June 2011

Dear Parents,

This month has been flying by!  I cannot believe we have only two more weeks of school.  The children have grown so much this year.  As I recall the beginning of the school year I think back to how all the children required more, more of everything; more guidance in resolving problems, more direction with cleaning up after themselves, more reminders of our rules at school, more help!  Now, they still need guidance and direction but it comes from a different place.  There is a warmth that lives in our relationship.  It comes from a depth of soul understanding, between myself and the children, and among themselves.  These children know each other very well and the way they can already deal with their own shortcomings and then help one another grow through those challenging qualities, is absolutely amazing.  I am so blessed that I get the opportunity to spend my days with these children.  Thank you.  They are truly a special group.

Ms. Jan and I have met with many of you to discuss your child and your plans for next year.  It has been a wonderful opportunity for me/us to take a moment to focus on each child and to check in with you.  Almost everyone with whom we have spoken is on board for next year.  That is thrilling!  I have been loving all of the excitement that surrounds moving our school.  As I am about to take this plunge, I am reminded why when you do something new it is called a risk.  There is so much uncertainty.  Yet on the other side of uncertainty is trust.  When I ask myself if I am indeed doing the right thing, the overwhelming answer from my heart is yes!  The thing is, is that I don’t see how this can not happen.  Here are a few exciting details coming up in the process now.  Big Sur Charter school may want to share outdoor garden space and possibly classroom space in the afternoons.  We will begin paying a smaller amount of rent and we’ll work our way up to paying full price by the end of the year.  Rob and I are working on a floor plan for the classroom.  If you have any ideas or want to contribute in any way, please chime in.  My friend from Sydney sent some cool pictures of a kindergarten play yard (below) so I am dreaming about outdoor space too.  Dream along with me!  I will be hosting the June craft day, June 12, and we will be working on projects for the classroom.  Here are a few ideas floating around in my head; capes, hats, crowns, napkins, placemats, dolls, dyeing silks, building large hollow blocks, making shelves, tables, benches, garden boxes, and anything else you want to contribute.  If one of these sparks your interest for our craft day or a possible summer project, hang on to your receipts and I will reimburse you.  Let me know what you’ll be working on so we don’t end up with two sets of something.  Thanks.

I also thought it would be good to just hang out at Sunnyside to get some creative juices flowing as well as set up a few potential work days for the summer.  These are a few tentative dates:

June 21 – Summer Solstice Visioning Picnic Party (this is a Tues.)

Aug. 13 and Aug. 27 – Work Parties

Sept. 5 – Consecration Ceremony of Our School  (school begins Sept. 6)

Ms. Jan and I are still working on program specifics but in a nutshell the hours and days will remain the same, M-TH, 9am-1pm.  We will also be bringing on two new teachers.  Julie Hitchcock (Maya’s and Dylan’s mom) and Ana Massie (Emma’s and Maya aka “Peanut’s” mom).

     Julie brings with her an extensive background in early childhood education.  She has a bachelor’s degree in Child Development, a K-12 specialist teaching credential, and a master’s degree in education.  She has worked with young children for many years and through her own teaching experience, she has discovered a passion for working with children and their families.  Julie is excited to delve deeper into Waldorf education for herself and her family.  She will be filling the role of “director (in-training)” and will be assisting in the organizational tasks of running a school as well as working within the classroom exploring the rhythm of teaching in a Waldorf setting.  Julie writes, “As I’ve watched Maya blossom through her experience at Wishing Well, I’ve grown to see the beauty of a Waldorf education and I’m excited to be a part of creating a new school here on the central coast.  I see this as an amazing opportunity (getting this new school off the ground) and look forward to seeing our school grow in the years to come.”

Waldorf education has also opened new doors of curiosity for Ana, a California credentialed teacher.  She is a native Spanish speaker and will be offering a second language experience to the children through daily experiences, circle time, song and story.  She received her B.A. in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Bilingual Education from CSU Chico in 1998.  The following year, she received her BCLAD credential, (Bilingual Cross-Cultural Acquisition Development).  During her student teaching, she had the opportunity to work in a first grade dual-immersion classroom, and fell in love with the concept.

She came to the Central Coast in May of ’99 hoping to get a job at Pacheco.  When that didn’t happen, she looked around and found other immersion schools in the area.  She was offered a couple of positions and decided on the immersion program, Georgia Brown, in Paso.  She taught 2nd grade for 7 years before deciding to stay home and be a mom.

She writes, “I am surprised that through all my schooling, I had never come across information on Waldorf Education.  My viewpoint on primary education has changed so much because of this new knowledge.  I have come to believe that this is how all children, especially this age, should be taught.  I feel these two concepts, learning language through content and teaching in a natural setting, blend beautifully.  I am very excited to be part of next year’s plan.  This has been an eye-opening experience for me and I’m looking forward to growing and learning more, just like our children.”

For those of you to whom I haven’t spoken, I am not going to be hosting a summer camp this summer.  It is just too much.  But, I would love to have an end of the year gathering.  Our end of the year party will be June 4, at 24th St. Beach Cayucos at 11:30a.m.  Please bring a picnic lunch for your family.  We are looking forward to celebrating the end of the school year and the beginning of the next!

Upcoming dates and summer dates:

May 30 Memorial Day – school is in session

June 4 – End of the Year Party, 24th St. Beach Cayucos,  11:30a.m.

June 9 – Last Day of School

June 12 – Craft Day (my house)

June 21 – Sunnyside Visioning Solstice Party

July 9 – Craft Day (Megan?)

Aug. 13 & 27 – Work Parties

Sept. 5 – Consecration Ceremony of Our School

Sept. 6 – First Day of School

Thank you for reading this lengthy newsletter.  I am so inspired by all of you and I want to thank you for your support and trust.  Until next time…

Warmly,

Kim

p.s.  Special thanks to Kelly for bringing in her sweet kittens.  They were well-loved!

p.p.s.  Here are some links (that you’ll have to copy and paste) to a few interesting articles that crossed my desk recently.

With Kumon, Fast-Tracking to Kindergarten? – NY Times.com

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/15/fashion/with-kumon-fast-tracking-to-kindergarten.html?_r=1&emc=eta1

The latest from England on the value of singing to children and live music

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/may/08/singing-children-development-language-skills

A glowing testimonial to the value of unadulterated childhood, full of creative play.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/04/leave-those-kids-alone/8398/