Creating a School!

For the past few months, I’ve been part of a group of parents that are working together to create a Waldorf-inspired homeschool cooperative.  This year we have been meeting once a week and taking turns leading circles, songs, stories and crafts for nine children, ages 2-5.  Next year, our numbers will grow a bit, and we began to wonder how we could best meet the needs of our children as they enter kindergarten.  While we’re all committed to homeschooling, we also wanted to create regular, structured opportunities for the kids to learn and create together.

After much visioning and communication, we have decided to hire a part-time Waldorf teacher for next school year.  We are so excited to move forward with this plan, and have created a job description that we’d love to circulate far and wide. It’s a unique position in that we’re able to offer room, board, and many opportunities for learning homesteading and simple living skills at the various family farms, permaculture education centers, and radical simplicity projects in the area.

I’d like to share the job description here, in hopes that perhaps you might know someone perfect for the job!  Or perhaps you might know someone who could connect me with someone to connect me with someone!  Thank you.

An Extraordinary Teaching Opportunity
Waldorf-Inspired Homeschool Cooperative Seeks a Part-Time Teacher
for the 2013-2014 School Year

 The vision of our homeschool cooperative is to create a dynamic and inspirational learning community that embraces the holistic philosophy of Waldorf Education, fosters a deep love of all living things and a connection with the natural world, and incorporates ideas of simplicity, service, and sustainability while developing the unique gifts of our children.

We seek a loving, collaborative, creative individual to plan and implement a Waldorf curriculum and act as lead teacher in a Waldorf-inspired homeschool cooperative.  Two days a week you will teach a four hour Kindergarten program for 8-12 three to six year old students. In addition, one day per week, you will organize and facilitate an outdoor/farm/wilderness enrichment program that is open to a wider community of children, and is taught in cooperation with parent volunteers. Expect to work 15-20 hours per week, 12 of which is with the children and the remainder used for planning and preparation.

The ideal candidate will have training and experience in Waldorf Early Childhood Education, is enthusiastic about sustainability and homesteading, and has a desire to share his/her gifts while learning simple living skills.

We offer an incredible opportunity for personal development and professional creativity, with benefits including:

  • Private room on a small family farm
  • Delicious, non-vegetarian, mostly organic meals
  • A monthly stipend of $400
  • Access to a wide variety of classes and learning opportunities including: organic gardening, animal husbandry, permaculture, non-violent communication, restorative circles, food preservation, indigenous skills, natural building, and handwork/crafts

This is the experience of a lifetime for someone self-motivated that wants to work creatively, building a new learning community in Northeast Missouri.

For more information, contact Teri at: laplatahomeschoolcoop@gmail.com

Late Winter Waldorf Circle Songs

One of my favorite times of the week is Friday morning, when our little Waldorf homeschooling cooperative gathers together.  Six parents and eight children crowd in a tiny living room to share songs, stories, snacks, and crafts.  Our older children are 4-5 years old, and a few of us also have 2-3 year old children in tow.  So, we’re in essence creating a mixed ages kindergarten.  It works remarkably well.  The younger kids follow right along with their older siblings, with occasional breaks for cuddling or nursing.

Each parent is responsible for a portion of the morning’s activities, and I am generally the leader of the circle time, which consists of a few verses, some fingerplays, and lots of singing. (Of course!  So perfect for my Musical Theater-loving self!)  I try to create about 20 minutes of circle activities, balancing some new material with old favorites that the kids know by heart.

I thought I’d start sharing some of my favorite songs (and movement suggestions) here on the blog.  I’d love to hear some of your favorite seasonal songs for children!

Late Winter Circle Songs:

The North Wind Doth Blow (Traditional)
The north wind doth blow, and we shall have snow,  (swing body, arms wave side to side rhythmically)
And what will the robin do then, poor thing?  (bird hands)
He’ll sit in the barn, to keep himself warm,  (sit down, fluffing wings out)
And hide his head under his wing. Ah! (hide head under arm, open both arms on AH!)

The north wind doth blow, and we shall have snow, (swing body, arms wave side to side)
And what will the dormouse do then, poor thing?  (little mouse hands near mouth)
Rolled up like a ball, in a nest snug and small,  (curl up into a ball and sleep)
She’ll sleep ‘til the warm weather comes.  Ah! (jump up, arms up on Ah)

The north wind doth blow, and we shall have snow, (swing body, arms wave side to side)
And what will the squirrel do then, poor thing?  (hold a nut)
She’ll climb up a tree, and look out to see,  (pretend to climb, look out)
And nibble on all of her food. Ah!  (eat food, arms up on Ah!)

The north wind doth blow, and we shall have snow, (swing body, arms wave side to side)
And what will the raccoon do then, poor thing? (mask)
He’ll waddle around, leaving prints on the ground,  (waddle around yourself)
And find a warm burrow to sleep. Ah!   (curl into a “burrow”, jump up on Ah!)

The north wind doth blow, and we shall have snow, (swing body, arms wave side to side)
And what will the rabbit do then, poor thing?  (ears)
She’ll jump and she’ll hop, she won’t want to stop,  (hop around)
‘cause that’s how she’ll keep herself warm.  Ah!

 

Gnome Series (adapted from Wynstones)
(sing) Listen closely to the sound!  (put ear to the ground and listen)
Listen closely to the sound!

(Chant rhythmically) Who is this I hear? (stomp rhythmically, swinging arms)
Deep down in the ground?
Hacking and cracking the rocks and the stones? (cross alternate arms half time)

 Is it the squirrel scampering so? (holding a nut)
Collecting acorns to and fro?  (scampering movement to left and right)
No! It’s not the squirrel!  (wave finger)

Then…Who is this I hear? (stomp rhythmically, swinging arms)
Deep down in the ground?
Hacking and cracking the rocks and the stones? (cross alternate arms half time)

Is it the giant so big and bold?  (arms up like showing off big muscles)
Stomping around in the winter cold.  (stomping)
NO! It’s not the giant so big and bold!  (wave finger)

Then….Who is this I hear? (stomp rhythmically, swinging arms)
Deep down in the ground?
Hacking and cracking the rocks and the stones? (cross alternate arms half time)

Listen closely to the sound! (put ear to ground again)
Listen closely to the sound!

Behold the dwarfs inside the hill–
Their tiny hammers are never still.
They sing and work deep underground,
And as they tap the rocks resound:

Crack, crack, the rock we hack (begin to pat ground)
Quake, quake, the mountains shake (get a bit louder)
Bang, bang our hammers clang (louder still!)
In caverns old, we search for gold!

 

Chickadee (May Morgan/German Folk Song)
Trees are bare, everywhere  (arms in a V)
Snow is deep and skies are grey.  (circle arms over the “field of snow”)
Yet one bird can be heard on the coldest day.  (bird hands)
Listen close and he’ll reply, (hand to your ear)
Cocking up a rogueish eye:  (put fingers up to eye like you’re lifting eyebrow)
Chickadee!  Chickadee!  Chick –a-dee-dee-dee!  (bird hands fluttering away)