Newsletter of LifeWays North America
Spring 2013
Boulder Waldorf Kindergarten
Creating a Joyful Life with Children




We've dedicated this newsletter to Creating a Joyful Life with Children because we'll be exploring that theme at the National LifeWays Conference on May 18th, 2013 just north of San Francisco, CA.  Registrations are pouring in, so if you've been thinking about enrolling but haven't gotten around to it, don't delay since all early enrollment and LifeWays discounts end April 18th! 

Boulder Waldorf Kindergarten

This newsletter will give you practical ideas and stories you can start using right away, while at the same time introducing our conference speakers. 

First, Suzanne Down shares a sweet tale for you to tell or do as a puppet show in Spring Song: A Story for Children. Come to the conference and learn why and how to create nurturing stories of your own.
Next, look at my Thoughts on High Expectations and get excited to come and hear about "5 Ways of Transforming No into Yes" at the conference.


Most of you need no introduction to Cynthia Aldinger, the founder of LifeWays North America.  At the conference she will be asking, "Where is Joy--Hidden in Plain Sight?" Scroll down to read her Welcome Letter.

Finally, if you're wondering about the other workshop leaders, learn a little more about them and the Conference Workshops.


Enjoy the newsletter, and I'll look forward to meeting you at the conference!
Faith Collins, Editor
In This Issue
Letter from Cynthia
Spring Song: A Story for Children
High Expectations
Conference Workshops
Colorado Training
Professional and Personal Development
List on the Directory
Donate to LifeWays
Monthly Conference Call

Conference Links:

Register Before April 18 and Save!

  • General Admission: $85.00
  • LifeWaysStudents/Grads: $75.00
  • LifeWays Representative Sites: $45.00
  • After April 18: 
    $95.00 for all
  • After May 12: 
    $105.00 for all

Note from Cynthia header 




Spring is coming! Spring is coming!   lifeways training

Birdies build your nest.

Weave together straw and feather, 

Each one doing his best!


Spring is coming!  Spring is coming!  

Flowers are coming too.

Pansies, lilies, daffodillies

All are coming through!


Spring is coming! Spring is coming! 

All around is fair.

Shimmer, glimmer on the river

Joy is everywhere.




Cynthia (compressed)

Dear Friends,

          Thank goodness for spring that reminds us of resiliency, revival and joy!  Perhaps you come from a place where winter has been cold and damp or a place where the change is more subtle yet carries a winter mood.  Even when it is not cold, there is a change in the light from winter to spring.  When you read from Rudolf Steiner's Calendar of the Soul, you find that Spring is the one season where we human beings are in sync with nature, both filled with anticipation of renewal. 

          As Faith has mentioned, we have chosen the theme of JOY for our first-ever LifeWays conference, and we are expecting around a hundred people.  It is our sincere hope that you will come, too, and experience the conference as renewal.  I have spoken with a number of people for whom 2013 has presented challenges, perhaps even sorrow, in these first months. And yet we go on.  We look to one another for support and encouragement, for re-affirming the "yes" of life.

           Whereas we know that the young child thrives in the experience of joy and delight, we can ask ourselves, "Is it so different for us?"  Especially after a long, hard winter (whether a winter of the season or a winter of the soul), there is wisdom in seeking solace among friends and in nature.  With that in mind, we warmly invite you to join us in beautiful Marin County this spring.  Please read about the various conference offerings and see what sings to you.  

          Whether it is the inner smile you experience every time Suzanne shares one of her delicious puppet tales, or the gentle laughter that Faith evokes with her stories of working with young children, or the mystery of discovering joy in unexpected places, I hope you can be with us.  We have invited Anna Rainville to get us moving every day with her fantastic games and songs, and you can read in this newsletter about the deepening content being offered by our workshop presenters. Marianne Alsop has helped to arrange a number of wonderful vendors to be on campus during the lunch break.

          Please continue to share your enthusiasm regarding the LifeWays trainings with friends and colleagues.  I have had the privilege this winter to be with the Wisconsin students and, more recently, with the Hawaii students.  While the two locations are very contrasting, the dedication, devotion and depthlifeways training

the students bring to their studies is equally inspiring.  Soon I will join the Buffalo group for their spring session, and this summer I have a marathon of delight as I travel from Hawaii to Washington, D.C. to Maine, then back to Buffalo, and finally end in San Diego where I will be privileged to celebrate with their first graduating class.  In the meantime, we hope to welcome new starting groups to Vancouver in April, Boulder in May and Austin in October.  We are so blessed!   

           Please do not forget - if you are a certified LifeWays graduate, you are welcome to visit any LifeWays training anywhere for a refresher course (be it a day, a week or more) at only the cost of food and supplies.   

          Finally, I am excited to announce that we are exploring new territory by planning a series of deepening courses starting in Wisconsin with plans to add others in other locations.  Check the website now and then to see what is new!

          Looking forward to seeing many of you in Marin in May.  We have made it very easy to register online, but if you need any help, just let us know.


Sending warm spring wishes to all,


Founder and Director of LifeWays North America

Articles on Creating a
Joyful Life with Children:
Suzanne Down Spring Song:  A Story for Children Suzanne
By Suzanne Down


A sweet children's story about sorrow and joy, music and nature.  Perfect for springtime, as a puppet show or told.


Suzanne Down will be a keynote speaker at the LifeWays National Conference on May 18th. She is the founder of Juniper Tree Puppets and a LifeWays director.  Read her complete bio.


             Click here to read Suzanne's Story                         
Faith Collins
Some Thoughts on High ExpectationsFaith   
        By Faith Collins  
What is the difference between high expectations, and unrealistic ones?  It's not just about knowing what our children are capable of...see the complete article.

Faith Collins will be a keynote speaker at the National LifeWays Conference on May 18th, 2013.  She is the founder of Joyful Toddlers!  Read her complete bio.
Joyful Toddlers
What types of workshops will there be at the LifeWays conference?  Learn about Children's Massage, Connecting with Children as the Basis to Discipline, Parenting with Spirit, and more, including a workshop offered in Spanish.
Join the Colorado Training  Wisconsin Training
Starting May 25thstorypoem

Join us in Boulder, Colorado for the next LifeWays Training in the Rocky Mountain States.  The first session will be May 25-June1, and new applicants are still being accepted. Learn from both the Training Director, Suzanne Down, and the new Student Services Director, Barbara Rose Balock, as well as the outstanding faculty in music, crafts, eurythmy, and other specialized subjects.


Transform your home life or preschool classroom through the sessions on "Introduction to the Living Arts" and "Framing" --learning ways to organize and transition between activities of daily life. Other sessions include: "LifeWays Principles and Practices," "The Adult as the Curriculum," and several on the developing child and the twelve senses. After a delicious lunch each day, the focus of afternoons is on handwork, festival preparation and eurythmy. 


The training meets for four one-week sessions over the course of a year. Between sessions there is guided study and work with a mentor.  For all the dates and other information click here.


Professional and Personal Development  
for Teachers, Caregivers and Parents 
Completing the LifeWaysŪ Early Childhood Certification Program can open new opportunities, 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 and can immediately apply at home what they have learned. 

See our website for information and details on all trainings, and please contact the director of your local training for more information.
Some programs accept participants part-way through the training.   
LifeWays graduates may attend all or part of another LifeWays training for the cost of food and materials.



LifeWays training

Vancouver LifeWays Training ~ Vancouver, BC


New session starting April, 2013.  Meets one weekend/month for one year.

Director: Margo Running 

                See photos and learn more  here!


Next training begins May 25, 2013
Director:  Suzanne Down lifeways training
See photos and learn more here!


Hawaii LifeWays Training 

~ Maui, Oahu and Kauai, HI


Current Training: Four 1-week sessions, Oct 2012 to Oct 2013wisconsin training

              See photos and learn more here!



Maine LifeWays Training ~ Rockport, ME


Current training: July 2012 to July 2013 

Director: Susan Silverio

             See photos and learn more here!

                 ENROLLMENT OPEN FOR 2013:
lifeways training
~ San Francisco Bay Area 

Next Training: August 2013 to June 2014

Group meets one or two Saturdays per month

Director:  Marianne Alsop

 See photos and learn more here!



Wisconsin: Deepening Courses~ Milwaukee, WI

For the 2013-2014 training year, the Wisconsin LifeWays training will be offering a series of deepening workshops. Stay tuned for more information on sessions to further your understanding of speech, puppetry, self-development, the living arts, woodworking, and more   

Director: Mary O'Connell

 lifeways training



Current Training: Four 1-week sessions, October 2012 to Nov. 2013
Director: Judy Frizlen
See photos and learn more here. 


San Diego LifeWays Training 

Austin LifeWays training


Current training: Four 1-week sessions, 

July 2012 to Summer 2013

 Director: Bianca Lara


See photos and learn more here!




October 2013 to Summer 2014
Director: Laura Olson            

See photos and learn more here!



 "While I am still a student of these skills, I would like to give credit to LifeWays for my patience, presence, sense of humor (thanks, Cynthia), and equanimity, as well as my ability to consider the child in front of me as a spiritual peer, even if I hold the human authority."


                                                          ~  Carrie McGregor,

                                                        LifeWays Graduate 

lifeways training
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, and staff at Representative Programs as well as LifeWays grads are invited to participate in our monthly conference calls.

Representative Programs enjoy the highest level of recognition by LifeWays North America and are listed first within each state. Click here to learn more about the criteria and benefits of standing in the world as a LifeWays Representative Program.

LifeWays Graduates
can list their programs and will be invited to the monthly conference call with Cynthia and other colleagues to share questions and experience. 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. Click here to list your program ($85/year).


LifeWays Students can list their programs prior to graduation for the discounted rate of $50/year.  Click here to list your program and pay online.


Aligned Programs include providers who haven't taken the training but feel at home with the LifeWays principles and organization. Click here to send us your information and pay online ($100/year).



   ~ Reclaim and protect childhood
   ~ Deepen family life
   ~ Change childcare in North America


Support this work by making a contribution of any amount. We will keep you up to date and inspired through our newsletter, published four times each year. Your contribution helps with tuition reduction for students and supports our public outreach through workshops and web presence.   You can read Cynthia's letter about LifeWays' activities and their importance. 


As a federally tax-exempt organization, all donations are tax deductible.  Thank you for your support! Donate online, or mail your check to the address below. 

Join Our Mailing List
LifeWays workshops

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

  wet felting

Nurturing and Nourishing: Care of the Child and Caregiver
with Elizabeth Sustick, RN 
Rockport, ME
April 12-15th, 2013


How Storytelling and Puppetry 

Support This Profound Stage of Development 

Milwaukee, WI
May 7-9, 2013

Click here for details  

  wet felting complete

Milwaukee, WI
May 10, 2013

Click here for details 


San Francisco Bay Area 

September 2013 - November 2013 

Click here for details 

Nursery Rhymes, Puppetry, Storytelling and Language Development (3 days) 
with Suzanne Down 
Buffalo, NY
2 days in the first week of Nov. 
 Contact Judith Frizlen for details 


story apron  


Have You Seen the LifeWays Blog Lately?


mara spiropoulos

LifeWays caregiver Jaimmie Stugard shares how stories can help reassure and settle children 


Protection Stories  

by Jaimmie Stugard 


 Bring Spring Inside: 

daffodils and moss basket


Click on the picture to find the tutorial on making this gorgeous spring centerpiece with daffodils and moss.


LifeWays Training to Be Recognized by WECAN

We are pleased to announce that LifeWays North America is pursuing a relationship to The Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN) for each of our training sites to become Specialization Associates. The application for our LifeWays Northeast training has been accepted,  and the rest of our training sites will also be applying later in the spring.


WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? The Specialization Associate designation with WECAN is a way of honoring anthroposophically-based early childhood trainings that are shorter than the 400+ Full Trainings, yet serve as deepening courses or as training for particular vocational specializations within early childhood education. 

We are pleased with our new relationship with the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America.

Get Continuing Education Credits with this LifeWays video and workbook! 


Settling Into Sleep 


This packet contains articles, a workbook, and a 15-minute video of a peaceful and nurturing naptime routine and LifeWays.


Buy this video or others from the LifeWays Store online.



Spring Craft
the magic onions website
Click the picture to learn how to make these sweet egg candles!

     Other Resources:

 Joyful Days with Toddlers & Preschoolers 

  joyful toddlers

 This 6-week, 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.


 Next Class Starts June 23


"This class was great.  I really do feel like a different parent; much more of the parent I've always wanted to be.  More creative, more effective, and generally just happier."    -S.B.



Make Your Own Cleansers
The Daily Green website

Time for some Spring Cleaning?  Click on the photo to find some recipes for home-made cleansers from The Daily Green, and let the children help you clean.

     In Loving Memory

(Submitted by Mary O'Connell,
Wisconsin Training Director)

Sebastian R. Pechstein 
April 29, 1993 - March 12, 2013
The Wisconsin LifeWays Training recently suffered the sad loss of one of our students, Sebastian Pechstein. 
Sebastian was a creative young man who loved to paint and had a wonderful gentle spirit. He worked at Children's Garden, a LifeWays Representative home program run by his mom, Ginger, where the children lovingly called him "Mr. Sebastian." Sebastian was proud to be carrying on the family tradition of caring for children and we were thrilled to have our first "second generation" LifeWays student in the Wisconsin training.  I was fortunate enough to spend a day observing Sebastian in his work not too long ago, and he had a true gift for working with little ones. He will be missed by the children, his family and friends, and all of his fellow LifeWays students. 


Blessings on your journey, Mr. Sebastian. We will miss you. 


Conference Calls for Representative Programs and LifeWays Grads
from internet  
The next monthly conference call is
Tuesday, April 16th

for staff at Representative Programs and LifeWays graduates who have listed their programs on our Program Directory. See the article at left for how to list your program. 
Boulder Waldorf Kindergarten
LifeWays North America 
403 Piney Oak Drive, Norman, OK 73073.