Letter from Cynthia

Dear Friends,

Welcome to our “newsy” newsletter.  We unexpectedly ended up pre-posting the articles to our blog this time, so many of you may have already read them!  If not, please DO CLICK ON THEM BELOW because they are uniquely inspiring and wonderfully honest.  I am privileged to have worked with each of the authors in their LifeWays trainings, and I’m not sure you could find five more different personalities!  Their lives, and how they apply what they learned, are uniquely different as well.  That is one of the things I love about LifeWays.

Robert, who writes of his experiences as a single father taking the LifeWays Training, is the person who inspired us to share the many ways people implement LifeWays ideals.  Certainly our students are from very diverse backgrounds, a number of them single parents; but with Robert’s encouragement we sought stories that exemplify a variety of ways to bring the LifeWays training into living expression.   Windsong, who once worked with homeless children in Oakland, tells us about setting up the environment for her current work with a small group of young children with special needs in a public school.  Frances shares her story of caring for other people’s children in her home while not yet having children of her own and the wisdom of recognizing that advice is not the same as support.   Shanah shares the beauty of having a family living in their childcare center.  This is actually the only childcare center (not a home program) that I know of where one of the caregivers and her family actually live on site.  Faith’s article is not about her program; instead she shares an excerpt from her new book Joyful Toddlers & Preschoolers: Create a Life that You and Your Child Both Love.  Whether you are home with your own children or working with other children, her book promises to be full of helpful suggestions and will be available this Fall!

It is my hope that you will read their stories and become inspired!  For those who are tottering on a decision about whether or not to step into caring for children and families or wanting support in caring for your own family, take a look at all of the upcoming trainings and course offerings we have developed to support you!  I am especially excited about Mary O’Connell’s new online course on how to establish your own in-home program.  I think this will be especially helpful for our graduates who are still looking for the courage to establish their own programs.  For those of you privileged to know Mary you know how grounded and practical she is while being equally light-filled and encouraging.  Please tell everyone you know who is wondering about establishing their own early childhood program to consider purchasing Mary’s Creating Home Away From Home: A Course for Home Childcare Providers.  Enrollees also participate in a monthly webinar and are given a free one-year listing on our website.

For our LifeWays Certificate graduates considering a professional step into the classroom, we have heeded your call to provide the content you need in our new Continuation Program.  Please read about it and tell your fellow classmates.  I have thought about calling the program “Becoming a Model of Joy and Delight!”  While we will be diving in deep, we will do our best to keep the juiciness and joy we all experienced in the Certificate Trainings.  Michael is back in the saddle as Student Financial Services Administrator, so many of you know that he is easy to work with and eager to help you find a way to take the Continuation Program.  We have established a price that is still among the lowest available for a training of this caliber.  Please look over the information and call or write if you have questions.

We are starting new rounds of the Certificate Training at several of our tried and true locations.  If you have not given yourself this gift yet, take a look at the various upcoming trainings and jump in.  While our online courses give a flavor of the insightful content from which LifeWays springs, nothing compares to the joie de vivre of coming together with a devoted group of fellow students, teachers and mentors for a life-lifting exploration of the Living Arts over a year of shared experience in a beautiful location.   A number of our online participants have gone on to enroll in one of the trainings.  Please remember that parents are every bit as welcome as professionals in our trainings, as we learn so much from one another!

Further down you will read about a much-deserved national award bestowed on one of our LifeWays graduates and Representatives, Yael Raff Peskin.  We also honor one of our beloved graduates, Scott Anderson, from the Maine 2011 training.  Also read about two upcoming events this summer and autumn.  One is a delightful family camp with Mary O’Connell at the helm in beautiful Wisconsin (believe it or not, you get to do things with adults only while your children are equally happy attending the children’s program – with afternoons free to explore and campfires with music and stories every night)!  The other featured event, held at the San Francisco Waldorf School in October, is a conference on sleep – need I say more!  I will see you there.

Keep scrolling to learn about LifeWays expanding to South Korea, to catch a yummy recipe from Amy Gerassimoff, a sweet poem by Judy Frizlen, and a few more newsy items—it’s a full issue!

As always, thanks to all of you for your kind words, prayers and loving interest in Michael’s ongoing recovery.  I hope you can enjoy and appreciate the photo of us at the beach when we visited his father’s wife last week.  No more wheelchair or walker — just a courtly gentleman with a cane!  I am slowly re-entering our LifeWays community, and I do hope to see many of you somewhere down the road.

With loving affection,