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Transforming Free Public Worksheets into Waldorf Inspired Lessons

How to Plan an Earthschooling Educational Excursion: Part Two All photos copyright Kristie Burns On our recent educational excursion (see part one here) we visited many wildlife preserves. One of the preserves, the Lee County Manatee Park, had a great website with a lot of “downloadable” educational documents. These documents were your typical “coloring sheet”, “scientific data with a quiz” and “chart of the animals you will see”. At an initial glance none of the “free lessons” they provided were compatible with Waldorf education. Or were they? One advantage of having an organized curriculum to work from like...
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How to Plan an Earthschooling Educational Excursion

Part One: Choosing a Location All Photos Copyright Kristie Burns When we first started Earthschooling we chose the name “Earthschooling” because we wanted to emphasize that education does not just happen at home. In fact, one of our favorite ways to learn has always been to be outdoors or to take what I call “Earthschooling Excursions”. Earthschooling excursions can be as simple as a one-day visit to a farm or they can be as complex as planning a trip to another location. But will all your planning result in a successful earth-inspired educational experience? Over the years we...
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Connecting with Children Through Literature

Seeing Lois Lowry speak last night with my two daughters was an experience I will never forget. But it wasn’t simply because she is a famous author and writes award-winning books. The experience was special to me because Lois Lowry was my first introduction to modern teenage fiction and represents a special bond I continue to have with my children. I remember the first time my eldest daughter gave me a book. It was a bit of a surprise since until then I had seen myself as holding the only title of “teacher” in the house. But with...
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The Benefits of the Family Meal

By Nancy Jewel Poer We did not feel television was a benefit to growing, creative minds … with TV you are taking in someone else’s story, not living your own. The only possible and logical daily gathering time was the evening meal. When I speak with adults about happy childhood memories, special meals almost always are near the top of the list. It’s official! We are fashionable! Maybe even leading edge. A heady feeling indeed for us gray-haired ones, a generation when one can often be dismissed rather than be seen as current or relevant. And what has...
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Waldorf in the News: Children Have More Than Five Senses

Waldorf Principle Explored: Steiner’s 12-Senses (Additional information on Steiner’s 12-senses is available HERE) Rudolf Steiner, founder of the Waldorf method of education believed that all people, including the students you teach, have 12 senses. For many people, belief in a “sixth sense” is not a big leap. Some of the other senses he describes are harder to grasp. However, thanks to a recent scientific breakthrough, the concept of 12-senses is now much easier to understand and explain to others. It is no longer a “Steiner Theory” but is now backed by scientific proof that is moving forward to explore the human mind beyond 6 senses… Note: Although...
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365 Nature Walks: Day 108

#Earthschooling365: Day One Hundred and Eight Inner Work Meditation (Heart): Today on the nature walk I noticed that the fairy house a lady had built along the trail had been moved and reduced in size. Most likely the reason was because the old fairy house was in the woods a bit farther out from the house and kids would knock it down every few weeks so she would have to build it over again and again. I admire how every time the house was knocked down she would simply build a newer and better one. And finally, she moved the...
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Connecting with Nature for Health & Well-Being

By Miranda Altice The Indigo Teacher Punkee Herbals on Etsy Miranda Altice is a student at The Avicenna Institute of Natural Therapies. The following post was submitted as one of her assignments for the Nutritional Well-Being Course. We enjoyed it so much we are sharing it with you as well. We enjoyed this article because The BEarth Institute is based on the belief that connecting people with nature through education from birth to adult-hood can contribute towards healing the world. “What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a...
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365 Nature Walks: Day 107

#Earthschooling365: Day One Hundred and Seven Inner Work Meditation (Heart): Today I saw this little fawn all alone in the forest. But he was not scared. He seemed simply curious about me and stood up to check me out. He knew his mother was nearby so he felt confident to explore the world around him. That is often what our friends, family and students need from us as well. When they know we are there for them they feel confident to go out and explore the world. Your inner work meditation today is to think about ways in which you...
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365 Nature Walks: Day 106

#Earthschooling365: Day One Hundred and Six Inner Work Meditation (Heart): As an adult, if you look at the photo of the two bugs below you can probably guess what they are doing. If an entomologist looks at the photo they will be able to tell you in a lot of detail. However, if you ask a child many will reply that the one is taking a ride or playing a game with the other bug. How we see the world depends on the information we already have stored in our minds. Your inner work for today is to ask...
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365 Nature Walks: Day 105

#Earthschooling365: Day One Hundred and Five Inner Work Meditation (Heart):  The squirrel signs were unmistakable – a twitching tail and loud chattering that let us know we were not welcome to approach any closer. We backed away and honored their request out of respect for their territory and habitat. Every day we see limits imposed on us by the world around us. We experience stop signs, locked doors, purchase agreements, and even requests from friends, students or family. Many of us consider ourselves kind and respectful people. We would move away when the squirrel chatters. However, sometimes, without realizing it,...
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365 Nature Walks: Day 104

#Earthschooling365: Day One Hundred and Four Inner Work Meditation (Heart): For weeks the creek has fascinated me. It is only about ten feet from the trail we walk on yet since it is lined with trees and a drop-off nobody ever walks near the creek. This means that a lot of wildlife flourishes in and near the creek shore because of this privacy. So I made a plan – we would walk in the creek for our entire nature walk and would see amazing things we could not see from the land! We went to purchase knee-high waterproof boots, we...
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365 Nature Walks: Day 103

#Earthschooling365: Day One Hundred and Three Inner Work Meditation (Heart): I have been working on this 365 day project for three years and although I had some photos I liked from today’s walk my favorite June 11 photos may always be these full moon photos I took last year. What struck me about these photos when I looked at them is that the sky is so dark in the photos and yet when I took the photos it was not that dark. However the brightness of the moon made the sky appear dark in the photos because the camera...
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365 Nature Walks: Day 102

#Earthschooling365: Day One Hundred and Two Inner Work Meditation (Heart): Yesterday we talked about how it is important to take time to re-focus on your goals and try again. Today’s inner work will be to focus on ways we can move forward after being “derailed”. One of the most effective techniques is to simply know where the path is and to get back on the path. However, sometimes when you “get back on the path” you realize you no longer want to go there. It’s OK to let go of a goal or a “dream” you once had if it...
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365 Nature Walks: Day 101

#Earthschooling365: Day One Hundred and One Inner Work Meditation (Heart): If you have been following the first 100 days of nature walks then you probably noticed I took a break from posting. I still continued to walk and take photos but unforeseen circumstances prevented me from posting to the blog. So I made the difficult decision to take a small break. It was frustrating to do this and I didn’t want to. I wanted to keep up my goal of not only walking every day but also writing every day. But it is OK. Because when we have a goal...
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Top Ten Teacher Success Secrets

When we asked teachers what the secret to their success in the classroom was their answers were varied but we chose the top ten. We’ve also included some links to resources we have that will help you build your own success in the classroom. 1. Loving the Children and the Work. 2. Being Part of a Supportive Community: Earthschooling Curriculum Package members get free access to the amazing supportive, inspirational and positive Earthschooling member forum where members support each other through daily interactions and sharing. 3. Having a Mentor: We provide weekly sessions with a certified Waldorf teacher that all Earthschooling Curriculum Package members have access...
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Waldorf in the News: Natural Light & Outdoor Play Reduces Short-Sightedness in Children

Waldorf Principle Explored: Bringing the Classroom Outdoors & The Outdoors Inside Having students spend significant amounts of time outdoors is integral to Waldorf education. No matter what the weather is or the student’s age, students are dressed appropriately and have daily time to play and explore outdoors. Even when students are indoors, classrooms are filled with natural light and only use artificial light when absolutely necessary (on a very dark or cloudy day). This careful attention to light benefits the students in many ways. However, one surprising way is with their eye-sight. The article below explains… Research by Queensland University of Technology...
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Waldorf In the News: Using Nature in the Classroom

Waldorf Principle Explored: Natural Supplies in the Classroom If you have ever explored a Waldorf toy catalog or website you have probably noticed that every toy, school supply and piece of clothing is “all natural”. This means that the supplies are made from natural materials like cotton, beeswax, wood, plants and other natural materials. To someone new to this way of education it can seem a bit overwhelming to make the switch from modern plastics, air fresheners, synthetics and electronics to a nature-based classroom. However, numerous studies show that even making small chances can have a big impact on the students...
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Waldorf in the News: Stress is Contagious in the Classroom

Waldorf Principle Explored: Inner Work for the Teacher Daily inner work is required of all Waldorf teachers and is highly suggested for all teachers in general. Inner work is the process strengthening our “inner forces”  so they are strong enough to carry us through the challenges of the day. One popular way to pursue “inner work” is to start the day with a reading, verse or meditation that will help you grow, balance yourself and gain insight. This work will assist you in being the best teacher you can be that day. Inner work is known to reduce stress. And as we have...
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Waldorf in the News: Importance of Music, Circle Time & Verses

Waldorf Principle Explored: Singing in Waldorf Education Singing is an integral part of Waldorf education. One does not need to have a musical voice to participate in this activity. Verses are used for circle time in the morning, music lessons in the afternoon and, in early childhood, verses are often used to introduce a lesson or to transition from one activity to the next. This daily activity is not only beneficial to the student’s development but also to their health. The article below explores the connection… Research by Imperial College London, University College London and the Royal College of Music Singing in a...
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365 Nature Walks: Day 3

This series takes you through an entire year of our nature walks and is part of our non-profit project #Earthschooling365 at www.Earthschooling.org. The photos and posts in this series are all copyrighted. Please do not share or re-print them. Instead, share the link to this blog with your friends. Along the way I will be sharing our favorite photo of the day, an inner work meditation for the day, photography assignment/tip for the day, nature walk theme for the day and a short verse for circle time (children) or meditation (teens/adults). We invite you to “walk along with us” this...
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