Parent's Blog

Sanderling Waldorf School Web Site

1578 S. El Camino Real,
Encinitas, CA 92024

t: 760.635.3747
f: 760.635.1037

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


We, in modern society, are far removed from the origin of our food. We overlook the work & process of cultivation and the celebration of harvest. We take our good fortune for granted, and in most circumstances, fail to honor the journey.

Planting the seed within our children to be cognizant and mindful is an underlying principle within our school. The little ones are taught not the superfluous, but the root of a concept. Food included. The nursery/kindergarten class bakes bread each morning for snack. The grades children visit a farm and harvest vegetables to be prepared for their Sukkot festival.

This autumn, the younger children experienced an interactive Harvest Festival on October 11th. Colonial blacksmiths, weavers & spinners showed their processes, while hand-pressed apple cider was prepared and shared. Imagination ran abound as "horses were shod for the upcoming winter, " wool was spun for knitting warm clothing fireside" & "apples were harvested and pressed for nourishment and celebration." The autumn light cast it's sidelong rays and one could almost smell the apple pie baking.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

What I Like Most About My School

"I love school.

I wake up everyday excited and ready to be with my teacher and friends for a fun learning day!

What I love most about school is that I go to a wonderful school that makes me happy.

My teacher is great because she cares for you like one of her children…."

Vivian Drewelow, a 6th grader in Mrs. Duckstad's 5th/6th grade class, recently authored an essay entitled "What I Like Most About My School" for a school-contest sponsored by Albertson's and Sea World.

The US Mail on September 1st delivered a letter announcing Vivian as the winner! While we're excited about her breakfast with Shamu & two new computers, we're even more thrilled that, to quote Viviane, "I am happy kid because I just love going to school."

What could be a better prize than that?

Monday, May 23, 2011


Didn't we all have a lemonade stand growing up? At least, I did. I remember the process .... drawing posters to advertise my wares; collecting coins from my piggy bank for change & making the watery brew I would pass off as refreshing. So many little lessons learned in one productive afternoon.

This past month, Ms. Melanie's 2nd/3rd grade applied their currency prowess hosting their 1st annual bake sale. A cloudy, misty Saturday morning on Neptune in Leucadia provided the proving ground for their newly acquired skill-set. A successful exercise with a little fun mixed in for good measure.


Have you ever laid in the grass & woven a crown of flowers? Selecting each bloom for its beauty & simple perfection ... crowning yourself queen and your sweet little one, princess ... finding yourself walking with your head held high, while your feet skip & dance in the frivolity of the moment. Cloudless blue sky, radiant warm sunshine ... you play among nature's gifts ever thankful for the simple joy of life.

On May 6th, Sanderling celebrated the rite of spring with its annual May Faire celebration. Enjoy Embry Rucker's time capsule of the moment.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Biology, Astronomy, Geography & Geology

The Waldorf approach to science is to cultivate an attitude of awe, allowing children to experience the marvels of science around them. Additionally, reverence and a training of the senses is considered vitally important to opening the way for scientific experiences. Furthering the belief, that humans can in fact be participatory observers of life, not merely outside observers.

Ms. Duckstad’s 4th/5th grade spent a 3-day excursion on Catalina Island submersing their senses in the natural world. On snorkel dives, the students explored the island’s kelp forest, rocky crags and experienced bio-luminescence firsthand as they witnessed plankton “light up” after dark. Studies of astronomy, geography and geology were conducted as they hiked the surrounding area - our beautiful planet providing the laboratory, classroom and textbook for this miracle we call life.


Fairy tales have enormous value in the life of a child. They educate, support and liberate their emotions, providing a bridge for children to come to terms with their own inner dilemmas. Steiner said, “The human soul has an inextinguishable need to have the substance of fairy tales flow through its veins, just as the body needs to have nourishing substances circulate through it.”

Storytelling is a key tool in the Waldorf education. As the children progress through the grades, storytelling expands into performance. Short plays becoming a fixture of the curriculum. Mr. Gerbeau’s 1st Grade recently performed Grimm’s Rose Red & Snow White. Two casts, three performances, beautiful costumes and amazing light … bravo, bravo!

Passing the Torch

The Ancient Greeks invented athletic contests and held them in honor of their Gods. History credits the commencement of the Olympic Games to 700BC in honor of Zeus. Following a long line of athletes before them, Ms. Duckstad’s 4th/5th grade participated in the Waldorf Schools of Southern California's Olympic Pentathlon. Fittingly held during the student’s Greek curriculum block, the event represented a day to bring forth the good and beautiful housed within.

Held in Los Angeles, each student was grouped into one of four city-states: Athens, Thebes, Corinth or Sparta. Participating in games within their city-state group, the students competed throughout the day in discus, javelin, wrestling, long jump and running. Each individual offering their energy, challenge and triumph to their chosen God or Goddess, and even more importantly, to themselves.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Give Me Shelter

Shelter can be defined as a basic structure providing cover. Such a simple definition for one of life's three basic necessities. Ms. Melanie's 2nd/3rd grade completed their shelter block study with the hands-on creation of a log cabin. Measuring, sawing, assembling, hammering & painting. The shelter came together as much more than the practical application of their schoolwork. More so, a building in confidence & ability - a symbol within the children that they are learning to care for themselves.

If you haven't taken a moment, please stop by and check out the new fixture on the grade school play yard. Each child has left their mark, not only in their presence, but visually as a hand-print on the structure's facade.


Mother Theresa once said, "we can do no great things, only small things with great love." Fittingly, Rose Nursery/Kindergarten sponsored the Rhythm of Love fundraiser benefiting the Sanderling School. The evening featured silent & live auctions, raffles, a tapas spread and a groovy performance by Quinoa & The Millets. None other than a pop-up band comprised of parents, board members and Sanderling's 1st grade teacher, Jason Gerbeau.

Sanderling School depends strongly on the fund-raising efforts of its parental community. This past year, we have experienced many events - some large, some small and not one in itself overly significant. But in total, these "small things" - fueled by the love parents have for their children and the strong belief they have in their future - have become monumental.