Since its inception in 1980, The Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor has flown mostly under the radar, but its popularity has also been steadily growing over the years. Named after German philosopher Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), the school uses his philosophy of child development and ideas about well-rounded human beings to provide students with a holistic and age-specific education. One of over 1,000 Steiner-influenced “Waldorf schools” in 60 countries (there are 150 in North America), the schools are renowned for their emphasis on music and the arts, their original approach to the teaching of the sciences, and their celebration of nature, childhood play, and seasonal rituals.
If you have never had a kid leave trombone spit on your floor, you haven’t really lived. Seriously though, parenting kids through music lessons can be a unique and rewarding experience. Music lessons really teach kids a different set of life skills than they could get from any other activity — from self-awareness to fine motor skills to better listening and introduction to meditation. Today there are tons of options that fit every family, schedule, and kid.
Oh, boy, it’s that time of year again. Many of us parents and guardians have been working through our checklists, buying new shoes for our kids (who’ve been barefoot or in sandals all summer), and picking out fall clothes for kids who’ve sprouted since June. We’re smoothing the path as much as we’re able, sometimes stopping by the school beforehand for trial runs, figuring out the bus schedule and aftercare, or maybe counting down the days until school starts again.
If you’re from Ann Arbor or Ypsilanti, babywearing is delightfully ubiquitous, and so I’ll assume you’re on board with the idea of combining backpacks and babies. Come along on a fantastic hike around our babywearing culture in this mecca for babywearing folks and activities. Babywearing, or carrying babies in slings on your body instead of in strollers, has had a resurgence in popularity in the last decade, as attachment parenting has gone mainstream. According to Allison Valerio of Ann Arbor Babywearers, which meets in Ypsilanti, the last four years in particular has seen an explosion of new babywearing gear on the market, aimed at parents looking for more choices for baby gear even up into toddler-sized baby slings.
When was the last time you pushed your edge in public? Or really connected with your kids learning a new activity together? How often does your tween or teen get excited to turn off the video game and go somewhere and be active? Have you ever wished your son or daughter felt a sense of belonging in a community of peers outside of home or school?
CWJ Kids — Music and Movement for the Very Young: Gari Stein Adds “Baby and You” Class to Her Offerings By Nieka Apell
Many Ann Arborites are familiar with the name Gari Stein and her acclaimed music classes and curricula for children. What families with young children may not be aware of, however, are her group classes for babies as young as three months old with their caregivers.
Animal Educators: The Creature Conservancy Provides a Home for Animals and Educational Opportunities for the Community
Zoos provide opportunities to see unique animals, but where can children and adults go to touch exotic animals and ask questions about them? The Creature Conservancy, an Ann Arbor-based nonprofit organization, provides that type of hands-on learning experience for children and adults.