2015 Pentathlon at the Waldorf School of Atlanta

Pentathlon: a Waldorf rite of passageDSC_0108

For all Waldorf students, spring is a very special time, even more so for our Grade 5 as they prepare for the annual Waldorf Pentathlon! During the 3-day gathering, more than 115 fifth-graders from Waldorf Schools throughout the Southeast compete in five different events: running, discus, javelin, long jump, and wrestling. Our school is honored to serve as host city for the 2015 event, taking place at Camp Twin Lakes in April.

Francisco Moreno, our Movement Teacher, who spent the year working with and preparing the students, explains the significance of the Pentathlon. “In the Waldorf philosophy, this event is a ceremony – and the children are not necessarily aware of this – of saying goodbye to the baby years and honoring the coming of the teenage years.”

The event is the perfect c4 city states at pentathlon - from amberulmination of their studies of ancient civilizations, and more specifically, ancient Greece. In that context, the students compete in the Pentathlon not as schools but as Greek city-states. Participants are divided among Athens, Sparta, Corinth, and Thebes. “The forming of each city-state allows them to leave their protective cocoon or circle of home,” adds Mr. Moreno, “and be in a place where they bring something new, the unique gift of themselves to each group.”

Like most Waldorf traditions, each event carries a significant metaphor for life. For example, the jumping event represents life moving forward, while wrestling mirrors the need to face and overcome life’s challenges.

The Pentathlon culminates with an awards ceremony on the final day, when the judges present each child with a medal, wreath and an acknowledgement of that student’s highest moment – some unique way that they contributed to their city-state or the event overall. The children leave the event happy, confident and better equipped to thrive in their teen years.

~by Price Jones

This article was written for the Spring 2015 issue of the Garden Breeze newsletter for the Waldorf School of Atlanta.   For more information about our school, please visit us at www.waldorfatlanta.org .

Little CPR Class Goes A Long Way – Come Learn Free!

The Waldorf School of Atlanta is grateful to have Ben Karp, president and owner of Georgia CPR in our community!   Please read his article below and come to the class on March 30, 2015.

Being a parent is quite a busy job, leaving little time for much else, let alone a CPR class that puts us face to face with some of our greatest fears. The good news is, the odds are against us having to use CPR class skills on our children or on those of anyone else’s. Having said that, learning to save a choking child is crucial, and is a skill that should be included in any CPR class. Children are susceptible to choking emergencies that can turn tragic without a little training. Knowing what to do in an emergency can be crucial, not only informative and fun when taking the CPR class with the right group.

The community CPR class is a non-certification, informational CPR class that teaches the basics and leaves you empowered to help if the need should arise. This type of class will teach you many topics, in a casual way.

Some of the topics include the following:

  • Treatment of a breathing patient
  • Treatment of a non-breathing patient (CPR)
  • Differences in treatment for infants, children and adults
  • How to save someone who is choking

That CPR class for children also includes skills that are much more likely to be employed on adults, including our adult loved ones. Did you know children who are over the age of 9 are generally considered adults in the CPR world anyway. Why? You will just have to take our class and find out.

It is important to know how to help an adult as Sudden Cardiac Death (SCA) is the #1 cause of death in the United States, by far. 350,000 adults die from SCA in the United States every year. Yes, of all the things we worry about in our country, 350,000 adults die yearly from SCA. CPR can double your chance of survival and greatly increase your chance of surviving neurologically intact. This all sounds good, yes?

Come learn for free.Linden Tree Photography B. Karp 005

Georgia CPR is hosting a free CPR class on the Waldorf School of Atlanta campus, in the Hospitality room on March 30th at 8:30am. Come and join us – learn to save a life!




CPR Classes For Faculty and Staff at the Waldorf School of Atlanta

Linden Tree Photography B. Karp 005

Benjamin B. Karp, Georgia CPR, Inc.

Did you know all faculty and staff at WSA are CPR and First Aid certified?

Did you know that few schools even come close to that standard, public or private?

I am the owner of Georgia CPR, LLC, an Atlanta CPR class training company. I started the company in 2004 and have focused on quality CPR training for the Atlanta area. I am also a proud Waldorf School of Atlanta parent. Concern for my child’s education is a priority only matched by advocacy for my child’s safety. I bet you share a similar set of priorities.

Many students of my CPR classes are alarmed to learn that only a handful of staff at their children’s schools are trained to help their child in an emergency.

I would be alarmed too.

Did you know that only 3 out of 50 states mandate CPR certification for teachers? You guessed right, Georgia isn’t one of them. Indiana, Oregon and Virginia are the three that get credit. Without a mandate, schools just don’t make this training a priority. They should.

In most public schools, only coaches, and a few teachers are actually certified and have updated training on how to save a child in a medical emergency. Private schools are sometimes a bit better, but often times they aren’t.

I have personally trained each of Waldorf School of Atlanta’s faculty and staff in CPR, First Aid and in how to use an AED (Defibrillator). I think it is important to give our school’s faculty and staff credit because they deserve it. The Waldorf School of Atlanta makes CPR and First Aid proficiency and certification a top priority.

You should know your teachers and staff take the precious time to attend a full course for CPR, First Aid and AED every 2 years. We do this about a week before school starts in August as teachers are getting ready for their year.

A sample of what they learn includes the following:

  • What to do when someone is unconscious and breathing
  • What to do when the patient is unconscious and not breathing
  • How and when to use the AED
  • Choking emergencies
  • Control of bleeding and cuts and scrapes
  • Management and recognition of shock
  • Treating a seizing patient
  • Treating burns
  • Head injuries
  • Recognition and treatment of heat related illnesses
  • Bites and stings
  • Eye injury care
  • When 911 is needed and when it isn’t

The objective of the training is to be able to care for our children in an emergency until the next level of care arrives; whether that care is the loving hands of the parent who picks them up, or professional medical help.

You should know the Waldorf School of Atlanta has a Philips defibrillator and everyone is trained on how to use it. The AED we have is the best quality make and model available – and that really matters. You probably know that an AED can’t possibly due harm and can increase survival in a cardiac emergency from 3% to up to 50%. It’s a big deal that we have one and know how to use it.

You should also know  that as important as the CPR class and the AED, my training goals are to weave these skills into a school response culture. As soon as there is an emergency, everyone is on the same page, everyone responds, everyone works together. There is a Waldorf way of doing things that includes everything from morning drop off and “media-lite” living, to not packing jellybeans in lunches. The Waldorf way of doing things also includes a way to respond to an emergency. Waldorf cares about our kids, and they know how to care for our kids as well.

Teaching CPR at Waldorf

Benjamin B. Karp, Georgia CPR, Inc. – teaching a class at the Waldorf School of Atlanta


Waldorf School of Atlanta Pedagogical Overviews

jim mcclurkin

Waldorf School of Atlanta teacher – Jim McClurkin

This essay was written by Jim McClurkin, a teacher at WSA since 1999.

Pedagogical Overviews

The Waldorf School of Atlanta provides a proven educational program that nurtures students along a continuous developmental path that results in young adults who are confident, poised and have a strong inner focus for life and work.

Early Childhood (Explore Early Childhood)

Our Waldorf preschool and kindergartens nurture a sense of wonder and curiosity in the young child, while encouraging reverence and joy for the goodness of life. The warmth and beauty of the classrooms and the mixed age groupings provide an opportunity for children to play and learn in a home-like atmosphere. The 3-year olds (participating in a 4 hour/day program) and the 4-year olds are engaged according to their age and abilities, while imitating the mood, gestures and work of the classroom teachers (and their older friends). The 5 and 6-year olds develop the independence and sense of responsibility necessary to become leaders in the class. In the loving and creative atmosphere of the kindergarten, these young children acquire the confidence and discipline they will need for the challenging academic work of grade school. The kindergarten experience is rich in storytelling, puppetry, song, poetry, cooking, and artistic activities. Crafts, handwork, games, and regular outdoor play encourage the healthy growth of the child’s body. Toys, art materials, and classroom aesthetics emphasize natural, simple materials, encouraging the child’s imagination. Through play, each child learns a broad range of cognitive, social, and linguistic skills. As in all Waldorf classes, parents are encouraged to minimize exposure to television, videos, and other media that might hinder the free and harmonious growth of the child.

Grade One (Explore Grade One)

First Grade is the commencement of formal schooling marked by the child’s awakening capacities of memory and thinking. The seven-year-old retains a feeling of oneness with the world, and is more able to bring broad awareness than focused concentration to learning situations. Much learning therefore involves the presentation of an image to the child, ensuring her understanding through her own mental picturing. This leads to a pictorial approach in the teaching of all subjects. The rhythm of working together as a class is established during this year, and the students are introduced to all areas of school life. The students are eager to learn together and take their place within the large whole. As new habits are formed, a foundation is being laid for healthy social interaction. Through the teacher’s authority and presence, a sense of reverence, respect, and wonder permeates the mood in the classroom. Throughout the first grade year, the academic tasks of reading, writing and arithmetic are embedded in the rich world of fairy tales. The archetypal pictures found within the fairy tales engage the child’s fantasy in the subject matter that they encounter throughout the year. Through these richly crafted stories, the children are introduced to speaking, writing, reading, and mathematics. All skills are reinforced with practice involving rhythmical movement, recitation and music. Bookwork is illustrated with pictures that reinforce the concepts being developed. Each lesson aims to incorporate a three-fold structure, which fosters the development of the children’s feelings, thinking abilities, and will forces.

Grade Two (Explore Grade Two)

In Grade Two, the familiar routines and observances of the previous year are maintained. This strengthens the rhythm of the class working together, and builds confidence and a sense of belonging in the children. The students continue to learn best when pictorial thought content is presented. Much time is spent consolidating all that was first learned in Grade One. Students continue to familiarize themselves with the fundamentals of arithmetic and language arts, and they also develop a wide range of skills in gross and fine motor movements such as jump rope, knitting, and flute playing. The children’s thinking is thus balanced and reinforced by their experience in physical and artistic activity. While in Grade One a mood of wholeness develops in the children, in Grade Two this mood can differentiate into contrasts, with a reverential mood on the one hand, and a temptation for mischief on the other. During this year, the children develop greater interest in the unique qualities of one another and become curious about individual differences. To meet this growing social awareness, teachers introduce stories where contrasting human qualities are portrayed. Wonder tales and legends of Saints from around the world show lofty striving and highlight noble human qualities, while animal fables and trickster tales satisfy the child’s interest in mischief. While the morals of these tales are never explicitly stated, the students derive direction and form from the images they are given.

Grade Three (Explore Grade Three)

Grade Three is marked by the physiological, psychological, and cognitive changes taking place during the ninth year. The child’s walk is firmer and more balanced, and the constitution is substantially stronger. Growth begins to focus more on the limbs and metabolism, and there is an increase in the breadth of the trunk. At the same time, a significant step in self-awareness occurs during this year. The children are developing a strong sense of being separate from their surroundings, perhaps for the first time. A feeling of being alone can contrast with a sense of wonder at seeing the world in a new way. These mixed feelings often lead to confusion and insecurity as questions of purpose and identity begin to emerge. There is a longing for increased independence and autonomy as the child moves into this new phase of childhood. They have a tendency to criticize and question authority as they seek to define themselves as individuals. The images from Hebrew stories, with their laws and guidance, foster inner security during this unsettled period. Practical activities such as farming and house building help ground the children in the physical world. When the whole group works together on these activities, feelings of separateness can be transformed into feelings of responsibility for the whole. With their new interest in the practical, material world, the children can now apply the skills learned in the first two grades to a wide range of everyday situations like measuring, weighing, and cooking.

Grade Four (Explore Grade Four)

In Grade Four, the transition from early childhood is complete. The children emerge with greater awareness, expressed in new confidence and great vigor. They want to experience the world from an individual standpoint, to find their particular place in the world. They develop a sense of where they are in relation to their environment, in both a social and geographical sense. The fourth grade student is eager to learn more about their world, and they embrace new challenges with curiosity and enthusiasm. During the fourth grade year, students are challenged to extend themselves in every aspect of their work. Their growing interest in concrete knowledge is met through natural science, in a study of the animal kingdom in relation to the human being. The children also take up a thorough study of their surroundings in a Local Geography block, in which mapmaking skills are developed. Norse stories, meanwhile, present the children with images of diverse, strong-willed personalities all contributing to the social whole. Throughout this year, students are encouraged to take greater responsibility for their own learning. They complete several independent projects, and give their first formal presentations to the class.

Grade Five (Explore Grade Five)

In the first four years of school there is a strong emphasis on form, both of the class as a whole, and of each child’s habits. In the next four years, there is a subtle and gradual shift in emphasis toward content, in lessons and in the world at large. This shift in emphasis, of course, follows the child’s own lead, responding to his or her changing consciousness. By age eleven, children reach a kind of balance and regular alternation between their awareness of the world and of their own inner lives. There is balance, too, in their mental, emotional, and physical growth. The fifth grade curriculum seeks to extend the children both outwardly and inwardly. Outwardly, in terms of space, they expand their horizons of the earth and the plants that cover it. In terms of time, they experience five civilizations spanning thousands of years. Inwardly, they extend their awareness of the math processes they perform, and also of the words they speak and the sentences they write. As their intellectual faculties become stronger, students are able to approach their cognitive work in a more realistic and reasoning manner. By the fifth grade, students have generally attained a certain ease and grace of physical movement intrinsic to their age. The celebration of their unique abilities at this time culminates in their participation in a Greek Olympiad, a pentathlon event with other regional Waldorf schools.

Grade Six (Explore Grade Six)

The twelfth year is the gateway to pre-adolescence and idealism, and although the sixth grader is increasingly able to experience internal logic, their sense impressions can often be clouded by emotion and whimsy. Throughout this year, students are encouraged to develop strong powers of observation, and precision and accuracy in their thinking. As they awaken to the intricacies of human thought and action, they readily embrace the biographies of individuals from ancient Rome and the Middle Ages. In order to ground students in the surrounding world while fostering their fascination with the unknown, sixth graders are provided with their first formal study of natural phenomena. Mineralogy, geography, and physics lessons provide opportunity for in-depth encounters with the physical world while strengthening powers of sense-observation. In addition to being grounded by the lawfulness of the earth, students are also encouraged to develop expansiveness in their imaginative thinking. Astronomy draws students towards the heavens and provides opportunities for them to explore the mysteries of the cosmos. In an effort to recreate the experience of early astronomers, Astronomy is taught exclusively through observation of the unaided eye.

Grade Seven (Explore Grade Seven)

As students move into adolescence, they need increased opportunity to feel the strength of their own initiative. The grade seven curriculum serves to ground the students, to inspire them to venture out toward the unknown, and to offer an introduction to their quest in life. Through their own engagement and striving in the world, students are able to develop strong feelings of sympathy and antipathy in relation to their surroundings. These feelings help shape their own perceptions and allow them to stand on their own with increased confidence. Through the exploration of an unknown world, the seventh grade curriculum challenges the thought process of the young adolescent, leading them to discovery, understanding, and discernment. They learn, as the explorers did, that going one’s own way means leaving behind the security and stability of familiar territory.

Grade Eight (Explore Grade Eight)

A Waldorf eighth grade experiences a gradual but significant shift from the presentation of a subject solely from the teacher to the class, to the mutual consideration of a subject by teacher and class together. A sense of community develops in which speaking becomes more thoughtful and listening more attentive. With the awakening capacity for logical thinking and free, independent judgment, the eighth grader now wants to be in the world more than ever before. They want to do, to discover, to know, and to find relevance in their studies by finding connections with the outside world. Throughout this year, the students continue to expand their sense of place in the world. They plunge into the Age of Revolution, and embark on a study of noteworthy individuals who have found the courage to follow their passions in revolt against the status quo. In addition to their continued inquiry into scientific phenomena and experimentation, students study the lives and struggles of scientists and inventors who first discovered chemical and electrical laws. These studies ground students in the human aspect of scientific thought, while providing a picture of the profound effects of modern technology upon society and culture. The eighth grade year marks the students’ final year with their Class Teacher, and culminates in the completion of their Waldorf grade school experience. Given the huge step these students are about to take in the world, the curriculum is designed to inspire passion and highlight the incredible potential of the human mind and soul. It is our hope that our students will graduate with compelling questions that will continue to fuel their love of learning for years to come.

Childhood First.


Media-Lite Living Initiative at the Waldorf School of Atlanta – Alumna Testimonial

In September 2014, parents at the Waldorf School of Atlanta began a Media-Lite Living initiative.  The WSA Family Handbook holds recommendations about limiting media.  This initiative is designed to support parents on this road.  We are archiving the articles, stories and testimonials from this initiative on the WSA blog.  An Introduction article that includes links to articles in this series is here.

Media-Lite Living Column

Student Testimonial:  Jillian Eugene, WSA Alumna

At The Waldorf School of Atlanta media usage is discouraged for young students.  Growing up I never knew about the latest TV shows or funny cartoons, but I did have a big imagination.  Unlike many schools where technology is the base for learning, at The Waldorf School of Atlanta I was encouraged to invent my own stories, read books, play games, and enjoy the outdoors.  Main lesson books were the foundation of much of what I learned in school, where I wrote by hand and drew pictures of what I learned in class.  I truly had a great childhood, which I know not everyone can say.

Many of my friends, when I tell them that I really didn’t watch much TV or play video games when I was younger, ask me questions like, “Well what did you do then?”  They think I missed out on some great times, but I think it’s really the other way around.  So what did I do?  At home I played outside, got utterly dirty while digging for “treasures” or trying to create a living area underneath the earth’s surface.  I experimented in the kitchen, built forts, and played sports outside with my brother and neighbors.  I painted, enjoyed sewing projects, put on puppet shows for my parents, and always used what some call “boredom” to delve into a new world of imagination.

I realize now how fortunate I was to really have time to be a child, without the stress of knowing all of the realities of the world.  Innocence and a bit of ignorance when very young are not detrimental, and with my lack of connection to the media, I developed a happy disposition and love of learning.   From babysitting children from various backgrounds, I have also realized how lucky I was that the media was nearly absent from my childhood.  There was a set of siblings I used to babysit that would always tell me about games they could play on the Wii, but had never done in real life.  They had their video games, gadgets, and favorite TV shows, but they always seemed so irritated and stressed, especially if something in a video game they were playing went wrong.   When I suggested a break to play outside, my suggestion was usually not very thrilling, but it was not long before they were more relaxed and happy.

All of this is to say that the lack of media use that Waldorf schools promote is truly beneficial to the child, as well as to the adult they eventually become.   I was encouraged as a child to be imaginative and had plenty of free play, which has led me to be an innovative adult full of ideas.  Instead of having television define my ideas, I learned to think for myself, which I believe is a true key to success.

~Jillian Eugene, WSA class of 2008


The above article was taken from The Garden Breeze, our WSA in-house newsletter.  For more information about our school, please visit us at the Waldorf School of Atlanta

Media-Lite Living Initiative at the Waldorf School of Atlanta – New Year column

In September 2014, parents at the Waldorf School of Atlanta began a Media-Lite Living initiative.  The WSA Family Handbook holds recommendations about limiting media.  This initiative is designed to support parents on this road.  We are archiving the articles, stories and testimonials from this initiative on the WSA blog.  An Introduction article that includes links to articles in this series is here.

Media-Lite Living Column

Happy New Year to all WSA families.  In the new year,  the Media-Lite Living Column will feature “holiday testimonials” from WSA parents.  Parents will share their different experiences with living media-lite, or media-free, during the recent holiday time.  We will also continue to share testimonials from WSA graduates, who offer their unique perspectives, the benefits they have received, and even their gratitude, for growing up media-lite or media-free.

In the months ahead, published articles will continue to be printed, sharing important information on the adverse effects of media and screen time for children, while promoting the vital benefits of unstructured play for children of varied ages.

We hope these testimonials and articles offer fresh inspiration, encouragement, and promote lively dialogue amongst all WSA parents and friends of WSA.  All feedback and questions are welcome.  Contact Sara Michelson.

1-Holiday Testimonial: “Twice a year we head up north to see family for either Christmas or for Summer break. Each time we know that we will be around family that is fairly media saturated. Since our son was born, we have been straight forward about him not watching TV or playing video games. His cousins have grown up knowing this and always find other things to do. Kids have to play, it is their nature. The second they complain of boredom, mark your watch for 5 minutes and tell them to find something to do. Within that time, if they are not “helped” by adults, they will find something spectacular to do.” ~WSA parent

2-Published Article:  We’re ruining our kids with Minecraft: the case for unstructured play

We are in the process of making a giant mistake on behalf of our children. With all the right intentions, American parents are depriving their kids of the time and space to develop their imaginations, and the ability to make something out of nothing—the very heart of innovation and competitiveness. A new study by Radio Flyer and ReD Associates shows the alarming consequences of over-parenting….. Imagination is derived from what child psychologists call “unstructured play”: the kind of play that has no supporting technology, no defined script, and no end goal other than inventing worlds and coming up with ideas. (for full article, see link below:)


The above article was taken from The Garden Breeze, our WSA in-house newsletter.  For more information about our school, please visit us at the Waldorf School of Atlanta.

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Waldorf School of Atlanta – stars

Media-Lite Living Initiative at the Waldorf School of Atlanta -Two Testimonials

In September 2014, parents at the Waldorf School of Atlanta began a Media-Lite Living initiative.  The WSA Family Handbook holds recommendations about limiting media.  This initiative is designed to support parents on this road.  We are archiving the articles, stories and testimonials from this initiative on the WSA blog.  An Introduction article that includes links to articles in this series is here.

  •  Holiday Testimonial

These days I’ve been getting up earlier in the mornings to sit near the Christmas tree, eggnog in coffee. Adding nature to the house – red berries, frosted mini forest settings and cloved oranges strung up to reflect the ages of my boys, 5 & 7 – brings me joy. And there’s no exception to that adage in my house: when mom’s happy everyone’s better off.

One of the many values that appealed to us about the Waldorf community was pulling back from media-heavy culture. Silly, I know, but I thought it’d be easier. A little media actually seems harder in practice then none or a whole lot. So I’ve been working on making it “a little” closer to “a little, really.”

Thanks to the Fish Pond, I’ve started making things with my hands: felty critters, beaded stuff, pillowcases and snack bags. My kids see this and, simply, they seem calmer. My little guy, Jon Luka, will even join me most days. Our 7-year-old Max is in public school and Star Wars-obsessed. On the cusp of his learning to read a few weeks back, I was tempted to give in to Star Wars early reader books. But the violence made me think twice about giving him such a first impression of the lifelong reading experience. Sure enough, he has begun reading books about lemonade, toads and other things he found boring not long ago. This month we cut out a morning TV show from the daily routine. It happened overnight, without even blowing up the TV. No subsequent uprising from our children either. Perhaps most surprising is that my husband, Inan, and I survived these mornings with our own heads intact.

Another recent adventure has been cutting out the 3-year Friday film night tradition with the boys’ best pal. The point of this ritual has been to allow us to socialize with grownups without leaving home or hiring a babysitter. Afraid to bring it up with our friends for too long, I finally explained what I thought we could do differently and why… it’s working. Bonfires, family games, older kid helpers, and costumes, costumes, costumes.

The advice that has helped the most: If you explain cutting out media to kids with respect for them and, here’s the key, total conviction, they get it.

Wishing you and your family all manner of joy and love this season,

Kristen, WSA Kindergarten Mom

  • Alumna Testimonial

From the age of four I have been a Waldorf student. Throughout the years I have had my ups and downs coming to terms with my “media light” approach to life, and it wasn’t until 11th grade that I realized how lucky I was to grow up with the “media light” approach my mother took when it came to raising me.

When I was younger my friends would always talk about movies and TV shows that I had absolutely no clue about. At the time I was upset, but recently I’ve come to realize that I had the best childhood ever.

Lately when I babysit children they either want to watch TV while I’m there, or talk about what they’ve seen recently. When this happens I usually suggest that we draw, play a game, or make up a story, and the kids are easily re-directed and become very engaged and interested with what I offer them.

When I was their age I was building entire cities in my playroom with every toy I could lift off the ground. I believed in gnomes, and built more fairy houses at the bases of trees than you can imagine. I was the happiest little kid you would meet, or at least I’d like to think I was.

These days I find myself coming to different conclusions about situations than many of my peers. I’d like to think this attribute was formed through my extensive play as a child.

And now, Olivia’s words of advice: Your children can play by themselves. They do not need any type of media to distract them. Believe me. I would know.

Olivia, WSA graduate, class of 2011


Santa Lucia Day at the Waldorf School of Atlanta

Santa Lucia at the Waldorf School of Atlanta

Santa Lucia at the Waldorf School of Atlanta

At the Waldorf School of Atlanta,  Grade 2 teachers introduce stories where contrasting human qualities are portrayed. Wonder tales and legends of Saints from around the world show lofty striving and highlight noble human qualities, while animal fables and trickster tales satisfy the child’s interest in mischief.   The study of Saints is brought to life beautifully in this letter from a Grade 2 teacher to the parents of her class about Santa Lucia Day.

This season brings many beautiful events to the school, classroom and community. In addition to the Advent Spiral, enjoying a visit from Saint Nicholas, and the school assembly, the second grade is working on the yearly Santa Lucia celebration for the school.  The story of Santa Lucia dates back to the Middle Ages.  She is known for bringing food and care to the people of Sweden during a harsh time of famine.  She wore a wreath of candles on her head so that she had her hands free to offer food and lingonberries to symbolize new life in winter.  The children are practicing their Santa Lucia song as they prepare to walk through the school with their own lights and song to share with all of the classes.

Sophia Szombathy, Grade 2 teacher

st lucia in grade 2 IMG_4651

Through silent winter gloom
thy song comes winging to
Waken the earth anew.
Glad carols bringing.
Come thou O Queen of
Night wearing thy crown so
bright.  Santa Lucia. Santa Lucia.
st lucia on the way to kindergarten IMG_4659

Foundation Studies at the Waldorf School of Atlanta

Foundation Studies in Anthroposophy and the Arts

fdn studies year one

Waldorf School of Atlanta – Foundation Studies Group

We are a group of 12 Waldorf School of Atlanta parents, faculty and staff, local community members and homeschooling parents who have come together to study the work of Rudolf Steiner and experience interconnectedness through the arts. We have all enrolled in a two-year program that is organized through the Center for Anthroposophy and hosted by WSA. We typically meet two Saturday mornings a month for seminars, group work, artistic activities, and sometimes longer workshops. Our interests address the broad themes of human development and personal growth through three distinct but interrelated elements:

  • study of the basic books of Rudolf Steiner, including How to Know Higher Worlds, Theosophy, An Outline of Esoteric Science, and Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path: A Philosophy of Freedom
  • cultivation of artistic activities that are transformative in nature, such as speech, drama, music, eurythmy, painting, drawing, woodwork, sculpture, and more
  • some experience of life in a Waldorf school as well as other cultural initiatives arising from the work of Rudolf Steiner.

We are currently mid-way through the second year. If you would like more info or are interested in starting with a new Year One group, email Angela Foster: afoster@thirdbody.net

More information about Foundation Studies can also be found at the Center for Anthroposophy.  And more information about our Atlanta Cluster can be found here.

fdn studies year one work

Waldorf School of Atlanta – Foundation Studies work, year one

Media-Lite Living Initiative at the Waldorf School of Atlanta – another Alumnus Testimonial

In September 2014, parents at the Waldorf School of Atlanta began a Media-Lite Living initiative.  The WSA Family Handbook holds recommendations about limiting media.  This initiative is designed to support parents on this road.  We are archiving the articles, stories and testimonials from this initiative on the WSA blog.  An Introduction article that includes links to articles in this series is here.

Alumnus Testimonial:

Growing up, living in a media-lite, if not media-free household, shaped me in ways I was not able to appreciate until recently. I didn’t know it at the time, but not being immersed in outside influences from a television screen allowed me to form ideas about the world and myself solely from the nurturing environment I lived in. I also credit my love of drawing, painting and reading to the fact that those were the things I occupied my time with instead of TV, movies, or smartphones. One of my favorite pastimes as a child was to pretend I had a cooking show. I would sit in the small garden in front of my house and explain to my “audience” (my dog, Summer, and the occasional stuffed animal) the techniques and ingredients needed to make the perfect mud pie, or grass and violet salad. I had zero interest in the TV we kept in the hall closet, or the laptop my father sometimes brought home from work, and the only movies I had ever seen were The Sound of Music and The Wizard of Oz.  As a 7th grader, not having all the newest gadgets was disappointing and maddening to say the least, but if I were to go back and re-live my life, my years at Waldorf being a media-lite student is not something I would ever change. I know I have the capability and tools to go into the world and look at things with an entirely unique perspective, and for that I will always be thankful to my Waldorf upbringing.

~Annabelle, Grade 12 student at Academe Of the Oaks

The above article was taken from The Garden Breeze, our WSA in-house newsletter.  For more information about our school, please visit us at the Waldorf School of Atlanta.

Waldorf School of Atlanta - student work

Waldorf School of Atlanta – student work