Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Photos from Camp @ 4 Winds

High School students from the Portland Waldorf school hosted a camp for home school and School of Salish students at Four Winds on Orcas Island. Activities included music, art, games, nature, and lots of of fun!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thank you and farewell Patricia

Patricia, who was interning this last month from Rudolph Steiner College, will be returning to Oakland this weekend. We would like to give her a big thanks for all her hard work and generosity. For those of you who did not get a chance to meet her, she will be returning to Orcas this summer.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Photos from our Salsa Dance Fund Raiser!!!!

School of the Salish Sea hosted its first big fund raising event and it was a great success and well attended. Thank you so much to Maria and Learner for spearheading the event and all the amazing decorators and bakers.
This was a family friendly event and the craft table was a huge hit. Thanks to Dennis, Jude and Joel for keeping the kids content and happy making books and Valentines.
The beautiful Learner and Maria led everyone in a night of Salsa!
Everyone partnering up for lessons.
Thanks everyone for a great event and we can't wait to do another one.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Our wonderful teacher is an accomplished writer!

"Enlightened Parenting is a refreshing and practical instruction manual for parents, teachers and caregivers. It reminds us that parenting, like life, is an adventure that requires planning and organization while operating within the rules and guidelines of nature. Ronna clearly and effectively communicates the importance of self realization by developing and nourishing our own souls in order for us to become effective role models and parents for our children."

Ronna is a highly respected child educator and has worked for years as a parenting coach. You can visit her website for more information on the work she was doing in Hawaii before moving to Orcas ""

You can purchase the book online or contact Ronna. She has copies available for sale.

Free Parent Child Class

An amazing opportunity to meet our teacher and learn about Waldorf education. Come bake bread, sing, dance, play and make friends! This is a weekly class that will begin on Jan. 18th. Please contact the school for more information.

New Elementary Class!!!!!

Waldorf Education - Grades 3-5

Fridays 9am-1pm – Starts January 8th

Waldorf Curriculum main lessons followed by activities such as wood working, puppet and doll making, puppet plays and performances, needle felting, sewing, paper crafts, painting, games, cooking, hiking, incredible field trips and much more!

Teacher: Ronna McEldowney

Ronna, author of the self-published book, “Enlightened Parenting: What Every Child Wishes For & What Every Parent Wants To Give,” has 32 years of experience as a Waldorf teacher. A pioneer of the Waldorf model of early education, she has helped start five schools based on education which integrates play and practical tasks with learning.

"Love is higher than opinion. If people love one another the most varied opinions can be reconciled - this is one of the most important tasks for humankind today and in the future is that we should learn to live together and understand one another. If this human fellowship is not achieved, all talk of development is empty." - Rudolf Steiner

"Waldorf education places the development of the individual child in the focal point, convinced that the healthy individual is a prerequisite for a healthy society."
The International Conference on Education of the United Nations Educational and Scientific Cultural Organization

"Waldorf education draws out the best of qualities in young people. While this is not an instant process, the values they learn provide a lifelong platform from which to grow."
Gilbert Grosvenor, President Emeritus of the National Geographic Society

Registration Required Please Call 376-4552

Come and enjoy Waldorf Education on Orcas Island!

376-4552 / 376-4552 / 376-4552

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Special Puppet Show Performance for National Literacy Month Celebration

November is National Literacy Month and Ronna will be performing a puppet play on Nov. 21st at the Literacy Carnival which will be at the Funhouse. There will be two performances at 2pm and 3pm. Here a couple Sea Star Garden children help to practice the puppet play. Many people ask how literacy is taught in a Waldorf kindergarten. Ronna and I prepared the following brief explanation for the newspaper:

"In the Waldorf kindergarten, children learn through the spoken word because it is the way story telling began. It helps memory because you are left in freedom to form your own pictures. Oral story telling is so important to literacy.
In the kindergarten, children hear the same story over the course of the week with the teacher initially telling the story or performing the puppet play but as the days progress the children actively become part of the story telling and the story comes alive for them in both the retelling and is also reflected in their play.
The fairy tales are woven in such a way that it provides nourishment for the child's soul. Even if a story is beyond their age, they will take in something from it.
This is why the oral tradition of story telling is multi-generational and has continued throughout history and continues to be enriching today."

Some close ups of the beautiful puppets nestled among the hand dyed silks.

Lantern Walk Photos Part 1

Teacher Ronna and Teacher Nathalie helped the children make exquisite beeswax lanterns and led children, their families and many friends from the community on a walk through the woods. The children stopped to sing and deliver baked goods to the hard workers at Orkila. Then in the darkness of the evening everyone returned to the school for a special story told by Robert David and a potluck meal.

Halloween Festival

The festival began with the children sharing some of the games, verses and songs from their seasonal circle time. The Sea Star Garden families were joined by friends and family for a morning of great fun.
Fairies painted at the Painter's Workshop.

All around the room, beautiful nature scenes created a sense of warmth and awe. We are so lucky to have an incredible teacher with so many handwork and woodworking talents.
Teacher Ronna leads a visiting cowboy to the fishing pond where many fish were caught.

The shoemakers hard at work repairing the old shoes.

The farmer planting his seeds at the gardening station.
At the tailor, Peter Pan helps to mend the clothes and do some embroidery.
The bakery was a tasty spot to visit and we were so lucky to have so many older friends and family there as helpers.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Some Suggested Readings on Waldorf Education suggested by Jesica Sweddler DeHart

Several of you have asked me for some books to read to help you learn more about Waldorf Education. There are many incredible books out there and I have most of them on my bookshelf! I wanted to suggest a couple good books to begin with that I highly encourage you all to buy. The first two are my absolute favorites. I also have extra copies of all but Heaven on Earth and am more then happy to lend them out. Another incredible resource is the quarterly magazine Renewal. You can order it here "" or take a peek at some of my issues. It is an incredible glimpse at Waldorf education world wide and through every age and subject.:

Waldorf Education, A Family Guide Edited by Pamela Johnson Fenner and Karen L. Rivers

Heaven on Earth, A Handbook for Parents of Young Children by Sharifa Oppenheimer and Stephanie Gross
Beyond the Rainbow Bridge, Nurturing our Children from Birth to Seven by Barbara Patterson and Pamela Bradley

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Welcoming our New Assistant, Nathalie Beelner

Nathalie Beelner is the new assistant for the Early Childhood Program. She grew up in Basel, Switzerland and has a Swiss equivalent to a BA in Social Work, as well as extensive field work. She is very interested in learning more about many aspects of Waldorf pedagogy including bio-dynamic gardening, Anthroposophy, Spatial Dynamics, and Bothmer Gymnastics.
As a point of interest, she grew very near Goetheanum, which is the center for Anthroposophy in Switzerland. As a bonus, Natalie and Ronna will be able to communicate in Swiss German.

1st Day of School

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Article in the Island Sounder by Jennifer Brennock

Ronna McEldowney during the welcome tea. Jennifer Brennock photo

Islands Sounder Staff Reporter
Aug 21 2009, 11:00 AM
Children and parents met master Waldorf teacher Ronna McEldowney on Sunday, Aug. 9 and welcomed her to Orcas at the School of the Salish Sea’s Welcome Tea.

McEldowney moved to Orcas from Hawaii this week to start a school for little ones. In her classroom, the Sea Star Garden, McEldowney will teach 3- to 6 year-olds at the School of the Salish Sea in Eastsound.

The school will strive for a home-like atmosphere and will base its lessons on the routines of everyday life. Practical applications, like cooking, sewing, gardening, and woodworking, will be used alongside music, gymnastics, and art in McEldowney’s classroom.

McEldowney said her teaching philosophy is that play is the child’s work and she will teach through games and songs. There will be no testing or forced memorization in her classroom and the students will not be asked to perform based on her instruction.

“We will be modeling everything we want them to learn. We won’t teach into memory. It is experiential,” McEldowney said.

McEldowney’s partner in life and teaching, Robert David McEldowney, explained their classroom will have a unique scheduling aspect.

“We have all the time in the world,” Robert David said. “We like self-discovery and spontaneity. If they are really interested in how a pulley works, for example, we can take time to explore that with them before moving them on to the next thing.”

Ronna, author of the self-published book “Enlightened Parenting: What Every Child Wishes For & What Every Parent Wants To Give,” has 32 years of experience as a Waldorf teacher. A pioneer of the Waldorf model of early education, she has helped start five schools based on education which integrates play and practical tasks with learning.

As the newest education option on Orcas, the School of the Salish Sea has opened in a matter of weeks. The school has been an idea for several years, but in only three months it has become an option for parents of young children on Orcas. Currently there are 15 children enrolled and more are expected. The school currently offers a mixed age kindergarten class for children ages three to six and plans to expand into a first grade class by fall 2010. The first day of school is Sept. 1.

“Orcas has a history of Waldorf education that goes back 30 years and many of the alums, parents, and former teachers of Dolphin Bay Waldorf School are actively involved in this new initiative,” School Director Jesica Sweedler DeHart said.

The School of the Salish Sea has developed a support network of former Waldorf teachers and students who have connections to Dolphin Bay Waldorf School, which was founded on Orcas in the mid ‘70s and was the first school in the state accredited by the Associated Waldorf Schools of North America.

DeHart said the school has received inquiries from families on Lopez, from Olympia, and from all over the country.

Ronna said she’s honored by the confidence the parents of her new students have in her.

“I would tell parents I am the luckiest person in the world to have their children and to do this work,” Ronna said. “This year is going to be filled with fun, joy, and play.”

The School of the Salish Sea is working in connection with Orcas Island School District’s OASIS program.

To volunteer or get enrollment information go to or call the school at 376-4552.