My girl is graduating

Helen graduates from the Waldorf school on Saturday. I know it is only an 8th grade graduation, but it feels like so much more. It is the end of her Waldorf education and she has been there for 11 years. Maybe I should say "we." The school is so much more than a school--it is a community and we have become close to many families. As parents we have celebrated festivals, shared meals, gone on field trips, studied, and done handwork together.

Here she is with her nursery teacher
(who has since passed away which makes it even more poignant)

It has been an interesting week listening to Helen talk about her Waldorf experience and where it has led her. Academically, a spark has been ignited in her for English history and literature. She has also fallen in love with art history and modern art. She has a deep love for her school and is happy that Lou will still be there so she has an excuse to come back!

Here is her third grade class. She is on the bottom right in the bandana getting ready to perform a harvest play.

I can't say that the years have always been easy, but they have been full of beauty, wisdom, and growth. For the past two years, her class has been just four girls. While it isn't what we wished for her, she has had very special opportunities --home stays in Montreal, overnight art trips to Boston, in-depth community service experiences. The connections to the curriculum and her teachers have been deep.

Here they are after an overnight canoe trip on the Connecticut River last fall.

She has also had challenges that she would not have had in a larger group. The girls have had to learn tolerance for each others differences, they have had to hold their own musically in a quartet, and they have learned that one can't hide in the back with a small class--everyone contributes, every day, in every subject.

This year they joined a transition town committee to build a community garden using the principles of permaculture.

This week has been so full of memories and preparation. Helen has written a speech (connected to her favorite poet), practiced songs, brushed up her favorite Vivaldi piece, finished her final main lesson book, is finishing a stool (ack, running a bit late), and is mounting an exhibition of her work today which will be on view through Saturday. The event on Saturday will be filled with all their accomplishments.

Here they are finishing up clay busts for art class.

The first set of grandparents have arrived. The house is clean. The graduation dress has been purchased. Tomorrow is the rose ceremony where each of the first grade buddies bids them farewell. Tomorrow night we barbecue with our dearest friends from her class.

I keep's only an 8th grade graduation.....but it truly is a big turning point in her life. I know I'm going to cry!

sarah  – (June 10, 2010 at 4:28 PM)  

Wow, that is big, and my heart overflows with the thoughts and feelings that it stirs in me. How blessed Helen was to have grown up in such a school ... and even the difficulties of the past two years seem like great blessings to me ... and how bittersweet this graduation must be! I hope her continuing education enriches her as much as this so obviously has.

Tammy  – (June 10, 2010 at 4:34 PM) is not just "only an 8th grade graduation." It is sooooo much more. It is acknowledgment for work, dedication, fun, learning, and growth. What an amazing time for her as well as your whole family. Have fun, and please pass on my congrats!

nova_j  – (June 10, 2010 at 5:45 PM)  

what an amazing journey!! all the best for the next stage :)

kristin  – (June 10, 2010 at 6:23 PM)  

i'm SURE you'll cry!! i'm practically crying now. to see her journey in these photos here is so precious was this time in her life, she was blessed to get this education. congratulations to Helen!! xx

KleinsteMotte  – (June 11, 2010 at 1:06 PM)  

Congratulations to you and your family. Enjoy your celebrations.

softearthart  – (June 11, 2010 at 4:24 PM)  

What a wonderful time and celebration, cheers Marie

Penny  – (June 11, 2010 at 4:48 PM)  

I'm crying right along with you, they grow up so fast! Best wishes to your lovely daughter and your whole family on the next part of your journeys...

Tara Christiane  – (June 11, 2010 at 9:06 PM)  

I have not commented in a very long time, but I still read and wanted to wish you all the best for the upcoming celebration. I remember attending a Waldorf graduation when my own girl was just 7. I did not know any of the graduates and was still a puddle of tears by the end of the evening!
Congratulations to Helen!

Sarah  – (June 12, 2010 at 7:13 AM)  

Thanks to all of you for your lovely comments. It is nice to hear from you.

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