Recently, our school director Ms. Neale shared these sweet photos of her daughters’ “wee ones,” Sunbeam and Moonbeam, sitting together in her garden on a sunny summer morning. Kindergarten parents make these small fabric dolls for their children, which are magically delivered by fairy mother to kindergartners throughout the year.
Ms. Neale’s daughters graduated from our school eight years ago, but her daughters’ wee ones still live at home.
This is one very small illustration of the way Waldorf education touches the whole family, creating memories and experiences that bond us to our children and last for decades. Thanks for sharing, Ms. Neale!
Our second grade teacher, who is also a member of Marin Waldorf School’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, shared this simple explainer on systemic racism, and we wanted to share it with all of you.
Since our campus closed in mid-March, our families have been sharing resources with one another. Following are a few of our favorite resources for parents.
MWS favorite Kim John Payne, author of Simplicity Parenting, has many excellent podcast episodes related to parenting during the global pandemic and stay-at-home order, including “Loving Limits and Discipline During the Intensity of Family Time.”
Greater Good in Education, from the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, offers a wealth of resources and ideas for parents and educators to help navigate the COVID-19 shelter-at-home including activities, podcasts, videos, and practices.
Are you in need of some extra support? Parents Place, a part of the Jewish Family and Children’s Services, is offering a wide range of resources for families during the Coronavirus shelter-at-home order, including free and paid online workshops, remote counseling, a blog with advice and information, and videos for parents.
Since our school closed in March, our families have been sharing resources with each other in our weekly newsletter and through word of mouth. Here is a roundup of some of our favorite activities and recommendation for children at home… and please send more if you have them!
A MWS kindergarten family recommends family-friendly martial arts with Oakland-based Peter Ajemian. He leads daily workouts for adults, and three weekly kids classes on Zoom. More info on Soja’s website.
MWS families recommend Quarantine Clay Club with Petaluma Pottery! Clay kits (for pickup), online tutorials, and more. Click here for more information about their programs.
Created by our social ethics teacher Ms. Baxt, Camp Kindness was offered as a weeklong elective course for students and their families, preschool through 8th grade. The week was comprised of pro-social activities to build family and community connections, with the goal of contributing towards the health of others while actively living our values with our children. Says Ms. Baxt, “Kindness is contagious too.”
Each day of the week was dedicated to essential workers in different sectors: health care, sanitation, postal and delivery services, child care, and food supply chain. Check out Ms. Baxt’s recommendations for spreading kindness to food chain workers.
Tuesday: In honor of food chain workers
Remember that we can help share the good will by doing our mediation for these important workers. Take a deep breath and focus your family’s thoughts on the workers, “May these very essential workers be safe. May they be healthy. May they be happy. May they, and their families, be at ease.”
Options (do one, or do them all) 1) Call your local lower cost grocery store to find out how you can donate some healthy snacks and send some notes of appreciation to their employee break room. 2) Sign-up to deliver or donate food for those in need. Or scroll down for volunteer opportunities in food and in senior support. 3) Deliver notes to your neighbors’ mailboxes asking if they know somebody who needs help with groceries, errands, or meal delivery. Don’t forget to include your contact info. Remember that research shows transmission does not occur through food — just use safe delivery practices. 4) Invite a “guest” for a meal. Do you know somebody who might be lonely at home? Invite them to join your family for a virtual family meal. Think of some questions you could ask them to learn more about their lives. This is a good spot to find great questions.
In a thought-provoking opinion piece from the Get Schooled Blog at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, two University of Georgia professors, Stephanie Jones and Hilary Hughes, argue, “No one can (or should) expect the Covid-19 schooling happening at home to be anything close to usual, and perhaps this moment is providing all of us a chance to do something different: learn to be.”
Opinion: This is not home schooling, distance learning or online schooling.
By Hilary Hughes and Stephanie Jones for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Gov. Brian Kemp announced today that schools won’t re-open this year, marking a historic moment in time that none of us have experienced or imagined before, a time that will shape us all – and possibly education – moving forward. It’s a time to pause, take a collective breath, and learn to be in this new reality so our path forward is one that we can be proud of when we look back on it.
What is happening is not home schooling.
It is not distance learning.
It is not online schooling.
There are philosophies and research guiding those ways of teaching and learning; theories and pedagogies that are enacted in intentional ways. So, we need to guard against using language that we already have about education.
What we are doing right now is something different. (Think “Hunger Games.” “Contagion.” “Grapes of Wrath.”) Schooling and its purposes can change in the blink of an eye when a society is in shock and crisis.
So, let’s call this what it is: Covid-19 Schooling; or better yet, Teaching and Learning in Covid-19…”