Parents and teachers gather in evening meetings throughout the school year (four to five per year) to discuss the curriculum and practical details about class activities. These evenings are a window into your child’s school life and are a wonderful opportunity for parents and teacher to build and strengthen the class community. Parents also meet individually with teachers twice yearly to discuss their child’s progress and share impressions.
Each year the school sponsors public talks, workshops and informal get-togethers with experienced Waldorf educators on issues related to education and parenting. For more information about events that are open to the public, please click here.
Parent interested in learning more about Waldorf education and anthroposophy can enroll in Foundation Studies classes held at Merriconeag or can join study groups.
Waldorf Teacher Education & Renewal
Videos of teachers speaking about why they chose to become Waldorf teachers
created by Karl Schurman and 10th grade student, Cyrus Fenderson
FOUNDATION STUDIES AT MERRICONEAG
Why is your child studying medieval history in 6th grade? How is your child learning to read in 1st grade? What is eurythmy? These are only a few questions parents have when embarking on Waldorf Education. Foundation Studies offers a window into the philosophy underlying Waldorf and the vision of human development that informs it. Foundation Studies is a long-standing program offered to parents and friends of Merriconeag Waldorf School. The Center for Anthroposophy in Wilton, NH brings this program to Freeport, and several other Waldorf School communities, as a way of helping participants attend in their local area. Foundation Studies is a two-year part-time program in self development and the arts which helps one understand the roots and reasons behind Waldorf Education.
For more information, registration, and materials, please contact the following:.
Registration: Milan Daler, P.O. Box 545, Wilton, NH 03086, 603-654-2566, email@example.com
Program: Barbara Richardson, 207-865-6482, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lighting Fires, Not Filling Pails
Good morning, grandparents! I've been asked to speak for a few minutes today about what makes Waldorf education unique, and I believe I've stumbled upon the reason why I was volunteered for this daunting task. It's not because I've been a Waldorf teacher for over three decades now, not even because my wife and I have witnessed our four, now-adult children each grow through thirteen or fourteen years of Waldorf education. It's because I've now joined that exclusive club that you're all members of; I finally can speak your language; I've reached the promised land—I'm now a grandfather! It feels a little like it did when I got my driver's license or graduated from college, only better! I get to bounce little seven-month-old Jaxon David on my knee and watch with delight as he discovers the world by trying to put everything he can reach into his mouth; but when he makes a deposit in his diapers, I can hand him back to my son with a smile and say, "He wants his papa!"
If you ever visit one of your grandchildren's morning lessons, you will hear them also recite daily a verse, given by Rudolf Steiner, which in one sense really contains in seed form the whole secret behind Waldorf education. For the fifth through twelfth graders, it begins:
So it begins with a simple statement that directs the attention of the children away from themselves, at least initially. It includes all of the classical kingdoms of nature—the mineral, the plant, the animal realms, of which we are a part. Then the verse deepens, one might say, by focusing on the human being:
And here we come to a critically important distinction between Waldorf and other educational models. In the twentieth and now twenty-first centuries, it's become fashionable to think of people either as sophisticated machines—our brains are computers, our hearts are pumps, our legs pistons—or as highly evolved animals. Not surprisingly, educational approaches have developed either to program the "machines" or to train the "animals." But when you see children as having a spiritual side, your educational system will need to reflect that added dimension; you'll need to teach in such a way that you don't only cultivate the intellect, you don't just train the physical organism; you touch the heart as well, and you honor that mysterious presence that gives each one of us our unique individuality.
However, even in this inward-looking, it connects the human being to something greater than the self, to a creator spirit that weaves matter and what we might call invisibilities together.
This last section is interesting in a couple of respects. What are the children hoping for—high SAT scores, college acceptances, popularity, success in life, fame and fortune? No, the verse focuses on capacities—strength, grace and skill—perhaps inner fortitude, inner flexibility and suppleness of mind, a sense of confidence and competence—to meet life's challenges. The second striking aspect of the end of the verse is that the children ask that these capacities "for learning and for working/may ever grow within me." Again, Waldorf education isn't so interested in short-term goals; we're looking to foster life-long learners, young people who may not initially know a subject or possess a skill, but who have the wherewithal to acquire what they need, not just in college but in their seventies and eighties and beyond.
Mon, May 20, 6:30 pm, Community Hall
EC Parent Evening:
Tues, May 21, 7:00 pm.
HS Ultimate Frisbee Game:
Wed, May 22, 5:00 pm.
Merriconeag HS plays Fryeburg (FB1)at the Cumberland Fairgrounds.
Spring Ensemble & Chorus Evening:
Thurs, May 23, 6:30 pm, Community Hall.
Grades 5 - 12 perform.
School is Closed for Memorial Day:
Mon, May 27.
School closed for Memorial Day.
"And Then There Were None" - Senior Class Play:
Wed, May 29, Thurs, May 30, and Fri, May 31 at 7:00 pm, Community Hall, 57 Desert Rd, Freeport, $7 at the door. Merriconeag High School Class of 2013 performs Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None" Please join us for an evening of theater, bisbuits, mayhem and murder!
MS Ultimate Frisbee Tournament:
Sun, June 2. TBA.
Early Childhood Classes' Last Day:
Wed, June 5. Last day for Early Childhood classes.
Roses & Sashes Assembly:
Fri, June 7, 9:30 am.
Last Day for Grades 1 - 12:
Fri, June 7, 11:00 am dismissal.
Last day of classes for Grades 1 - 12.
1998 & 2003 Class Reunions:
Sat, June 8, 12:00 - 1:30.
Merriconeag hosts the 15th reunion for the Class of 1998 and the 10th for the Class of 2003 in the Handcraft Building.
Grade 12 Graduation:
Sat, June 8, 2:00 pm. Community Hall
Flatbread Fundraiser for Circus Smirkus:
June 18, at Flatbread in Portland. 10% of all pizza sales this evening benefit our Circus Smirkus Magic Matinee sponsorship program.