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Newsletter of LifeWays North America
 Autumn, 2012
Rose Rock School, OK
Autumn Beginnings


Rainbow Bridge Dear (Contact First Name),


        Autumn is a time of endings, but it is a time of beginnings as well. This newsletter is chock-full of ideas for the start of the school-year, and ways to celebrate the fall with children.  Read about autumn activities to do in The Art of Apples in the Fall, and look in the side-bar for even more craft ideas and recipes for apples.  Suzanne Down shares a sweet, funny Autumn Story Poem and Finger Play about apples.
        If you're a caregiver and starting the school-year, read about how they start the year with a Work Party at Spindlewood, and true confessions from a caregiver on Stepping Back to help a new little boy thrive in her program.  Whether you are a care giver or a parent with a child starting in a new play-program, you'll want to read about Starting Daycare and Saying Goodbye.
This week my "new beginning" is starting a master's program in early childhood in London.  I'll be studying in a program based around the work of Froebel, whom Steiner admired for founding the first kindergartens as play-based "children's gardens."  
Faith Collins, Editor
In This Issue
Letter from Cynthia
The Art of Apples in the Fall
Family Work Party to Begin the Year
Stepping Back
Starting Daycare and Saying Goodbye
Autumn Story Poem and Finger Play
Upcoming LifeWays Trainings
LifeWays Videos, CEUs
Upcoming LifeWays Workshops
News from LifeWays
Monthly Conference Call
Buy the LifeWays Book
Pressing Apples at Spindlewood

Note from Cynthia header 


Cynthia Aldinger

Dear Friends,


       When Michael and I were on a recent morning bike ride, I remarked that I could understand why Autumn is the favorite season for so many people.  Perhaps it is particularly so in the warmer climates where those first cooler mornings and sweet breezes are such a respite from the summer heat!  But I think it is more than that!  In Rudolf Steiner's Calendar of the Soul we read verses pointing out that we regain our footing in the autumn.  We start to awaken from summer's senses' luring magic, vivified anew and filled with new force.

        Three years ago in our autumn newsletter I shared a verse from my favorite Michaelmas song:


Michaelmas, Michaelmas

A time to show both courage and form

Look well around

Inside you must wake

Trees may shake

I shall stand the storm!


This year I was thinking about this verse in relationship to the Living Arts upon which we base our lives and our work with young children.  How do these activities support our awakening from summer's sleep?  How do they help us transition children back into our care if they have been away?  Is there something in these Living Arts that can help us embrace new parents and

Cynthia by the lake

make them feel at home?  Are there ways that practical, domestic activity can be creative also?  Wonderful answers to these questions appear in this newsletter.  May you enjoy, be inspired, and share with us in our LifeWays blog about ways you are embracing autumn.           


Nature's Blessings to You,


--Founder and Director of LifeWays North America

Articles on Autumn Beginnings:
Rainbow BridgeThe Art of Apples in the Fall apples
By Faith Collins

Take a simple project like making Apple Crisp, and turn it into weeks of enjoyment for you and your children. 


Faith Collins is a LifeWays graduate and founder of Joyful Toddlers.  She currently lives in London, England.


P.S. These apple peelers (that slice, at the same time!) are available for about $20 from The Vermont Country Store. They're too much fun for the children, who LOVE the peels this way.

                                  Click here to read Faith's article                         

Family Work Party to Begin the Yearworkparty                                         By Susan Silverio                                           
If you have a childcare or play-program, consider implementing the tradition of a Family Work Party to start the year off.  Susan Silverio shares how they do it at Spindlewood.

Susan Silverio is the Director of Spindlewood, a Waldorf  kindergarten and LifeWays program in Maine.
                              Click here to read Susan's article
vancouver lifeways
Stepping Backsteppingback 
  By Xan Moomaw 

  One caregiver talks about her experience welcoming a little boy into her program--first stepping forward, then stepping back.
Xan Moomaw is a teacher at The Rose Garden Early Childhood Center, a Lifeways Representative Program in Buffalo, NY.
Rainbow Bridge
Starting Daycare       
and Saying Goodbye      startingdaycareBy Faith Collins         
Faith gives advice to a mother who is wondering how to help drop-off go smoothly as her son starts daycare for the first time.  A must-read for both parents and child care providers.
Faith Collins has helped dozens of parents learn to say goodbye to their children as director of Rainbow Bridge, a Representative LifeWays center.
                                           Click here to read Faith's article          
Autumn Story Poem and Finger Playstorypoem          Boulder Waldorf Kindergarten
By Suzanne Down 
A fun and easy story-poem about apples to captivate one child or a dozen!  It can be done with fingers alone, or with easy finger puppets. 
Suzanne Down is the Director of the Rocky Mountain LifeWays training in Boulder, CO.  She is also the founder of Juniper Tree Puppets.
Professional and Personal Development  for Teachers, Caregivers and Parents 
LifeWays graduates may attend all or part of another LifeWays training for the cost of food and materials.
Clicking on Training names shows more pictures and information.



Wisconsin LifeWays TrainingMilwaukee, WI

New training begins October 7, 2012

Director:  Mary O'Connell


training photoStill accepting applications for the opening session (7 days) of the full training. Or you can try the first three days as a workshop, and decide whether to join from there. Learn more about The First Three Years--The Mystery and Wonder of the Incarnating Child.  Do come! 




New training begins October 31, 2012
Director:  Judy Frizlen  
See photos and more information here!



California San Diego LifeWays Training

Current training: July 2012 to Summer 2013

Registration still open for the October session--contact Bianca today!

Director:  Bianca Lara

See photos and learn more here!


Vancouver LifeWays Training ~ Vancouver, BC

Next training begins March 2013

Contact: Margo Running

Margo shares:

The first Canadian LifeWays training is midterm as we run a weekend a month 

vancouver LW
Schedule a visit to Vancouver LifeWays during your training

for one year. This month we welcomed Suzanne Down for our Speech and Puppetry block. Our group gathers from different places in the NW. We all have enjoyed touching in monthly to share, support and grow together. We have made our heavy millet babies to take home to our children and use in our programs. We have visited local gardens to learn about Biodynamic gardening and learned Eurythmy or Spacial Dynamics each session. There is 

so much to cover and each month we deepen our understanding of the wonders of childhood. 


Our next session starts up next May, and will be 2 weeks in the summer, 1 week spring and fall. Please inquire about either format and tell us what would work best for you.  


Next training begins May 2013
Director:  Suzanne Down

 Suzanne shares:

      Our last Boulder Lifeways training ended in a happy and song-filled ceremony.  All of our graduates have gone off to enliven their own home and homeschooling lives or to develop programs in their homes, in nature, with preschool children, for moms and babies, or for parents and tots.  

      We have added two new permanent faculty members to our teaching group.  One is Faith Collins from Joyful Toddlers, who brings real practical support in the work with young children.  I call her "The Toddler Whisperer" because she works magic.  But she is equally wise with mixed age groups.        Our other new teacher is Lynn St. Pierre, who has been training with Kundry Willwerth and is taking over the teaching of the most wonderful Ellersiek singing and movement games.  Boulder LifeWaysWe are so fortunate she lives in the Boulder area and can bring these gems when she is not sharing them around the world. Here is a look at our happy group! 


Our next training starts in May 2013 and we are taking applications now! Learn more.



Maine LifeWays Training ~ Rockport, ME

Current training: July 2012 to July 2013 

Contact: Susan Silverio

Maine LW training
Dying silks at the Maine LifeWays training

California Coast LifeWays Training

 ~ San Francisco Bay Area

Current training (FULL!): August 2012 to June 2013

Group meets one Saturday per month

Director:  Marianne Alsop



One participant shares her experience at LifeWays:

 "An abundance of love; and awakening to purpose; a rebirth of mind, heart, and soul."      

                                                                       ~Wendy Werner


LifeWays Training Listed on WECAN Website


     For those who work in Waldorf Schools or other organizational members of the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN), you will be pleased to know that LifeWays will soon be pursuing membership as a WECAN-recognized training in a new tier they are developing for childcare and birth-to-three trainings.  While LifeWays is a birth-to-six training, we fit into this particular WECAN category.   

     The other good news is that WECAN will be suggesting to the full Waldorf early childhood teacher trainings that they consider giving credits for trainings such as LifeWays and develop ways for students to fill in other requirements for full Waldorf early childhood teacher certification. 

     While this is not necessary for in-home programs, centers or LifeWays Representative sites that are not seeking WECAN/AWSNA approval, it will be helpful for the LifeWays-trained early childhood teachers who become employed by Waldorf schools. 




Fond Farewells and Warm Welcomes

on the LifeWays Board of Directors


Our sincere thanks and gratitude to two wonderful friends and colleagues who served on the LifeWays Board since 2006:

Susan Silverio, whom many of you know as the Director of the Northeast LifeWays Training in Maine and long-time director and teacher at Spindlewood Waldorf Kindergarten and LifeWays Center, retired from the LifeWays Board in 2010. She continues to be very active in our organization with specific projects and ongoing development of our trainings. 

Trisha Lambert taught for many years in the LifeWays training at Rudolf Steiner College.  She currently also serves on the Birth To Three Task Force for the Waldorf Early Childhood Association Board. Trisha has stood as a model of simplicity in the care of young children in her work at her own child care home and now as a preschool teacher and director of the After Care program at the Davis Waldorf School. 

Thank you, Trisha and Susan, for all you have done and continue to do to further the development of LifeWays!


Lisa Boisvert McKenzie We welcomed new board member Lisa Boisvert Mackenzie to our August 2012 board meeting.  Lisa, who resides in Vermont,  is the mother of two boys and has been working with children and families for the past twenty-two years, first as a homebirth midwife, then as a Waldorf early childhood educator. She is the editor of the online magazine "The Wonder of Childhood."  You can read her profile on our website here.  Lisa has jumped right in, taking on the roles of editing our LifeWays blog and coordinating the calendar and outreach efforts of our training directors, among other things.


Kerry Madrid

We also welcome Kerry Madrid, director of one of our LifeWays Representative sites, Little Red Farmhouse in Sebastopol, California.  Kerry joined the board at the beginning of September and will attend her first official board retreat next summer.  A LifeWays graduate and former Waldorf Kindergarten teacher, Kerry recently completed her Waldorf grades teaching certificate.  She also teaches and mentors for our California Coast training. As we noted in our last newsletter, Kerry's most recent good news is the birth of her sweet son, Francis Finch, who lights up a whole room with his beautiful smile.  Read more about her here




We Value Your Input!


Boulder Training If you have any questions, comments, ideas for future articles, or news items that you'd like to share with the LifeWays community, please don't hesitate to contact us!  Just press "reply" to this newsletter to contact Faith Collins, or  email her directly.  For Member Services, contact Rahima Dancy; for other inquiries, contact Cynthia Aldinger at 405-597-0999.



LifeWays workshops

These workshops are open to registration by the public, and all except Kimberton may be taken by LifeWays grads for the cost of food and supplies.

  wisconsin training?


Protecting Childhood in our Modern World: the Essentials
Kimberton, PA
October 4-7

Nursery Rhymes, Puppetry, Storytelling and Language Development
October 5-8th, 2012
The First Three Years: the Mystery and Wonder of the Incarnating Child
Milwaukee, WI
Oct 9-11, 2012
Heavy Baby Waldorf Doll Making Workshop
Maui, HI
Oct 12, 2012
LifeWays training
Thriving Through Illness:
Care of the Child /
Care of the Caregiver
Maui, HI
Oct 13-14, 2012
CA Coast Parent Seminars: Child Development
San Francisco, CA
4 Saturdays, Dec-Feb, 2013
Nurturing and Nourishing: Care of the Child and Caregiver
Rockport, ME
April 12-15th, 2013


Halved Ap;ple with star pattern

My nice red rosy apple

Has a secret midst unseen;
You'd see if you could slip inside,
Five rooms so neat and clean.
In each room there are hiding
two seeds so shining bright;
Asleep they are and dreaming
Of a lovely warm sunlight.
And sometimes they are dreaming
Of many things to be,
How soon they will be hanging
Upon the Christmas tree.

                       (Author Unknown) 


Other Resources:

 Joyful Days with

Toddlers and Preschoolers 
Rainbow Bridge

 This multi-media Tele-Class uses conference calls, video footage from Faith's LifeWays program, readings and online discussion, providing practical ideas and inspiration to increase your enjoyment of the children in your life.







Have You Seen the LifeWays Blog Lately? 

Rainbow Bridge  

Take a look at the recent articles, including: 

Celebrating Michaelmas with Toddlers.



LifeWays VIDEO: "Nurturing and Nourishing" 

from LifeWays website 

This 15-minute DVD features a visit to a LifeWays kitchen, with ideas on how to include children in the preparation and serving of food.


Buy this video or others from the LifeWays Store online.     

Simple and Sweet Apple Craft
from The Magic Onions blog

All you need are two apples of contrasting colors.  Find out how to do this simple craft with a tutorial on the wonderful blog, The Magic Onions.



What's Happening

on the LifeWays

Facebook Page? 

Stone House Preschool  

Photo of the first week of school at Stone House Preschool

in St. Croix, VI.


   Visit LifeWays on Facebook!


Conference Calls for Members
training photo

October 9th
If you are a Representative or Trained-Affiliate Member, you are invited to participate in monthly conference calls with Cynthia and other colleagues 
These calls are a wonderful way to connect with other colleagues, ask questions, and get new ideas. Information about the calls will be emailed to you.


LifeWays Featured throughout  New Edtion!

First Teacher cover
Congratulations to LifeWays Board Member Rahima Baldwin Dancy, for the publishing of the 3rd edition of her classic book, You Are Your Child's First Teacher.  If you don't have a copy of this book yet, now's the time!

If you know it and love it, write a review of it on Amazon!


Learn to Make

Apple Dolls

from internet
If you're ambitious, make one these fabulous apple dolls--the heads are made from dried apples!


Have You Read the New LifeWays e-Book?
Tune in to Life television alternatives 
Tune in to Life:
The Benefits of Unplugging the Screens in Early Childhood
By Mary O'Connell


"READ THIS NOW! Then order a copy for every parent in your child care center or home and for every friend with children. It is like medicine to wake us all up from our sleepy, hazy unsure approach to reducing screen time for children. The beauty of it is that it is short, easy-to-read, humorous and heartwarming, and thought provoking all at the same time!"

~ Cynthia Aldinger 


$2.95 for a 23-page

 e-book w photos

(pdf to read on your computer or to print out)

Order from our online store
Apple Crumble

Slice apples, pour some granola on the top, and bake for about 40 minutes.  That's it.  Really!  


If you want to get fancy, stir apples with a dash of lemon juice and some cinnamon, then dot with butter before you put the granola on top.


Thanks to Ana Pitarch for this photo of her granddaughter 
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LifeWays North America, 403 Piney Oak Drive, Norman, OK 73073.