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Sheep to Slippers Begins July 27!

Sheep to Slippers: children make their own beautiful wool slippers

Weeks of July 27 and August 3 (two-week program)

9:00am to 2:00pm

Support your child’s creativity through this two-week summer offering! Children will explore the magical nature of wool, our gift from the sheep, as they design and felt their very own wool slippers. Days will be spent washing and carding wool, collecting flowers and cutting vegetables to create dye baths, and observing the transformation of the fibers into a beautiful rainbow of natural hues. Each child will design and fashion an individual pair of felted wool slippers, and by the end of the two weeks everyone will have their own pair, hand-made to fit their own feet.

In addition, there will be ample time for circle, story, and puppet plays, as well as walks along our many acres of beautiful wooded trails and romps through the sprinkler in the play yard.

Children will enjoy healthy organic snacks made at Green Meadow and bring a picnic lunch from home each day.

This offering is led by Early Childhood Educator Nell Rowland and takes place at the Green Meadow Waldorf School Kindergarten Building. For more information or to register, please email Mrs. Rowland at nrowland@gmws.org. $750 for two-week program, includes snacks and all materials.

Above photos by GMWS parent Dyana Van Campen.

New York Times: Let the Kids Learn Through Play

This New York Times article, published on May 16, 2015, details how the increasing push towards early academics is well-intentioned, but misguided. Children's potential might actually be hampered in the long run by academic instruction that doesn't match the child's development.

Per the experts, play based learning is the best approach for children under the age of 7 or 8. “Play is often perceived as immature behavior that doesn’t achieve anything,” says David Whitebread, a psychologist at Cambridge University who has studied the topic for decades. “But it’s essential to their development. They need to learn to persevere, to control attention, to control emotions. Kids learn these things through playing.”

Read the full article here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/17/opinion/sunday/let-the-kids-learn-through-play.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0

Posted by mmcdonagh in curriculum, pedagogy, play, child development on Monday May 18 at 12:01PM
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How Playing Music Benefits Your Brain More Than Any Other Activity

Green Meadow students play an instrument from third through twelfth grades. This article highlights some of the neurological benefits. We know there are many other benefits as well, both tangible and intangible.

A Strong Trust in Children's Abilities

This piece from The Washington Post is worth reading. Our favorite quote: "I also believe that competence can only be gained through experience; therefore, allowing our children to take risks will actually make them safer. Behind this philosophy is a strong trust in children’s abilities in general; I often feel that we don’t give children enough credit in this area."

What Are Schools For?

This recent article from The Boston Globe reminds us that part of the responsibility of schools is to help young people develop non-academic skills.

Parenting Advice From "America’s Worst Mom"

This recent piece from The New York Times reminds us of the importance of letting our children have experiences that build their resilience and self-confidence.

A salient quote: "Dr. Gray links the astronomical rise in childhood depression and anxiety disorders, which are five to eight times more common than they were in the 1950s, to the decline in free play among young children. 'Young people today are less likely to have a sense of control over their own lives and more likely to feel they are the victims of circumstances, which is predictive of anxiety and depression,' he said."

Study Suggests that Freedom Improves Creativity

This article from Psychology Today looks at a 2012 study documenting a continuous decline in creativity among American schoolchildren over the last two or three decades. The research suggests that play and curiosity are foundations for learning. They are also the bedrock of Waldorf Education.

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