From Cynthia...
Cynthia Aldinger
Dear Friends,
I hope you find these articles as articulate and inspiring as I did.  I had to smile as one after another mentioned Marie Kondo's book, The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up.  Now I know it is time for me to buy that book!  My general rule is that when a book has been recommended to me by three different people, I know it is time to get it.  When you read the articles I think you will agree with the accurate use of the word magic in relationship to tidying.
While it is not specifically mentioned, we can certainly imagine the delight a home or a classroom experiences once it is tidied.  It is not unlike the feeling a garden has when it is tended......   Read more. 
Nancy Poer's mother, Lola, with     her brother Jack
Introduction to our Theme:
Spring Cleaning:  Involving the Children  in Reawakening the Life Forces

Spring is a wonderful time full of transformation. While the winter months left us with a deep introspection and pull to go within, the spring invites us to breathe outward and expand, transforming the space around us. There is a reawakening of our rested souls and suddenly we feel the need to start moving and clearing out the cobwebs from that long slow winter inside. Perhaps this introspection fuels the saying out with the old, in with the new. We now wish to bring the inner changes we've made to life. What better way to manifest this than with the natural ritual of spring cleaning.  

Home making is an integral part of working with young children. It is here where we lay the foundation for capable, self-sufficient and confident adults making a positive impact on the world. With our fast paced lives many of our children are no longer experiencing the simple art of caring for our home. We're finding easier and quicker ways of getting things done and losing the value of the hard labor of love that goes into home making. Many of us just do the work for our children, not having the patience or time to wait for a toddler to pick up the blocks or perhaps afraid that a bigger mess will ensue if we hand them a bucket and mop. While this may be true, they are missing out on valuable life lessons and learning opportunities if we never let them make mistakes. These messy trial and error cleaning experiences are the heart of childhood. It's how we learn cause and effect. (And how we learn to not fill the bucket up quite so full the next time we hand it to a very eager toddler.) Our attitude about it reflects in their behavior. You're probably not going to find a child eager to clean up unless you make it a positive experience through your own words and actions. "Doesn't it feel so cozy now that your room is tidy and your lovies are cared for, tucked away so snug in their beds?"

No one admires the grumpy college student that can't cook, clean or take the initiative to care for themselves. How can we as parents, teachers, and caregivers bring the value of these every- day tasks to the children in our care? How can we bring reverence to a mundane task and teach the value we can find within it? We must strive to find patience, nurturance, guidance and acceptance, as these tasks take a great deal of time when working with our small helpers. Grumbling at the washing machine or the piles of unfolded laundry isn't going to inspire anyone to jump in and accomplish something. So how do we change our own mindset and become something worthy of imitation? How can we guide the children in our care to find a sense of accomplishment and pride so that they might feel this same refreshment we do when we walk into a freshly cleaned room? You can feel the energy shift when a home has been loved and taken care of. The articles and resources below explore this important topic. I hope it inspires you to start fresh this spring with a renewed sense of zen! 

"A place for everything, and everything in it's place." ~ Gnome proverb

Enjoy this issue of the newsletter!

Amy Gerassimoff, Editor
Transformation through Tidying
By Christine O'Brien

I have this sweet memory of playing at doing dishes with my mom. I was pouring the sudsy water into my favorite cup and making believe it was a root beer float that I was serving to my mom, who was sitting nearby. My mother was always busy cooking, cleaning and organizing; she is the type to regularly use the phrase, "Cleanliness is next to godliness." 

Most often, however, she chose not to include my brother, sister or me in the home care routine. Her own painful childhood caused her to focus on our environment rather than be with us. This sense of separation feels more pervasive than the golden moments of connection.  After much turmoil she gave up and left the family to move to Europe...

Spring Cleaning with Mothering Arts
By Kerry Ingram

Spring is coming! Spring fever, spring babies and spring cleaning. This is my favorite time of year to create space for new growth and freshness by clearing clutter and getting the house in order. A Traditional Folk Rhyme invites us to simplify the work that is done in our home to one task each day: 
Wash on Monday, Iron on Tuesday, Mend on Wednesday, Churn on Thursday, Clean on Friday, Bake on Saturday, 
Rest on Sunday . Though some of the activities may sound dated, the idea of doing a little each day is quite revolutionary! In our multi-tasking culture this old rhyme offers order, simplicity, focus and freedom woven into a weekly rhythm of home care.

Let's shift the word "chores" or "housework" to "home care"....It has a different feeling. A new quality may emerge while we 
care for our home rather than do 
housework. It's also a great phrase to use when we are asking our children to help. And by all means, invite your child to help at an early age and give them more opportunities to participate in home care as they get older....

Sparking Empathy
By Jerilyn C. Burke

1. the psychological identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another
2. the imaginative ascribing to an object, as a natural object or work of art, feelings or attitudes present in oneself

I often ascribe feelings to objects when I speak to my children about them. "This shoe wants to be with his best friend." "It's time to put these toys away. They've worked so hard and want a rest." "Can you put this block back with the rest of his family?" "Ouch! That banging hurts the table. It wants to be treated well so that it will look nice for a long time." "That doll looks uncomfortable. Let's make her cozy."...

Read Full Article
daffodils and moss basket
Finding Space in Simplicity
By Carolyn Gereau

vancouver lifeways
Spring Cleaning
By Mary O'Connell

In a monastery, there lived a monk who was quite simple-minded, and all the menial tasks were given to him, such as washing the dishes, sweeping and scrubbing the floors and so on. He did not mind this, and did all his chores lovingly while always pronouncing little prayers when doing his work. "Dear God, as I wash this dish, please send one of Your angels to wash my heart and make it pure" or "Dear God, as I clean this floor, please send one of Your angels to help me, that every person who walks on this floor may be touched by his presence." For every chore, he had a prayer, and he continued working in this way for a great many years. Legend says that one morning as he woke up, he was enlightened, and from then on people came from far and wide to listen to his wisdom.....

Read Full Article
Additional Resources 

Check out these additional books on our topic:

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
by  Marie Kondo
Spark Joy
by Marie Kondo
Why Cleaning has Meaning
by Linda Thomas

Homemaking and Personal Development: 

The Spiritiual Tasks of the Homemaker
by Manfred Schmidt-Brabant
Simplicity Parenting
by Kim John Payne
Meditative Practice for Homemakers
by Veronika Van Duin
Homemaking as a Social Art
by Veronica Van Duin

Boulder LifeWays
The LifeWays Training Part 2 is finally here!

NEW  LifeWays Early Childhood Education Completion Program!

LifeWays Graduates:  
The LifeWays Completion Program for Early Childhood Teaching starts in June 2017 in Kimberton, PA and is open to LifeWays graduates. It is Part Two of the complete "LifeWays Birth to Seven Early Childhood Teacher Education Program," designed to prepare graduates to work as lead early childhood teachers in Waldorf Schools. Interest is high, so request an application today to assure your place!

LifeWays Training Part One: LifeWays Training and Certification for parents and professionals. Graduation from Part One at Kimberton or at another LifeWays training location in North America is required for enrollment in the Completion Program,.
LifeWays Training Part Two: The LifeWays Completion Program for Early Childhood Teaching prepares LifeWays graduates to teach in a Waldorf school setting. 

Location: Kimberton Waldorf School, Kimberton, Pennsylvania
ladies cooking


June 20 - 24 & June 26 - July 1, 2017
October 7 - 9, 2017
March 24 - 31, 2018
June 23 - July 3, 2018

The Birth to Seven Early Childhood Teacher Education Program prepares LifeWays graduates to teach in a Waldorf school setting and is designed to meet the requirements of the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN). Once it achieves this status, the complete LifeWays program at Kimberton, comprised of both levels, will be recognized by WECAN and the International Association for Steiner/Waldorf Early Childhood Education.

What does the LifeWays Completion Program offer?

Building on what you learned in your LifeWays Early Childhood Certification Course, you will delve more deeply into five areas of study begun in Part One:

Adult Development and the Social Arts ~  Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy; further biography work;  Waldorf school organization;  social renewal; relating with colleagues and parents.
Child Development and Waldorf Early Childhood Education ~ prebirth, birth to three, nursery and kindergarten, readiness for first grade; seven year cycles and overview of Waldorf education; child observation/child study in a school setting; therapeutic aspects of the Waldorf approach; creating a nurturing and nourishing early childhood classroom environment in a Waldorf school setting.
The Practical Arts with Young Children ~ establishing rhythms for the classroom in your geography and climate; storytelling, puppetry and movement circles for the kindergarten-aged child; artistic activities and crafts with young children; gardening.
Artistic Development for the Educator ~ continued practice in the arts of movement (Eurythmy and Spacial Dynamics), music and singing, beeswax modelling and the visual arts.
Mentored Teaching ~ classroom experience through practice teaching under an experienced Waldorf mentor.

May Festival Crowns
LifeWays Training
Early Childhood Certification Program

Completing the LifeWays® Early Childhood Certification Program can open new opportunities for you-both  professional and personal-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 for inspiration in the Living Arts.  Certification programs are currently available at locations throughout the United States and in Toronto, Ontario.

Click on the location for more information:

2 places still available!
Asheville, NC
Ashley d'Ambrosi Masters, Student Services

Enroll by May 15th and save $225!
Newtown, Connecticut
Eileen Straiton, Student Services Director

This Training fills up quickly, please apply early.
San Francisco Bay Area
Marianne Alsop

Register by Aug 31 and save $225!
San Diego Area (Encinitas)
Liz Alvarado, Student Services Director

For LifeWays Graduates only, who want to qualify to teach in Waldorf Schools
Kimberton, Pennsylvania
Student Services Director Chinyelu Kunz

Trainings are ongoing in other locations. Follow the link below to find a training near you!

Learn More
The Ellersiek Hand Gesture Work
Summer Intensive 
Presented by Lynn St. Pierre
Weds. July 6th - Sat July 9th, 2016
Boulder, CO

This intensive is designed for enthusiasts of the Ellersiek work who would like to deepen their understanding and practice of the games, and for those who teach the games to other teachers in trainings or workshops. We will focus on the pedagogy and understanding the therapeutic aspects of the games in meeting the children of these times. We will have a small intimate circle.

See full Ellersiek Summer Intensive Flyer
Home Health Care:
Nurturing & Nourishing Ourselves and Children
Presented by Trish McPhee, FNP
July 30, 2016 9am - 6pm & July 31, 2016 9am- 12:30pm
Palmer, AK
Birchtree Charter School,  7107 E Palmer-Wasilla Hwy, Palmer, AK 99645

In this hands-on course, you'll learn how to care for your family at home with natural home health care techniques, such as wraps, poultices, massages, and inhalations for common childhood illnesses and fevers. Trish McPhee will explain the importance of warmth, sleep and good nutrition for your growing child, the role that childhood illnesses play in your child's development and more - all with practical suggestions for everyday use.

Learn More
Storytelling, Puppetry & Language Development  
Presented by Ashley Masters & Sharifa Oppenheimer
Oct 8-9, 2016
Asheville, NC

The development of speech and language is one of the greatest achievements of our lifetime.  It begins with the first cry at birth, and can grow in leaps and bounds throughout the first 7 years.  Yet research shows that language skills and thus literacy are rapidly declining in our schools.  What lives in the mystery of speech mastery, and how can the therapeutic art of storytelling and puppetry be one of the best supports for our children's love and aptitude for language?  We will look at the development of speech in the first years of life, and focus on the wisdom of rhythm, alliteration, consonantal delight, and joyful soundings of the nursery rhyme in storytelling and visual presentation through puppetry. Puppet making included.

Home as the Model - 
              Life as the Curriculum
with Cynthia Aldinger & Mary O'Connel
Starting again: 
September 7 - October 5, 2016

Have you wanted to learn more about the magic of LifeWays? Join Cynthia and Mary for a four-week course exploring how the best curriculum for the young child springs from life itself.  Learn how Life, the Child, the Adult and the Environment all form the perfect learning ground for the young child, whether at home or in childcare/preschool.

Each Wednesday a new lesson will be posted with a variety of learning activities:
       ~ new reading materials
       ~ audio downloads of conversations between Cynthia and                   Mary
       ~ practical activities, with journaling
       ~ videos and
       ~ rich online discussion forums with the presenters and                       other students
Learn on your own time and at your own pace, and always have access to the course materials.

Learn More
Healthy Home Rhythms
A Collaboration with Mothering Arts
& LifeWays North America
Ongoing Open Enrollment

This popular online course, developed by Kerry Ingram at Mothering Arts, supports you to create a balanced home rhythm rooted in presence and joy. In this self-paced course, you will work with four water-colored seasonal rhythm wheels (printer required), a meal planner wheel and LOTS of practical resources to develop a rhythm wheel that is unique for your own family.  Create a more connected home life with the help of this inspiring, step-by-step, course that you can do any time and access again and again as the seasons-and your family-change.
Featured LifeWays Representative Program:   Redbud Play School
~ Frances Whalen
Redbud Play School offers a LifeWays early childhood program in Norman, OK. Located in the center of town, Redbud Play School offers care for children aged 1 to 5. At Miss Frances's house, children's natural love of learning is nurtured by a media-free environment, mindful discipline, ample space and time for unstructured play, and a healthy whole foods menu. The children who play here spend generous amounts of time outdoors, taking care of the chickens and gardens. 

Miss Frances's favorite thing about working with children is the abundant sense of hope and imagination evident in children's speech, play, and behavior. A self-professed "play junkie," she is committed to furthering her understanding of the practical benefits of play for adults and children alike. 
Farmhouse Manna Cookbook
from The Rosebud Garden

Take a peek and help support this beautiful new cookbook created by The Rosebud Garden, a LifeWays Representative program out of the Kimberton Waldorf School in Pennsylvania:

Farmhouse Manna offers more than recipes.  It unveils the inner workings of Rosebud Garden, including the rituals in our daily rhythm centered around the food we prepare and create with the help of the children, serve and eat with joy! From parents to Waldorf educators, our hope is to offer inspiration for strengthening your home or school rituals, or for creating new rhythms and rituals. Inspiration is our goal! 

To learn more, donate or order an advanced copy, click here.  
100% of proceeds from sales of the book (after covering any additional printing expenses based on what we raise on gofundme) will benefit the Early  Childhood Programs at Kimberton Waldorf School, located in Kimberton, PA. 
Job Opening
Las Vegas, New Mexico

LifeWays inspired daycare is seeking a LifeWays graduate to fill the role of lead teacher. 

The teacher/director of our local (Las Vegas, NM) Waldorf inspired daycare is retiring.  We are trying to continue the program through a co-op model with a lead teacher to keep the daily vision.  Past teachers of this daycare have attended Lifeways training and we would love to find another teacher with the same experience. There is a potential to not only be the lead teacher but to fully take over the business.

Please contact Rachel at:

LifeWays North America