Autumn Greetings from Cynthia
Dear Friend,

[Please note the little message that says the newsletter is easier to read if you click on the little thing that says “view as a webpage”.]

Gosh, I realize that for many of our readers, it no longer feels like autumn as winter weather has already set in! We left our Chicago family after our Thanksgiving celebrations just by the hair of our chinny chin chins ! The frigid temps and snow started arriving the next day! Must admit my soul wouldn’t have minded a little snowman time – part of my heart still belongs to Wisconsin where we primarily raised our sons! 

Also I want to give a shout out to our beloved friends in the Southern Hemisphere and other parts of the world. You can’t imagine how it delights us to know of your support and interest in our work, as we are also interested in yours! 

With this newsletter we are somewhat stepping out of a seasonal theme (other than all the lovely photos of pumpkins and such). The photo at the top, by the way, is my husband Michael and, yes, he climbed the hay bale mountain all by himself! We continue to have so much for which to be grateful.

This is the first of three newsletters based on the universal theme of Goodness, Beauty and Truth. It is amazing to me, after reading all the endearing articles below, how these fundamental virtues intersect. As we know, there is so much beauty and truth revealed in goodness, so much goodness found in beauty and truth and so much truth discovered in goodness and beauty! As you read the articles, I welcome you to see if you can...

The Aldinger Family , Thanksgiving 2018!
If, during the first period of life, we create an atmosphere of gratitude around the children, then out of this gratitude toward the world, toward the entire universe, and also out of thankfulness for being able to be in this world, a profound and warm sense of devotion will arise ... upright, honest, and true.
– Rudolf Steiner, The Child’s Changing Consciousness .  
Especially for YOU:
An Autumn Greeting from your
LifeWays North America Board!
Starring: Rhoda Kambandu, Marianne Alsop, Ashley d'Ambrosi
Masters, Kerry Ingram & Cynthia Aldinger (and videographer Mary O'Connell)
Yellow the bracken,
Golden the sheaves,
Rosy the Apples,
Crimson the leaves.
Mist on the hillside,
clouds grey and white.

Good Morning,

Good night!
Cherishing Goodness, Holding Hope
by Christine Culbert
It was the autumn of 2001, just a short time after the tragedy of September 11 th. At the time my work with young children and families as a Waldorf early childhood teacher focused on parent-baby classes. I was just beginning a new independent venture of my own focusing on childbirth education and parenting.  In preparing for this, I was busy collecting images, poems, and articles that would hopefully inspire my work with the families attending my classes. Like everyone else I knew, I was in deep shock and grief in the aftermath of such violence and loss. I came upon an image in a magazine that imprinted itself into my heart and soul and it has stayed with me to this day. It was a photo of a mother holding her infant in her arms as she stood on the balcony of her high-rise apartment in Manhattan and watched the Twin Towers burning in the distance.

It was the profoundly powerful dissonance of this image that struck me: the mother tenderly holding her baby filled with goodness and hope in the midst of the magnitude of that tragic day. The focus of my work became crystal clear to me in that moment. We must always, and in all circumstances, cherish the essential goodness of life and hold hope alive in our hearts, just as that mother cherished and held her little one. The illumining insight given to us ...

Goodness Gracious! – The Brain and the Heart
by, Jerilyn Burke, LifeWays Graduate, Class of 2015
“The brain only knows what the brain only knows,” said a new favorite teacher of mine, Tammi Sweet, an herbalist and anatomy and physiology expert. Anatomy and physiology was one of my all time favorite subjects in High School. And in college I went on to love Biology and was asked by my professor to tutor fellow students. I still love learning about the multitude of systems that are invisible to the naked eye. Recently, I was excited to learn what I already intuitively knew. It is that we have the capacity to lead our lives from different parts of our body, oscillating from one to the other: the brain, the heart, and the gut. Here I will share what I understand about the developing brain and our amazing heart.

Most of you understand that young children’s brains are not as adult’s brains. The prefrontal cortex, also referred to the higher brain, where reasoning and self control live, doesn’t potentially fully develop until age 25. So asking children to make sense of things that are scary or stressful or to ask them to control their reaction to something that is overwhelming are unrealistic expectations. From birth to age 3, the part of the brain called the amygdala is busy tagging experiences and because children’s reasoning is not developed, this tagging is not always accurate. Rudolf Steiner calls young children one big sense organ and indeed they are taking it all in as current research supports. Around age three, these stored experiences can be triggered and ...

Ten Ideas For Everyday Goodness
by, Marijke Kemble
One of my favorite lessons from Steiner is the value and faith in feminine knowing - the knowledge that you have within yourself, not dictated from wise instructors.  This beautiful reminder often inspires me to seek answers within myself when I might otherwise hope some wise teacher or friend will enlighten me. So, too, with this topic of Goodness. In addition to asking how to raise children with a sense of trust that the world is fundamentally good, it is worth asking yourself, “What is Goodness?” to you! This is a creative and celebratory process that allows your values to show themselves. As you define Goodness for yourself the answers for how to teach goodness may begin to show themselves to you.

Goodness for me is that the world is fundamentally gentle, kind, beautiful, and joyful. It is also that the world is predictable, consistent, and safe. Goodness is also that we are all in this together - collaborating (with each other and with nature) to create the world we want to live in.

While as adults we know that the world is not ALWAYS Good in this way. But the task as adults is for us to nurture the inner knowing that there is a strong inner heart of Goodness in the world. This provides fuel for hope, resilience, and fortitude when harsh realities present themselves.

From this perspective here are some examples of how we can share Goodness with children and each other...

As We Joyfully Fall Into Winter
by Adria Morey
As the colors of the leaves and temperature change, indicating that autumn has fallen upon us. I have noticed the busy squirrels gathering with such intent. Busily moving and stashing before the winter comes. I wonder if I too should be doing such work in some way. For me, fall brings a great feeling of gathering in warmth. The gesture I feel for autumn is this -- arms opened wide, scooping in all that is around, then wrapping inward, hugging myself with grace and security.

Looking to Mother Nature during this time, there’s lots of preparation going on before winter hits. Leaves dropping, furry friends’ winter coats in full, bears feasting before hibernation; all are preparing for the potential freezing cold, darkness and lack of food. One could say our animal friends are building up a reserve for the coming season. Most of us humans in modern society are no longer directly facing these once very prevalent threats. Yet these feelings and archetypal energies still arise around us and within us.

With this kind of “preparation” energy or “reserve building” feeling so potent and alive, I challenge you to ...

Autumn: Goodness
from the journal of Sharifa Oppenheimer
Last autumn, after the Harvest Festival, the children and their parents came to school for a Saturday picnic, to “put the garden to bed”. We raked out the leaves, took the scarecrow apart, and spread her straw into the flower beds for mulch, pulled out the old flower stalks, and laid everything to rest for the winter. Through the very long and cold months, from time to time, a child would ask, “But when do we get to go back to the garden?”

Our garden is a little bright spot in the deep Virginia woods. It is laid out in the curve of our stream, and we must walk across a small footbridge to get there. The children thrive with the endless back and forth across this little bridge, to play on the swing set, in the sandbox , under the scented branches of the butterfly bush.

It is such a gift to teach these young souls, here in the generous arms of Nature. The children develop intimate relations with the insect and animal world, from the army of worms they unearth (and re-earth!) to the song of the wood-thrush they hear and the footprints of the raccoon in the mud beside the creek. Autumn gives them the gift of witnessing the way trees so gracefully “let go” their leaves. Winter’s gift is not only Nature’s quiet, but the deep-earth activity that we parents and teachers recognize as the children’s anticipation of the first snow drop flowers in February.

 The native people pray by intoning “All My Relations.” And the children talk of the large and loving family of Nature: our best friends the Rain Fairies, their mother The Great Mother Rain Cloud, Brother Wind, Father Sun. These children have the foundation laid for living their life with the experience of humanity as part of a great seamless Whole. This is preparation for the only future we can sustain. This is Goodness, and they bring their up- springing joy to it!
Sharifa Oppenheimer  is a longtime Waldorf Early Childhood Teacher and the author of the bestselling book Heaven on Earth: A Handbook for Parents of Young Children . Sharifa was the founding teacher of the Charlottesville Waldorf School in Virginia where she taught kindergarten for 21 years.

LifeWays is pleased to welcome Sharifa as part of the core teaching staff at the LifeWays Early Childhood Certification Training coming to Sacramento, CA in 2019!
The Goodness of Storytelling and Puppetry
by Madrone D’Ardenne 
I have found an unlimited wellspring of goodness in puppetry and storytelling arts! Each morning, as I gather my puppets, silks and other “story helpers” into my basket, it is like a care package to the world. When I enter the classrooms throughout the day, the children squeal with excitement that “The puppet lady is here!” The teacher's eyes light up. They say these little islands of enchantment I bring in my basket are a high point of their week. I feel that hope and goodness are alive and well in the world.

When I sit down in the story circle, put on my story apron and sing my welcome song, I see the rapt, eager faces of the children as they await the “story magic.” They believe with their whole being that it will appear in the forms of the puppets and the tales, songs and rhymes that enliven them. The gentle pace, simplicity, and beauty of the scenes I create allow both the child and the adult to relax and enter the world of the story, experiencing a reassurance that all is well.

To serve, protect and comfort, and to inspire this impulse in others— this is what goodness is to me . Puppetry and storytelling offers me the chance to manifest all this, and to share it with the world, one puppet show at a time.

Madrone D’Ardenne is a puppeteer and storyteller in Santa Cruz, CA, performing in local schools there, as well as in performances open to the public and at private events. Her company, Tiny House Theater , also offers classes for children and adults, teacher trainings and parent evenings.
To Shelter, Love and Challenge the Child
by Marcia Marquis
The sense of goodness, that “everything is right with the world” permeates our sweet school. It was our intention as three teachers and founders of the school to build a safe and supportive community to surround the children in our care. It was the intention of the parents that came, and continue to come to Apple Blossom, to give this gift, and the gift of Waldorf education, to their young children. Together we grew a community that surrounds the children with so many loving arms.
     Apple Blossom begins school outside each year. When I was still teaching, we gathered each morning in the Autumn to celebrate Michaelmas, a time of year when good deeds are celebrated by remembering St. George, a knight who slew the dragon in a battle of good versus evil. The children became knights of Saint Michael, like St. George. In the circle the children followed the stars to the mountain cave where the gnomes are working and asked the gnomes for iron to make a sword. The gnomes asked, “ Are you noble? Are you good? And do you hear the singing of the stars? ” “ Oh yes ”, replied the children as knights. When the blacksmith forged the swords the small knights said, “ I will use it for the right, not for some silly quarrel or fight, but to drive away evil, I will try and protect those who are weaker than I .” We see this protection in the older children guarding the younger ones and protecting them against harm.
      It is through the celebrations of festivals throughout the year that we honor the richness of life with the entire community. The goal of each of the festivals is to bring the light into the darkness.
       The first weeks we were busy preparing for our Michaelmas celebration by harvesting our vegetable garden and carding and felting colorful balls of wool for comet balls. The parents in the Parent Toddler class would sew on strips of silk for the tails. The day before our Michaelmas celebration the children and teachers would cut the vegetables that we had harvested, as well as some brought from home by the children, and put them in the large soup kettles for the next day’s soup. On Michaelmas morning children and teachers would make two large loaves of bread shaped like a dragon and these would join the other loaves in the oven. Then the tables were decorated with table clothes made by parents in the community and autumn flowers and grasses from our garden. At noon the children were released to their parents and the whole community gathered in our community yard. We teachers would carry the large soup kettles, dragon bread and loaves to the table where we would gather, the whole community holding hands, to say the blessing:
Earth who gives us all this food,
sun who makes it ripe and good,
dearest earth and dearest sun
we will not forget what you have done,
thank you for this meal .
The teachers would serve the children and parents the food that the children had prepared. After lunch the teachers would pass out the “comet balls” that the children had felted with their own hands and they would throw them as high as possible and watch them fall to the ground, streamers fluttering to the ground.
      What the celebration of the festivals throughout the year tells our children is that there is a light within each of us that, when ignited, can brighten the world and make it a better place.

Marcia Marquis is a recently retired teacher from a Waldorf Early Childhood school called Apple Blossom School and Family Center in Wilton, CT, which she co-founded in 2004.  
A Pop-up Park brings Goodness to the Neighborhood
by Lynn Coalson of Outside Kids in Jacksonville Beach, FL
In alliance with the theme of " goodness", the program, Outside Kids, created a Pop - up Park in an otherwise unused green space in the neighborhood. The pop up park consists of loose parts, recycled and collected from the surrounding area, that the children utilized however their imaginations inspired. While the loose parts are typical in LifeWays programs, they are unusual in conventional city park playgrounds. They have placed tree stumps, an old tire, discarded boards and benches and hay bales in the space. Tree-friendly hammocks and old sheets were used to create hide- outs, fairy houses and forts. The park is enjoyed by all the children in the neighborhood. and the neighbors have commented on how lovely it is to hear the children's laughter and how nice it is to see the green spaces used in a positive "GOOD" way!
Harvesting the Goodness of you, (spots and all)!
by, Mary Wheatley
What if parenting was viewed as an opportunity to learn more about one self?  What if our children serve as the platform for growth throughout this amazing time of life? With this approach parents can reap the harvest of their own joyful existence as well as their children’s.

How can parents grow a healthy “self” garden?

Let’s Begin with good soil

Further Reading on the Autumn Theme
LifeWays' own Mary O'Connell suggests a post from the Blog Sparkle Stories titled A Storyteller’s Guide to Building Worlds: Where to Pay Attention Mary writes: " I like his blog very much, and this seems to be good advice about how to focus on the good."
Edith, an Online Student from Portland, OR, shares on our topic of "Goodness"

"I think that the best way to shift my pace or reaction to life events, in order to help my children to appreciate the world as a good place to call home, is by slowing down our frantic rhythm and having time to smell the roses. Also, by reminding myself that it is not what happens to us but how we react to what happened that makes the difference. Life can be sometimes a bumpy road, but we need to learn to look at our accomplishments rather then what is lacking. Sometimes a simple act as breathing deeply can recharge us and ground us. We  could certainly encourage our children to take long, slow deep breaths and to breath out nice and slowly, when they feel stressed out. Better than that, we could do it ourselves and show them by example. My 7-year-old was telling me recently that life can be difficult and unfair. Obviously, in her eyes, it is unfair seeing homeless people in our streets or it is unfair to her that she never got to meet her grandfathers. My response to her was to acknowledge her feeling, and also explain to her that if I ever went though a difficult time in my life, I always had people around me helping me and comforting me. Not sure, if she fully understood what I meant, but I finished by saying that we (her family) will be always be there for her and that she is safe. I know that for her, "the world is good" if it is a safe place to be."
baby toddler read

Are you enjoying what you are reading? If so, please share it with a friend or your school community!
Nettlewood Playgarden
Palmer, Alaska
Our morning begins as the sun rises over the mountains, greeting us in the garden as we harvest the last of our berries and apples to bring inside for snack. A game of garden tag often ensues as children nimbly jump garden beds tucked away for their winter rest. We gather for our verse and morning hello as we start our day together. Wandering to the play yard to begin our morning chores of feeding animals, children know that the cottonwood leaves are favored by Idgie and Nanna, our tubby Nigerian Dwarf goats, and that Lady bun bun, our French Angora rabbit enjoys the chickweed growing along the edge of the wood. As chores are finished the children find their way to the most important work of the day: PLAY! They climb trees that magically turn into airplanes, build forts and trains, transform a mud kitchen into an ice cream truck that delivers treats tugging a wagon slowly behind. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we make our way into the woods along the neighborhood trail that has become a staple of our weekly rhythm. The autumn light filters through the trees as we follow the golden path created by the fallen birch leaves. Trail markers, a blue star and a fallen tree, allow children the freedom to run ahead and wait for others who may want to meander a little longer spending extra time cherishing a treasure found on the old gnome tree. 

Weaving our way back, we spread barley and seeds for the chickens, gather eggs and then make our way to the schoolroom. Boots and mittens are tucked away, hands are washed and a quiet moment is found as we sit and rest, a piece of beeswax warming in little hands as our story-time begins.

What does it mean to teach kindness, goodness, cultivate gratitude and empathy? How much of this is woven in the rhythm of our day? As I sit down to reflect upon our daily rhythm at Nettlewood, I’m able to visualize this “golden thread” weaving throughout our day together. 
Morning chores feeding goats and chickens, filling nesting boxes to keep them warm and cozy. 
Rubbing a back to wake after a moment of rest.
Bringing the healing basket to a hurt friend. 
A bowl of lavender water for washing, lighting a candle and blessing our meal together. 
Serving our friend soup, passing the teapot when a cup is empty. 

Reflecting what those small moments mean throughout our day and recognizing this web we are weaving, none has greater impact for me then our parting, making certain we “tie” up any loose ends by holding a place of reverence and stillness as the children transition to home and family.

We gather each afternoon before pick up time to say goodbye to our friends and our play and we allow a tender moment to share a merry song and quiet stillness as our day comes to an end. 

As our song begins, children joyfully run and greet one another as they find their way into our ring. I smile as they will often pull off their mittens and place them in the middle of our circle, how wonderful it feels to have a warm hand placed in yours. 
We enjoy a moment of stillness and a deep breath as our circle is complete, and with our verse end our day holding our friends' hands and our hearts. 

May the light of love live in our hearts, 
merry meet and merry part
And merry meet again. 
With a deep bow of gratitude, “goodbye dear friends”. 

Want to know more? Visit the Nettlewood Playgarden website
Meet Regin Dervaes
Founder of Nettlewood Playgarden
Over the past two decades, Regin Dervaes has worked within traditional preschool and public school settings as well as carrying her own in-home program. After exploring many different educational methods and philosophies she wanted to create a nurturing environment for young children that enabled creativity and allowed imagination to flourish while fostering a deep connection to the natural world around them. 

Regin completed her LifeWays North America Certification in Asheville, NC and then moved home to Alaska and opened Nettlewood Playgarden. This is the fifth year of Nettlewood Playgarden, a home-based playschool in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley of Alaska. Nettlewood began as a parent child class and quickly developed into a morning program that helps meet the needs of families in the greater Palmer area. 

Nettlewood has two caregivers, Ms. Regin and Ms.Vanessa. Each week they welcome twelve families with open arms and grateful hearts. 
LifeWays Representatives are highly regarded and offer the wonderful opportunity for students to visit places where they can see The Living Arts in action. Their approach to working with children and families is based on concepts taught in the LifeWays Early Childhood Certification Training with particular emphasis on Rudolf Steiner’s research on human development and care of the senses. All primary caregivers in LifeWays Representative locations have completed the LifeWays training, or its equivalent, or are currently enrolled in LifeWays training.
Early Childhood Director Needed
The Davis Waldorf School is looking to do an immediate hire for an Early Childhood Director and extended care staff
Davis Waldorf School in Davis, California, is seeking a creative, nurturing and experienced early childhood educator who enjoys working with children This position is a year round position with benefits and competitive wages. Our ideal Director candidate possesses a 15 ECE units with Administrative courses, LifeWays or Waldorf teaching experience. Extended care staff need to have 12 ECE units. Please send your resume, a general letter of interest, and three references to Lauren Hickman at  or 3100 Sycamore Lane, Davis, CA 95616.
"A LifeWays grad (or several) would be perfect for our school!"
Lauren Hickman
Did you catch Mary O'Connell's interview?
LifeWays' own Mary O'Connell was a guest on the Inspired Parent Summit II in October where there was lively discussion about:
* The Four Cornerstones of The Living Arts,
* The LifeWays Blog and

If you missed the original release, don't worry, you may listen to the archive of Mary's interview HERE !
Announcing a New Book from Judith Frizlen!
Unpacking Guilt,
A Mother’s Journey to Freedom
When Judith found herself at midlife carrying a burden of regret, she decided to take a trip to Scotland with three women friends. In order to unpack guilt about the past and generate hope for the future, she turned the trip into a quest and began a practice of finding love in her heart, light in her thinking, and laughter about just about everything—a practice that has made all the difference in what was to come.

“If life was not how it was supposed to be; how was it supposed to be? Had someone made a big mistake or was it random and meaningless? Either picture of the world was difficult for me to swallow and not at all satisfying. I looked for a world view that would grant me courage, peace and joy. At the very least, I needed one that would lend meaning to my life, inspire me, and make the struggles more manageable. With or without my alignment, life rolls forward with a momentum that cannot be stopped!”

Find the book Unpacking Guilt HERE
If you’ve been thinking about taking the LifeWays Certification Training, there is no better time to do it.
We’ve been waiting for you. Won’t you join us?
Open new opportunities - both professionally and personally - in the fields of early childhood, parent education and after-school care. Or enrich your life as a parent!

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.   

There is STILL TIME to save with early registration for upcoming trainings.
See below for details and links!
Westport, CT - begins 4/22/2019
LifeWays Training ~ Westport, Connecticut

If you've been looking for a retreat getaway to take your LifeWays training, this is it! A beautiful old manor, a short walk from the beach on Long Island Sound, this home even has a swimming pool for you to enjoy during your down time. This beautiful old home near the beach in Westport, CT is an ideal site to immerse yourself in your coursework, form deep connections with your teachers and other students, and still have plenty of space to enjoy solitary reflection.

Training Dates:
April 22-28, 2019
June 15-21, 2019
October 7-13, 2019
March 8-14, 2020

Enroll by March 15, 2019 and save $225!

Contact: Eileen Foley, Student Services Director, (203) 794-2983
Sacramento, CA - begins 6/11/2019
LifeWays Certificatio n Training ~ Sacramento, CA

Sacramento, California near Fair Oaks Village, a lovely village with free-range chickens! We will also have two retreat weekends at White Feather Ranch in the Sierra foothills!

Training Dates:
June 11, 2019 (Orientation Evening)
June 12–15, & 17-20, 2019
August 2-9, 2019
November 8-11, 2019
February 8–15, 2020

Enroll by May 1, 2019 and save $225!

Contact: Sarah Riffle , Student Services Director,  916-743-7272
Bay Area, CA - begins 8/24/2019
LifeWays Certification Training ~ Bay Area, CA

The Bay Area training meets in the San Francisco Bay Area, eighteen Saturdays over 11 months (all day, 8am to 5:30pm). In addition there are three long-weekend retreats for cooking, gardening, outdoor observation, circle games, wet felting, puppetry, storytelling and more.

Enroll by July 15, 2019 and save $225!

Contact: Kate Hammond , Student Services Director
Longing to embrace the year-long
LifeWays Certification Training
and looking for creative financing options?

Start by visiting the Admissions and Fees page on the website for the application along with ideas and inspiration for payment options.

Allison Cruse, Boulder, CO LifeWays student shares with us her experience using Crowdfunding to raise the money she needed.

I think that the seeds for my fundraising campaign were actually planted awhile before I applied for LifeWays and officially created my Indiegogo campaign. I began talking with friends and family about the program and about my hopes for all of the amazing opportunities we could bring to children and families in our community. I talked with the parents of little ones who have been a part of our co-op efforts for many years, and new parents who were concerned about childcare/education opportunities in our town. Several people suggested raising funds and using community support to help pay for the costs of the program. It seemed like there was definite interest and support, so I applied for the Boulder LifeWays training and ...

December Visioning:
A FREE Online Mini-Retreat
ONLINE Saturday and Sunday, December 8 and 9, 2018

Your December Visioning: FREE mini-retreat will lead you through a process of:
* Centering Yourself
* Slowing Down
* Using the The Living Arts to bring balance to your holidays
* Reflecting on your family culture
* Setting Your Intention for the holiday season

Once you have your compass set for the kind of holiday season you want for your family, you will find helpful resources to support you, including homemade gift ideas and delicious recipes.

INCLUDED: a FREE guide to reflect on the past year as a family!

AND: An exclusive gift from LifeWays for participants in this mini-retreat... LEARN MORE and REGISTER HERE
NEW & Opening January 1st!
The Living Arts Through the Seasons
Deepening the Development of Your Family Culture
A NEW LifeWays Online Community for Parents!
January and February, 2019
ONLINE: Opens January 1, 2019!

Your initial “taste” of the Living Arts Through the Seasons includes the months of January and February, and is available for just $30 !

Join our thriving community of parents, creating unique family cultures through connection in everyday home life. Get clear on who you want to be as a parent and how you want to spend your time in simple meaningful ways.

This course will support HOW you want to parent and offer activities, traditions and simple daily things that help you live your values with your family.

By connecting to the rhythms in nature that exist all around you, and creating time to connect with your own intentions, you can embody the qualities you wish to cultivate in your parenting. Our warm and respectful community of parents and teachers are here to inspire, listen and share.
This self-paced course includes activities, stories and songs, craft tutorials, journal pages, daily planner, seasonal calendar, and more all under the guidance and magic of The Living Arts and includes a tutorial for creating a Parenting Circle in your own community with others who share your parenting values! .

BONUS: Register for our popular online course “ Creating Your Family Culture ” and receive the NEW January/February edition of Living Arts Through the Seasons for FREE !

Scheduled Courses
  "Friends, thank you. Your course has been my refuge for the last month. I started with a grumble of an overwhelming life and piles of "do this" balanced on my head and shoulders. But my soul needed this nurturing. Each article, the laughter in your videos, the cumulative wisdom, churned my thoughts and settled my busy limbs. "
~ Ren, Hawaii, regarding The Living Arts (scheduled) online course
The L ivin g Arts
Cornerstones of Care for the Young Child
(birth – six) and for Yourself
with Cynthia Aldinger and Mary O’Connell

January 9 - February 9, 2019

15 hours of Continuing Ed

Join Cynthia and Mary for a four-week course exploring ways to use the Living Arts as the cornerstones for a solid foundation of learning for the young child and enrichment for your own life. Each week we will explore one of the Living Arts in detail and you will learn how to bring these activities into your life with young children, whether at home or in programs.

Includes The Living Arts Journal for your exploration of the concepts!
Discipline with Loving Awareness
with Cynthia Aldinger

February 6 - March 9, 2019
* OR *
May 1 - June 1, 2019

The time-tested tools available in this course have served as inspiration to parents, caregivers and early childhood teachers for two decades.

Includes FREE audio download of Cynthia’s lecture, The L.O.V.E Approach to Discipline .
Inspired Homemaking
with Rahima Baldwin Dancy

April 3 - May 11, 2019

Imagine a home life that is nourishing for every member of the family, including yourself!

Join  Rahima Baldwin Dancy   online for this five-week class in which you will build up a picture of your home life. Explore what is working for you and what isn’t on the physical, rhythmical, emotional, and spiritual levels of your home  more.

BONUS: LIVE Conference Call with Rahima!
On-Demand Courses
Creating Your Family Culture
An Elemental Approach

Created by Mary O’Connell for parents of children from birth to 21.

We don’t always pay much attention to culture, but it’s always there. It holds us, sustains us, and informs the way we act, feel and think about the world. Wouldn’t you love to create the conditions in your home that help each family member live your shared values in a positive way with life-affirming practices?

The course uses the four elements of earth, water, air and fire as a starting point from which to create your own positive family culture based on your values.
Healthy Home Rythmns

This popular online course, developed by Kerry Ingram at Mothering Arts, supports you to create a balanced home rhythm rooted in presence and joy.

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.

Create time for fun, home-care, family traditions, self-care and nourishment.
Creating Home Away from Home :
A Course for Home Childcare Providers

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.

25 CEUs

$99 for the online course, OR
$199 for the online course AND three (3) hours of private consulting (phone or video conference) with Mary O’Connell to assist you with your unique childcare business needs.
Students from all over the world come together in LifeWays Online Courses! Join in the lively conversations as you learn alongside caregivers and parents from France, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Israel, Switzerland, Iran, Nova Scotia, Portugal and more!
Quick Links to Online Courses:
Introduction to the LifeWays Training

Learn about the full-year LifeWays Seminar and how the rhythms of day, week and year together with the living arts create a nourishing, inspiring foundation for your home life and/or your home based program for children birth to age 5.

at Marin Waldorf School

LifeWays North America is now on Pinterest!

If you're active there please join us.
You'll find idea boards for:
* Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn
* Rhythm
* Indoor Spaces
* Toys
* Meal Blessings
* Storytelling
* Play
* Parenting Resources
* Caregiver Resources
* Gardening
* Wool Projects
* ...and MORE
For the International community and those who want electronic versions for phone, tablet, or computer display, we are happy to announce that most titles in the
are available for download!
*CDs * Books * DVDs * Forms*
~ Convenient ~ Portable ~ Accessible ~
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Practical, Nurturing, Creative and Social Arts for Daily Life
is a weekly blog post that will be delivered right to your email inbox, providing you with inspiration, ideas, reflections and thought-provoking information that you can use right away to bring more joy and purpose to your daily life.
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Parents, explore a variety of tools and resources to support and enrich your home life with children.

Enjoy this list of resources from LifeWays!
Moments of Delicious Autumn Goodness at Oak Hill Nursery School in C ooperstown , NY 
by Kerstin Green
Nothing beats the simple joy and rewards of making apple sauce with the children for snack. From picking the apples, pulling them home in a wagon, washing them, chopping them and then after the apples have cooked, ladling them in- and turning them through the food mill for a hot steamy pot of fresh, pink apple sauce. When these steps can be experienced in a single morning, we offer the children such a beautiful illustration of completeness so that they all feel the satisfaction (and taste the yumminess) of a good day's work!
DIY Velvet Pumpkin
Nothing says Autumn quite like pumpkins! Each soft, velvety pumpkin should take about 10 minutes to make so there’s plenty of time for you to make a whole barrow full!
If you prefer the step-by-step directions, you can find all the details here or a video tutorial here on the blog The Magic Onions.
Questions? Ideas? Comments?
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Michaeleen Hinca
Transform your life with young children!