Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Waldorf in the Spring

Hey again~!

So yesterday and today it feels like I was at the kids' school quite a bit.

Yesterday it was for William's in-class celebration of his birthday. Hurray!!
Dash, Ella, and I were all invited to partake in the celebrating which consisted of telling stories about William's babyhood and adventures he's been on in his life. We brought grapes and apples to compliment the pumpkin(?) muffins provided by the class. Miss Wendy did a little puppet show for him, and gifted him a beautiful silk cape as well! It was very lovely and I was so proud of how William was observant and paid attention, rather than partaking in the ruckus that other little boys were all about. I get it, that's how little boys roll, but I also know how frustrating it can be try to run a class with kiddos like that, so I was glad that William was not making it harder for Miss Wendy than it already was. Phew!

After school, we then attended a Parent Meeting for Ella's 1st Grade Class.
It was very positive, with Miss Bedirian emphasizing what good work the kids are doing building a fort outside and preparing for their playing coming up in May. We also got to create a wet-on-wet watercolor work which was very enjoyable, and bask in the richness that is potluck dinner! Everyone brought something delish, and our contribution was garlic bread and brie. Mm-MM!

As for today, the weather was super lovely so after my usual morning routine of holing myself up at McD's to get some work done, I spent from 12:30 to 2:30 enjoying the school's grounds with William as the temperature climbed up to 80+!

I took the opportunity to also take a ton of snapshots of the outside area where the kids play because the sun was shining, the flowers are blooming, and it was just so beautiful out there.
So without further ado, the grand tour!

Outside shot of the 1st Grade Fort with a child crawling in for scale
Apparently the kids have been doing it with zero adult help and constructing it to make sure it's sturdy enough to hold weight on top and keep out rain from inside, etc etc. Such busy little beavers!

Another angle of the entrance
I should mention that all this material came from stuff lying around on the grounds. That is, the giant logs are from some trees that had to be taken down over the summer and had been left out for the kids to play on. The dry grass was gathered little by little over time from the huge field that had been mowed, and they used the very thick clay-like soil to stick it all together.

William crawling out of the 1st Grade Fort
You can really keep cool in there...if you're under 4' tall~!
Some older grade is also making a fort of sorts. I don't know which grade, but either way, it's pretty snazzy!
Another outside area the kids love
Ella's told me about this "mud pit" (in the rainy season) under a big pine further back from their fort. The clay-soil is perfect for sculpting things and you can see they've been digging into the earth to get the even better clay. Ha!

This hole goes particularly deep~!
A crooked shot of the back of the school from where we were with the 1st Grade Fort

The kindergarten playground is just beyond this fence, as we made our way back toward the school

Awesome little playhouse
I love this playhouse, and William and I spent a lot of time in here today imagining it was our own Tiny House: What would we need and how would we arrange it? Could William in fact just sleep in a hammock strewn across the length of it? Where would we stash our books? Do we really need a "living room"?

Trying to instruct William to take the shot while holding the pose = difficult!
I had to try my moves on the main playground gym's bars.
I can hold it for all of *gasp!* five seconds~! ;D

Our last stop outside: the preschool playground!
This is where William's class and the young kids play.
It has the perfect balance of sunlight, and shade, play structures and open space, and even a little garden there in the back!
Can you say sweeeeeeet?

Moving back inside, I wanted to show what the kids' classrooms look like:

The Golden Roses (PreK) classroom
Window side

The "house" corner
Definitely sweet and wholesome.
And Ella's classroom is so heartwarming too!

Beautiful blackboards
If memory serves me right, it was a parent at the school who handcrafted the blackboards.
And the content on them is beautiful too!
What a pretty way to learn math, right? Lots of colors, and pictures of nature along the edges. Mm-MM!

Just another example of a beautiful drawing accompanying a short 'n' sweet poem
Man, Ella's so lucky to be surrounded by so much beauty on a regular basis. And with the appreciation of nature being an integrated part of the whole curriculum. Gooooo, Waldorf! :D

Obligatory nature table in the corner. I'm pretty sure every classroom has some iteration of this~

I think that's just about everything from Waldorf that I wanted to share with ya'll today.
Oh! One last shot: of the volunteer board and random art board in the hallway!

Staples in the hallway

If even the volunteer board is this lovely, then you know this school loves art. ;)
And I love how the chalkboard to the left is always evolving over the course of the year: showing an apple tree shedding its leaves in the fall; a snowy landscape in the winter, and now a blossoming tree in the spring.

Tomorrow we'll be having the Early Childhood classes' Parent Meeting, so I'll let you know how that goes~!

Until then, I hope you take a moment to visit a Waldorf school some time. It's like stepping back in time and the amount that everybody cares, from the admin to the teachers to the parents to the kids, is breathtaking to say the least. :)

Well, in the meanwhile, take care and Happy Waldorf in the Spring!!

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