Saturday, January 12, 2019 from 8:30 AM to 5:15 PM PST
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Highland Hall Waldorf School 
17100 Superior Street
Northridge, CA 91325

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Mia Martin, Office Manager 
Waldorf Institute of Southern California 

Early Childhood Workshop: Making "Sense" of My Body, Space, Time and Other People

with Nancy Blanning

Every child born to earth has a big task. Everything is new and foreign. How does a little child begin to “make sense” out of it all? Through the doorways of the twelve senses we “make sense” of the experiences that come towards us. What we learn through our senses helps us to connect different parts of each experience and build a construct of the world.

We continue to grow and we still have to “make sense” out of what is presented to us in school, in life experiences, and—often challengingly—in our interactions and relationships with other people. What happens if the senses did not achieve a healthy grounding and are not serving us well? Then things just “don’t make sense.”

This is the plight we see with many children under the age of seven. But it does not stop there. We see children in the grades who continue to be challenged in “making sense” out of their interface with the world. We see adults who can manage in the practical world but who are at quite a loss in directing their thinking, in controlling their emotions, and who fumble in social interactions.

This workshop will explore how all of these are inter-related and some things we can do about it. We each want to integrate our experiences into coherent, cohesive constructs through which we can feel secure and confident in living our lives. This begins with early childhood in creating a foundation for healthy sensing capacities and how these lay the ground work for the rest of life. We know that development is a life-long process and we are never “finished.” We will look into how we can support “making sense” of the world for children in the grades—and even for ourselves as adults.

We will think together, question, move, laugh, and, hopefully, leave the workshop with some new practical tools and inspirations to carry into our classrooms and maybe into our personal lives as well.

Nancy Blanning has been active in Waldorf early childhood for the past 35 years as mixed-aged kindergarten and therapeutic support teacher at the Denver Waldorf School. Her particular interest is in encouraging healthy development through active movement. She travels widely as consultant to Waldorf schools in North America and serves in Waldorf teacher training programs as guest faculty. She is permanent faculty with Sunbridge Institute (NY) and Nurturing the Roots (CO). She and colleague, Laurie Clark, have authored Movement Journeys and Circle Adventures, Vol. 1 and 2, original collections of movement imaginations for the classroom. She is also member of the WECAN board and is editor of the WECAN journal, Gateways.