News from AWSNA           November  2018
The official e-news of the Association of independent Waldorf schools
As we look ahead to the not-so-distant future, we ask that you mark your calendars for the 2020 Waldorf100 Conference hosted by Chicago Waldorf School, Chicago, IL from June 22-25, 2020.  The conference is the culmination of the year-long festivities celebrating 100 years of Waldorf education worldwide. 

The Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA), Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN), and Alliance for Public Waldorf Education (APWE) invite you and your colleagues to join us in celebrating our past and planning for the future.

With warmest wishes,

Nita Davanzo
Interim Waldorf100 Director

Why Routines Matter
An article in Harvard Graduate School of Education describes research showing that children who have nourishing routines at home show better executive function than those with an unpredictable home life. Routines require impulse control and focus, so the very practice of executing routines strengthens our capacity for learning.

While predictable structure can help families gain quality time, researchers have also found that children who experience regular evening routines learn better in school. Harvard graduate and book author of Prime Time Parenting, Heather Miller, says: "In the digital age, when the constant stream of devices so frequently interrupts the flow of home life and face-to-face interaction, routines at home are more important than ever - especially ones that involve turning off those devices entirely for limited amounts of time."

Read more at Waldorf Education.
Photo: Highland Hall Waldorf School

In an article in The Guardian, surgeon Roger Kneebone says he would like to encourage more creative subjects in school to promote the tactile skills necessary for a career in medicine or science. As professor of surgical education at Imperial College London, he has noticed that new students do not seem as competent using their hands. He feels that modern school curriculum, which focuses less on tactile and creative coursework may be to blame. "We have noticed that medical students and trainee surgeons often don't seem as comfortable with doing things with their hands ... than they used to even perhaps five or 10 years ago. People are no longer getting the same exposure to making and doing [things] when they are at home, when they are school, as they used to."

Read more at Waldorf Education
Photo: East Bay Waldorf School
How Folktales Develop
Divergent Thinking

Not only do folk and fairy tales reach children's emotions and imaginations with rich visual and contextual elements, they also help children with divergent thinking and logical reasoning skills. As Albert Einstein famously said: "If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales."

Read more on Waldorf Education.
Photo: Austin Waldorf School

Allowing Children to Help 
with Household Tasks

Children have a natural desire to model their activities and to be useful and valued. According to an article in Psychology Today, fulfilling this need helps the child feel loved, accountable and confident. "We ourselves generally think of work as something that people naturally don't want to do, and we pass that view on to our children, who then pass it on to their children. But researchers have found strong evidence that very young children innately want to help, and if allowed to do so will continue helping, voluntarily, through the rest of childhood and into adulthood."

Read more on Waldorf Education .

Photo Source: Waldorf School of Lexington
A House Full of Books Boosts Literacy

A new study finds that growing up in a house full of books is a major boost to literacy and numeracy. Books in the home are an integral part of routines and practices that enhance lifelong learning. While the average number of books in a home library differed from country to country - from 27 in Turkey to 143 in the UK and 218 in Estonia - "the total effects of home library size on literacy are large everywhere," write Sikora and her colleagues in the research paper published in the journal Social Science Research.
"Adolescent exposure to books is an integral part of social practices that foster long-term cognitive competencies spanning literacy, numeracy and ICT skills," they write. "Growing up with home libraries boosts adult skills in these areas beyond the benefits accrued from parental education or own educational or occupational attainment."

Read more on Waldorf Education.

Photo: Susquehanna Waldorf School

What does it mean to nourish our children, ourselves, and our world? There is literal nourishment given by the earth to humankind; and also spiritual, emotional, and intellectual nourishment. All of these gifts are not just given, but cultivated, as we humans are only benefactors of the natural world when we engage in its stewardship. The method of this stewardship, and the way we teach it to our children, matters greatly.

You can read the whole article on Waldorf Education.

Please visit AWSNA's education blog, called Essentials in Education, in which we explore topics that matter to educators, researchers, policy experts, and thought leaders from a Waldorf Education perspective.
We welcome comments and feedback, and we also welcome guest posts. Please contact Beverly Amico at [email protected] for details. 

Previous topics include: 
  • Education's Role in Curbing Teen Anxiety
  • Crucial Creativity
  • Reframing Failure in the Classroom
  • Teaching Empathy: Essential for Students, Crucial for Humanity
  • The Importance of Learning a Second Language
  • The Educator as Artist
  • Experiential Education
  • In Praise of Kindergarten
  • Teach Children to Seek Significance over Success
  • Make Them Scientists - Redirecting the Science Instruction Paradigm
  • The Powerful Force of Curiosity
  • Happiness in the Classroom
  • Be Worthy of Imitation: Why Modeling Matters at Home and in Class
  • Fostering Lifelong Learning
  • The Importance of Productive Solitude
  • Outdoor Education - Beyond Environmentalism
Read more on Waldorf Education
Sunfield Waldorf School
Check out the complete listing of events
on  AWSNA's Events Calendar ,
including details and contact information.
We'd like to extend a special thank you to 
for supporting AWSNA  as members of our Partners Circle. 
Their supporting funds help our Association  to drive strategic initiatives and services  to our member schools and ins titutes.  Thank you.

If you'd like to subscribe to
 AWSNA's monthly e-news, 
please sign up by going here.

Photo: GBRSS 
  Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
View our profile on LinkedIn
Find us on Pinterest

awsna logo small black
AWSNA provides leadership to schools by facilitating resources, networks and research as they strive towards excellence and build healthy school communities. The Association performs functions that its member schools and institutes could not do alone, including:
·    Outreach and advocacy
·    Accreditation and school support services
·    Professional development activities
·    Research and publications
Please contact us if you have any questions about AWSNA or this or any other newsletter. 

Questions please contact [email protected] or an AWSNA executive director:  

Executive Director, Finance & Operations: Stephanie Rynas
[email protected]
515 Kimbark, Suite 106, Longmont, CO 80501
612-870-8310 x104   Fax 720-633-9543
Executive Director, Advancement: Beverly Amico
515 Kimbark, Suite 106Longmont, CO 80501
612-870-8310 x106    Fax 720-633-9543

Executive Director, Membership: Melanie Reiser
515 Kimbark, Suite 106Longmont, CO 80501
612-870-8310 x105     Fax 720-633-9531