Thursday, April 28, 2011

This Week at Spindlewood

The season of hope and renewal dawned this Easter Monday with birdsong, flowers and a pond full of frog eggs. When I brought a pot of hard-boiled eggs to the table, I thought perhaps two or three children would be drawn from their imaginative play, but I was surprised when every child present immediately found a place around the table and gazed intently as they quietly awaited their turn to dip an egg into the glass bowl of water, turmeric and vinegar. In only a moment, the eggs were turned a light gold, and the children were thrilled at the transformation.

We placed the eggs in a basket to dry, and later, as we finished our circle time, the children noticed that the basket was empty! We all ran outside into the new warmth and the children dashed around, delighted to find the eggs among the flowers or in the roots of the trees. They began to sing spontaneously the song from our morning circle game, “Easter eggs are hiding everywhere!”

Then Clayton discovered a large golden goose egg under the tulip leaves! He held it up in wonder. It sounded like something was inside. “Let’s open it!” So, with all of the children gathering, I cracked the hard shell. We found it filled with nasturtium seeds. Later that morning each child planted one in potting soil. Now we will wait and watch!

On Tuesday we began a new morning circle with the verse:

A tired caterpillar went to sleep one day
In a snug little cradle of silken grey
And he said as he softly curled up in his nest
‘O crawling is nice, but rest is best.’

He slept through the winter long and cold
All tightly up in his blanket rolled.
He awoke to find he had golden wings
And no longer need crawl over sticks and things.

‘Oh, the earth’ is nice said the glad butterfly,
‘But the sky is best when we learn to fly’.

Each child takes a turn to be wrapped up in our gray woolen afghan, then at the end of the verse he or she emerges in a golden silk to flutter around the room.

That morning, the four children who are six or turning six years old this school year began a woodworking project. Each sanded a small piece of thin wood and chose an art postcard to mount on their plaque. When they finish, each will carry it with him or her “over the bridge” on the last day of school June 7.

On Wednesday, it was so warm that the children could play outside during free play time before circle. After this long winter, they are longing to immerse themselves in the rediscovery of the flowing stream, the tree house, and yes, sand and mud! They created a huge “volcano” in the sandbox and brought bucket after bucket from the rain barrel to fill it until it did, in fact, hold water.

In his digging, Avery was surprised to find an old coin, and he took it as a sign to dig for buried treasure. We found a spot that would likely appeal to pirates, and he and Lily R. set to work! Soon their hole filled with water, preventing further digging, but they have high hopes that next week will bring new developments.

To be continued…..

Friday, April 22, 2011

note from a parent

We ate pancakes a la Spindlewood syrup yesterday and Ben was so proud and appreciative at once. Thank you for making that seasonal chore/treat a priority at Spindlewood. It really helps the little ones get back outside and active after such deep snow drifts and biting winds. I love it.

Friday, April 15, 2011

This Week at Spindlewood

Dear Parents,

So wonderful to return from my travels and find the children to be thriving in the care of Miss Elisa and Miss Kerry. While I was away, Sarah Baldwin was here to observe Elisa and Kerry as their mentor in the LifeWays Early Childhood training. Laina Clugston has also visited the Nursery Class as Sarah Smith’s mentor. We are grateful for their support and wise guidance.

The Nursery class had happily gathered the last of the maple sap and gathered up the buckets. So this week we boiled down the final kettle of syrup and I poured it into jars hot from the oven while the children were at play. Each child has a small jar to bring home. Miss Elisa cooked a mountain of pancakes that day and we finally had our long-awaited Pancake Day on Tuesday. What spring appetites!

Such an exciting day it was to hear the first “croak!” from the frog pond, and to see a mother and father robin all aflutter as they seek a place for a nest.

On Wednesday we celebrated Seamus’ birthday with his family and the twin babies Finn and Erin making their debut. What joy! Seamus brought felted bead necklaces to share with each of his classmates. Thank you, Amy!

Afterwards, the children did some wet felting of their own to make woolen “robins’ eggs” to put into their wheat grass gardens to bring home.

(Maintenance tips: the maple syrup is well sealed. Please refrigerate after opening. The wheat grass can be cut if it gets too long. Cats and chickens like to eat it! If watered moderately, it will continue to stay green. Thanks for recycling the bowls with us when they are finished. The felted wool eggs can be dunked into warm soapy water for cleaning or ongoing felting.)

Wednesday was a rainy day and the children were delighted to find the mud again after a long winter of walking on snow. Thanks so much for providing rain or snow pants, extra mittens/gloves and a change of socks!

This week’s puppet play has dramatized the wonder of a caterpillar’s metamorphosis into a butterfly. The children have listened intently at the caterpillars feeling that he was dissolving into green juice and wondering if he could ever change. But yes, with the Sun now rising over our horizon, all will soon be renewed and transformed into spring.

Miss Elisa also hosted an Independent School Association Open House last weekend. I have been enjoying meeting with the administrators of the six other independent schools in the Camden/Rockport area. One of our recent developments is an ISA "Hub" Website created by Tim Wilson. You can check it out at!

Of course, we always welcome families who are looking for a preschool/kindergarten to come visit us for a casual tour. So please let your friends know. There are still openings in both the Nursery and the Kindergarten classes.

This coming week April 18-22 is Spring Vacation. One of my tasks this week is to complete the “Crosswalk” process that will allow Spindlewood to be recognized by the state as a Quality Center for Children. (Read my lips ~ tax credits for parents!)

Sending spring love to you all,