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Newsletter of LifeWays North America
 Autumn, 2013
LIttle girl sleeping
Sleep, Naptime and Bedtime     


Caring for--and even being with--young children requires a tremendous amount of energy.  We can replenish that energy in ourselves through sleep, artistic activity, meditation and time spent in nature.

We all know that we have a better chance of being "our best selves" when we're well rested--and the same is true for our children, who need adequate sleep and rest for their tremendous growth, as well as to digest sense impressions and avoid meltdowns from being over-tired or over-stimulated.

When we asked LifeWays students and graduates for their tips on "Sleep, Naptime and Bedtime," we received a wealth of resources for both childcare providers and parents. We hope you'll take the time to skim through the entire issue, and link to many of the articles and resources for further reading and immediate application. Enjoy!
Rahima Baldwin Dancy,
Interim Editor

Searching for an Editor for this Newsletter          LifeWays is looking for someone who has time to work from home--about 20 hours per quarter--as editor of the LifeWays quarterly newsletter.  The newsletter is done in Constant Contact, so experience with that helps, but it's also easy to learn if you're comfortable with computers or have done a blog. You would receive submissions early in the quarter, then need to dedicate a couple of days to laying everything out and getting it ready to send. Paid position. If have time and would like to learn more, please send us an email.  
In This Issue
Letter from Cynthia
The Holiness of Sleep
White Noise and Cognitive Dissonance
Sleep Rhythms at Home
Rest Time at Hummingbird Garden
"Framing" Naptime
Thoughts on Sleep
Using Touch Relaxation
Naptime at Simone's Infant Care
El Dormir de Niños
Upcoming LifeWays Trainings
New LifeWays Videos
Music for the Young Chlid
New LW Training in Asheville, NC at Sacred Mountain, March 2014

LW Training in Portland, Oregon starts in April!

Note from Cynthia header 


Dear Friends, 

     I find a sort of sweet irony in the fact that the past two days I have been sleeping long hours at night as well as napping during the day. At the time of writing this, I am staying in the home of our newest grandbaby, Eloise Grace Aldinger. At two months of age, she makes it a sleepy house.  Especially if she falls asleep in my arms, I am toast!  Zzzzz. . .
     While here in Sacramento, I was blessed to attend the Early Childhood Symposium at Rudolf Steiner College, featuring Dr. Adam Blanning as keynote speaker.  He mentioned that there is a window at 6-9 months wherein it may be easier for a child to learn to self-soothe, so the parents are not still doing all the steps that lead to the child's sense of well-being.  Rather, the child has learned to do most of the steps for her- or himself.  
     Then he offered the following ideas about healthy sleep progression:
Dr. Blanning's Sleep Progression 
Awake in the evening 
Bath (when necessary) 
Teeth brushed 
Strong Touch (e.g., massage, compression, hugging or wrestling) 
[All of the above, he suggests, would be done outside of the bedroom. 
Once in bed, it is the final short bedtime ritual, e.g. candle, verse, song] 
     I think many people were surprised by the "Strong Touch" factor, especially since he first listed it as wrestling  just to get everyone's attention!  I imagine it confirmed something for us mothers of sons or grandmas of grandsons, but Dr. Blanning noted that little girls also need this strong touch as well.  After her bath yesterday, I made sure to give Eloise a few leg and arm compressions which she seemed to enjoy.  Strong touch does not have to come in the form of wrestling, particularly with a two month old!   But if she remains the little chunky monkey she is right now, I think we'll just have to give it a go a year from now!  Besides, at the end of February our grandson number three arrives in Chicago, so surely I need to prepare her for all those boy cousins!!  
     Many thanks to everyone who contributed to this newsletter.  It is a crucial theme for all of us, and I appreciate that Rahima started out by talking about the importance of our sleep as adults.  Taking care of ourselves is always going to be a key factor in our capacity to take care of others.
     In that vein, I am pleased to announce that the LifeWays North America board has gifted me with an adjusted job description.  Starting 2014, Rahima will help the new training directors as they form new groups.  Blessedly, I will continue to teach in all of the trainings, but I will not be as integrally involved with directing them.  Instead I am hoping to start writing again and to help in the creation of new endeavors for LifeWays.
     And, of course, I will continue to catch up on my sleep!  You will read a variety of approaches to sleep in the articles below.  I appreciate this as, once again, it helps us to understand that there it typically not a single right way to do things.
     I wish you all a most blessed Thanksgiving, and insightful and warming Holy Days ahead.
Much love,    


Articles on Sleep and Naptime:
The Holiness of Sleep    

(These words are to awaken in us a feeling of the holiness of sleep - a feeling of the fact that sleep unites us with the Spiritual World.   -- Rudolf Steiner)


I go to sleep.

Till I awaken

My soul will be in the spiritual world,

And will there meet the higher Being

Who guides me through this earthly life -

Him who is ever in the spiritual world,

Who hovers about my head.

My soul will meet him,

Even the guiding Genius of my life.

And when I waken again

This meeting will have been.

I shall have felt the wafting of his wings.

The wings of my Genius

Will have touched my soul.

      ~  Rudolf Steiner

White Noise and Cognitive Dissonance
By Rahima Baldwin Dancy

Rahima questions why so many programs and parents are using some form of "white noise" at nap time. 


Rahima has recently retired from  Rainbow Bridge LifeWays Program in Boulder and is traveling and consulting with LifeWays and Waldorf programs.     


            Click here to read Rahima's article                          

Sleep Rhythms at Home
By Jenyng Wu

A mother contrasts her two sons' sleep patterns and the importance of sleep. 
Jenyng is a LifeWays graduate, at home with her young sons in Healdsburg, California.

Rest Time at Hummingbird Garden 
By Lynn Coalson

Lynn shares how she and the older children at Seaside Playgarden enter into deep rest.



Lynn has been a lead teacher for six years at Seaside Playgarden, a LifeWays Representative Program in Jacksonville, Florida.  

                                           Click here to read Lynn's article          

"Framing" Naptime   

By Cynthia Aldinger 

How do you get a group of children to rest or sleep? Cynthia suggests ways to lead children into naptime, as well as suggestions for after they awaken.

Cynthia Aldinger is the founder and director of LifeWays North America.
                                           Click here to read Cynthia's article          
Thoughts on Sleep by Miss Jaimmie  
By Jaimmie Stugard
Jaimmie shares her research and insights on children's sleep, both at home and in centers.  
Jaimmie has been a care giver for more than then years at LifeWays of Milwaukee, a LifeWays Representative Center.
Using Touch Relaxation
By Kate Castellani
Kate explains how Touch Relaxation can be used by parents or caregivers throughout the day. Many times children benefit by relaxing touch, especially before going off to sleep or when they are upset or have fallen,  
Kate attended the LifeWays Training in Buffalo, New York and is a teacher at Rose Garden Early Childhood Center there.   
Naptime at Simone's Infant Care 
By Simone Demarzi  
How do you get infants and young children to sleep in the same room?  Simone made canopies for the cribs and special beds and has a wonder routine. 

Simone is a LifeWays graduate and cares for infants in Carmichael, California.
                              Click here to read Simone's article 
El Dormir de Niños 
By Maryliana Wickus

En este artículo Maryliana describe como asistió gentilmente a su bebe, para ayudarle a crear buenos hábitos de dormir. Hábitos que siguen favoreciendo enormemente al niño y a la creación de un ambiente familiar armónico.


Maryliana Wickus obtuvo su certificado del entrenamiento  de la temprana infancia que ofrece Lifeways en Austin, Texas. Maryliana esta muy feliz de quedarse en casa con su pequeño Mateo de 18 meses y poder aplicar todos los conocimientos aprendidos con Lifeways.  

Professional and Personal Development  
for Teachers, Caregivers and Parents 
"LifeWays is bringing beauty to the lives and families
        of young children."   ~  Elisa Rios

Training courses include 200+ classroom hours over the course of a year, plus a mentor to guide you with independent study between sessions. 
Click on Training locations for more information
and pictures:

 New training starting in March  

Register by Jan. 31 and save! New training starting in April
Register by March 1 and save!
Portland, Oregon

Trainings also starting in 2014 in

Look for us again in 2015 in

LifeWays graduates may attend all or part of another LifeWays training for the cost of food and materials.


New Videos on "Music for the Young Child"  



"Kinderharp / Kinderlyre"
"Mood of the Fifth" and
"Music for the Young Child, Grade 1"


All three for only $25!              Learn more or order here


Featured Video: "KinderHarp/KinderLyre" (56 min.)


New from LifeWays and the Association for Waldorf Music Education (AWME)


with Sheila Johns (AWME) and Bianca Lara, Director of the LifeWays Training in San Diego


This video will get you started with your kinderlyre and expand your ability to use it with children from birth through age six.  Learn how to string and then tune your kinderlyre as a practice in developing listening and sensitivity to pitch.  Holding the lyre and fingering are demonstrated to produce free tones, progressing from using single tones or streaming with simple songs; Johns uses a Choroi kinderharp, but her demonstrations can be adapted to other models.  She also demonstrates using fifths when tuning or accompanying songs and how to use both hands to play more advanced songs. 


The kinderlyre can support you in your sensitivity to tone, in your singing, and in creating songs for your children. Bianca provides examples from how she has used the kinder lyre throughout the year, including how she uses it to prepare the space in her LifeWays program, to support her singing with the children, and to help with naptime.

A valuable video for beginners and those who have had a kinderharp for a long time!


The set includes two more bonus videos for Waldorf teachers and homeschoolers:

"Mood of the Fifth," with Sheila Johns (1hr.19min.)provides a detailed explanation of the pentatonic scale, where the notes come from and why it is especially suited to children before the 9-year change. 

"Music for the Young Child, Grade 1" with Andrea Lyman, President of AWME (55 minutes). The first half of this video presents a singing and movement circle as it would be done with a first grade class. The second half is a discussion of music and how it progresses from the mood of the fifth in first grade to the more familiar diatonic scale by the end of third grade.

Learn more or order 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! 






LifeWays workshops  

Living Arts Retreats  

in Milwaukee  

  • May 7-10 Rod Puppetry with Suzanne Down
  • June 18-21 Partnering with Parents and Colleagues
  • August, Reclaiming the Art of Homemaking

For more information click here or contact Mary O'Connell  


 California Coast Parenting Seminar: Handwork

  • April-May, 2014, San Francisco Bay Area

For information click here or contact Marianne Alsop 


Storytelling, Puppetry and Language Development

with Suzanne Down

Oct. 28-30, Portland, OR 


For information click here or contact Mary O'Connell



Have You Seen the LifeWays Blog Lately? 


Take a look at the recent articles, including Serenity Gordon's 

Peaceful Beginnings


Have you tried this to help settle a child?

Jaimmie Stugard is using a kinderlyre to help a child settle down for nap at the LifeWays Center in Milwaukee.


[As mentioned in the new video "Kinderharp/Kinderlyre" from LifeWays North America & the Waldorf Association of Music Educators.]    Learn more! 



"Settling into Sleep"

This 15 minute DVD shows a peaceful and nurturing naptime routine at LifeWays, with plenty of suggestions for how to encourage a more restful transition to sleep for the children in your care. Available as a DVD or download as one of five video selections in "LifeWays: Relationship-Based Care."  

All five for only $25!   

Also available as a separate video with articles and CEUs.





The Wonder of Lullabies
Songbook and CD
by Mary Schunemann
A beautiful collection of lullabies from around the world to sing with your children at rest time, circle time and bed time. Includes an introduction on the importance of sleep and singing in the life of the child. Appropriate for all ages of children & adults.  Learn more or order.



Mothering Arts

LifeWays board member
Kerry Madrid Ingram leads a "Mothering Arts" circle in Sebastopol and has written a handbook on how to start one in your area. Visit her website and learn more.


by Judith Frizlen


Judith is director of Rose Garden Early Childhood Center in Buffalo, New York,  a LifeWays Representative Center.  



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, Virgin Islands.


   Visit LifeWays on Facebook!



Article from  

The Guardian


Children with regular bedtimes less likely to misbehave, research shows


New Videos from LifeWays!
"Music for the Young Child"

A new 3-video set featuring
"Kinderharp / Kinderlyre,"
plus bonus videos
"Mood of the Fifth" and
"Music for Young Children,
Grade 1"



'Afternoon Naps' Aid Children's Learning

Getting young children to take an hour-long nap after lunch could help them with their learning by boosting brain power, a small study suggests.



A report from NPR

'Memory Pinball' And Other Reasons You Need A Nap


Why do We Sleep?




TED Talk with Russell Foster, a circadian neuroscientist.
Click here to watch.


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