything is very practical: potholders and
blankets and little mats to put under flowers
or candles. We crochet squares, octagons,
pentagons--a foretaste of geometry, without
putting a
name to it.
As they study
housing, we
make a hat,
which is like
a little house
for the head.
We talk
about color,
asking, what
color would
keep your
warmth in?
We give colors purpose.
We would avoid the yarn that changes color
randomly, because we want the choice of
color to be conscious rather than random.
We also do a little carding and spinning in
3rd grade, which ties in to their farming
In 4th grade, we do cross stitch and
Now instead of
a long continuous tread, you
are working
with shorter
threads, and
with a needle.
We felt a ball
and do chain
stitch embroidery on it.
When you are
knitting, once
you start a row, there is a lot of repetition,
and you can get very dreamy. In 4th grade
we start to require the children to be much
more awake. With cross stitch and embroidery, almost every stitch you have to make a
decision: am I too far, too close? When you
make decisions, it wakes up the intellect.
When you make decisions that are connected through your feelings towards something
beautiful you are making, you are connecting the head and the heart, the morality
and the thinking of the human being. 4th
grade is also the year in which the right and
left sides of the brain are starting to make
connections. It is the year of crossing: in
Eurythmy, in form drawing, in cross stitch,
we cross,
cross, cross
in 4th grade.
In Handwork, we do
the kind of
cross stitch
in which you
have to cross
every stitch
every time-you don’t
do a whole
row of left
stitches and
then go back and do the right stitches. We
also work on the color and design following the function, through stories. We make
the embroidered ball, and the design on the
ball is swirly as the ball is round, and rolls.
The zippered pencil case, which children
continue to use in the upper grades, has a
design to show its use.
5th grade is back to
knitting, and we do socks.
This is a time when they are
really crossing from childhood into adolescence, and
they have all this stuff swirling around them. Sometimes they act like teenagers,
and then they turn back
into children again. This
is reflected beautifully in
the process of knitting on
four needles. There are four
needles all trying to get in
your way and going in different directions.
You have to focus on one stitch at a time
and ignore that other mess that is hanging
out there trying to confuse you. Through
rhythm and repetition, going round and
round, and through concentration, you can
bring all this
into order.
It’s an incredible picture of
the emerging
Of course it’s
also something very
something to
put on their
feet, not their
heads, and it’s
There is also a lot of engineering involved. A few years ago one of the boys said
to his Mom “I really like the engineering of
the sock.” How can you do these strange
things with knit stitches to make this beautiful turning of the heel? You have to do it
with complete lack of understanding--you
really can’t understand it until you’ve done
it. It teaches trust to the children
who want to think about things-trust in going ahead and doing
something you don’t know how to
do. It teaches industry.
In 6th grade we make animals-when we are truly being adolescents,
we make animals. The children
choose an animal. First they draw
it, which is a feat in and of itself,
and then we make a pattern. How
do you take this two-dimensional
pattern and turn it into a three
dimensional form? It takes a flexible kind of thinking, to put your
imagination around the back side
of an animal’s leg and think about what
kind of fabric would need to be there. We’re
working with circumference and diameter, in a concrete way, before they get
to it in Geometry. We stuff the animal
from the inside out, while in Woodwork, in 6th grade, they are carving
from the outside in. This is the perfect
picture of the adolescent: things coming from the inside out--emotions and
hormones--and from the outside in, as
they are waking up to the world. So in
Handwork and Woodwork, we provide
a picture of what is happening to them
In 7th grade we make dolls. The
children are becoming citizens, and are
really awake to the world around them.
In their academic curriculum, they are
studying the Age of Exploration, and
coming to understand the human being
on this planet. They choose a country,
research and design an outfit from that
country, and make their dolls and their
doll’s clothing from that country. This
year, Kathleen Stone-Michaels is also doing
puppetry with them. Other years we have
done other extra projects, such as felting,
but the basis of the 7th grade handwork
curriculum is doll-making.
In 8th grade we do machine
sewing. We use treadle sewing machines,
and start by studying the mechanics of the
machine--we take it apart, we clean it, we
put it back together. Our first project, the
First grader’s handwork bags requires fairly
simple construction, and it is nice to give
something to the first grade. We then learn
to use a commercial pattern and the electric
sewing machine. We measure the body,
at the same time that they are studying
anatomy. We have a wonderful time with
the 8th graders in their body measurement
sessions! We make pajama bottoms--they
are very popular. The students go out and
choose their own fabric. While they are
studying the Modern World in their academic curriculum, they can even use fabric
with modern images like Coca Cola on it!
Our Handwork curriculum continues
into High School, but I don’t teach there.
The general rule is that teachers in the Lower School are generalists, but in the High
School you want to bring in specialists, who
are experts in their field. Therefore experts
teach the Handwork blocks- the students
learn from an actual working artist. There
could be a potter to teach pottery and a
weaver to teach weaving. Some of the blocks
are electives, and may include spinning and
weaving, batik, basket making, pottery,
bookbinding or felting.
In modern life, children have fewer
opportunities for meaningful practical
activities. Our society, and our children,
have lost the benefits of ‘learning by making’. The Waldorf handwork curriculum
steps in to fill that gap, by enabling children
to have the healthy experience of making
real things that serve real needs, while at
the same time developing their thinking
and understanding. It is a fundamental
aspect of the Waldorf approach to learning
through doing.
Page 10
Adolescence as a Journey
Into Waldorf Education
Issue 4, Spring 2006
continued from page 1
literature Main Lesson Blocks is Homer’s
Odyssey. Through this book, the students
get a sense of the journey they are starting,
an overview of the great journey of life. The
book has wonderful characters that embrace
all the passions of humanity. I have the
students get inside the characters by writing
monologues for the characters and new
scenes--things that aren’t in the text.
The other Literature Main Lesson
Block in 10th grade is Poetry. We do what
I call ‘coming to the surface’. In 9th grade,
when we read poetry, we concentrate on
the meaning of the words, but in 10th
grade we look at the Word itself. We look
at poetry as an integration of sound and
sense, how it is structured, the meter and
orchestration of a poem, the sounds, and
how thoughts become embodied in sound.
I focus particularly on the Romantics and
the transition that happened in the 19th
century with the Romantics in England
and Whitman and the transcendentalists
in America. Until this time, language was
used in a glorified way, in the honoring
of heroes and gods and kings. With
the Romantics, poetry began to talk
about common everyday things. We are
still living with this, very democratic,
In the 10th grade track classes, we
spend about a third of the year on the
Bible as literature. We want the students
to experience some of the background to
literature and art, to have their bearings in
both the Old and New Testaments. We give
them the story of Moses, David, Job, some
of the prophets, the gospels, Paul, and some
of the apocalyptic books if we have time.
The rest of the year we read various novels,
most touching on the theme of coming
of age. This year we read The Heart is a
Lonely Hunter, by Carson McCullers. It’s a
great book for 10th grade--it raises all the
contemporary issues of race and class, but
it’s also a wonderful coming of age story. I
also like to read The Robber Bridegroom, by
Eudora Welty, because it’s a play on folk
tales, and I can’t resist that in a Waldorf
In 11th grade we have Main Lesson
blocks in Dante, Parsival and Shakespeare.
Whereas the theme of 10th grade is the
Outward Journey of life, the theme of
11th grade is the Inward Journey. For this
inward journey, you have to go down. As
Dante shows us, you have to go to hell first.
You have to face the raw material of your
existence--all the transgressions we are all
prone to. Once you climb down, you can
then go back up the mountain of Purgatory,
which is where the characters transform
themselves. And finally Dante comes to
Paradise, and we see the opportunity for
earthly paradise as well. We have the good
fortune to do Dante in a 4 week main
lesson block, so we read all three books in
their entirety.
Parsival is the perfect book for the
journey of 11th grade. Parsival tells the
story of three knights--the knight who
represents thinking qualities, the one who
represents heart qualities, and the knight
who represents the Will. Each of these
knights goes on a journey. The foolish
knight has to learn to think less foolishly,
but then also has to connect his thinking
to his heart. The knight of the heart has
to go from his tumultuous emotional life
to a fixed point of devotion, and the third
knight, the man of action, who is really
heroic, is transformed through commitment
to faith. It is a beautiful book, mirroring
the phenomenal journey that we go on.
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we go there every chance we get.
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There is lots of alchemy in it, and lots of
alchemic sayings, such as “Make haste
slowly” and “the volatile becomes fixed
and the fixed, volatile” (feeling becomes
devotion and rigidity of thinking becomes
Finally, we read Shakespeare. In the
Renaissance we begin to see how to put
all this together. The great theme of the
Renaissance is The Prince. “The Prince” is
not just a very good person, but someone
who can integrate it all. My example last
year for the
was Prince
Hal, who
spent his
early years
with Falstaff,
being an
and then
through the
seamier side
of life, a real
11th grade,
since they
are doing
History as a history track class, we read a lot
of American literature in the literature track
class: we read Scarlet Letter, Great Gatsby,
Death of a Salesman, etc. They love this.
Last year we also read Damian by Herman
Hesse, and it was amazing. Two days into
it, and students came from other classes into
my class to participate in the discussions.
I found it was the perfect preparation for
Parsival. We also read Great Expectations
around Christmas time, simply because I
couldn’t resist, and Jane Eyre. Basically, in
the track classes we read the classics and do
a lot of writing.
In 12th grade there is a real turning
outward to the world. The question that
comes up in 11th grade,
in Parsival, is “how
can I serve? How can
I help?” Parsival asks
the ailing Grail King, “Uncle, what ails you?”
but within that question is, “How can I be of
service?” In 12th grade, we help the student
to turn outward to the world and discover
what it means to serve, what it means to
engage in the struggles of the world. Our
two literature Main Lesson Blocks cover
Transcendentalism, and Faust.
Faust is the great myth in which the
character makes a pact with the Devil-- as
long as he’s striving, he can continue to live.
In Faust, we deal with the transformation of
evil and we even get a sense of the appeal of
evil. Sometimes Faust behaves despicably-you want him to be taken away. But
he’s still striving, he’s still trying to work
with the world. Sometimes that means
engaging with the forces of darkness, and
sometimes you have to learn to transform
these forces, too. Faust is a picture of how,
through Man’s striving, through his efforts,
he’s ultimately redeemed. It’s a great work
to direct students towards the rest of their
lives: how to strive throughout their lives,
to know that they are going to confront
difficulties, and be drawn into darkness, but
they still can continue to strive to do more
and better.
When I was working in Mime Theater,
I had a great Director, who taught us an
important lesson. You may come into
life being good at certain things, being
talented at acting, for instance, and then
just lean on your strengths. But if you do,
you will never be a creative human being.
You will only be a creative human being if
you strive to do tomorrow what you can’t
do today. That’s also part of the lesson of
Faust. He strives. He doesn’t always do
the right thing, in fact he sometimes does
the absolutely wrong thing. The students
hate the character of Faust at moments, but
they still know that the striving is what is
important. That is a lesson, which stays with
them for the rest of their lives.
Issue 4, Spring 2006
College and the Waldorf Graduate
continued from page 6
individual student’s own individual academic
performance is the most critical factor, but many
colleges actively seek Waldorf graduates.
Colleges recognize that these are students
who have had a broad and deep exposure to
a very well established, rigorous curriculum
that encompasses significant experience in
practical and artistic work.
Many students and parents may
not realize how competitive the college
admissions process has become. Today,
there are many more applicants than when
most of us went to college. Admissions’
officers state that they are looking for a
distinguishing characteristic in applicants.
There are many students who have a 4.5
GPA and who have taken 14 AP classes.
Colleges are hoping to find something in
a student’s application that sets him or her
apart, and which says that the student can
contribute positively to the college. Often,
the fact that a student is from a Waldorf
school, or their portfolio, can contribute to
this aspect of an application. We are lucky,
as we graduate our first senior class, that
we do not have to start from the beginning
to establish a
reputation as a
Waldorf high
school. Our
students will be
recognized as
coming from
an educational
system, which is
international and
well established.
south India, I was immediately struck
by the genuine enthusiasm and love that
the students, parents, and teachers had
for their school, the curriculum, and it’s
methods (definitely a very different mood
from what I experienced at the mainstream
schools). For the Waldorf students, their
school experience is not only less stressful,
but richer and fuller than those of their
mainstream peers even though basic
classroom materials and facilities are very
far from ideal. The students are active
participants in the process of learning, not
passive recipients, and they are called upon
to fully engage themselves by calling upon
capacities and developed skills to create
something for and out of themselves. They
see that these are the qualities which will
secure a meaningful and successful future
for themselves and their families. It truly is
about cultural renewal.
These aspects of Indian culture- the
touchstone of the family as a source of
individual development, the relatively
recent rise of the middle class and the
appreciation of privileges, as well as
the drive for academic excellence are
all significant points in an attempt to
understand Indian adolescents, but there
is one other point which I feel is perhaps
even more significant. India is essentially
a modest society and the interaction
between men and women has thousands
of years of tradition guiding it, much of
which lives strongly today. Ways in which
men and women express their affections
such as holding hands or kissing in public,
which we find so very commonplace and
even harmless, are not to be found in
India. Displays of affection such as kissing
are not even allowed in films (which are
astoundingly popular and an essential part
of the culture). The lack of such behavior
publicly does not mean that it is an
oppressively prudish society, but rather as
a people, they do
not revel in the
animalistic urges
to which we seem
to be addicted.
A visit to any
number of temples or a perusal of numerous
ancient texts will clearly demonstrate that
this is a society which acknowledges that
sensuality and sexuality are an essential part
of the human experience. The difference is
that this aspect of the human being is seen
within a larger context. It is but a part of
the rich fullness of life and not a defining
element, not an aspect which articulates our
identity and from which a deeper meaning
is derived. Although it is changing with the
rapid westernization within Indian society,
Indian children are not bombarded with
the same kinds of messages which glorify
sexual promiscuity and in the same breath
condemn it. In short, for Indian youth,
the level of stimulation and exposure to
what are considered private, adult activities
is far less than what we have come to
accept as normal. The same could be said
with regards to violence and the ho-hum
attitude we have towards it. The exposure
to violent images or activities such as
laser tag, gun play, or even a tolerance for
the glorification of violence is amazingly
different in India. These astral influences on
our children should not
be underestimated for it
robs them of something
which can never be
regained, the innocence
of their childhood.
So, although I have
painted a fairly glowing
picture, India is far
from an ideal society
and these are at best
the observations of a
reasonably informed
West Meets East
continued from page 7
and underfed people in India. We are an
extremely wealthy people with too little
awareness of our exaggerated materialism
and disproportionate affluence. Our casual
consumption of unnecessary material things
is grossly out of proportion with our actual
need and the effect, the ultimate cost to
the planet, our limited resources, and even
other peoples is poorly understood by
most westerners. Although we may appear
to be spoiled by our affluence, the middle
class Indian family struggling to get ahead
is very aware of the privileges which they
enjoy and the possibility of losing them is
much greater, the stakes are much higher.
They do very well with much less than we
are accustomed to, avoid accumulating
large debts, and often take great pride in
their accomplishments which may seem
quite modest through our “rose colored”
glasses. It was my impression that they not
only had a much greater appreciation of
their privileges but were more diligent in
maintaining them for themselves and their
families by encouraging habits of frugality,
saving, and at times sacrifice to ensure a
more comfortable future.
In their situation education is the
key. It is the ticket to a better life and
Indians fully appreciate the power and
opportunities that come with a solid,
meaningful education on an individual scale
and a national scale. Through education
this young nation can enter into the
emerging global economy and individuals
can take on greater responsibility and
improve their personal lives. Consequently,
mainstream schools push students very
hard with an accelerated syllabus, intensive
testing, and tremendous pressure to
excel. In short, children are stressed for
they are academically pushed harder
and faster with harsher consequences for
failure or poor performance than those
we face here. In the Waldorf schools in
Page 11
Into Waldorf Education
Fall, Junior Year – Take PSAT
Spring, Junior Year –
Take SAT and/or ACT (consider prep class)
Begin preliminary college research
Fill out questionnaires and have guidance interview
Consider making college visits (generally, the most productive visits
are when school is in session)
Fall, Senior Year –
Finalize list
Take additional tests, as needed for schools of interest
Fill out guidance questionnaires
Develop list of range of colleges
Make college visits
Ask teachers to write recommendations
Fill out applications and write essays
Give complete information to guidance counselor to mail with
school transcripts
...all in time to meet your deadlines!
outsider. These points and observations are
specifically relative to my questions about
the differences between the adolescents of
our respective countries. So, just what is it
that makes these young people so different?
Why are they consistently more respectful
and more responsible than their american
counterparts? Is it connected to the astral
influences in their lives? The strength of the
hierarchical family in society? The dispersal
of wealth? Is it a combination of these?
None of these? Is it connected to more
clearly defined expectations of behavior and
attitude? How can we encourage greater
responsibility and more respect from
our own children? At this point, I could
begin to draw conclusions and make some
definitive statement but this is a temptation
that I shall resist. Although my insights are
far from complete, space does not allow me
to elaborate for these are broad, complex
issues and there are no easy answers. It
is enough to simply share some of my
observations and pose questions.
Festival Cake
A recipe for celebration at the
Morning Song Nursery
Wet Ingredients:
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup honey
1-2/3 cups vanilla yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Dry Ingredients:
4 cups pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the wet
ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. Mix
the dry ingredients in a second bowl. Add
the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well.
Pour into a greased and floured 9 x 13-inch
pan and bake for about 40 minutes. Sprinkle
with powdered sugar, if desired, or serve
with fresh whipped cream and fruit and...
Gingerbread Cookies
Yummy cookies from the kitchen of the
Acorn to Oak Nursery
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon alspice
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
1 egg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine
wet ingredients and add dry ingredients to
wet. Refrigerate dough until firm. Roll out
dough and cut into shapes. Bake on oiled/
buttered pan for 8 minutes.
Waldorf Education Assoc. of N. Carolina
Emerson Waldorf School
6211 New Jericho Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27516
Into Waldorf
Issue 4
Spring 2006
A publication of Emerson Waldorf School
Insights Staff: Alice Armstrong, Kimberly Harry,
Kim Moore, Alyson Ramesh
Staff Advisor: Edward Schuldt
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Insights is a semi-annual publication of the
Emerson Waldorf School. The purpose of this
publication is to inform and educate about our
school and Waldorf education in general.
Views expressed in this publication are not necessarily endorsed by Emerson Waldorf School.