PCA Lectures & Special Events
WSL's Parent Community Association (PCA) invites speakers to share their expertise in support of child development, parenting, and family life for parents and educators. Topics often include intellectual, emotional, and physical development as well as current trends in media, education, and parenting. The school also hosts distinguished musical groups and events.
All talks and performances are free (unless noted otherwise), open to the public, and held in the auditorium at the Waldorf School of Lexington. Seating is general admission.
Social Understanding, Gender & Sexuality from Birth to Puberty & Beyond
Featuring: Lisa Romero’s Team of Presenters: Sarah Hearn, Meaghan Witri, Seamus Maynard, and Jen Zimberg
Date: Thursday, May 9, 2019
Time: 7:00–9:00 p.m.
We hope you are able to join us this Thursday for a talk led by colleagues of Lisa Romero: Sarah Hearn, Meaghan Witri, Seamus Maynard, and Jen Zimberg. Due to family illness, Lisa Romero will not be available to attend this presentation. Lisa's esteemed group of colleagues have been working alongside her for the past 10 years. This Lecture will cover how and when we work with children and adolescents to bring the understanding of sexuality and gender in relation to where they are in their consciousness. The group will touch on some of the main issues confronting child health and well-being in current times, with examples of how we can counter the unbalancing effects. They will also address how to understand gender differences and similarities that both limit or free us and the contribution and struggles of the changing social structures around gender and sexuality affecting us. The lecture helps to recognize the relevant depth and progression anthroposophy brings to this important aspect of life and the responsibility of community in raising children and working together to promote individual well-being.
Lisa Romero lives in Australia and is an author, a complementary health practitioner and an adult educator who has been offering healthcare and education enriched with anthroposophy since 1993. Since 1999 she has been presenting on the subject of gender, sexuality and spiritual life. She has been working with Waldorf Schools as part of their health and well-being curriculum, working directly with the students, teachers and parents on this theme. Lisa has contributed to and is an adviser on Health and Personal Development for the Australian Steiner Curriculum Framework. She has developed training courses, and facilitates professional development on this subject for teachers and health professionals.
Sarah Hearn is a complementary health practitioner working out of anthroposophy. Sarah offers workshops as part of the Care and Development of the Senses program and co-facilitates the Gender and Sexuality in-school curriculum for 5-12th grades. She also facilitates the local EduCareDo study group and supports the administration of Inner Work Path workshops and events in the US. Sarah has a background and interest in initiatives working for social health; she co-founded Think OutWord, a peer-led training in social three-folding for young people, which ran conferences and intensives for seven years, and has taught in high school, adult education, and community settings. With Gary Lamb, Sarah edited Steinerian Economics, a resource guide. She also manages community events at Great Song Farm, the biodynamic community farm where she lives and maintains her health practice.
Séamus Maynard completed his degree in acting at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and has taught acting, speech and movement at California State University’s Summer Arts program, The New School in NYC, and at The Michael Chekhov School in Hudson, NY. As a professional stage actor and musician he has worked with Improbable Theatre, The Belgian National Theater, Triple Shadow, Heads Theater Company and The Actors Ensemble. Séamus is a co-founding member of Third Wheel Collective - a collaboration based theater company. As a musician, Séamus studied classical guitar and composition with classical guitarist and composer Ed Flower. Séamus composes for and co-founded Quiet In The Head, a music group that composes original, instrumental music for violin and classical guitar. He also writes and performs with an acoustic, folk group called Living Roots.
Meaghan Witri has worked with parents and families in a variety of capacities for over fifteen years, including as an early childhood and parent-child educator at the New Amsterdam Waldorf School in New York City. Meaghan offers workshops as part of the Care and Development of the Senses program and co-facilitates Gender and Sexuality in-school curriculum for 5-12th grades. As a singer, actor and teaching artist with a degree in theater, performance and english studies, Meaghan’s work explores how music and story support inner and outer striving in the human being. She is the co-founder of both Living Roots, an acoustic folk music group, and Third Wheel Collective, a collaboration-based theater company.
Jen Zimberg has worked with children and teenagers in after-school programs, teen centers, songwriting workshops and music lessons. Jen also facilitates an open community chorus in Harlemville, New York. Jen has a B.A. in music theory and performs as a singer-songwriter. Her songs explore the breadth and depth of human experience, with stories of the search for meaning and human striving. Jen also composes songs and pieces for class plays, puppet shows, and subjects from the curriculum. By working with her songs in the classroom, the lesson content is brought into experience for the students.
SCREENAGERS: Growing up in the digital age
Community Screening (Adults-only)
Date: Monday, May 13, 2019
Time: 7:00–9:00 p.m.
WSL is hosting an adult-only community screening of SCREENAGERS, an award-winning film that probes into the vulnerable corners of family life and depicts messy struggles over social media, video games and academics. The film offers solutions on how we can help our kids navigate the digital world.
"Screenagers is a very balanced, sympathetic and sane look at the way millions of teens are struggling with phones and games and technology in general. In part by letting the teens themselves speak about their own concerns and solutions, Screenagers is deeply affecting, too."—Dave Eggers, Best-Selling Author, Publisher and Education Activist
Setting the Stage for Talking to Your Kids about Sex
Featuring: Sharon Maxwell, Ph.D. and Chelsea Maxwell Ed.M.
Date: Monday, April 8, 2019
Time: 7:00–9:00 p.m.
Our children are flooded with sexual information pushing them to be sexy before puberty begins. The social currency of sexy is embedded into their self-image before our children have any context to understand what it means. Our kids are looking for a way of understanding sexuality that will help them make sense out of what they see around them and eventually guide their decision-making. This mother-daughter team offers a comprehensive and positive way to begin and sustain a conversation with children about sex and sexuality. Educators, health professionals, and parents are using this innovative approach to prepare kids for a hypersexualized world and lay the foundation for ethical sexual behavior that will guide our children from elementary school through college.
Dr. Sharon Maxwell is an award-winning author, educator, and practicing clinical psychologist. Her work has been featured in TIME Magazine, US News and World Report, USA Today, The Boston Globe, NPR, Oprah and Friends, and Fox News. Dr. Maxwell has been working with her daughter, Chelsea, since 2015. Chelsea recently graduated with her master’s degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she specialized in curriculum development as well as technology and innovation. “Dr. Maxwell gives practical guidance on sharing values with children. Her focus on teaching self-discipline and developing self-control is a refreshing counterpoint to a pop culture that says we should have it all right now. I highly recommend The Talk to every parent.” —Dr. Alvin F. Poussaint, Professor of Psychiatry and Faculty Associate Dean for Student Affairs at Harvard Medical School
A Generation in Crisis: Saving the iGeneration from Nature Deficit Disorder
Featuring: Ricardo Sierra, co-founder and director of the Earth Mentoring Institute and Hawk Circle Wilderness Camp
Date: Saturday, March 30, 2019
Time: 7:00–8:30 p.m.
Co-hosted by: Waldorf PCA and Boston Outdoor School
Although students at WSL enjoy a greater amount of outdoor activities and time in nature and far less time in front of screens than most, the average child spends over seven hours a day on digital screen technology, causing them to miss out on skill-building activities in nature or with friends, or learning through creative free play. This creates a ‘deficit’ in their inner foundation, leaving children at risk for a host of mental and physical ailments that can have devastating effects on their ability to build a positive, healthy life. In this presentation, Ricardo Sierra shares the skills and strategies he has learned through over 30 years of teaching wilderness education, inspiring us to take action with the children we love. Register here.
Featuring: Dozens of local artisans, crafts & activities for children, puppet shows, home-cooked lunch & treats, and the popular PCA Boutique, with high-quality gently used children's clothing, books, games, and toys!
Date: Saturday, December 1, 2018
Free and open to the public
Brought to you by: The Waldorf School of Lexington, the PCA, faculty & staff, and countless parent volunteers!
The Holiday Fair takes place the first Saturday of December, as it has since the Waldorf School of Lexington was founded. WSL transforms the historic Adams School Building to host this delightful and magical event, which offers fun for the whole family. Events and activities include a marionette show, crafts for young children, live music, and dozens of artisan vendors who sell unique hand-made items for holiday gift shopping. Our own Homespun store is also open featuring beautiful toys, games, books, and holiday gifts. A home-cooked hot lunch is served and holiday treats are available. Come and take part in the holiday spirit!
Redefining the Family Table
Featuring: Mia Moran, author of Plan Simple Meals: Get More Energy, Raise Healthy Kids, and Enjoy Family Dinner
Date: Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Co-sponsored by: Waldorf PCA and Lexington Community Education
Create a stress-free kitchen on school days, workdays and holidays. With long work hours, after-school activities and easy take-out options, the odds are stacked against busy families trying to live healthy lives. We end up with picky kids who have a hard time falling asleep, and overwhelmed parents who end up resenting time at the grocery store and in the kitchen. Author Mia Moran is passionate about food and provides solutions that help the whole family eat clean and together. When this happens, kids thrive at home and at school, and parents connect more deeply with their children, find ease in the kitchen, and many times experience more clarity at work.
Mia Moran is a gluten-free mom of three, local author, and speaker who makes time to eat right—and shows time-strapped families how they can too. She is creating a movement of parents who embrace healthy living through small, doable changes.
Reclaiming Childhood in a Digital Age
Featuring: Richard Freed, author of Wired Child: Reclaiming Childhood in a Digital Age
Date: Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Cost: $10 at the door, general admission, cash or check
Co-sponsored by: Waldorf PCA and Lexington Community Education
Children and teens urgently need our help navigating today’s digital landscape of video games, social media, and smartphones—which many kids just can’t put down. Join Dr. Richard Freed as he explains why technology poses the risk of addiction, how important family is for kids in resisting these pressures, and how to raise happy, healthy children in the digital age.
Richard Freed, Ph.D., is a child and adolescent psychologist and a leading authority on raising children in the digital age. Dr. Freed is the author of the book Wired Child: Reclaiming Childhood in a Digital Age, and his insights have been featured in The New York Times, Medium, The Atlantic, on NPR, and other media platforms. He speaks internationally to parents, teachers, and health care providers on how to promote children’s well-being in this age of machines.
Executive Function: Tools for Learning, Skills for Life
What is executive function and why is it so important? According to Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child, “When children have opportunities to develop executive function and self-regulation skills, individuals and society experience lifelong benefits. These skills are crucial for learning and development.” Through the introduction of new strategies, ongoing practice, and the support and guidance of parents and teachers, all children can strengthen these important skills. In this talk, Dan Levine demystifies executive function and breaks it down into its component parts. Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of executive function, along with concrete strategies to implement for each of the critical executive function domains.
Dan Levine is the president and founder of Engaging Minds, an after school learning center that specializes in strengthening executive function, problem solving, and study skills.
Raising Boys To Be Their Best In A Rapidly Changing World
Featuring: A talk with Dr. Anthony Rao, author of The Way of Boys: Promoting the Social and Emotional Development of Young Boys
Date: Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Co-sponsored by: Waldorf PCA and Lexington Community Education
Boys may appear to be doing well on the outside, but they often hide a vast reservoir of vulnerability, sensitivity, and talent. As a result, boyhood is even more challenging in today’s fast-paced, overly competitive world. With climbing expectations, they are at risk of losing ground academically. They are showing more stress, and their behaviors get them diagnosed and medicated at levels that many have called epidemic. In this talk, we will explore how better to understand who boys really are and the best ways to raise them. How do they think? How do they develop? What can we do to help them succeed in the digital age of more screens and information overload? Dr. Rao will share his insights into how we can shepherd boys successfully into their teenage years and beyond and help them discover their true selves.
Dr. Anthony Rao holds a Ph.D. in psychology from Vanderbilt University and trained as a pediatric psychologist at Boston Children's Hospital. For more than 20 years, Dr. Rao worked in the Department of Psychiatry at Children's Hospital and served as instructor at Harvard Medical School, where he trained psychologists and physicians in the use of Cognitive Behavior Therapy, or CBT.
Dr. Rao has been the featured expert on documentaries for the A&E series Investigative Reports and MTV's True Life series. Dr. Rao has been interviewed for articles in the New Yorker ("The Doubting Disease," by Jerome Groopman, April 10, 2000) and Parents Magazine, The Boston Globe, and The Washington Times. His editorial letters and opinions have appeared in the Newsweek, Scientific American, The New York Times, and New York Magazine. His book, The Way of Boys: Promoting the Social and Emotional Development of Young Boys, is about the crisis in American boyhood. It was published by HarperCollins in 2009 and released in paperback in 2010.
Creating the World We Want: The Power of Girl-Fueled Activism
Featuring: A talk with Lyn Mikel Brown, author of Powered By Girl: A Field Guide for Supporting Youth Activists
Date: Thursday, October 19, 2017
Co-sponsored by: Waldorf PCA and Lexington Community Education
Drawing from conversations with a diverse group of young activists and women who support them, Lyn Mikel Brown explores why girl-fueled activism is good for girls and good for the world. Through examples of actions and campaigns, we learn what girl activists need from adults, how best to scaffold their social change work, and the importance of moving beyond “lean in” to support girls in creating their own movements—disrupting the usual narratives, developing their own ideas—on their own terms.
Lyn Mikel Brown is a professor of education at Colby College. She is also a community activist and co-founder of three intergenerational youth-fueled social change organizations for which she develops strengths-based programs and curricular materials. Her research and practice focus on developing the conditions that enable girls’ healthy resistance and dissent in the face of oppression. She is the author of six books, including her first, Meeting at the Crossroads: Women’s Psychology and Girls' Development (with Carol Gilligan) and her latest, Powered By Girl: A Field Guide for Supporting Youth Activists. You can read more about Lyn's research and activism here.
Farms, Food & Family
Featuring: A film screening, talk, and farm-to-table tasting with Greg Georgaklis, founder of Farmers to You
Date: Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Greg Georgaklis takes us on his journey from a 30-year career in the horticulture industry, to starting a biodynamic farm in Vermont, to launching Farmers To You—an innovative, online, farm-to-table marketplace. His diverse experience in horticulture, agriculture, business, and holistic systems has given him a unique perspective on potential solutions to our food and environmental issues. The evening will include a screening of Ingredients, (watch the trailer) an official film selection at over a dozen prestigious film festivals, plus a tasting table of delicious food straight from Vermont family farmers to you.
Sun, Moon, earth: the history of solar eclipses
Featuring: Dr. Tyler Nordgren, explaining the history of solar eclipses from omens of doom to Einstein and exoplanets
Date: Saturday, February 18
Sponsored by: Lexington Community Education
On August 21, 2017, more than ten million Americans will experience an awe-inspiring phenomenon: the first total eclipse of the sun in America in almost forty years. In his talk, astronomer Tyler Nordgren explains how this natural phenomenon was transformed from a fearsome omen to a tourist attraction. From the astrologers of ancient China and Babylon to the high priests of the Maya, Nordgren takes us around the world to show how different cultures interpreted these dramatic events—including how modern-day physicists continue to use eclipses to confirm Einstein’s theory of relativity.
If weather permits, astronomer Amanda Bosh (P '16) will set up a small telescope immediately after the talk in the lot behind the school. Dress warmly, and come to see close-up views of the moon and the Orion Nebula!
Dr. Nordgren is a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Redlands. Dr. Nordgren has written peer-reviewed articles on subjects ranging from dark matter in galaxies to the pulsation of stars that are the foundation of our understanding of the size and age of the universe. In 2004, NASA’s Spirit and Opportunity rovers landed on Mars carrying sundials, or “Marsdials,” which Dr. Nordgren helped design with a team of seven other scientists and artists. Dr. Nordgren's book Sun Moon Earth is ranked one of Amazon's best science books of 2016 and will be on sale at the event.
Waking up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race
Featuring: Debby Irving, author of Waking up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race
Date: Thursday, February 2, 2017
Join author Debby Irving for this timely talk as she examines the mechanics of racism operating in her own life and leads us all to reconsider the roots of our own perspectives. By sharing her struggle to understand racism and racial tensions, she offers a fresh perspective on bias, stereotypes, manners, and tolerance. Irving speaks frankly of her long-held beliefs about colorblindness, being a good person, and wanting to help people of color, and reveals how each of these well intentioned mindsets actually perpetuated her ill-conceived ideas about race. Her story provides a context that allows us all to quickly grasp modern racism’s inner workings and enter into conversations with new awareness and skill.
Debby Irving brings to racial justice the perspective of working as a community organizer and classroom teacher for 25 years without understanding racism as a systemic issue or her own whiteness as an obstacle to grappling with it. As general manager of Boston’s Dance Umbrella and First Night, and later as a classroom teacher in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she struggled to make sense of tensions she could feel but not explain in racially mixed settings. In 2009, a graduate school course, Racial and Cultural Identities, gave her the answers she’d been looking for and launched her on a journey of discovery. Irving now devotes herself to working with white people exploring the impact white skin can have on perception, problem solving, and engaging in racial justice work. A graduate of the Winsor School in Boston, she holds a BA from Kenyon College and an MBA from Simmons College. Her first book, Waking Up White, tells the story of how she went from well-meaning to well-doing.
Featuring: Master story-teller Daniel Bittleston
Date: Saturday, January 21, 2017
Join master story-teller and former Waldorf class teacher Daniel Bittleston for an inspiring workshop on how to bring the magic of story-telling into your family. For over 30 years, Daniel has been guiding parents through the process of creating and telling original stories to their children. Acting out a story fills it with rich character, helps enliven our creativity, and brings us closer to our children. Don’t miss this very special event. (Adults only please.)
Screenagers Movie & Discussion
Featuring: A film by physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston
Date: Thursday, January 12, 2017
Are you watching kids scroll through life, with their rapid-fire thumbs and a six-second attention span? Physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston saw this with her own kids and learned that the average kid spends 6.5 hours a day looking at screens. In Screenagers, as with her award-winning documentaries on mental health, Ruston takes a deeply personal approach as she probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including her own, to explore struggles over social media, video games, academics, and internet addiction. A discussion will follow the film. (Watch the trailer.)
The Importance of Being Little: An Evening with Erika Christakis
Featuring: Erika Christakis, author of The Importance of Being Little: What Preschoolers Really Need From Grownups, and lecturer at Yale University's Child Study Center
Date: Thursday, October 20, 2016
Co-sponsored by: Waldorf PCA and Lexington Community Education
In today’s preschool and kindergarten classrooms, learning has been reduced to scripted lessons and suspect metrics that too often undervalue a child’s intelligence while overtaxing the child’s growing brain. These mismatched expectations wreak havoc on the family: parents fear that if they choose the “wrong” preschool program, their child won’t get into the “right” college. But Yale early childhood expert Erika Christakis says our fears are wildly misplaced.
In this talk based on her new book, Christakis looks at children’s use of language, their artistic expressions, the way their imaginations grow, and how they build deep emotional bonds to stretch the boundaries of their small worlds. Rather than clutter their worlds with more and more stuff, sometimes the wisest course for us is to learn how to get out of their way. Christakis’s message is energizing and reassuring: young children are inherently powerful, and they (and their parents) will flourish when we learn new ways of restoring the vital early learning environment to one that is best suited to the littlest learners.
Erika Christakis is an early childhood educator at the Yale Child Study Center and has focused her career on the wellbeing of children and families. She is an honors graduate of Harvard College and holds master’s degrees from Johns Hopkins University, the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication, and Lesley University’s Graduate School of Education. She is a Massachusetts-certified teacher (preK through 2nd grade) as well as a licensed preschool director. For two years, she wrote a TIME.com Ideas column, and her work has been featured in a number of other venues, including The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, CNN.com, Nightline, and the Financial Times. A mother of three grown children, she lives with her husband in New Haven, Connecticut.
Ramzi Aburedwan & Dal’ouna Ensemble in Concert
Featuring: Ramzi Aburedwan and the Dal’ouna Ensemble, joined by Sandy Tolan, author of Children of the Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land
Date: Monday, September 19, 2016
Sponsored by: Lexington Community Education
Part of a national tour, this evening celebrates Palestinian musician and educator Ramzi Aburedwan and his belief in the power of music and culture to transform lives and resist oppression. Corresponding with the paperback release of Children of the Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land by Sandy Tolan, the concert features the music of Aburedwan and his Arabic-French Dal'Ouna Ensemble—a dynamic fusion of Palestinian folk, classical, jazz and world music—intertwined with excerpts from the book, read by the author.
"In a world where so much popular fiction depicts life in a dystopian world, it is refreshing to have this non-fiction account that reflects one individual's belief in the power of music and culture to transform lives." — Yo-Yo Ma
Ramzi Aburedwan grew up in the Al Amari refugee camp in Ramallah, where his family took refuge after being driven out of their home in Palestine in 1948. At age 16, Ramzi participated in a musical workshop that changed his life. He went on to study viola through a scholarship at the National Regional Conservatory of Angers in France, where he and other students created the Dal'Ouna Ensemble. In 2005, Ramzi realized a lifelong dream and created the Al Kamandjati Association, an organization that today teaches music to more than 500 children per year from villages, cities, and refugee camps in Palestine and Lebanon.
Sandy Tolan is the author of The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East, which has sold more than 250,000 copies in six languages, and his new book, Children of the Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land. He has reported from more than 35 countries, mostly in Latin America and the Middle East, written for over 40 newspapers and magazines, and produced hundreds of documentaries and features for NPR and Public Radio International. His work has focused on the intersection of land conflicts, racial and ethnic identity, natural resources, and the global economy. Currently he is Associate Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California.
Waldorf Family Concert
Featuring: The Pedroia Quartet
Date: Sunday, April 3, 2016
The Pedroia String Quartet is one of the most exciting new groups to appear on the New England chamber music stage. Combining youthful energy with deep experience, they play with force, nuance, and mastery.
This family-friendly concert features the sparkling humor of Haydn, the strange and wonderful sonorities of Stravinsky, and the intense romanticism of Mendelssohn.
Quartet players include:
First violinist Jae Cosmos Lee, who founded the nationally acclaimed chamber orchestra A Far Cry
Second violinist Rohan Gregory, who has travelled the world playing from Brazil to India to Russia
Violist Peter Sulski, who played with the London Philharmonic Orchestra for seven years and is the founder of the Worcester Chamber Society
Cellist Jaques Wood, a recent graduate of Yale’s Doctoral Program and international soloist
Anthroposophic Medicine and Child Health
Featuring: Dan Einstein, M.D.
Date: Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Dr. Einstein is an anthroposophic physician, family physician, herbalist, and Waldorf parent with practices in Maine and Massachusetts. He will describe anthroposophic medicine and how it differs from other holistic medical forms, as well as provide an overview of what treatments are used. He will also describe the anthroposophic view of child development, including major milestones that manifest as disease. The lecture will be followed by a question and answer period.
You can learn more about Dan and his work here.
The Soul of Discipline
Featuring: Kim John Payne, M.Ed.
Date: Thursday, January 14, 2016
A parent’s journey is filled with both precious moments and difficult situations. Our sense of how we are doing is often determined by the way in which we respond to the flashpoints of parenting. These moments will either define or consume us.
Kim John Payne, M.Ed. and author of the international bestseller, Simplicity Parenting, has a fresh perspective to help parents and educators navigate these moments with children of all ages. His approach provides a developmental roadmap, looking at the unique needs and challenges at each phase of child development, including:
• Training and creative compliance for the young child
• Building emotional skills for the elementary age
• Managing critical choices for the teenager
Kim Payne has been a school counselor, adult educator, consultant, researcher, educator and private family counselor for over 27 years. He works to help children, adolescents and families explore issues such as social difficulties with siblings and classmates, attention and behavioral issues at home and at school, emotional issues such as defiance, aggression, addiction and self-esteem, as well as promoting a balanced and simple family life.
Too Safe to Succeed
Featuring: Lenore Skenazy
Date: Tuesday, October 6, 2015
The Waldorf School of Lexington and Lexington Community Education welcome author, humorist, keynote speaker, popular blogger, and TV host Lenore Skenazy as she presents her thoughts on why our children might just be too safe to succeed.
Lenore’s presentation has been characterized as “laugh-till-it-hurts hilarious straight talk about all the fears that have parents so scared” — and she reminds audiences that our kids are much more capable than they are often given credit for. Lenore explains why parents are consumed with worry and offers advice and practical strategies to help us “lean out” (of our children’s lives) and let go just a little.
Lenore Skenazy is the author of Free-Range Kids: How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry) and the creator of freerangekids.com. She also has her own reality TV show, "World's Worst Mom," in which she helps parents who are "too terrified to let their kids go."
Neuroscience and the Developing Brain
Featuring: Douglas Gerwin, Ph.D.
Date: Thursday, September 17, 2015
For example, the idea that free play is essential to healthy child development is one of the cornerstones of Waldorf early childhood education. In a recent article, Gerwin explains how brain imaging has given this pedagogical approach a scientific underpinning. “Play activates the entire brain, including the frontal lobes, and also results in the building of new neural pathways. Play stimulates myelination of the neural pathways in the brain…an important process in brain maturation.”
Douglas Gerwin is the Director of the Center for Anthroposophy and Chair of its High School Teacher Education Program. He also serves as Co-Director of the Research Institute for Waldorf Education. He is a Waldorf graduate and has taught for more than 30 years at the university and high school levels. He has written numerous articles and edited or written nine books related to Waldorf education.
Keys to Discipline
Featuring: Ronald Morrish
Date: September 18, 2014
Real discipline isn’t some new theory. It simply refers to all the techniques that great parents and teachers use to teach children to be respectful, responsible, and cooperative. It ensures that children are well-prepared for the choices that they are given. It gives adults the authority to make choices until their children are ready to make them on their own. Join Ronald Morrish as he shares tips and strategies focusing on respect, cooperation, and prevention.
Ronald Morrish is an educator, behavior specialist, and independent consultant who has written and published three books, Secrets of Discipline, With All Due Respect, and Flip Tips. These books focus on helping parents to raise responsible children and improving schools’ and teachers’ disciplinary skills.
Wonders of Science: the Waldorf approach
Featuring: Michael Pewtherer
Date: October 22, 2014
“No one reads a mystery where the outcome is known at the beginning. The mystery draws us in, piques our curiosity, and ultimately drives us to seek answers.”
When science is presented in a way that excites students on many levels, they readily learn the material and are encouraged to actively take interest in the subject matter. Michael Pewtherer shares how a Waldorf teacher excites and motivates students to discover scientific principles for themselves, to ask questions, and to develop their own reasoning.
Michael Pewtherer, grade 8 class teacher at Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School, is Director at Woodland Ways, a Wilderness First Responder, and author of Wilderness Survival Handbook: Primitive Skills for Short-Term Survival and Long-Term Comfort. He studied Adventure Education at Prescott College, Biology at SUNY Columbia-Greene and received a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Wilderness Education from SUNY Empire State.
Best Friends/Worst Enemies
Featuring: Michael Thompson, Ph.D.
Date: October 17, 2013
An exploration of friendship, popularity and social cruelty in childhood with bestselling author Michael Thompson.
Thompson draws on research to highlight the differences between friendship and popularity. He makes suggestions about the management of social problems in schools and makes the case that while all children yearn for popularity, it is friendship that helps children survive and thrive.
Dr. Thompson, co-author of NY Times bestseller, Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys and other books regarding child development, is a consultant and psychologist specializing in children and families. He is the supervising psychologist for the Belmont Hill School and has worked in more than five hundred schools across the United States, as well as in international schools in Central America,Europe, Africa and Asia. His latest book, Homesick and Happy: How Time Away From Parents Can Help a Child Grow, was released by Ballantine Books in May 2012. As well as appearing on numerous news and daytime shows, he wrote, narrated and hosted a two-hour PBS documentary entitled “Raising Cain,” broadcast nationally in 2006.
The New Nature Movement and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder
Featuring: Richard Louv
Date: November 15, 2014
Co-sponsored by Lexington Community Education
In his bestselling book Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv sparked a national debate that spawned an international movement to reconnect kids and nature. He coined the term nature-deficit disorder; influenced national policy; and helped inspire campaigns in over eighty cities, states, and provinces throughout North America. In The Nature Principle, Louv delivers another powerful call to action—this time for adults. Supported by groundbreaking research, anecdotal evidence, and compelling personal stories, Louv identifies seven basic concepts that can help us reshape our lives. By tapping into the restorative powers of nature, we can boost mental acuity and creativity; promote health and wellness; build smarter and more sustainable businesses, communities, and economies; and ultimately strengthen human bonds. Louv makes a convincing case that we are entering the most creative period in history, that in fact the twenty-first century will be the era of human restoration in the natural world. This encouraging and influential work offers renewed optimism while challenging us to rethink the way we live.
Richard Louv is a journalist and author of eight books about the connections between family, nature and community. Louv has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Times of London, and other major publications. He has appeared on many national TV shows, including NBC’s Today Show and Nightly News, CBS Evening News, ABC’s Good Morning America, and NPR’s Morning Edition, Fresh Air, and Talk of the Nation. In 2008, he was awarded the Audubon Medal, presented by the National Audubon Society. Prior recipients have included Rachel Carson, E. O. Wilson and President Jimmy Carter.