Wednesday, October 2014
Here is a new article about the value of manual inscription (i.e. writing) over keyboard typing as a valuable learnig tool. The slower, focused, intentional process of handwriting supports the Waldorf way that has students learning penmanship, writing with fountain pens, learning cursive in grade school and manually writing and illustrating their block books every day until the end of Middle School (and Waldorf High School students often continue the tradition of manual writing in their work even as they incorporate keyboarding and computers into their research and writing methods). Why? Because "handwriting is important for brain development and cognition."
Here is an excerpt from the full article:
The Benefits Of Writing
With Good Old Fashioned Pen And Paper
Do students learn better by typing on a keyboard or writing with pen and paper?
In 2013 Patricia Ann Wade, a learning specialist with Indiana University's School of Medicine, found herself investigating this question, one she had been asked by time-crunched medical students again and again. The answer, she found, was not simple.
"If they were in a lecture, where the professor talked so quickly that even if they were typing they couldn't get down everything said, I would say, 'Go with typing as opposed to handwriting,'" Wade told The Huffington Post. "If all you're doing is acting as a scribe, there are clear benefits to typing." But there were also strong arguments to be made for old fashioned pen and paper, she discovered. Ultimately, "when it comes to learning and remembering course material, the pen is mightier than the keyboard," she wrote in a blog post on the topic, for the medical school's website.
For tech-phobes and writing purists, here are just a few of the benefits of writing with a pen and paper. (And yes, we acknowledge you're reading this story -- which was written on a laptop -- online.)
It fires up the brain in different ways.
In a small study published this spring, researchers had college students listen to various TED lectures and then take notes -- either longhand or on their computers. Students who typed were more likely to take notes verbatim, which "hurts learning," the researchers concluded. And indeed, those students scored worse overall when tested on their grasp of the facts and their conceptual understanding.
"Study after study suggests that handwriting is important for brain development and cognition," argued a 2010 article from The Week, citing work from University of Wisconsin psychologist Virginia Berninger, who has tested school-age children and found they tend to generate more ideas when composing essays by hand, rather than on the computer. "Writing entails using the hand and fingers to form letters ... the sequential finger movements activate multiple regions of the brain associated with processing and remembering information," echoed Wade.
It slows you down. In a good way.
The average person types between 38 and 40 words per minute, which has clear benefits when speed is the primary objective. Writing with a pen and paper, on the other hand, "requires more mental energy and engages more areas of the brain than pressing keys on a computer keyboard," Wade wrote. And because it is slower, handwriting can be particularly useful during goal setting, brainstorming and the so-called "retrieval phase of studying," she argues -- all pursuits that require time and deliberation.
"When you're writing out something, the natural inclination is to do it as quickly as possible so you can get it over with," echoed Thorin Klosowski, in a LifeHacker post on simplifying one's life through the use of pen and paper. "Paper slows me down and forces me to think a little bit longer about what I'm doing."....
“The tried and true tool of choice for generations of monks, philosophers, and scribes, pen and paper are still a valid choice when you need to focus.”
- Dustin Wax
It sparks creativity.
This last one is impossible to quantify, of course, but as writer Lee Rourke explained in a post for The Guardian (called, appropriately, "Why Creative Writing Is Better With The Pen"): "For me, writing longhand is an utterly personal task where the outer world is closed off, just my thoughts and the movement of my hand across the page to keep me company. The whole process keeps me in touch with the craft of writing. It's a deep-felt, uninterrupted connection between thought and language which technology seems to short circuit once I begin to use it."
The legion of famous writers who purport to use only pen and paper suggests there might be something to the notion that it somehow boosts creative output: Quentin Tarantino claims to write all of his scripts longhand, telling Reuters, "I used red and black [pens]. One of the great things about being a writer is it gives you complete license to have whatever strange rituals make you happy and productive." Joyce Carol Oates now writes the first draft of all of her novels on pen and paper, as does Jhumpa Lahiri, according to Mashable.
By Catherine Pearson for Huffington Post ● Posted: 09/12/2014 (Photo by Adrian Samson)
Tuesday, September 2014
Join Chicago Waldorf School at this year's
Edgewater Fall Art Fair 2014
Saturday & Sunday, Sept 27th & 28th
A number of CWS student artists will be featured in this year's "Young Artists Gallery." exhibiting the work of local grade school and high school students. Visit the gallery and storefront on Granville between Broadway and Kenmore from 11am to 6pm on both days. And then see the rest of the festival including 100 exhibiting artists, listen to live music on 3 stages, enjoy the young Children's Activity Corner and Children's Music Talent showcase .
Come out and support our student artists!
For more information about the fair visit: http://edgewaterartists.com
Chicago Waldorf will be participating with students from eight area schools:
Wednesday, September 2014
Add Steve Jobs, founder and CEO of--and many would argue; the guiding spirit and embodiment of his company--Apple Computers to the growing list of tech execs who preserved "Low-Tech" childhoods for their kids. Many leaders in the Tech industry are sending their kids to Waldorf schools across the country. This profile of Steve Jobs, in last weeks New York Times, shows that the Jobs family followed the practices and embraced the same core values about child development that have been held by Waldorf Schools for the last 100 years. Kids don't need computers until they get older! Nothing is lost by having them wait; and in fact much is gained by the focus and interpersonal experiences students have when they aren't distracted by technology and mobile media. Need we say more? Lets let Steve's family's home life explain the rest...
Steve Jobs Was a Low-Tech Parent
Publisher: the NEW YORK TIMES / By Nick Bilton / SEPT. 10, 2014
When Steve Jobs was running Apple, he was known to call journalists to either pat them on the back for a recent article or, more often than not, explain how they got it wrong. I was on the receiving end of a few of those calls. But nothing shocked me more than something Mr. Jobs said to me in late 2010 after he had finished chewing me out for something I had written about an iPad shortcoming.
“So, your kids must love the iPad?” I asked Mr. Jobs, trying to change the subject. The company’s first tablet was just hitting the shelves. “They haven’t used it,” he told me. “We limit how much technology our kids use at home.” I’m sure I responded with a gasp and dumbfounded silence. I had imagined the Jobs’s household was like a nerd’s paradise: that the walls were giant touch screens, the dining table was made from tiles of iPads and that iPods were handed out to guests like chocolates on a pillow.
Nope, Mr. Jobs told me, not even close.
“Every evening Steve made a point of having dinner at the big long table in their kitchen, discussing books and history and a variety of things,” he said. “No one ever pulled out an iPad or computer. The kids did not seem addicted at all to devices.”
Since then, I’ve met a number of technology chief executives and venture capitalists who say similar things: they strictly limit their children’s screen time, often banning all gadgets on school nights, and allocating ascetic time limits on weekends. I was perplexed by this parenting style. After all, most parents seem to take the opposite approach, letting their children bathe in the glow of tablets, smartphones and computers, day and night. Yet these tech C.E.O.’s seem to know something that the rest of us don’t....
Here is the full article at the New York Times. And here is a video and media archive if you'd like to read more about Waldorf Education in the News.
Wednesday, September 2014
Waldorf Schools around the globe share the same measured approach to screens, digital media, smart-phones, computer games and interactions in online communities and social media. In the Waldorf view, these are all great aspects and experiences of our modern society, but NOT FOR GROWING KIDS! They are NOT necessary--in fact they are distractions from --the educational, emotional, and developmental needs of the growing child.
Professionals in theTech industry know this, even Steve Jobs knew this (and prohibited his kids from using ipads and digital devices at home)! Network News Channels have been covering a growing trend in the education field for families who are seeking out schools and educational models that focus on their students' experiences rooted in the here and now, the tangible world, and in personal connections and face-to-face communications. Here is the latest profile, from Seattle Refined/KOMO News of "The Waldorf Approach" to education, as showcased at the Seattle Waldorf High School. Read excerpts below or read the entire article here.
A "No Technology" School: The Waldorf Approach
Seattle Refined & KOMO News / By Tonya Mosley / Published: Sep 16, 2014
On the first day of school, Tracy Bennett and staff members at Seattle’s Waldorf High School stood on the shores of Lake Washington to welcome one of its students. The high schooler had swam across the lake from his home on the eastside to class at his high school’s new home in Magnuson Park.
Several other students rode in on their bicycles, and only a handful arrived by car.
“That’s our students,” chuckled Bennett, the head of administration at the only Waldorf high school in the state. “They’re always on the move.”
Educators at the Waldorf School in Seattle take a lot of pride in showing off just how handy, athletic and artistic their students are. The high school students are, after all, on the last leg of their Waldorf experience – a culmination of 12 years of education almost entirely free of television, video games, computers and smartphones.
Said Bennett about Waldorf parents, “They want their children to be children. We are not anti-technology. We just believe it is one tool in the box.”
Brenda Baker, admissions and coordinator for Waldorf continues. “It’s about developing and honing the power of observation. Our students are highly curious and creative. The sensory experience gets to the heart of learning. Bringing in technology at a later age gives them the tools to discern the best times to use it.”
Here is the full article. If you'd like to see more national media coverage of Waldorf eduation, please view the "Waldorf In the News" archive.
Thursday, September 2014
The Parent Teacher Organization welcomes all new (and returning) families to Chicago Waldorf School. To help introduce you to the members of our community, here are profiles of new faculty who have joined our school (or taken on new responsibilities). We welcome these experienced teachers, active parents and especially our fantastic Waldorf alumni; many who are bringing their love of Waldorf education back to the school. They have come full cycle to return as teachers and mentors to the children.
Here is the September 2014 PTO Voices newsletter:
We are very excited to introduce the New Faculty for the 2014-2015 school year.
Let’s give this talented and enthusiastic group a warm CWS welcome!
New Faculty for 2014-2015
Tuesday, August 2014
Waldorf Student Featured in WBEZ's "Student Stories"
Olivia Love-Hatlestad is a typical, spirited Waldorf student who attended the Da Vinci Waldorf School in Wauconda, IL through most of her adolescence including grade school, middle school and into her 9th grade year. Chicago's public radio station, WBEZ, invited students from all walks of life to share their impressions on the state of education. Olivia's essay was selected and highlighted recently in WBEZ's "Student Stories" on Education (in part because she had the valuable perspective of having attended both a Waldorf school and Public school and because she makes very eloquent points of comparison about schooling in the current state of education).
WBEZ followed up by inviting Olivia for a personal interview this past July asking her and Walter Payton High School student Troy Boccelli to discuss their experiences in High School. It provides great insight into Waldorf education.
Click here for the FULL PROFILE on WBEZ's web page and below read some excerpts from her interview with NPR reporter Becky Vevea.
Excerpts from her interview and essay on Waldorf education:
"Every morning our teachers shook our hands and asked us how we were. They cared about us, and made the consistent effort to connect with and understand us. We not only learned the (what I now realize is invaluable) skill of engaging in conversation with an adult, but we developed deeply respectful relationships with our teachers. We were inspired to strive for excellence not by the pressure put on a grade, but by the desire to please these mentors to whom we looked up so earnestly."
“The [teachers] could tell if you were sick or if you were faking sick or if you needed help outside of class because they knew you and they actually cared about you. And then I entered public school, where, to know our last names, teachers had to check a roster.”
She talked a lot about giving students individual attention and really focusing on comprehension, rather than memorizing facts, something she thinks public schools focus far too much on.
“I retained, like, zero information, because what’s being given to us are packets and lists of names and dates that we have to memorize,” Love-Hatlestad said. “That’s in one ear and out the other. And sure I can retain it long enough to be assessed on it and since that’s all that matters, that’s fine. That’s been swept under the rug. The actual comprehension is kind of just a byproduct. It’s a bonus, like if you actually get it that’s great, but you don’t really have to.”
"There is study of other cultures in multiple classes, drawing parallels between them. Religion is not pushed, but multiple religions are studied, so that students may better understand the world as a whole.There are a wide range of subjects, all required, so that each student can discover his/her passion, and pursue it. No one feels talentless or worthless, because differences are not only celebrated, they are nurtured."
Thursday, June 2014
Stay connected with us by participating in one of the Chicago Waldorf School’s summer events. March in a parade amid the cheering crowds, visit us at one of our booths at Edgewater EdgeFest or at the Glenwood Ave Arts Festival, or come hang out with other CWS families at Albion beach on Tuesdays.
Chicago Parades- Come March with Us!!
Sunday June 29th – 45th Annual Chicago Pride Parade (11:30am-1:00pm)
Friday July 4th – Evanston’s 4th of July Parade (12:30pm-3:00pm)
For those younger and older participants―or just the sun shy―we have seating with cool drinks on the CWS bus which will drive in both parades.
Please RSVP to Jennifer Zielinski at 773-828-8468 or email@example.com. RSVPs are important so we can provide adequate event materials, water and reserve seats on the bus.
Chicago Neighborhood Festivals
August 2 & 3 – Edgewater EdgeFest (11am-5pm)
August 16 & 17 – Glenwood Avenue Arts Festival (12pm-5pm)
Either volunteer to sit with us under the tent or stop by to say hello; we love looking for a reason to chat and share whats special about Waldorf education with others in our city.
CWS Tuesday Summer Beach Days at Albion Beach
All Summer Long - starting June 17th (10am-4pm)
Get together with new, current and alumni CWS families at Albion Beach any Tuesday (weather permitting) this summer. Look for the big red CWS sun umbrella. Sponsored by the Parent Ambassadors group.
Questions! Contact Jennifer Zielinski at 773-828-8468 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, June 2014
Spend the summer engaged in Waldorf-based: Creative Play • Nature • Crafts • Recreation • Sports & Athletic Movement • Urban Exploration • Afternoons at the Beach • Fun Activities • Music Instruction • Baking & Recipes • West African Drumming & Songs • Arts & Handwork • Creative Publications (Publishing) • Songwriting & Recording • Spanish Fun! (cultural exposure) • Exploring Vibrant Chicago Neighborhoods in weekly Field Trips... and more!
Tues and Thurs mornings from July 1- Aug 7
1/2 day camp: 8:30am-11:45am, for ages 12 and up
Practitioners of Art du Déplacement and Parkour use their bodies to interact with, and traverse, all types of environments. Led by CWS Parkour instructor, Kurt Gowan, in this camp you will learn to overcome physical and mental obstacles, discover fun and creative movements, and strengthen your body to meet the high demands of the discipline. You'll get a great workout as well as training for your mind and spirit. There will be games and challenges of all kinds! Bring: a Water bottle. Wear: Comfortable clothing. Long pants recommended. Any athletic shoes work!
Pre-registration class limit: 15 students / Camp Fee: 5 classes for $175 or all ten classes for $350
Select 5 or 10 from these camp dates: July 1,3,8,10,15,17,29,31 & August 5,7 (no classes the week of July 21st)
Early Childhood Camp
Due to growing parent interest we have added four weeks of summer camp exclusively for our youngest campers! The Early Childhood (EC) Summer Camp is dedicated to children from 3.5 to 6 yrs old and follows the morning rhythms of a typical Early Childhood class. This play-based half day summer camp involves indoor activities, nature stories, outdoor playtime in the playground and other Early Childhood class experiences. Morning snacks will be provided.
2014 Camps: June 16th through August 8th
Enroll Now in Weekly Sessions or All Summer Long!
Chicago Waldorf School is offering expanded camp activities and options for full weekday coverage from 7:30am - 6:00pm. Our Kids Camp and Sports Camps offer full day camp experiences (All day camps are 8:30am - 3:30pm). Now campers can also try topics based, specialty camps which are offered as full day and half-day "stand alone" options or as supplements to Kids Camp. (Half day camps are mornings: 8:30am-11:45pm and afternoons: 12:15pm-3:30pm). Additionally a Precare option is offered from 7:30-8:30am and After Care is offered from 3:30-6:00pm. Project materials and snacks will be provided in all camps (all fees included in camp tuition). Campers bring their own bag lunches and wear clothes appropriate for each camp's activities (details are outlined on the first day of camp).
All Day Camps: kid activities & sports
Kids Camp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . June 16-Aug 8 (8 Weeks- Full Days / mornings & afternoons)
A traditional summer full day camp with weekly themed activities that will culminate in a Friday field trip by school bus to destinations in the city. Campers will also make daily trips to the beach and other outdoor play areas. Dress in comfortable clothes and bring a lunch. Snacks will be provided. (For 6 years + up)
Songwriting Camp . . . . . . . . . . . . June 16-20 (Week 2- Full Day / mornings & afternoons)
Have fun exploring basic songwriting techniques on musical instruments in a variety of traditional styles, including folk, blues and classical. The camp will culminate with an afternoon of campers performing & recording their songs at Soapbox Music Studio. (For rising 5th graders and up / 11 years + up)
Basketball Camp . . . . . . . . . . . . . July 28-Aug 1 (Week 7- Full Day / mornings & afternoons)
Held in the CWS gymnasium, this camp is open to all skill levels, from beginner to advanced. We teach fundamental skill development as well as team concepts. Campers receive individual instruction from highly qualified coaches with previous college playing and coaching experience. Campers should bring a lunch. (For 11-18 years old)
Creative Publications Camp. . . . . . . August 4-8 (Week 8- Full Day / mornings & afternoons)
CWS Communications Director, Jason Greenberg, will teach Middle School and High School campers to produce their own small run of self-published books. Campers will use basic scanning, SLR photography, digital imaging and layout software plus learn beginning book production and binding techniques. Each student will author, illustrate, edit, and design content for their pages in a book. (For rising 7th graders and up / 12-18 year olds)
Half Day Camps: Specialty topics
Specialty camps are offered as "stand-alone" half-day camps or they may be combined with the Kids Camp and aftercare for a full day of coverage. Half day camps are mornings: 8:30am-12:15pm and afternoons: 12:45pm-3:30pm. If staying through lunch period (12:15-12:45), campers should bring a lunch. Aftercare option provides additional coverage until 6pm.
African Drumming Camp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . June 16-20 (Week 2- Half Day / mornings)
CWS drumming teacher, Michael Taylor, will guide campers through an exploration of the world of traditional West African djembe drumming. Learning rhtyhms on traditional, hand carved instruments, we will explore not only the music and songs, but also the oral tradition of each rhythm, which inludes: the name of the rhythm, where the rhythm is from (maps will be used), why the rhythm is traditionally played, what ethnic group created/plays the rhythm, who is the source (what teacher) and other relevant information. Each day we will view video documentaries and other footage of Michael's trips to West Africa and other reference footage pertaining to this course.. (For rising 7th graders and up / 12-18 years old)
Spanish Is Fun! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . June 23-27 (Week 2- Half Day / mornings)
CWS teacher, Ingrid Gomez, leads the class. This Is a wonderful way for children to learn Spanish while enjoying summertime fun. Ingrid (a native-speaker) will share with campers Latin-American games, hand clapping, songs, and some delicious recipes. Campers will also enjoy an afternoon filled with story telling in Spanish and crafts. (For rising 2nd graders and up / 8-12 years)
Early Childhood Camp . . . . . . . . . . . . June 23- July 18 (Week 2 thru 5- Half Day / mornings)
Due to parent interest we have added 4 weeks of summer camp exclusively for our youngest campers! The Early Childhood (EC) Summer Camp is dedicated to children from 3.5 to 6 yrs old and follows the morning rhythms of a typical Early Childhood class day. This play-based half day summer camp involves indoor activities, nature fables and storytelling, outdoor playtime in the playground and other Early Childhood class experiences. Morning snacks will be provided. (For EC children and rising 1st graders / 3.5 thru 6 years)
Parkour Camp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . July 1- Aug 7 (Week 3 thru 8- Half Day / mornings)
This camp meets 2 days a week: Tues and Thurs mornings from July 1- Aug 7, 8:30am-11:45am
Select 5 or 10 of these session dates: July 1,3,8,10,15,17,29,31 & August 5,7 (no classes the week of July 21st)
Camp Fee: 5 classes for $175 or all ten classes for $350 ($35/class Drop In fee subject to space availability)
Practitioners of Art du Déplacement and Parkour use their bodies to interact with, and traverse, all types of environments. Led by CWS Parkour instructor, Kurt Gowan, in this camp you will learn to overcome physical and mental obstacles, discover fun and creative movements, and strengthen your body to meet the high demands of the discipline. You'll get a great workout as well as training for your mind and spirit. There will be games and challenges of all kinds! Bring: a Water bottle. Wear: Comfortable clothing. Long pants recommended. Any athletic shoes work! (For ages 12 and up)
Adventures with Paper and Yarn . . . . . . . . . . . . . July 14-18 (Week 5- Half Day / mornings)
CWS teacher, Ingrid Gomez will guide the children in techniques like Suminagashi (Japanese floating ink paper marbrling), and weaving on a cardboard loom. With these two techniques and some sewing, the children will create their own books and pouches to keep them safe. (For rising 2nd graders and up / 8 years + up)
Band Camp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . July 21-25 (Week 6- Half Day / mornings)
Taught by CWS music teacher, Katherine Swaydis. Open to all students who have already begun a wind instrument. Students would divide into small groups and learn a piece for playing chamber music. I will instruct them on how to work together to prepare a piece fo music, but the final product will be up to them. Students will also be working on a full band piece. A small performance will be given on the final day of camp. The purpose of the camp is for students to learn how to play music in a small group with varying instrumentation so they will have to work out a way to to listen to each others' ideas and put them into action. (For rising 5th graders and up / 11 years + up)
Baking Camp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . July 28-Aug 1 (Week 7- Half Day / mornings)
CWS music teacher, Katherine Swaydis leads this class of up to 15 students. Campers will learn the basics of baking from scratch using all natural ingredients. Students will learning how to read recipes, measure ingredients, mix, bake, and of course, eat and ejoy a variety of baked goods! The goal is that students will learn what is in the food they are eating and how it is made. The class may explore vegan and gluten-free options if there is an interest. Students choose a new baked good each day. The menu may include scones, cookies, granola, biscuits, quick breads, muffins, cupcakes, brownies, etc. (For rising 6th graders and up / 11 years + up)
Volleyball Camps. . . . . . . . . . . August 4-8 (Week 8- Half Days / mornings & afternoons)
Volleyball- Level One (8:30am-12:15pm)
This camp covers all volleyball skills for beginning and intermediate levels and promotes collaborative team play. Campers receive instruction in volleyball technique with an emphasis on fun skill development games.
(For rising 6th-8th graders / 11 – 14 years)
Volleyball- Level Two (12:45pm-3:30pm)
This camp provides more advanced and detailed instruction in volleyball techniques and skills for players in the intermediate to advanced levels. This camp will teach Individual skills, team play and offensive/defensive strategies. It will also address fitness and strength training. (For rising 9th-12th graders / 14-18 years)
Or call our main office at 773.465-2662 to register by phone. Registration Forms includes pricing and dates.
Waldorf incorporates active play and creativity in children’s learning to foster developmental growth.
Eight 1 week sessions are offered. Pick one week, multiple weeks or all summer!
Full day camp sessions run weekdays from 8:30am-3:30pm.
Separate aftercare and precare options are also available.
• Camps range from $175/week (half-day) to $300/week (full day) depending on the details of the camp.
The registration form has all dates and pricing costs per camps.
• All materials, equipment and supply costs are included within the camp fee.
• Single Day Drop-Ins for either Kids Camp ($75.00 per day) or EC Camp ($50.00 per day) may be
prearranged 48 hrs ahead of time with the Main Office on a “Space Available” basis.
• Payment is due the week before session begins.
• Because spaces are reserved, refunds/discounts are not available for absenses or early pickups.
Mail in this registration form or call our main office at 773.465-2662 to register by phone.
Also please submit this permissions form, required for camp enrollment.