Category Archives: Schools

Start Thinking Fall: After School Programs with Enrichment Matters

 

While it’s a busy time for end-of-school-year activities and summer plans, fall is just a few months away, and it’s good time to start planning for it!   We know that over this past year, lots of kids have missed participating in fun, in-person enrichment classes — sports, STEM, dance, pottery, chess, and more — and are excited to return to them.  As things slowly start to make their way back to normal, many great, area companies in the DC area are also looking forward to teaching students in-person once again.

One local, small business focused on quality after-school programs is Enrichment Matters. The company works with PTAs or PTOs to help plan and manage enrichment programs during the school year.  Programs are facilitated through their large network of vetted, enrichment class providers, also mostly local, small businesses — and many who are probably favorites of KidFriendly DC readers!  Their friendly team is made up of parents who personally understand the great benefits of enrichment classes. Most importantly, their services alleviate much of the work asked of school volunteers in order to run a quality after school program.

After a mostly virtual or hybrid school year, kids are eager to experience more activities in-person and will be especially excited for them as schools return to full-time in-person learning this fall. Enrichment Matters offers their pick of opportunities to explore new interests in a fun, social environment that promotes learning.  Kids can learn to play soccer, build a robot, cook a new dish, create some art, play an instrument, learn chess strategies or the art of debate — just to name a few!

It’s not too soon to start making plans for the new school year. Whether you’re a PTA/PTO volunteer or a parent interested in starting an enrichment program at your elementary school, learn how Enrichment Matters can help your school offer exciting, safe after-school activities in the 2021-2022 year.

This post is sponsored by Silver Knights Enrichment and Enrichment Matters, however, I only promote programs, services, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think would appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under 2021, Class, DC, Maryland, Professional Service, Schools, Virginia

Learn About Washington Waldorf School at a Virtual Open House

 

This post is sponsored by the Washington Waldorf School, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will be of interest to KFDC readers.

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Filed under 2021, Gradeschoolers, Maryland, Preschoolers, Schools, Social Distancing, Virtual Programs

Ideas for At-Home Celebrations of Light in Dark Times, from the Washington Waldorf School

[Note:  This is a sponsored guest post contributed by Alia Goodyear of the Washington Waldorf School]

 

At this time of year, when the daylight hours are diminishing, there are many ways to celebrate light shining out in the darkness. This year in particular, our need to connect to our own inner light and that of our fellow creatures is palpable. As the days get shorter, we might also feel more restless as we hunker down at home. Participating in some type of festival can bring some balance, calm, and hope. Perhaps you have a traditional way of celebrating — maybe your family observed Diwali recently, you are steeped in Advent, or your family is preparing for Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Christmas, or Kwanzaa. Perhaps you don’t have a tradition to guide your celebrations, but the idea of taking time to contemplate light shining out in dark times appeals to you. 

At Waldorf schools, we do not teach any specific religion, but we honor the spiritual life and make space for our community to explore the grand themes of the human search for connection and purpose as well as the work of making our world a better place for all. In particular, we have a few ways that we celebrate light in dark times. Here, we share them with you in the hope that you may find something useful to help your family create new traditions, or enhance existing customs, as you find sparks of joy in these times and feel the glow of a hopeful heart.

 

Lantern Walk

This festival is held after dusk, when our lantern light breaks through the outer darkness of approaching winter. It marks the end of harvest and the beginning of winter. Carrying a light into the darkness in the company of others – as we do during the Lantern Walk – can be reassuring. This can be a good socially distanced activity to do with a friend or neighbor with whom you want to maintain or build a connection.

Making a lantern can be a fun activity at home, and it will foster anticipation for the walk. If you aren’t able to make your own, don’t let that stop you! You can use whatever portable light source you have available to take a walk in the darkness and see what you find!

Lantern designs: Balloon Lantern | Waldorf Paper Lantern | Glass Decoupage Lantern | Paper Dodecahedron Lantern

 

Candle Craft

Decorating a candle and holder is a great project, and the result is a unique light that can be lit with intention and feel very special. Your family may choose to light it at meal times or a young child’s bed time.

Look for a 1-2” slice of a thick tree branch or a thin trunk (a Christmas tree lot near you might have extras from the ends of trees they’ve sold). Drill a hole in the center to hold a tall candle, or a wide candle can sit on the wood or even just a little plate. To find decorations, you can pick up a few pine cones, acorns, berries, greens, etc. as you walk around your neighborhood or a park. Perhaps you already have some small treasures at home — seashells, stones, ribbons, etc. You can also order thin decorating beeswax to make shapes that will stick to the sides of your candle when warmed a bit. 

 

Winter Spiral Walk

A beloved tradition in Waldorf schools is the winter spiral. Usually, it is a spiral walkway created from evergreen branches laid out on the floor and decorated with shells, crystals, and small figurines. At home, a simple pine garland or even a plain rope can be used to create a spiral. Lights in the room are kept low and at the heart of the spiral is a lit candle (the spiral can also be set up outside). Participants sit around the outside of the spiral and wait for their turn. In silence, or with soft musical accompaniment, each participant sits holding an unlit candle. Often the candles are set into apples as holders. On your turn, carry your candle to the center of the spiral, light the candle and then carry your light back out of the spiral into the world. We usually find a place along the spiral to set our lights so that, at the end of the walk, we can tangibly see how our lights combine to bring warmth and illumination to the space.   See examples on Instagram.

 

With our hope for your family’s well being and that you find moments of light in difficult days…
The Washington Waldorf School

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Founded in 1969, The Washington Waldorf School is a coed, PreK – 12 independent school in Bethesda, MD. Our teachers incorporate academic, artistic, and practical elements into every subject, creating memorable lessons, successful scholars, and strong individuals.

 

This post is sponsored by the Washington Waldorf School, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will be of interest to KFDC readers.

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Filed under 2020, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Educational, Guest Post, Maryland, Schools, Seasonal, Social Distancing, Winter

Five Things for Today: August 31, 2020

 

1. Happy First Day to DCPS students!  As mentioned last week, KFDC is teaming up with The Hill is Home to celebrate Back to School and make the start of this unusual year a little more fun.  We want to see your first-day photos!  Show off pandemic gear, online learning set ups, or whatever you’re doing to adapt to these new school circumstances.  Through September 14, anyone heading back to school — students, teachers, staff — can submit their pics via IG by using the hashtag #BTS💛KFDCxTHIH and tagging @kidfriendlydc and @thehillishome for a chance to be featured by us.

 

2. Today is Family Day on North Capitol Main Street!  The community has a whole itinerary of activities for parents and kids can do in the neighborhood.  It’s the first of  five “experience days” that will launch weekly through September 28.  Other themes are Self-Care Day on 9/7, Hidden Gems on 9/14,  Black Owned Businesses on 9/21, and Date Day on 9/28.

 

3. It’s National Eat Outside Day, and Ballston Quarter is celebrating with music and giveaways.  Check out all their dining options here to make plans for an al fresco meal.

 

4.  Recently bought this kit for Sasha, and we’ve been having a blast making everything from T-shirts to masks more colorful and fun.

 

5.  What a great neighbor!

 

🍭 🍭 🍭 🍭 🍭
 

If you liked this post — found it informative, inspiring, it made you smile, or it made you think — please share!

 

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Filed under 2020, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Maryland, Schools, Social Distancing, Summer, Virginia