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Letter from Cynthia
All existence is spirit.
Just as ice is water,                         all matter is also spirit.
Mineral, vegetable, animal or human – All are a condensed form of spirit.
Rudolf Steiner  

Dear Friends,  
What a beautiful summer newsletter theme.  Thank you to our new editor, Michaeleen Hinca, for gathering this inspiring content.  Amy set the tone for an engaging, quality newsletter, and we are grateful that Michaeleen has stepped in seamlessly.  Rahima continues to be a wonderful support.   
Summer is a perfect season to honor those who support all that happens in nature – not just the beauty but also the bounty!  Rudolf Steiner wrote with intensity about nature spirits, hopefully compelling us toward interest in and understanding our partnership. 

Reading Mary O’Connell’s article, offering a picture of how the four elements are related to nature as well as to our own physicality, we experience another layer of why we want to encourage children’s deep relationship to nature.  As she writes, “The elements of earth, water, air and fire were identified by the ancient Greeks as the forces that govern all of life. Direct experiences with these elements can help children be more aware of and present in their bodies.”

Summer Theme
     Allowing Space
By Helga Roe Conklin  
...So it was that one day I found myself sitting on the Astroturf in the outdoor play area, reciting silly rhymes and laughing with the children, when one of the little boys quietly sat down beside me.

Relating to Nature, Rather than Examining Nature

By Acacia Moore, Rose Rock School
I spent hours up in the trees as a child. Climbing as high as I could possibly manage, I would step out as far as I could while still holding onto something. The branch beneath my feet would rock as I stepped out to its thinner parts ...READ MORE
Fostering my Relationship with Nature

By Missy Whaley

 S urrounded by forty acres of wild woodlands, birds chirping, a vine that is slipping through--growing into my kitchen--I breathe in nature every day.
Earth, Water, Air and Fire
by Mary O’Connell
I remember the crisp autumn day the well-dressed early childhood professor from a nearby university came to spend the morning with LifeWays’ preschoolers. She was impressed with the way the children played outdoors, climbing trees, balancing on fallen logs, gathering acorns and telling stories with them, as comfortable and relaxed in their outdoor forest environment as most modern children are in their own living rooms. 

After Supper
By Jerilyn Burke  
One of my favorite moments of the day during the warm weather months is after supper. After my children put their dishes in the sink and sweep up the inevitable crumbs. After coming together as a family, sitting around the table, taking an inhale of love for one another, nourishing more than our bodies.  READ MORE
Living in Nature’s Encircling Love
B y Sharifa Oppenheimer  
For the young child especially, but for all children as well, it is a rich life-lesson to experience “whole process learning.”  We live in a fast-paced, fragmented world;  how does a child have the opportunity to live-into the whole-process experiences that nature provides?  READ MORE

More on our summer theme:

"Balancing Child Safety and Risk in the Parenting Dance"                                                            by Judy Frizlen (on the element Fire)

“The Importance of Natural Play Spaces for Children and Connecting with Nature”                      by Audra Harvey 

“The Wonder Garden, Keepers of the Magic” by Amy Gerassimoff,  

“Wind or Weather: An Elemental Experience” by Jaimmie Stugard 

Featured Representative Program
Joyful Toddlers
Play Garden
An outdoor parent-child playgroup for children ages 1-5 in Arvada, Colorado
By Faith Collins
Three years ago my family moved onto a one-acre property, and last year I started transforming the back yard to be a wonderful and welcoming place for children and adults alike.  I hired a wonderful landscaper who was interested in natural playscapes, and I have planted literally thousands of flowers.  This past spring I finally opened my gates and started formal parent-child classes, first two mornings per week, then three mornings in the summer.  READ MORE
Watch for Faith Collins' new book Joyful Toddlers!
Joyful Toddlers & Preschoolers: Create A Life that You and Your Child Both Love,
is scheduled to be released by Hohm Press in October 2017 and will be available from the LifeWays Store. Watch for it in our next issue!

Faith Collins teaches in the LifeWays Training in Boulder and is the founder of Joyful Toddlers offering coaching, public speaking, and online parenting classes, as well as her Play Garden parent-child classes.  She lives near Denver with her husband and three-year-old daughter, Sophie.  
Happenings at LifeWays
For Early Childhood Certification

Completing the LifeWays® Early Childhood Certification Program can open new opportunities for you—both  professionally and personally—in the fields of early childhood, parent education and after-school care. Our one-year, part-time curriculum includes over 200 onsite hours, with independent study and personal mentoring between sessions. It can prepare you to open or transform your own in-home program, classroom or early childhood center. 

Many parents also enroll to deepen family life.  

Certification programs are currently available at locations throughout the United States, with workshops also in Toronto.  

LEARN MORE about what is covered. Click on the titles/links below for each location.

*** Trainings Beginning in August ***

(A few spaces remain so there is still time to register!)

California Coast, August 2017 – June 2018   San Francisco Bay Area 

Contact: Marianne Alsop

Colorado, August 2017 - May 2018   Boulder, Colorado        

Contact: Kerry Francis, Student Services 303-709-5174

*** Training Beginning in October ***

(Register by August 20, 2017 and save $225!)

Wisconsin, October 2017 - August 2018  Milwaukee, Wisconsin    

Contact:  Dorothy Kulke, Student Services Director 414-334-1407

Beginning Sept 6th!
The Living Arts ~ Cornerstones of Care
Unique Online Course
* 4 weeks of presentations, interaction and inspiration * FREE Living Arts Journal * Earn 15 CEUs *

Creating Home Away from Home:
A Course for Home Childcare Providers
With Mary O'Connell
Enroll any time!

This on-demand, at-your-own-pace, online course will help you open your own early childhood program at home, providing relationship-based care steeped in LifeWays principles and practices.

Includes a copy of the book Home Away from Home, a monthly webinar exclusively for participants and a free one-year listing on the LifeWays Online Childcare Directory.

Topics covered in detail include: 

Deciding to Start

Tools of the Trade

Crafting Your Program

Working with Parents

Self-Care and

Professional Development 

training photo
for LifeWays Graduates

     J une 18 (eve) -23 & June 25-29, 2018
     October 4-8, 2018
     April 14-20, 2019
     June 17-22 & June 24-28, 2019

Location:  Kimberton, Pennsylvania
Co-Directors: Cynthia Aldinger and                               Rena Osmer
Student Services Director: Chinyelu Kunz

LifeWays Continuation Program for Early Childhood Teaching                                    in Public and Private Schools   
Rena and Cynthia are enthusiastically putting the final touches on this program and invite you to join them in deepening your work with The Living Arts and to build on all you learned in the first half of this program, the LifeWays Early Childhood Training. The Continuation Program will emphasize “Developing Joy as the Foundation of our Work” while studying Steiner’s indications behind Waldorf education and the practicalities of applying them in a classroom setting.

For a synopsis of the four sessions in the Continuation Program, click here.
Learn more (includes an online application for LifeWays graduates).
with Trish McPhee, RN, FNP

October 12-13, 2017 

At Desert Marigold School in Phoenix, AZ

Learn More

Angel Edwards, in our current CA Coast training class...and taking 2 years to complete...shares, Jakaiyah Jordan Edwards was born June 17, 2017 at 11:44am!!! 
We are so proud and elated to have our first and only son!”

Reach families who are looking for LifeWays programs and show your affiliation with a national organization. All programs are listed with links to your email and website, if you have one, and many people have told us that they receive inquiries regularly from people who found them on our website.  We will also keep you up-to-date with LifeWays happenings by sending you our quarterly e-newsletter, in which we regularly feature a LifeWays program. 

There are four categories of listings within each state or province: LifeWays Representative Program, LifeWays Student or Graduate, and LifeWays-Affiliated Program.

Find out more
The summer newsletter enjoyed contributions from parents and caregivers around the country, and we are grateful they took valuable time to share their wisdom.  Would you like to share your ideas and experiences with other readers?  Are you working on a LifeWays-related project you want to share with like-minded individuals? Have an article you wrote you'd like to have considered? New recipe, project or puppet play?

Summer is in full swing and offering us the bounty of fresh fruits! 

You-Pick farms and local farmer's markets are excellent sources for "summer's candy" in addition to your own or community garden.

Our favorite way to enjoy fruit is right off the vine or branch, but when we are blessed with an over-abundance we look for ways to serve, store and preserve the bounty.

When berries are super ripe, I like to blend them with some plain yogurt (and mini chocolate chips!) and fill up popsicle molds like these.

Looking for some inspiration? Here are some of our favorite ways to enjoy berries, cherries and more:

Add variety by offering fresh fruits alongside an Easy Cream Cheese Fruit Dip

This  2 ingredient Blueberry Syrup  would work with any variety of berry.

Refresh and rehydrate with this Berry-Infused Iced Green Tea ~ Michaeleen 
Naturally You Can Sing announces 
Naturally you can Sing is very happy to announce a new collection of joy-filled pentatonic songs created and arranged by Mary Thienes-Schünemann, titled Pentatonic Delight. This collection includes many original compositions, more well-known songs, and some collaborations written with Cynthia Aldinger. A CD recording is included to help you learn to sing them.  
In her lifetime, Mary was committed to participating in and promoting singing with children, as she truly believed in the power of music to bring families together and the support it provides children in their development. She expressed this commitment in creating the Naturally you can Sing songbook series to support the Lifeways North America music curriculum.     In addition to the songbooks, Mary also created a series of art song CDs promoting joy, peace, and love. Naturally you can Sing is honored to give newly graduating LifeWays North America teachers a gift of “I Still Have Joy,” volumes one and two.
Reading Adventure for Ages 9-99
Former Waldorf teacher Mary Beth Melton has written a book for older children in the family (ages 9-99),  In Search of the Shining World.  Readers will meet lonely, 15-year-old Ellen MacLeod, who is dealing with the death of her father at the end of World War II. Looking for answers, she finds herself drawn into the magical world of fairies. There, paired with an enigmatic fairy prince, she is propelled into an adventure that will decide the fate of the rest of her life.
      Thank you for the love and warmth that emanate from your heart out into the world. Thank you, also, for the support you offer to LifeWays that enables us to open our organization’s heart to those in need.  Our scholarship fund has been able to serve students whose life circumstances have suddenly changed.  It provides just the cushion we need to soften the edges of fear and worry and to hold them close in the hearth of their beloved LifeWays groups.
       Individuals around the world are finding solace and inspiration through the guidance of our new online courses.  Those in professional childcare are able to receive the continuing education units they need for the year, and others are simply relieved to find support, humor and delight in sharing with other course participants.  We are also expanding our on-site professional development to include courses for individuals teaching in Waldorf charter and private schools.  
       You can find out about all of our offerings, as well as our publications, videos and audio downloads on our website  Perhaps there is something there that you want to offer as a gift to a loved one.  You can also offer your donation online or send a check to our new address at:
LifeWays North America
1515 West Main St
Norman, OK 73069   

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