October

Dear Parents,

Welcome Autumn!  As the light has been changing, so too have the children.  The group is beginning to form.  Our rhythm is establishing a comfortable flow to the day.  I am seeing new friendships popping up and lots of smiles.  Since the initial excitement of school has passed now the work of really getting to know each other is setting in.   Those opportunities for understanding how to be kind, respectful, conscientious of others, compassionate and happy little children are a bit easier now that we are beginning to have a group.  There is something in working with this age group that I find myself saying truths about how to be a human being.  It is almost self-medicating for me.  My own Zen practice built into my day.  Thank you.

Parent Evening

This Tuesday 11/19, we will be having our first parent evening of the year from 7:30 until 9pm.  I apologize for the late notice.  Hopefully you can make it happen.  In previous years many of you have had little, little ones which has made it hard to get away, but I am hoping that they have grown a bit and can be more easily left in the other parent’s care for the evening.  Ms. Jan will be there too, so you all may get to know her a bit more.  Here is the agenda for the evening:

Arrive & Painting

Parenting discussion: successes and struggles

Our growing school: update and where are you?

Closing verse

I really hope you can make it to this as I believe it to be very important to the health of the school and as well there is something magical that happens when we form ourselves as a group that holds the children.  Please let me know if you cannot make it.  Thanks.  Hope to see you Tues. night at 7:30pm.

Field Trips

Apple picking was such a fun activity to do as a group.  I was thinking we could continue with our field trip days with a visit to a pumpkin patch.  I know it is a bit of  a trek for most of us but I was thinking of trying out a u-pick pumpkin farm called Jack Creek Farms off of hwy 46.  How does Friday Oct. 22nd sound?  More info to follow.

http://www.jackcreekfarms.com/index.html

Halloween

I’ve been noticing all of the dew laden spider webs in the garden lately and they remind me that this is the time of year when the veil between the earthly world and the spirit realm is thin, just like those gossamer webs.  Halloween brings much excitement for all of us and as a parent of young children, some trials too.  The amount of sugar is a challenge and so too are all the frightening masks, scary costumes, etc.  Sometimes just going to the grocery store is a loaded errand because of the witch above the ice cream.  I have struggled with how to keep the magic of this festival balanced with how we as a culture celebrate.  At our house we have the sugar fairies that come the night of Halloween and in exchange for some candies they leave a  simple gift the next morning.  This year our family is going to go to the Santa Barbara Waldorf School where they put on an enchanted journey for young children (please read below, the excerpt at the end of the newsletter is from the Santa Barbara Waldorf School’s Oct. newsletter and explains their Halloween journey).  Anyone is welcome to join us.

Dia de los Muertos

The last few years our family has celebrated Dia de los Muertos.  This year I would like to extend the invitation for the children to join.  I make an alter, ofrenda, that has photos of people in our family or friends who have passed.  If you would like to participate, please bring a photo with your name on the back the first week in Nov.  We will also be making pan de muertos on bread day.  For more information… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day_of_the_Dead

As with all festivals, if you would like to bring something please let me know and we’ll make the space to celebrate.  Life is too short, let’s celebrate!

I hope this season of shifting from outside to in, brings light and warmth into your homes.  See you soon!

Warmly,

Kim

p.s. a few pictures below

Festival  Family and Food Guide to Seasonal Celebration

by Diana Carey and Judy Large

The Eve of Samhain (pronounced sow-in), a Celtic festival, marks November 1 as the first day of Winter’s cold and barrenness. The transition period from autumn to winter was thought in ancient times to include the return of the souls of the departed to the warmth and light they remembered from their former lives. Not only ghosts were anticipated, but general mischief, witchcraft, magic and hobgoblins of every sort.  There is an old saying in Cardiganshire that on Halloween a bogie sits on every stile. It is said that in Ireland on that night, the fairy hills are thrown open and the fairies swarm forth; and any bold enough may peep in the open green hills to see their treasure, if he dare. In the North of England, a sprig of rowan was put above the door to ward off evil, and a bowl of oats in water or milk was left outside the door to appease any visiting spirits. To frighten away witches,people took to carving faces on hollowed out turnips and placing candles inside.  This custom has been handed down to present day turnip lanterns and the New World pumpkin ‘Jack-O-Lantern’.

As genuine fear subsided through the ages, the theme of the festival has been retained in playful fashion, and in many areas Halloween is a time for pranks and dressing up. One wonders if the party game of bobbing for apples might be reminiscent of the distant past, when suspected witches were ‘bobbed’ to test their innocence or guilt. At any rate, the mask, the black cat, the pointed black hat and the old-white-sheet-ghost help us face the coming winter darkness in bold and jovial fashion!

In our culture we are often exposed to cinematic special effects, technology and scenes that are designed to create a Halloween experience that is frightening, even thrilling. Halloween revelers can bring this experience to life.  However, for a young child it is potentially a frightening experience. As an alternative for young children the Waldorf School of Santa Barbara annually creates an enchanted journey through magical vignettes. The children are visitors to the places where the fairies have sprinkled their artistic magical dust. There are scenes that come alive with fairy tale characters, queens and kings, gnomes and other glimmering and charming creatures. The children receive tokens to remember their night and can go off to bed with images that will send them into a peaceful nights sleep.

Lisa Hubener, Festival Chair

September

Dear Parents,

Has it really been 3 weeks of school already?  Wow!  Things are moving right along and there is lots to keep us busy.  I’d like to welcome all of the new parents, new children and our new helper Jan.  Getting to know your children, veterans and newbies, each day is like taking a bit more of the wrapping paper off of a present.  I am held in amazement the more I get to know these little beings.  With so many new faces, forming the group and establishing our rhythm has been a bit of a challenge.  I am always reminded that the spring feels so different than autumn because of all the time we’ve spent together and all the little growth moments we’ve had.  There are many times througout the day when one child does something, positive and/or negative, to another child.  These are those moments when real soul growth happens.  A piece of how to be human is shown to them.  It is these moments that form us.

I would like to elaborate a little on one aspect of our week and that is painting day, Monday.  Some of you may be wondering, why do they do the same type of painting at school every week!  And with only one or two colors!  Others of you may not know at all about our painting day.  So here it is…

The goal of painting at this age is to give the child a true experience of color, not to draw with a brush.  The colors they paint with are not hard solid blocks of color, but instead have a living quality.  They are pigment mixed with water.  The experience of using a wide brush and the fluidity of the color on the page allows not only for finding what two colors “make” together, but it gives the child an inward feeling of the color.  This mirrors their development in that they are just beginning to have an inner soul life themselves, speaking of all those growth moments!  This basic introduction to the world of color tills the soil for later artistic endeavors.

Thank you to everyone who has signed up to bring apples, join us on a nature walk or be a painting helper.  These efforts help us so much!

Since we’ve been so engaged in apples at school, I would love to propose a field trip day to go apple picking in Avila this Friday, 11/1, at 11a.m.  Julie, Maya’s mama, has all the details about where so I’ll let you know.  If you can make it great, if not we’ll do something again soon.

Hope you all enjoyed the hot weather over the weekend.  I sure did!  See you soon.

Warmly,

Kim

p.s. Snack days are: M-painting and porridge, T-soup day *please bring a veggie for the soup*, W-bread day, Th-rice and eggs day

p.p.s.  Sept./ Oct. Stories:  The Boy Who Wished to Be a Knight (Suzanne Down), The Hungry Cat  (Norwegian Tale), A Halloween Story (Nancy Foster)

June

Well here we are in June, the end of the school year!  Wow that went fast!  All of these little ones have grown up so much in one year.  These past few weeks have been filled with the wonder of transformation.  Thanks to Cindy for bringing us some tadpoles to watch grow and thanks to the hollyhocks that are being munched in the garden, we are witnessing two amazing transformations.  Not to mention the transformation of our children growing like weeds in the gardens of our lives.  Can I press pause please!  It has been such a joy to be with this group of children.  What a wonderful school year!

Thanks to all for gathering at the beach this past weekend.  I loved seeing all of the children (and the grown-ups) playing so well together.  We sure do have a special group of people involved in our little school.  I hope you all have an amazing summer with lots of family time.  I’ll see most of you at summer camp starting July 5th (E & P’s birthday!).

Much Love,

Kim

p.s.  this is a link to a wonderful talk about how we are educating our kids out of creativity by Ken Robinson

http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html

p.p.s.  below is a picture of every child at school!



May

Dear Parents,

What a full spring we have had thus far, baby goats, the Kite Festival and parade and most recently May Day!  The children have been loving all of it.  Please check out last month’s newsletter for pictures of the “kids” playing with the kids.  The Kite Festival parade was a great success (and learning opportunity!).  Thanks to everyone for coming out and enjoying the day.  Our little school is a special one and I was reminded of it many times that day.

As Spring has progressed and the year is flowering, so too are the children.  I have observed that they are developing deeper and new friendships.  Their capacities are flowering too.  They are all at different stages but each one is in the process of learning how to skip, jump rope, and the older ones are working on tieing shoe laces.  We celebrated May Day last week by making May baskets, picking flowers for them and giving them to our neighbors.  The focus of our circle time has been dancing with the rainbow ribbons on our backyard Maypole, learning new songs and skipping.  Two weeks ago I introduced chopsticks on rice and eggs day.  The children were thrilled to try them.  They are a wonderful way to aid the children in developing a pencil grip.  Hopefully they’ll keep up their enthusiasm.  Presently our story is “The Three Oranges.”  A wonderful fairy tale from Italy.  Little hands have been busy planting seeds and starts in our new garden, tending chickens and making Mother’s Day gifts.

Another project we have been working on is making napkin rings.  Rob cut the bamboo, the children sanded them and Aubree has engraved the children’s names and symbols on them.  They are finished and all they need is a napkin.  My vision was that each child would bring a napkin from home that would live at school.  At the end of each week the soiled napkins would go home with a child to wash, fold and return the following week.  So at your earliest convenience please send your child to school with a regular sized cloth napkin.  Thanks!

So many people to thank….. Thank you Shana Rader (Marin Waldorf Kinder teacher) for giving such an inspiring talk. Thanks to Tomi for taking such dear pictures on baby goat day and sharing them.  Thanks to Karen and Matt for sharing your sweet little goats with us.  What a special day that was for the children.  Thank you to Julie and Jesse for offering their house as a meeting place for the kite parade.  What a perfect spot.

Summer is fast upon us.  You will find a summer camp brochure in your child’s cubby.  If you are interested in summer camp please let me know as soon as possible.

Looking ahead to next fall…  Many of you have almost kindergarten age children and I would like to be able to meet those new challenges next year.  Over the summer I will be  taking a week-long course at Rudolf Steiner College in Sacramento titled, The Fundamentals of a Waldorf Kindergarten.  In addition, I will be working with a woman who has been an assistant in the kindergarten for 8 years at the Bellingham Wa. Waldorf school.  Her name is Jan Moore and she will be coming at least once a week starting in the fall to help me work with the changing dynamic of kindergarteners.  I would like to know if you want your child to continue here at Wishing Well in the fall, and I need to know if a little brother or sister may be joining us too and when.  Please look for a recommitment sheet on the board or verbally let me know your plans.  Thanks.

Ok, last thing, I promise.  We have a new school meeting scheduled for next Friday 5/14.  There was talk of having a ladies night out.  Any takers?  Could someone volunteer to organize this, send out email, etc.  Thank you.

Enjoy this beautiful weather!

With love,

Kim

p.s. If you are in SLO this Sat. come and see me and Cindy at the Birth and Baby Faire.  Mission Plaza 10am – 3pm.

p.p.s.  Does anyone have a farmer’s market type pop up tent?

April 2010

Story of the Month:  The Wolf and the Seven Goats

Activities:  Kite making, kids (baby goats) come to visit, napkin rings, planting, planting, planting!!!

Songs:  Oats, peas, beans and barley grows, La arana pequenita (itsty bitsy spider)

Finger game:  Five little peas in a pea pod pressed
(children hold hand in a fist)
One grew, two grew, so did all the rest.
(put thumb and fingers up one by one)
They grew and grew
(raise hand in the air very slowly)
And did not stop,
Until one day
The pod went POP!
(children clap hands together)




March 10, 2010

Dear Parents,

Happy Spring, almost!  The winds are here and with it new energy.  My apologies for the state of the front yard, or rather “the beach” as the children affectionately call it.  I’m sure you’ve had your share of Los Osos sand in your life as I have too.  This weekend we will be working on the master plan.  Thanks for your patience.  Don’t forget to spring forward on Sunday.

The children are growing, growing, growing!  As one little boy says most mornings, “Look how big I am!”  And he is right!  With growing up comes a bit more responsibility.  I am expecting a little more from them as a group and as individuals.  They are stepping up beautifully.

I have been tossing around the idea of eating a hot lunch at school and actually tried it yesterday.  Maybe it was only one day and I need to give it more time, but my feelings on it now are mixed.  They didn’t really eat lunch and I felt like the snack wasn’t substantial enough.  I’m sorry but I need more time to make this transition.  So for now, keep packing lunches.  Thanks!

Thus far we have had two meetings to discuss  the vision we hold for our children and their schooling.  Most immediately we have been discussing kindergarten and the idea of offering another program.  We have called our two meetings “forming” meetings since we are still getting clear on exactly what we want.  We all know we want an alternative to what is out there and with each meeting we are becoming more clear on what that is.  Please look under the “new school meeting minutes” at the top of the home page for a brief synopsis of our last meeting, held 2/25.  Our next meeting is Thursday evening March 18th at 6pm.  Hope to see you there!

March stories:  Mashenka and the Bear & Leprechaun’s Gold

Spring Break:  April 5th – 8th   NO SCHOOL

Feb. 25, 2010 minutes

Minutes from new school meeting Feb. 25, 2010

Attendance:  Lily (new parent), Julie, Cindy, Linda, Mariah, Kim

Check-in:

Restate intention of wanting to move forward toward starting a new school.  “Pioneers!”

Report on tasks:

Cindy:  talked with statewide outdoor education person about renting out “Rancho.”  Not a definite no, but some good suggestions to look elsewhere.  Cindy recommended taking a field trip to Rancho and she’ll look into organizing it.

Kim:  charter report- moving right along, hope to open fall 2011, looking for board members, need to discover how we can define where the school will be.  Kim will think/ask Sonja about creative ways to work a kinder program at her house.

Mariah:  volunteered to spread the word about our new school on facebook, come up with a survey for wishing well website and will look into mixed media package brochure.

Julie:  will continue to make cookies and talk it up

Lily:  will be in touch with her sister-in-law in Washington about their school starting up process.

Closing song:  Round and round the earth is turning

*Thanks to Mr. Rob for watching all the kiddos!

Feb. 2, 2010

Dear Parents,

It feels like a long time since I’ve written and indeed it has been.  Thank you all for your patience with the illness that ran through not only my household but probably yours as well.  Remember that there were two days at the beginning of Jan. that Wishing Well was closed due to Pearl and Emory being sick, so you may have a credit or two ($25 per day).  You can use this credit in two ways, either deduct $25, per day, off next month’s tuition or save it for a day that you don’t usually come to school.  Just check in with me to make sure I have space for another little one.

In Dec. we tried to hold a meeting to discuss the possibility of forming a kindergarten program and beyond.  With everyone’s busy schedules in Dec., I cancelled since it seemed as though the turn-out was going to be low.   The meeting has been re-scheduled for this weekend, Sat. Feb. 7th at 11a.m.  Please bring whatever you are working on in the craft realm.  First we will hold our meeting and then we’ll get crafty.  The agenda for the meeting is posted on the cork board by the cubbies.  Hope to see you there!  If not, don’t worry I’m sure we’ll have another meeting.

That all said, I hope your year is now off to a good start.  We just finished the story of Rumplestiltskin, which the children loved.  Currently, we are doing a story called ” The Four Brothers.”  It is an adaptation of a Greek legend where a little girl, though poor and hungry has a sunny disposition.  Due to her kindness and helpful nature, she gets to meet the four brothers of each season who come to her aid.  It is very sweet and brings to light good intentions and a positive outlook.  May we all look forward into the year positively.

We have loved the wet, the mud, the worms, the dirt and clearing the front yard.  Take a look at our busy, helpful little people.

Warmly,

Kim

p.s.  Reminder, NO SCHOOL FEB. 15 – 18.  I am participating in a teacher conference in the San Francisco bay area.


December 2, 2009

Merry December All,

Hope you are finding sweet ways to enjoy the busy and quiet moments of this month with your children.  The magic of the month is practically tangible.  It has been wonderful to see how much P and E are loving the simple things like slippers and bathrobes, going up in the attic to get down the Christmas lights and the stories.  I love this time of year because of the opportunity it provides for us to teach our children about reverence.  Whatever your beliefs around this holiday, there is a soul mood and gesture of turning inward.  With the days growing shorter and colder we are afforded more inside family time and maybe a moment for some introspection too.  Last year we had our inaugural Solstice Lantern Walk with the children.  This festival carries a quiet tone.  With beautiful live music (played by Skye’s parents Lori and Jon) and the children all holding their lit lanterns as they walk silently into the backyard, we are reminded of our own inner light, the light of our children and the return of light to our world.  Please join us for an evening of quiet on Dec. 17th from 4:30 – 6ish. This year we will not do food so please make sure your little one has had either an early dinner or hearty snack beforehand.  Thanks!

Also on the agenda for this busy month is a meeting for all those interested in an alternative kindergarten, specifically for next fall, but please come if you’re at all interested, even if your child won’t be entering kindergarten next year.  Here are the links for the flyer and agenda for the evening (thanks Karen, they are beautiful!).  We have nurtured our children so carefully up to this point, let’s continue to provide an environment that cherishes childhood.  They deserve it!  Join us Fri. Dec. 11th at 7pm at Wishing Well for our first organizational meeting.  See links below:

flyerDec11

agendadec11

To sum things up:

Friday Dec. 11th, 7pm  Kindergarten Meeting

Thursday Dec. 17th, 4:30pm  Solstice Lantern Walk

Winter Break Dec. 18th – Jan. 3rd

And lastly, I wish you all Merry Holidays!

With Much Love,

Kim

Nov. 18, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Hope this finds you all doing well.  Here at school the kids are oh so busy.  In the last month we’ve had fun playing and working. The children have all completed their first sewing project, a little pouch for their treasures.  This was a big endeavor, each one doing as much as he or she was able.  Another activity that has been BIG, is riding bikes.  Wow, it is amazing how many kids on bikes we can seem to fit on our driveway!  And furthermore, how good they are at negotiating all the obstacles and other riders. Congratulations to Kai, Jace and Jack who have recently mastered the art of the pedal bike.  Eddie is oh so close and Maya Lily is getting the hang of the balance bike.  Wishing Well kiddos are on their way to the Tour de France!  To be honest, I keep waiting for them to say they are tired of riding bikes, but no end in sight yet!  Another sheer pleasure is watching the kids emerge from the coop chanting, “Two brown eggs!  Two brown eggs!”  Everyone seems to be enjoying the chickens thoroughly.  Here are some pics from the last month, and remember if your little one isn’t pictured, he/she will show up next month.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Kim

P.S.  THANKSGIVING BREAK, NO SCHOOL, 11/23-26 (NEXT WEEK)

P.P.S.  A meeting about kindergarten will be scheduled for early Dec.  I’ll let you know asap.