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

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.  Introduction article is here.    The Second Article is here.  The Third Article is here. The Fourth Article is here.

Media-Lite Living
 
Upcoming Parent Workshop: Living Media Lite Throughout the Holidays
Monday, December 1, 8:30-10:00am, Hospitality Room
This informative, conversational-based workshop for WSA parents and friends will offer practical suggestions for confronting common holiday challenges such as:
  • media and extended family – at their house and at yours
  • living media lite while traveling
  • alternatives to media during holiday family time 
  • gift giving alternatives
  • conversations with extended family about living media lite 
  • and more!
 
Interested but cannot attend this date and time?  Still email and let us know!
 
Offerings: Research Article: The Impact of Technology on the Developing Child
 

Reminiscing about the good old days when we were growing up is a memory trip well worth taking when trying to understand the issues facing the children of today. A mere 20 years ago, children used to play outside all day, riding bikes, playing sports and building forts. Masters of imaginary games, children of the past created their own form of play that didn’t require costly equipment or parental supervision. Children of the past moved… a lot, and their sensory world was nature based and simple. In the past, family time was often spent doing chores, and children had expectations to meet on a daily basis. The dining room table was a central place where families came together to eat and talk about their day, and after dinner became the center for baking, crafts and homework.

Today’s families are different. Technology’s impact on the 21st century family is fracturing its very foundation, and causing a disintegration of core values that long ago were the fabric that held families together……open the following link for the full article:

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

Advent at the Waldorf School of Atlanta

Advent at the Waldorf School of Atlanta

Media-Lite Living Initiative at the Waldorf School of Atlanta – another parent 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.  Introduction article is here.    The Second Article is here.  The Third Article is here.

 Media-Lite Living

Offerings: Parent Testimonial

When our daughter began kindergarten at WSA in 1996, we were already on board with restricting media. A few months into the school year, however, her teacher encouraged us to eliminate television entirely. We were amazed at the difference it made. It seemed to allow E~~ to be herself — almost as if a weight was lifted from her. She was more joyful and would happily go around singing to herself. We continued in this vein, mostly, for several years. When we took her to a G-rated movie at age 5, she was terrified. That inspired us to keep her shielded from the sarcasm and meanness found in many Hollywood films.

By third or fourth grade, the children were more vocal about wanting to watch TV. E~~’s teacher had a policy about not watching television on a day when they had been in school or would be in school the next day. That left Saturdays as the only possible day to watch TV. I really appreciated this “rule” being established for the class as a whole because it made it easier to say “no.” The rare Saturday evening when we watched something together was truly special.

After WSA, E~~ attended a public high school. As she neared graduation, she would comment on how glad she was that she was able to enjoy her childhood at Waldorf. Her high school classmates were exposed to things in elementary and middle school that E~~ didn’t have to deal with until ninth grade. Although her public school classmates were sure she hadn’t learned anything at Waldorf because she was having way too much fun, she graduated at the top of her class, so apparently she learned a few things along the way!

~Mother of WSA alumna, 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 Waldorf School of Atlanta.

 

Childhood First.

Media-Lite Living Initiative at the Waldorf School of Atlanta – screen free restaurants

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.  Introduction article is here.    The Second Article is here.

Media-Lite Living

Updates:  WSA parents have continued to meet and exchange stories and support for struggles and successes with living a media-lite lifestyle.  The next scheduled gathering will focus on exchanging concrete ideas and successful stories for creating alternatives to media at home and in the community.  This meeting will be held:

Friday, November 14, 8:30 to 10am, Hospitality Room

Who are the resources for this exchange?  You – fellow WSA Parents! If you have a story or idea about living with alternatives to media, please come to this meet-up.  Can’t come but have ideas and stories to share?   Send them to us!

Offerings: Screen Free Restaurants

Have you ever gone to a restaurant with your family in hopes of enjoying warm conversation over a delicious meal only to be thwarted by the large and loud television screen above your table?  Listed below are the names of some local restaurants that do not have televisions in their dining areas, to help you avoid this frustration and try again!

Community BBQ – Decatur, on Clairmont Avenue near Athens Pizza
Radial Café – Atlanta, Dekalb Avenue
Flying Biscuit – Candler Park
Farm Burger – Decatur
Ammazza – Atlanta, Edgewood Avenue
Good Karma Coffee Shop – Avondale Estates
Cakes and Ale Bakery – Decatur
Chai Pani – Decatur
Java Jive – Virginia Highlands
Homegrown – Atlanta, Memorial Drive
Octane – Atlanta, Marietta Street
Ria’s Bluebird- Grant Park
Matthew’s Cafeteria – Tucker
Pancake House – Memorial Drive, Clarkston

If you visit one of these or any other restaurants without screens, be sure to let the manager know that you appreciate eating your meal without the added distraction of a television screen.  If the screen status has changed, or you know of other restaurants without screens, let us know!  Happy dining!

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

Kindergarten Classroom at the Waldorf School of Atlanta

Kindergarten Classroom at the Waldorf School of Atlanta – Soup Day

Media-Lite Living Initiative at the Waldorf School of Atlanta – parent 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.  Introduction article is here.

 Media-Lite Living

1. Updates

Several introductory meetings for the Parent Initiative for Media-Lite Living have been held recently. The atmosphere is open and comfortable; many thought-provoking conversations have ensued about media-lite living.

2a. Offerings: Research

Please use the following link for the Steve Jobs article on being a low tech parent, in case the recently printed article was hard to open.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/11/fashion/steve-jobs-apple-was-a-low-tech-parent.html

2b. Offerings: Parent Testimonial

Part of what attracted me to Waldorf for my girls (now 13 and 16) was the media-lite policy. I wanted my girls to be able to fully grow into their best selves, and it seemed like the way for them to do that was to do “real” things, not sit in front of the TV. I wanted them to play with friends that came over so that they would learn good social skills and also have the benefit of real play. We have by no means been a media-free family, but we did have two rules: no media on play dates, and no TV Monday through Thursday.

With the media flooding the general culture, it has been difficult to stand my ground on this issue! It has been very helpful to have the support of other parents at Waldorf. It also helped that the kids were with peers that had similar rules at home. I’m grateful that the Waldorf community helped my husband and me to limit media exposure. It has helped us to teach our own values to our kids, rather than having them bombarded by whatever the television show creators chose to say.

~WSA 8th grade parent

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

Grade Seven chalkboard August

Waldorf School of Atlanta grade 7 classroom chalkboard drawing

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

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.

Initiative Introduction:

The intention of having a forum for Media-Lite Living is that we seek to give a voice and active presence of support and collaboration with fellow parents and their efforts in creating and living a media-lite lifestyle with their families.

We seek to be:

  1.     Resourceful: By sharing information on the impact of media upon children’s development, we offer clarity and insight into why seeking a media-lite lifestyle is a desired goal.

2.     Encouraging: By offering encouragement, we offer fellow parents a sense of courage for creating a media-lite lifestyle at home: “information is good, but encouragement is everything”.

 3.     Inspiring: By sharing real stories of how our children have thrived at home by engaging in real play, creative endeavors, and purposeful work experiences, instead of media, we hope to kindle other parents’ visions of what is possible for their own children within their own homes.

Lastly, we seek to support the school’s vision of protecting childhood and the sacred work that our children are involved in: growing and learning at their own pace while fully engaging in life. We celebrate all of our children within the school community, and all the possibilities for life they exquisitely hold within themselves and daily express at school and at home.  By celebrating our children we celebrate, honor, and contribute to the unique community we have here at WSA.

Interested? Curious? Questions?

 Invite to First Meeting:

The first meeting of the WSA Parent Initiative for Media-Lite Living will be held this Monday morning, September 29, from 8:30 to 10:00.  Look for us in the Hospitality Room.

1. All WSA parents and interested friends are warmly invited to attend.  Time is short?  Stop in to introduce yourself!  Have half and hour? Then come!  Can stay for entire time?  Terrific! Have a young child?  They are welcome!!!  Can’t make it this time?  Look in upcoming editions of the Breeze Bulletin for information on future meeting

Bring your curiosity, questions, comments, and sense of camaraderie as we explore and share this journey of Media-Lite Living.  Already living it?  Come to offer support, encouragement, and insight of the journey to other fellow parents.

2. The following recently published New York Times article about Apple’s founder, Steve Jobs, being a low-tech parent, may be of interest to you.  The link is the following:  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/11/fashion/steve-jobs-apple-was-a-low-tech-parent.html

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

Waldorf School of Atlanta - front sign

Handwork at the Waldorf School of Atlanta

As human beings, we use our hands regularly in our daily lives. At Waldorf, the Handwork curriculum is broad and includes skills such as knitting, crocheting, hand sewing, embroidery, felting, paper crafts, pattern design, and machine sewing.

Many of the benefits of the Handwork program are obvious: hand-eye coordination; basic math skills such as counting, the four math processes, and basic geometry; the ability to understand and follow a process from concept to completion; and the ability to focus on a project for an extended period of time.

There are also more subtle rewards that complement these obvious benefits. Students must prepare and care for materials. Many of the created items have a practical use – a case for a flute, a needle book, a pair of socks. Design and color choice allow for individual creative expression. One of the most far-reaching benefits of Handwork class is the social aspect. While there are times when quiet is needed, such as when you are learning a new stitch, most of the time the atmosphere in the classroom is social and conversational, not unlike a quilting bee. Students learn to speak politely to one another. Throughout the process, respect is fostered.

At the Waldorf School of Atlanta all first graders learn how to knit. This basic skill uses both right and left hands, and brings a steady, calming rhythm to the younger child. Crocheting, which emphasizes the right or left hand, almost always follows in the second or third grade. Cross-stitch is paramount to fourth grade as the children begin crossing over from childhood to adolescence. In fifth grade, knitting in the round, used to make hats, mittens, and socks, is a three dimensional, mathematical activity leading up to critical thinking in the middle school. Long-term hand-sewing projects involving concepts, patterns, and mathematical computations are usually found in sixth or seventh grade. The eighth grade Handwork curriculum often involves machine sewing, which perfectly integrates the student’s study of American History and the Industrial Revolution.

We hope you enjoy the Handwork series on our blog:

Grade 1 handwork

Grade 2 handwork

Grade 3 handwork

Grade 4 handwork

Grade 5 handwork

Grade 6 handwork

Grade 7 handwork

Grade 8 handwork

Our Handwork Teacher is Lisa Roggow.

lroggow photo

 

 

 

Spanish Language program at the Waldorf School of Atlanta – Grade 1

The Spanish Language program at the Waldorf School of Atlanta is led by Catalina De Luna Garza.  A review of the Language Program can be found on our website and specific insights into teaching each grade are found in these letters to the parents.

sra de luna headshot

Dear First Grade Parents,

Teaching the first grade has been a delightful experience. Since the very first day, the children in class were waiting expectantly for their first Spanish lesson. They have two classes a week; sessions started at twenty minutes long and will gradually grow to a forty-minute lesson.  The form and content of the Spanish language class for lower grades is very similar to the morning circle in main lesson.

The class is organized in a rhythmical flow of “in-breathing” and “out-breathing”; keeping a healthy rhythm is essential for 6 and 7 year olds. In the beginning of the class the children stand up and begin to repeat verses, songs, and movements. As children’s capacity for imitation and recitation at this age is at its peak, the child can absorb the language in its totality, instinctively, by habit.

During the second phase of the lesson, the children sit down and are prepared to receive a content that requires greater concentration. We play games where some brief dialogues are practiced, or new vocabulary is introduced. In the beginning pupils respond chorally, but some individual questions would appear from time to time. They also hear stories that are familiar to them in their native language, such as “The Little Red Hen”, or “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”. This concentration time is followed by activities such as dancing or games that provide a more relaxed form. Finally we all recite our closing verse to conclude our time together.

Spanish is extremely rich in poetry, and has many examples of lively and imaginative poems. Through such offerings the child enters the soul of a culture, even though he/she may not yet understand the meaning of what he/she is repeating. The formative qualities of language enrich the child’s feelings. Little by little, all this world of songs, verses, and movement is transformed in later years into rapid learning allowing the child to have a total experience of the language.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Spanish lessons, please do not hesitate to contact me by e-mail.

Sincerely,

Catalina De Luna Garza, Spanish Teacher at WSA

sra de luna at holiday fair

Spanish Language program at the Waldorf School of Atlanta – Grade 2

The Spanish Language program at the Waldorf School of Atlanta is led by Catalina De Luna Garza.  A review of the Language Program can be found on our website and specific insights into teaching each grade are found in these letters to the parents.

sra de luna headshot

Dear Second Grade Parents,

Second grade Spanish class will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays this year. We started with a brief review of the songs and some of the games from last year and pretty quickly new songs and poems had to be included.

In the first three grades the children are totally immersed in the spoken foreign language. They learn through their innate ability to imitate and memorize. At this time their speech organs are more flexible and it is possible to learn more accurate pronunciation as well as the natural cadences of the language.

Just as in every grade, rhythmical organization of the lesson is essential. Previous activities are continued and enlarged upon. Students will learn verses and songs involving movement or finger games; they also learn to follow simple commands. Vocabulary is based on learning about themselves and their immediate surroundings, such as: body parts, colors, counting, the classroom, animals in nature and pets, simple conversation about themselves and their needs. In addition to relevant songs and verses, story telling and crafts accompany the celebration of seasons and festivals to bring a sense of the culture of the country.

The children learn intuitively through the mood and the visual context of the class. They have developed strong abilities to memorize and repeat and many of the children will be ready to speak by themselves. Towards the end of second grade most of them will be able to answer questions in simple, short sentences. The main grammar concepts in the second grade are nouns, adjectives and action verbs. Perhaps the greatest change in this year lies in the child’s growing awareness that language has a social function that allows communication.  They realize that there are other people who communicate in a different way.

The world of nature reflects the mood of the second grade main lesson with nature stories. The Language class content closely follows the main lesson: fables, legends, and stories of saints. As mentioned above, children are beginning to “wake up” and notice that there are differences among human beings. Fables provide the opportunity of looking at these human characteristics embodied by animals in a humorous way. In Spanish we have important writers of fables. Outstanding ones are Iriarte, Samaniego, and Lope de Vega.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact me by e-mail.

Sincerely,

Catalina De Luna, Spanish Teacher at WSA

sra de luna grade 2

Spanish Language program at the Waldorf School of Atlanta – Grade 3

The Spanish Language program at the Waldorf School of Atlanta is led by Catalina De Luna Garza.  A review of the Language Program can be found on our website and specific insights into teaching each grade are found in these letters to the parents.

sra de luna headshot

Dear Third Grade Parents,

Since the very first day of school the third grade students have been working hard.  We have 2 Spanish lessons each week, Tuesday and Friday. We are lucky to have Ms. Dilworth bring some Spanish into her lessons; so children get dosages of Spanish here and there.

For third grade, the class continues to be mostly oral. Students are very excited because of our new element in the lesson: they will be creating their own Spanish book!  We start the class with a greeting verse, followed by songs, clapping games and speech exercises. The content that comes next requires greater concentration. We play games where dialogues are practiced, or new vocabulary is introduced. Towards the end, students work on the creation of their first Spanish Word Book.

The third grade curriculum, as for all the grades, is a reflection of the main lesson curriculum. The class content closely follows the one of main lesson: farming, trades, domestic chores, the produce of the earth, building, and time. The children learn intuitively through the mood and the visual context of the class. Towards the end of third grade most of them will be able to answer questions in simple, short sentences. The main grammar concepts in third grade are nouns, adjectives and action verbs.

Perhaps the greatest challenge in this year lies in the child’s growing awareness; children begin to feel separate from the world. Imitation begins to disappear, individuality acquires a new importance.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Spanish lessons, please do not hesitate to contact me by e-mail.

Sincerely,

Catalina De Luna, Spanish Teacher at WSA

grade 3 Spanish Book

Spanish Language program at the Waldorf School of Atlanta – Grade 4

The Spanish Language program at the Waldorf School of Atlanta is led by Catalina De Luna Garza.  A review of the Language Program can be found on our website and specific insights into teaching each grade are found in these letters to the parents.

sra de luna headshot

Dear Fourth Grade Parents,

Fourth grade is a time of change for language teachers. The previous three years are completely oral, and now is the time to move on to writing, reading, and the teaching of grammar. Obviously the oral phase never ends, and from 4th grade on the oral experience expands and is joined by writing and reading. The process is very similar to the way a child learns his/her native language. First they listen, then they imitate, later they read what they have written and in older grades explore the grammar of the language they speak.

In the language class students read by writing the material they have memorized in previous years.  By reading material with which they are already familiar orally, they are able to establish a solid basis in their reading. This process facilitates good pronunciation.

Basic grammar rules will be “introduced”, as many of them were acquired unconsciously while learning all those verses, songs and poems in the previous years. We will work differentiating all the pronouns, learning the basic rules of gender and number, and we will start to explore basic conjugation of verbs.

As stated before the oral phase never ends. Recitation in this year is powerful, repetitive, and if possible should have a lot of alliteration.

The class has a similar rhythm to main lesson. We begin with a rhythmical part, where we do verses, poems, songs, and speech exercises accompanied by gestures and clapping games. This lasts around 10 minutes. (the material is repeated for a period of 4 to 6 weeks). Then comes the feeling/listening part of the lesson, where material is reviewed and new content is brought to the students through different activities. Reading out loud chorally and then individually will be done during this part of the lesson, which lasts up to 15 minutes. Finally we have the thinking part, where book work is done. Students will quietly work in their Spanish book for about 15 minutes. At the end we all say a verse together to conclude our lesson.

You can enrich your child’s Spanish experience in many different ways:

  • Look for and enjoy Hispanic festivals in town, share the information with other parents (look for Day of the Dead festival in November – a family festival)
  • Do not miss the opportunity, but do not push, of finding Spanish around. If you visit a Hispanic restaurant, take a closer look at the menu, they might have a bilingual menu. If you know some Spanish, use it, practice it, be a model for your children. If you see me, greet me in Spanish. Some grocery stores have a Hispanic or international aisle, take a look at the foods they offer, find if they have bilingual labels.
  • The most important part of all this is to have a positive and open attitude “open your windows to a new culture”; your children will notice it.

Studying languages is a window into the soul of a culture, into its genius, individuality and musicality. It is well known that learning another language expands one’s thoughts and ability to penetrate the feelings and the soul of the other culture. Through the art of communication we cultivate an interest in others.

If you have any questions or concerns about the Spanish program, please email me.

Sincerely,

Catalina De Luna, Spanish Teacher at WSA

sra de luna working outside with grade 4

Sra de Luna working outside with Grade 4 students.