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Letter from Parent Re: Forest Kindergarten Article

October 2009

Susan thank you for sending this article. today I was thinking of you, and I spoke of you full of appreciation for your presence in my life … such as it is, so rich with the struggles of … I so appreciate your steadfast calm, even as it is so full of your passion for important and difficult and simple work and the impact it has for me, for my son, and for Ken … and for oh so many families over the decades and for these people in this forest school in these other nordic countries oxoxo kec

Here in Maine, our children are not required to be in “formal education” until age 7, so the Forest Kindergartens of Denmark are kindred spirits…

From The Times October 6, 2009 Lessons in life at the forest school Thousands of pupils in Denmark learn tree climbing not times tables. But this carefree life for the under-7s is under threat….

March is Maple Sugaring Month at Spindlewood

March 2009

Ms. Shelby (Evan’s Mom) and Mr. Jonathon (Evan’s Dad) are leading an Outdoor Hour first thing in the morning doing Maple Sugaring. They already have a rhythmic work routine established of taking the red wagon and pails up to the barn and collecting sap from the dozen buckets of the maple trees along the stone wall on the other side of the road. They bring it back to the shed where the kettle boils on the gas burner, and strain the sap into the kettle to boil into syrup. There are small cups in the shed and everyone is welcome to a taste!

They also draw water from the well for the sheep and chickens and gather the eggs. Next week is Spring! They will be removing the greens and mulch from the window boxes and the tulip garden around the school and sawing a branch of the pussy willow tree!

Mixed Age LifeWays Care

January 9, 2009

Hi Jolie,

Thanks for your question. LifeWays is creating an understanding of and support for relationship-based care for the first seven years of human life. The LifeWays Center in Milwaukee welcomes children from a few weeks to 5 or 6 years in family-style “home rooms”. In the course of the week there are Parent-Child gatherings with toddlers as well as Kindergarten gatherings for the older children.

Here at Spindlewood, we now include several 3-year-olds in the kindergarten morning. One of our 6-year-olds call it her “mixed-up-age kindergarten” :). One of the things I love about it is how the older children learn to respect and care for the younger ones. Yes, it can be challenging, but the blended ages bring such richness and humor to our days. The parents are grateful that siblings can share the same experiences, and be together in the same small school setting. One of the things that has surprised me is how the older children, perhaps especially the 6 year olds, have appreciated a more nurturing and nourishing approach. You can read more about it in   Re-inventing Spindlewood, on our Resources Page.

Because LifeWays training involves monthly contact with a mentor especially chosen for each student, there is built-in support for each  individual student’s life and work.

The April LifeWays weekend in Maine is a stand-alone session focusing on all of early childhood, as well as care of the caregiver. Another aspect of LifeWays training is that we focus not only on creating Home for body, soul and spirit of the young child, but also for our own home life. Be well! Susan Silverio

Northeast LifeWays Early Childhood and Human Development Training

105 Proctor Road

Lincolnville, ME 04849207-763-4652

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