Friday, August 20, 2010

Whole Life Learning

This was an exhausting but extremely exciting week for us. I am going to try to condense it down best I can.
On Monday we had our home visit with K's kindergarten teachers - Miss Robin and Miss Regina. (Funny enough my friend Hillary had her home visit the same day across the country. You can read about it here.) The visit was even better than we ever could have imagined. The scheduled 30-40 minute visit lasted almost 2 hours! We didn't want it to end. Both of her teachers are so kind and full of love. I feel so blessed that K will get to spend 2 years of her life with them. We are so ecstatic about them, I really feel there are no better teachers in this world to help K grow. This was meant to be. I didn't expect to have such strong feelings for them, but I do, as does K and C. K keeps telling me that she really loves them. I have decided now that they really are angels in disguise.

During their visit we baked our yummy sugar-free carob cake. I ended up doing all the work on that, though. The girls were so engrossed in K's teachers, even baking couldn't pull them away!



While I baked, the teachers and the girls sat over on the girls' side of the kitchen and talked and played. The teachers were fed soup, fruit and drinks until they could eat no more.



Then they sang songs and made the girls butterflies out of some pipe cleaners and fiber. It was truly magical to watch. C started singing 'Angel of Mine' and K joined her. Then, would you believe Miss Robin knew the words and joined in as well?! If only you could have seen the look on K's face when she did that.

I had a few questions I asked and every answer was just so in tune and just what we were looking for. K is going to be able to keep her symbol we already use for her at home (a ladybug) in the kindergarten. That will make her transition even smoother. I also asked about changing our home rhythm to follow her new rhythm at school, but they told us to keep it the same. Home rhythm is just that - the rhythm at home and her school rhythm will be her rhythm at school. Makes total sense to me. Plus, K gets the best of both worlds now! She is excited that she'll have 2 baking days instead of one (they bake on Thursdays while we bake on Mondays). Oh and all the things she'll be making in class - applesauce, soup, bread (and she even gets to grind the grain into flour!), butter... I want to go to school, too!



K gave them a tour of our home including her bedroom. Miss Robin really loved all of K's angels and said she will feel 'very much at home' in their classroom. Both of her teachers told me how fortunate my girls are to be surrounded by such a nurturing environment at home. This meant a lot to me because I really try my hardest.


'Purple Grandma Baby' in a sari Miss Robin made

We were lucky to spend the next day with K's teachers as well. There was a playdate at a nearby park scheduled for all of K's class. Surprisingly, we were the only ones to show so once again we had her teachers all to ourselves. We played for hours and I had some amazing discussions with both of her teachers about Waldorf teaching, Steiner and the innocence of childhood. I won't go into details of the day now, because I said this would be the condensed version, but another time. I will say Miss Regina made me blush when she said she could see me as a Waldorf early childhood teacher (my dream someday).

This truly is the beginning of a beautiful adventure for all of us. I love that not just the child, but the child's entire family is truly embraced and part of the school. Waldorf education really is whole life learning at it's best!


Oh yeah, and I got to hear my little baby's heartbeat at my midwife appointment on Wednesday! There really is a little someone in there!

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25 comments:

Plain and Joyful Living said...

How wonderful that your entire family is being embraced.

boatbaby said...

I am so happy for you Nicole. Feeling that your daughter is in loving and safe and nurturing hands is SOOOOO important!
And yay for the little pitter patter. May you continue to feel healthy!

Angela Mobley said...

Hi Nicole! i haven't stopped by to see you in awhile!
I am so very happy for you that your girl is already off to a good start for the school year. We just became parents to a grader...it is so hard and so terribly exciting to leave that warm, sweet coccoon of kindergarten. But big adventures await us now. We are so glad we chose Waldorf too...or did it choose us? :))) lots of love, Angie

Amanda said...

How exciting! I'm so happy for you and your family!

momma rae said...

eek!!! a heartbeat! that is so special to hear that tiny thumping. ;)

i am thrilled for you that your home visit went so well. as i commented on hillary's post, as a teacher who does these home visits, it is really neat to read about it from the other perspective. it truly makes such a difference in the connection with the child and the whole family.

you are the most wonderful parent to visit and have joining one's classroom community!! i can only imagine their delight with you all. i think ec teacher is a natural fit for you too, my love. ;)

xoxoxoxo
rae

Homesteadgirl said...

How wonderful! I teach kindergarten in a Catholic school...this will be my first year with this grade, and although our interviews/meetings are only an hour long, I hope my children's parents leave my room feeling as supported and wonderful as you're feeling...maybe not quite, as the "system" is so different from the Waldorf philosophy...but I do hope they're reassured that I'm a loving and wonderful teacher! And congrats on your babe's first "appearance"...such a magical moment, every single time.

Bending Birches said...

squeee! oh, sounds so wonderful:)

the nest said...

We had our kindergarten teacher visit us on Monday too. Ten years ago she visited before our son started, five years ago she visited after Hana's birth, and now to get to know Hana as a kindergartner! We are so fortunate to have such a wonderful woman as a friend and for the start of our children's school life.

Oh, the heartbeat! I will never tire of nor forget the sound.

Happy weekend!

Annie@Imagination said...

how absolutely wonderful. Mine start at a waldorf inspired preschool in 2 1/2 weeks and they've met their teacher 3 times now and absolutely love her. Unfortunately, after these 2 years (maybe three, still undecided) we will most likely be heading to public school... i'm going to hold on to the next 2 years with all I've got!

i hope you share some of the journey on your blog...

Annie said...

How wonderful! I can definitely see you as a Waldorf early childhood educator someday too :)

We had our home visit last weekend. We hadn't planned on sending him to school at all, but for a variety of reason we are doing 3x/week pre-K right now and found that our local Waldorf school was the best fit for us. It is really wonderful to see how much love his teacher has for children and for our son already. And he warmed up to her immediately the first time we met her even before we had considered sending him to the school. It really is something special to know that our kids will have a relationship like that with their teachers!

twolittleseeds said...

Wow, I would love to send my children to a school like that! How blessed they are xx

Joy said...

Aww...this was so heartwarming to read. I'm so glad you clicked with K's teachers this way. OF COURSE you would make a perfect Waldorf early childhood educator. ;) I can't wait to hear more about K's school experiences!

cat said...

that is so wonderful! i truly hope that a space opens up in the next year for xi here, otherwise we have to wait until 3rd grade to apply again...what a wonderful adventure for K and all of you really!!

xoxxoxo

christine ~ ourdayourjourney said...

nicole, i am sososo happy for your family. many blessings, christine

CAM said...

That was such a wonderful experience to read about. It is so lovely when we stumble across kindred spirits isn't it?

renee ~ heirloom seasons said...

My head is full of thoughts of angels all morning. I can write only one moment , we are headed into the forest for several days (oh thank goodness!), but I can't wait to talk more about all this wonderfulness.
Lots of love to all your beautiful family!
XOXOXO

melody said...

It all sounds so wonderful! I always find images of your home to be so peaceful and nurturing.

I do hope you will share more about your conversations and thoughts. I always enjoy reading them!

misadventuresofkellyandkelly said...

I'm glad it all went so well.

and yay for baby heartbeat!!

Victoria said...

It is wonderful to read that the school are so supportive, loving and embracing to your family. I was close to tears reading it, your teachers sound so special.
I remember hearing Little Bean's heartbeat for the first time, magical is the only word I can think of right now to describe my feelings from that moment.
I really enjoy reading your posts, they are inspiring, thank you :)

http://curiousinquisitivechild.blogspot.com/

Tahara said...

I totally agree about Waldorf education!...You do provide a wonderful environment for your girls...I know you try hard at that, and it is appreciated by your girls whether they realize it or not at this age...

Glad your home visit went well...

Eva said...

That sounds like a lovely home visit! Would you consider sharing your recipe for the carob cake with us, please? Thank you!

Bobbie V said...

Aloha,

I have a question I hope you can help me with. I've emailed it to you-- I'm not a spammer! Don't junk mail me!

:)

Bobbie V

Kristy said...

Congratulations on hearing the heartbeat of the Little One growing within. :) It's a great sound!

Thanks too for the blog. Even with three children at a Steiner School and one nearly ready to begin playgroup, my house is nowhere near where yours is at and where I might like mine to be. So thanks for the inspiration that I need now and then.

Warm Regards
Kristy

kollene carlsson said...

wow, what a beautiful blog! and congrats on your little one's heart... it's the loveliest sound isn't it!

Nicole Spring (Frontier Dreams) said...

Thank you so much everyone for your kind words and support!
I will absolutely continue sharing our journey in this space. I look forward to it to help me remember every detail of every step along the way.

The carob cake recipe can be found here:http://spasfam.blogspot.com/2008/11/chocolate-cake.html
We used whole wheat pastry flour, though.
I highly suggest using maple syrup as the sweetener. We used honey the last time around and it was good, but just not as good as the last time we made it ;)

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