Halloween & Dia de los Muertos

Welcome Autumn!  It feels a little strange to be saying that because I have hardly looked up since the summer.  Now that we are in our third week of school in the new space, it feels like things are settling a bit.  The children’s joy in the mornings fills my heart with smiles.  We are beginning to form a new group and new little friendships are starting to emerge.  Sweet and sour exchanges between the children salt and pepper the day with truths.  Each child brings his/her own destiny to the table and our task as teachers and parents is to meet that destiny each and every new day.  It feels big, but no bigger than starting a school, right:)?

Halloween

We are beginning the season of festivals.  The first one being Halloween.  What fun to dress up!  And is there a more fun vegetable than a pumpkin?  I think not.  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.  Below is an excerpt from an article that reminds us of how the young child relates to this festival.

THE SPIRITS OF HALLOWEEN

Eons ago, as they looked upon the mists that wove around their fjords and heaths, ancient Europeans had a particular experience as the days grew shorter. Toward the end of the month that we call October, they perceived the souls of all of those who had died in the past year gathering and preparing to ascend to their heavenly home, making a space for the souls due to be born in the year to come. But before they could assume their place in the ethereal realm, the departed souls had to sweep away all the detritus of the life just past and cast it to the earth. Thus the popular image of witches riding on their broomsticks is a misperception: in reality, the brooms are sweeping away the witches!

At the time when the child is in fourth-grade, a sense of human mortality begins to dawn within her. Children of this age are rightfully and healthily drawn to all of the frightful and gruesome aspects of Halloween, and they look forward with trembling anticipation to visiting a haunted house, watching a horrific form arise out of a swamp, or, if only through a well-told story, being scared out of their senses!

For the younger child, however , the situation is different. The spirits and creatures with whom the younger child communes are not those created by human error, but rather those in whom the innocent and wise powers of Nature reside: gnomes and undines, fairies and elves, the spirits of stones and streams, sun and wind. For young children to be exposed only to the dark and demonic qualities of Halloween is to deny the unspoken conviction that they care in their souls that the world is good.

– Eugene Schwartz, Waldorf Educator

So, here is the plan for our school Halloween celebration.  For those children that come on Mondays, please come to school in regular clothes with their costume in a bag.  Please keep costumes simple, traditional worldly roles (fireman, farmer, etc.), nature spirits, costumes that require the imagination, etc.  In line with our school, please no TV or movie characters.  We also would be happy to provide a cape, crown, silks, hat, etc. if you want to keep it really simple.  We will have a regular morning and after lunch when we go outside, the children will change into costumes for our parade.  If you don’t come on a Monday you are invited to join us at noon for the parade.  We’ll parade in costume for the parents and maybe go down to the Calfire office.  Afterwards we’ll play outside then come inside for a puppet show and end the day with a special treat.  The festivities will begin at 12pm.  Come and celebrate with us!

Dia de los Muertos

I particularly love this celebration because it speaks to that thin veil between the earthly and the spirit that is always around us but is often unrecognized.  This year we will celebrate by decorating an altar (ofrenda).  Each family is invited to bring photos of loved ones that have passed on (please put your name on the back) for our school altar.  The ofrenda will be set up in the first grade room and the children will get the opportunity to contribute to the altar and then on dia de los muertos, Nov. 2, the children will view the altar while listening to live music.  If anyone is interested and available to play for us please talk to one of the teachers.  Thanks!

“Día de los Muertos is a celebration that comes from the blend of the pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican cultures and the Spanish Catholics. The indigenous cultures of Mexico believed that the souls of the departed returned to visit during this time of year. To this day, families gather to remember those who have gone, with stories, singing, dancing, and sharing a feast composed of their remembered loved ones’ favorite foods.  The customs for Día de los Muertos are as diverse as a simple offering of flowers at the tombs of the loved ones to creating beautiful and artistic altars to honor family members who have crossed over.”

What we’re up to…

Our current story thread is “The Pumpkin Child” an Iranian/Persian fairy tale.  Below are a few songs and rhymes we are singing right now.

Song:  “Jack-o-lantern, jack-o-lantern you are such a lovely sight, as you sit there in my window looking out at the night.  You were once a yellow pumpkin growing on a sturdy vine.  Now you are my jack-o-lantern let your little light shine.”

And a don’t forget about Peter…

Rhyme:  “Peter, Peter pumpkin eater had a wife but couldn’t keep her.  He put her in a pumpkin shell and there he kept her very well!”

Cancion:  “La arana pequenita subio, subio, subio.  Vino la lluvia y se la levo.  Salio el sol y todo lo seco.  Y la arana pequnita subio, subio, subio.”  (the itsy bitsy spider)

Thank you for bringing your beautiful children to our school.  Happy Autumn!

Kim


October 2011

Dear Pioneers,

On the eve of this night I sit in anticipation of tomorrow and so many more tomorrows.  Not too much to say other than, let us begin.  This quote has been on my refrigerator throughout this process.  I have turned to it often and it has proven to be true.

“Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans; that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.  All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.  A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.  Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.  Begin it now.”

Goethe

Remember this?

“What is done, has been done.  What’s to do, do it now.  Show your strength in the act.  Let the deed be supreme, over thought over dream.”

Unknown

And to my dear husband…  I can not describe the gratitude and admiration I feel for you on this night.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I love you.

See you all on one of the many tomorrows.  Blessings on our new beginnings.

Warmly,

Kim

p.s.  More pictures to come…

Here they are.  These pictures were taken by an awesome local homeschooling, photographer mama.  Check her out, http://www.dunesstreetphotography.com

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/

May 2011

Dear Parents,

     Last weekend’s kite parade was a blast.  Thank you so much for coming out and participating.  It was wonderful to see all the children dressed up and faces painted.  What a great community event!
     This weekend Sat. 5/7 Wishing Well will have a booth at the Birth and Baby Fair in San Luis Obispo.  If you are in town, stop in for a visit.  I would love to have company and I know Haley will be at the SLO Wellnes Center booth and Cindy will be at the La Leche League booth.  So, stop by and see us!
     A few other things coming up:
May Day Celebration 5/5, 12-1pm, here at school – bring a picnic lunch and your dancing shoes  *if you have flowers in your yard or greens please bring them in the morning and we’ll make crowns, thanks*
Cinco de Mayo 5/5, after 1pm, T and R’s house
A Ms. Jan and Ms. Kelly Day 5/12 – I’ll be on a trip to Chicago for a wedding
     And a few Oso Sol upcoming gigs, because I have a crush on the bass player:
Oso Sol plays 5/5 Criki Tiki 6:30pm  San Luis Obispo
Oso Sol plays 5/6 Merrymaker 9pm  Los Osos
Oso Sol plays 5/29 Strawberry Fest  11am  Arroyo Grande
     A busy month, it should be lots of fun.  Please pass on your pictures from the kite parade, we only took a few.  Thanks.  See you all soon!
Warmly,
Kim
p.s.  Just a reminder that June tuition is the same as all the other months even though our last day is June 9th.  If you have any questions let me know.
p.p.s.  Happy 3rd Birthday to Emma Sunshine!

April 2011

Dear Parents,

Yesterday we had a bee swarm come and stay the night  in our next door neighbor’s tree.  Whenever I witness something amazing in nature, especially related to bees since I love bees, I am struck by the fact that there is more to this world than my little daily challenges or even my own egotistical life goals.  All around us is a world which very rarely do we get the opportunity to really tune into.  It takes a slow moment, a careful eye and presence of mind to actually recognize it.  Bees tend to remind me of this invisible world that is constantly at work even when I’m doing the most mundane task.  After a moment of laying in the tall spring weeds today at Sweet Springs and staring up at the swaying trees creaking and moaning to each other, I did something I’ve needed to do.  I took a breath.  This next step of moving the school is a big one and has been weighing on me.  I am challenged by the giant risk that it is and yet I see no other option, so onward we go.  I obviously want a school for my own children but I am also called by this work in a way that I have only felt drawn to a few things in my life.  So my lesson right now is to be present enough with the children that they can remind me of the invisible world of spirit working all around us and allow that presence of mind and heart to guide me in the future endeavor of beginning a school.  The bees have moved on but while they were here they created a small bit of comb.  I look at it and marvel at the miracle of creating a space, even if only temporary.  Their spirit sticks like wax to my soul.  Forward we fly.

 

Wishing Well will be closed for Spring Break April 25 – 28th.

Many of you have signed up for conferences.  If there is not a time available that works for you just pencil in a time that will and I will let you know if I can do it.  At the Tuesday afternoon conferences, Kelly will be staying after to care for your children and mine, so do not worry about childcare.

April 30th is a the Morro Bay Kite Festival Parade.  Our school will be in the parade again this year.  Last year we met at Julie and Jesse’s (Maya Lily) house and they have offered again to make their place a gathering spot before the parade.   Thank you Julie and Jesse!  So decorate your bikes, trikes, wagons, scooters, whatever and we’ll strut our stuff.  The parade begins at 10a.m., so we will probably meet at 9ish to decorate the bus, face paint, etc., but keep an eye out for an email from Julie.

The following week we will be celebrating May Day at school.  On Thursday May 5th, you are all invited to attend a picnic lunch and dance around the maypole (sombreros decorated with flowers are ok too:).  This will be at 12:00p.m.  Please bring your own picnic lunch.  In the morning we will be making May crowns, so if you have extra flowers in your yard or extra greenery, please bring them and help us weave crowns.

I think that is it for now.  I hope you too can slow down and take in the invisible workings of our beautiful world.

In Peace,

Kim

P.S.  Below is the Spring story I am telling this week and next.  I just thought it was very sweet and wanted to share.  Enjoy!

Once many years ago Winter stayed a long, long time. The children liked Winter. They liked to play in the snow and slide on the ice. But they did want to see Spring again.

“Let us go to the woods,” they said, “perhaps Spring is there.”

So they ran off to the woods, but they did not find Spring. It was cold in the woods and the trees were bare. They could not see any birds or flowers. North Wind and Jack Frost were still playing about. They tossed the children’s hair and nipped their noses.

“Spring has not come yet,” said the children sadly and went back to their homes.

A few days later they tried again, but North Wind and Jack Frost ran to meet them. They could not find Spring and again they went home sadly.

For a little while the children kept going to the woods every few days, but still they did not find Spring.

“Spring cannot be coming this year,” said the children sadly. “We shall not go to the woods again. What is the use?”

So they stayed at home.

But Spring did come at last. North Wind and Jack Frost hurried away the minute they saw her.  The tree buds began to grow bigger and bigger and burst into pale green leaves. The little flowers poked their pretty noses out of the earth. The birds began to twitter and fly about with bits of straw for their nests.

“But where are the children?” asked Spring. “Every year they come to play with you birds and flowers and wood folk. I miss them.”

“We miss them, too,” twittered the birds. “They always liked to listen to our pretty songs.”

“We miss them, too,” said the flowers. “They love our sweet-smelling blossoms. They are good children and they never tear our roots.”

The little baby rabbits said, “We want to see the good children. We want to hide in our holes and watch them play.”

“I know what is the matter,” said Spring. “They have not heard that we are here. Some one must go and tell them. Will you go, Robin?”

“I would like to go very much,” said the robin, “but I am very busy just now. I have to finish my nest. Perhaps the fox has time to go.”

“I would go gladly,” said the fox, “but the grown-up people do not like me. They would say I came to steal their chickens.”

“You are right about that,” said Spring. “Black Bear, won’t you go?”

“I am very sorry,” said Black Bear, “But the children are afraid of me. Besides you know that I sleep all winter and have had nothing to eat. Now I am very thin and very hungry, I have to eat and eat all day long.  But the rabbit would be a good one to send. Children always love rabbits.”

“The very one,” said Spring. “Will you go, Bunny?”

The rabbit was just going to say no, because rabbits are very shy. But it made him very happy to hear that the children loved him.

“Yes,” he began, “I will go.” Then he thought of the dogs. Rabbits do not like dogs.  “The dogs will catch me,” said the rabbit.

“Oh, no,” said Spring. “You can go at night. The dogs will be sound asleep. They will not hear you.”

“All right,” said the rabbit, “but how shall I tell the children that you are here?”

Spring did not know. Then the birds and the flowers and the baby animals began to whisper together. After awhile they thought of a way for the rabbit to tell the children.  Then they wove a strong basket from twigs and leaves. They pulled soft green grass and made a lining for it. Then each little bird brought an egg from her nest and put it in the basket. Some eggs were as blue as the sky. Some were brown as the earth. Some had little brown specks as if they had been spattered with paint.  Over the eggs they laid a cover of fresh spring flowers, pink and blue and white.  Bunny lifted the basket on his back and the birds and the animals tied it on firmly.

“Good-by, Bunny,” called all the wood folk.

Bunny hopped off toward the town. The streets were very quiet. Everybody was asleep. He did not feel afraid at all.  Bunny knew where all the children lived. First he hopped up to Betty’s house. He made a little nest of green grass. He put a blue egg in it and some violets. He laid the little nest on the doorstep.

Then he hopped off to Teddy’s house. He made another nest of soft green grass. He put a brown egg in this and some wild flowers. Then he laid it on the doorstep and hopped off to Polly’s house.  He made a little nest of soft green grass for her and for every other child in the town. In each one he put an egg and some spring flowers.  He had enough eggs and flowers for all the children. When his basket was empty, he hopped away to the woods.

Next morning Betty ran to the door to see if the sun was shining. There on the doorstep she saw the little green nest.  “Oh how pretty!” she cried.  Teddy ran to his door and found his little green nest too. And so did all the children.  “Spring has come. Spring has come,” they called to one another. “See here are the rabbit’s footprints. The good bunny came to tell us that Spring is here.”

And they ran off to the woods as fast as they could go.They listened to the pretty songs of the birds and they smelled the sweet spring flowers.  The baby rabbits and foxes peeped out from their holes and watched the happy children.

The rabbit was very glad that he had gone to tell the children that Spring had come. He has been coming ever since at Easter time with nests of eggs and flowers.  That is why he is called the Easter Rabbit.


March 2011

Dear Parents,

I realize that it has been a few weeks now since the teacher’s conference Ms. Jan and I attended and I have failed to give you a synopsis of our time there.  It was a two and a half day conference put on by the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training.  The main speaker was Christof Weichert, who is head of the pedagogical section of  Waldorf schools world-wide.  It was very good for me to connect with colleagues and share struggles and  joys.  The title of the conference was “A New Impulse: Finding Balance.”  This was not the type of conference where we discussed what songs to sing in circle time or stories to tell (although I did that a bit too), but rather it was a deepening of spirit that rejuvenated me beyond the mundane.  I also was inspired to continue on our quest for beginning a school.  I am striving toward balance within myself on a daily basis and in regards to future tasks.

We will be having a parent meeting on Wed. March 23, 2011 at 7:30pm, here.  For this meeting I would like to cover three topics:  Ms. Kelly as a guest speaker, because she attended a Waldorf school from 3rd-8th grades, what will happen next year, and “observations”.  I’ve invited Ms. Kelly to attend our meeting so that she can talk with us about her experiences as a Waldorf student growing up.  Please come prepared with your questions for her, such as, do you just keep learning about fairies and gnomes each year?  Do you really learn anything or do you just do art a lot?  Did you, Kelly, feel prepared for Cal Poly as an architectural engineering student?  etc… Next year, I am planning to move the school and I need help.  I will have a punch list of things to do and how you can help.   I will also have a timeline of ideally how it will all evolve and what the questionable pieces are.  Lastly, Ms. Jan and I are going to be doing an observation of sorts for the children aged 4 and a half and  up.  This will be so that you can see where your little one is in regards to being “ready” for kindergarten or first grade.  We will go over what the observations will entail and set up a time with each of you where we can discuss what we have noticed.

Next week we will be sprouting/planting grass for easter baskets.  Please bring in your child’s/children’s Easter baskets lined with plastic and with their name on the bottom.  I will provide the soil and seed.

March stories:  A folktale from India “The Little Tiger,” a homemade story by Yvonne de Matt, “Leprechaun’s Gold,”  a Russian fairy tale, “Mashenka and the Bear.”

Happy St. Patrick’s Day and don’t forget to wear your green!  See you all soon!

Warmly,

Kim

February 2011

Dear Parents,

Thank you for attending the most recent parent evening.  It is always so good to see all of you outside of the regular pick-up and drop-off times.  I am also astounded at how much I learn at our meetings about your children, in the preparation of the meeting as well as in the discussion.  Thank you for sharing.  A brief re-cap of our meeting is as follows:  introduction of the 7 year cycles of childhood and the overriding qualities of each 7 years, 0-7 is willing, 7-14 is feeling, and 14-21 is thinking; within that 0-7 year time willing, feeling and thinking are recapitulated so that when a child is 0-3 they are primarily “doing/willing”, from 4-5 there is a shift toward awakening to a feeling life and from 6-7 they are bridging over into a new way of thinking, hence grade school/academic readiness.  We also shared delights and challenges.  I spoke briefly about next year.  My current idea is to begin a grades program from 8am-9am, 4 days per week where the first grade ready children will be introduced to numbers, letters, pentatonic flute,  handwork and Spanish.  Then from 9am-1pm the program would continue to be held as a mixed age kindergarten, so the group could stay together.  From 8-9am is a grades program and from 9-1pm is a kindergarten day.  Where this will be is still yet to be seen, maybe a rental site in either Morro Bay or Los Osos.  Hopefully we’ll land on some property with a creek running though it that is close to all of us.:)  Keep dreaming and it will come!

At our last meeting I mentioned that rather than a Valentine’s tea, we will be having a party.  The party will be from 12:00pm – 1:00pm and everyone is invited.  In order to simplify things we are going to have a group lunch.  So no need to pack a lunch on Monday 2/14.  Hooray!  Ms. Jan and I will provide nut butter and jam sandwiches, regular and gluten-free.  Trisha will bring a fruit platter and Megan will bring a little something more, (carrots, hummus, veggies, popcorn, pickles, something:).  Since it is Rio’s birthday on Valentine’s day, she will be sharing a sweet for after the party.  During the party we will do a Valentine exchange.  This is not a mandatory performance!  If you would like to share Valentine cards with the other children please make sure you have one for everyone.  There are 20 children enrolled at Wishing Well.  Below is a list of names but it is not necessary to put who they are to, but instead who they are from.  Get my drift?   In going with the general philosophy here, if you are going to do Valentines please spend the time to make them special and from your child rather than passing out an advertisement for the latest cartoon/movie character.  Thanks!

Pearl, Emory, Maya, Jack, Elanor, Rio, Eddie, Fin, Emma Sunshine, Eddie, Dylan, Aubri, Gavin, Skye, Branwen, Gianna, Jace, Fiona, Emma and Cora.

On Thursday I will be attending an orientation in Goleta that will cover all the steps I need to take in order to get a license for a “child care center.”  This license will enable me to move the school to a location that can accommodate more children.  Ms. Jan, Kelly and Laurel will be here on Thursday covering for me.  So if I don’t see you have a great weekend!

Happy Valentine’s Day!  I hope the love is spread to all in the kingdom, for love is the key to kingdom.

Warmly,

Kim

p.s.  Thank you to Cindy, John, Jack and Elanor for throwing such a fun boat party last weekend!  All ye landlubbers and pirates had a mighty fine day!

p.p.s.  Thank you, in advance, to Cameron (Cora’s mom) and Cora’s grandfather for coming in on Thursday to share a Chinese New Year craft with all of us!  Happy Chinese New Year!  Be sure to pet Honey bunny for good luck, it is the year of the rabbit.

*Remember no school 2/21-24*

January 2011

Dear Parents,

As with all the traditional new years resolutions and cleaning out of the house, I find myself in a place of shifting perspectives.  The children came back to school from the winter holiday, different.  Not only taller and more capable, but different in their souls.  We had the unfortunate pleasure of the flu taking over our house for a solid week, high fever for 4-5 days straight!  A burning off of all the details and only the core building blocks of the body left to put things back together.  E and P lost the weight of being a little younger and gained the perspective of getting older.  P said to me the other day, “Mommy, sometimes I like being a baby and sometimes I want to be a big girl.”  The fever of babyhood transforming into the sturdiness of growing up.  I feel challenged to give them more at this time, them being all the children.  They waft in and out of this new confidence, throwing a fit one day and asking for the world the next.  So the task becomes what to bring them.  I recently came across this quote by Steiner and it seems to fit.

“We are often particularly gratified if we can teach a child something that he can reproduce in the same form several years later.  But, this is just as though we were to have a pair of shoes made for a child of three and expect him to wear them when he is ten.  In reality our task is to give the child living flexible ideas which can grow in his soul.  We must ourselves partake in the the inward activities of the child’s soul, and we must count it a joy to give him something that is inwardly flexible and elastic; and just as he grows with his physical limbs so he can grow up with these ideas, feelings and impulses, and in a short time he himself can make something else out of what we have given him.”

We will discuss more about this shift in perspective and how to bring elastic ideas to our children at a upcoming parent evening.  As our children shift so do we.  I know this is a time many of us are shifting perspectives and burning through the old to make space for the new.  H is sick with pnemonia and can use some extra support.  Please see the board area for a meal sign-up sheet for this week and next.  Thanks!

Upcoming Dates:

Our next parent evening will be Feb. 1, 2011 at 7:30p.m.

Valentine’s Tea Mon. Feb. 14, 2011   9 – 10a.m.  All are welcome!

No school Feb. 21 – 24, 2011 – Annual Teachers Conference

Happy January to you all!

Warmly,

Kim

P.S.  Happy Birthday to Jace (1/13), Dylan (1/2), Aubri (2/1) & Rio (2/14)!

December 2010

Happy December!

I hope you all had a thank-full Thanksgiving.  Before leaving for our family trip we had an afternoon of tidepooling.  The tides always remind me of the highs and lows of this season, the bustle of big family gatherings and the quiet of gifts before they are given, to name a few.  The high and low tides of our days at school have brought growth too.  These first few months of the school year the children are new to each other (even if they may be old friends) and they are learning how to be in a group and how to be an individual, important lessons!  They are coming along wonderfully and I’m seeing so much care for one another and a readiness to take up the tasks at hand.  It is quite beautiful to watch these little people grow.

As with the changing tides we have two families that will not be continuing with us.  Paul, Kyla and Odin will be enjoying their new baby Trilby and Emmett, Tina and Steve’s son, will be returning to the preschool he attended last year.  We wish them the best.

This month there are three Wishing Well events:

Parent Evening

Next Tuesday evening 12/7 from 7:30-9pm we will be having another parent evening at our home.  We will be discussing how this season provides an opportunity to bring the mood of reverence into our homes (so it’s not just about presents, even though they are so much fun!).  We will also be starting to make the lanterns that we will use for our lantern walk.

Craft Day

We had a felting day where we made “guardian dolls.”  These are dolls that you could give to your child in a time of transition or just when they need a little extra watching over.  The mamas worked diligently and we had a fun afternoon with lunch too.  Hope you can make the next craft day at Teleri and Shawn’s house in Cambria, Dec. 12 from 11a.m.-2p.m.

Solstice Lantern Walk

Our 3rd annual Solstice Lantern Walk will be 12/16 Thursday evening at 5pm. This festival carries a quiet tone.  During this time of year there is a soul mood and gesture of turning inward.  We see it in nature and ourselves.  With the days growing shorter and colder we are afforded more inside family time and maybe a moment for some introspection too. With beautiful live music and the children all holding their 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. 16th from 5:00 – 6ish. Like last year we will not do food so please make sure your little one has had either an early dinner or hearty snack beforehand.  Thanks!

Hope you are finding sweet ways to enjoy the tides, the busy and quiet moments of this month with your children.

Merry days to you!

Kim

November 2010

Drying Wings

Emerging from the bed of death – clinging to the hull of the past,

Waiting for the sun to warm the future

Loved ones, beyond the veil, lift us out of the earthly

Beckoning us to become what hides inside

The children agree,

“Our bodies die but our spirit never dies.”

Truth,

As true as the sun drying our wings

Today was an amazing day!  Thank you to all of the painting helpers, nature walkers and gifts of apples.  You all make this such a special little school!

We are trying to tighten up our transition times but yet still give the children a bit of responsibility and ownership in that moment.  In this direction, I would like to ask you to bring a small ceramic, tin, not plastic cup for your child to use (and live) at school.  Thank you.

Here is a link to an interesting article about a new study that has come out about kindergarten aged children. http://www.hepg.org/hel/article/479

There will be no school Nov. 22-25, 2010

Ciao for now!

Kim