LifeWays Seminars Archives

December 6, 2004

LifeWays Training Programs

The LifeWays Child Care and Human Development Training is a specialized program developed specifically for this new approach to child care and parent education. Along with the study of child development from pre-birth to young adult, there is an emphasis on the training of the caregiver's speech, voice and movement skills, handwork, and domestic arts, as well as social exercises dealing with cultural diversity, personal development and adult relationships. There is also a component on government regulations and requirements for both in-home and center locations. Ongoing continuing-education programs enhance the initial training.

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June 2, 2005

LifeWays Trainings

I just learned that the upcoming year-long (but at-a-distance) LifeWays training in Wisconsin is full with 25 registrants. It's exciting that the training programs--now offered in three locations throughout the country--are filling in advance. There are still a few opening for the training at Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks (near Sacrament), starting in October, 2005. And applications are now being accepted for the East Coast training in Maine, that will start in the summer of 2006.

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July 1, 2005

LifeWays Puppetry and Speech Workshop

The LifeWays training in Wisconsin is offering an "open-to-the-public" workshop on puppetry and speech development with Master Puppeteer Suzanne Down of Juniper Tree Puppets September 23-25, 2005 in East Troy, Wisconsin. Come join the training students for this inspiring weekend of creativity and fun. To receive a registration form, contact Mary Schunemann at or Cynthia Aldinger at

Suzanne, who offers trainings and workshops around the world, is highly respected in her field and brings a delightful element of whimsy and joy into the puppetry work for young children. Her workshops fill up quickly, and a limited number of spaces are available. Registration deadline is September 10th.

January 12, 2006

LifeWays Training

Things are in full swing right now at the LifeWays trainings in Wisconsin and at Rudolf Steiner College in California. The Wisconsin students are halfway through their training and are looking forward to an inspiring weekend in March titled Nurturing and Nourishing:Caring for Children and Ourselves. With two medical practitioners and a curative eurythmist they will be bathed in nurturing experiences including massages, wraps, soothing inhalations, foot rubs and more. Every caregiver of young children deserves a weekend like this! In fact, this is one of the weekends we open to public enrollment. Due to the size of this LifeWays class, however, outside enrollment is limited. If you are interested, let Cynthia know soon at

The students at Rudolf Steiner College are also in for a treat in March. At the end of their week of training they will have a three-day workshop with Suzanne Down of Juniper Tree Puppets. She brings such joy to storytelling and puppetry. This is one of the students' favorite parts of the training, and it is the other piece that we open up to public enrollment. If you are interested in joining the California students for this delightful treat just contact Rudolf Steiner College at Tell them you are interested in the LifeWays workshop with Suzanne Down.

Probably our most exciting news, however, is that our new East Coast training is ready to launch this July/August and enrollments are coming in already. The training will be located at the beautiful Merriconeag Waldorf School in Maine. The early childhood center there, a lovely, artistically-designed strawbale building, will house most of the classes, but the whole campus will be there for the students' enjoyment. They can even stay in the farmhouse right on campus. As is keeping with the LifeWays training, nutritious, delicious organic lunches will be served on site, and a LifeWays-trained caregiver is offering child care for students who need it. Susan Silverio, the East Coast LifeWays Director, has gathered an impressive teaching staff for this new training. For more information contact Susan at

July 8, 2006

Re-Inventing Spindlewood

Re-inventing Spindlewood:
A Waldorf School Off-site Kindergarten Embraces LifeWays
by Susan Silverio

No one was more surprised than I to find myself waking up early one morning and saying Yes! to LifeWays. I had cultivated the Waldorf Kindergarten here on the grounds of our home where Ashwood Waldorf School first took root in 1986. As the school grew up and expanded onto a more central campus, this kindergarten continued as on off-site mixed-age kindergarten, now a “branch” of Ashwood. With the help of many parents the tiny cabin was enlarged three times over the years and when it was complete we named it Spindlewood. I held onto the ideal of the Kindergarten, reclaiming the traditional “children’s garden” from the conventional modern academic model of pre-first grade. Friends who taught in the local public school kindergarten and first grade encouraged me to keep the children here as long as possible. The Waldorf Kindergarten morning program seemed to me to be all that was needed for young children.

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January 25, 2007

New LifeWays Trainings

New LifeWays Trainings Starting in Wisconsin and Florida

The next Wisconsin LifeWays training begins June 11-22, 2007, in Milwaukee, and we are delighted to be welcoming back our dedicated teaching staff which includes Music Teacher Mary Schunemann, Master Puppeteer Suzanne Down, Director and Human Development Teacher Cynthia Aldinger, and other outstanding colleagues. Other sessions for this training include a long weekend in the autumn 2007 and spring 2008 and the graduation session June 11-22, 2008. Wisconsin is where the LifeWays Child Care and Human Development Training first took root. It is held in a beautiful location and offers the advantage of being able to visit several LifeWays centers, homes or parent-child programs. For more information please contact Cynthia Aldinger at 405-579-0999 or 405-245-8033 or

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February 12, 2008

LifeWays Trainings

Northeast LifeWays Early Childhood and Human Development Training
2008-2009 in Freeport, Maine
Director: Susan Silverio - 207-763-4652 -

Information Sheet

Dates: Session One: July 14 - 24, 2008; Session Two: Oct.10-13, 2008 (Friday evening - Mon. noon) Session Three: April 17-20, 2009 (Friday evening - Mon. noon); Final Session: July 20 - August 1, 2009

Location: Community Hall, Merriconeag Waldorf School, Freeport, Maine

Sample Schedule:
Opening Night
3:00 p.m. - Registration Open
4 - 5:30 p.m. - Welcome, Introductions, Biography

Weekdays and Saturdays (summer sessions have a Sat. field trip to Spindlewood in Lincolnville, Maine)
Breakfast on your own
8:00 a.m. - Morning Song and Announcements
8:15 a.m. - Human Growth and Development Course
9:30 a.m. - Movement - Spacial Dynamics/Eurythmy
10:30 a.m. - Break
1:00 a.m. - Child, Family and Community Course
12:15 p.m. - Lunch
1:15 p.m. - Clean-Up/Fresh Air Walk on your own
2:00 p.m. - Domestic and Nurturing Arts
3:00 p.m. - Music/Speech
4:00 p.m. - Handwork (snacks available)
5:30 p.m. - Closing Verse
Dinner on your own
7:00 p.m. - (Most evenings have no classes; Open Discussion/Artistic presentation on some evenings)

Core Teaching Staff: Susan Silverio (Child, Family and Community, Domestic/Nurturing Arts), Rachel Ross (Human Growth and Development, Eurythmy), Donna Wenckus (Handwork), Mariah Moser (Music) John Saccone (Spacial Dynamics), Suzanne Down (Puppetry/Speech Development), Elizabeth Sustick, R.N. (Nurturing and Nourishing)Sarah Baldwin (Parent-Child Program Development) and many guest teachers.

Tuition, Mentor, Supply and Application Fees: Tuition is $3400 plus a $500 mentor fee and $300 supply fee. If full tuition is paid by May 1, there is a $400 tuition discount. Please write or call regarding limited scholarship or to set up a payment plan. There is a $50 non-refundable application fee.

Housing: Some guest houses and rooms from $25-45/night. On campus, cots and sleeping bag space, as well as areas for tenting at $10/night. Local bed & breakfasts and hotels.

Meals: Snacks and daily organic hot lunch are included in tuition. Student provides own breakfast and dinner.

Other Possible Costs: Student is responsible for mentor's travel expenses for two-day observation. Student is also required to bring a pentatonic lyre or kinderharp to the training. They are available for purchase through Ted Maehr 831-277-3971, A Child's Dream Come True 208-255-1664 and Rudolf Steiner College Bookstore 916-961-8729 among other places. Required books are available from SteinerBooks 800-856-8664,; Rudolf Steiner College Bookstore 916-961-8729; or Sunbridge College Bookstore 845-425-0983. The Developing Child: the First Seven Years is available through Waldorf Early Childhood Association Publications 845-352-1690, Sing a Song with Baby and This is the Way We Work-A-Day can be ordered directly from or 262-642-5921.

LifeWays North America
403 Piney Oak Drive, Norman, OK 73072

April 28, 2008

LifeWays Principles for Caring for Young Children


1. Young children thrive in the presence of parents and other devoted caregivers who enjoy life and caring for children. They learn primarily through imitation/empathy and, therefore, need to be cared for by people with integrity and warmth who are worthy of being imitated. This is the foundation for learning and healthy development.

2. Having consistent caregivers, especially from birth to three years old and, preferably, up to primary school age, is essential for establishing a sense of trust and well-being.

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