Library Lady's Corner

Books to Help You Navigate the New Waters of Education: September 2020 and Beyond! Teacher? Parent? Both! August 13 2020

If you are taking up the task of teaching in the fall — new to the task or experienced, here are some books for strengthening the more ephemeral “muscles” that help make teaching clearer and more productive. You may know already that it is the intangibles that are the magic of successful teaching. In Waldorf Education, this includes meditative practices and concentration on child observation.

Here are some book suggestions for teachers and parents-becoming-teachers, to help understand how the process works in Waldorf Education.


Book Review: Immersion Learning - A Travelogue July 31 2020

by Franz Lutters in conjunction with Leiden University, the Netherlands

What is this unusual practice in Waldorf schools around the world, that has teachers, day after day, two hours each day, week after week for, sometimes, four weeks teaching the same subject?! It is called “block teaching,” with a single subject the consistent focus for three, four, and sometimes up to six weeks, depending on the teacher and the goals for the class.

Book Review: Teaching Science through the Grades July 21 2020

This rich collection of essays on the unique approach to teaching science used in Waldorf schools around the world, leads teachers and all readers through the development of the science curriculum, reflecting in turn, the development of the child.

It is not so easy to understand this very different approach to science teaching. Waldorf schools follow the path of Goethe, not Newton.

Want to Learn How to Care for Those Who Most Need It? Take a Look at This! June 27 2020

Camphill Villages around the world have been for decades one of the most humane and dedicated places devoted to making a meaningful life and place for those with disabilities. Camphill Special School in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania is looking for high school and college graduates looking to train in how to care for people with disabilities.

Juneteenth - A day for celebration, education, and connection. June 19 2020

Here at the Research Institute for Waldorf Education (RIWE) and Waldorf Publications (WP) we are watching the protests following the line of deaths of black people at the hands of police. Our urgent hope is that permanent change might be possible at last in light of recent events. The epidemic of violence that destroys the lives of this perennially repressed group of people destroys all our lives, ultimately, and must end.

Biographies as History from Ages Twelve and Older June 08 2020

Once a child turns 12, puberty is arrived, arriving, or hovering close to arrival. The youngster has achieved the adult proportion of breath to heartbeat: 1:4.  And a new level of stamina for memorization and learning, reasoning, and judging has set in. Rudolf Steiner tells us that at the ages of 12 to 14, muscle and bone are in rapid growth (along with many other parts of a youngster’s physical body — vocal chords, breasts, testicles, hair, etc.).  Dr. Steiner suggests that without the correct levels of idealism at this age, the risk is present that the muscle will not attach properly to the bony structure of the physical organism.

This might sound a tad far-fetched to some.  However, if we think about how much healthier the human organism remains when the inner mood of a person is positive, full of enthusiasm, looking forward to “the next things,” then it isn’t far-fetched at all.


The Spring Issue of Renewal is Coming May 21 2020

Schools have been given the marvelous flexibility from AWSNA of choosing to have the Spring issue of Renewal mailed to schools as per usual this June or else next fall when everyone is back in school again. This is good thinking. The issue is chock full of wonderful articles about the future of Waldorf Education in North America. It is full of the optimistic spirit of Waldorf100 that we have been enjoying and that should not be dampened at all by the disruptions of the pandemic!

How Can We Help Our Children Feel Safe? May 18 2020

The situation we are all in right now stimulates fear in a way never experienced before in our lifetime. It’s an irony of our current time that great fear suppresses our immune systems. Children are so sensitive to our inner mood and our inner thoughts!  For their sakes, as parents and teachers, we need to use the propagation of fear to practice greater and greater calm and courage on their behalf. We might be able to do it better for them than we might if only for ourselves. To be alive is a wonderful thing, whatever the circumstances. To be loved is part of the glory of it and we do love our children.

The Earth and Waldorf Education April 29 2020

It’s exciting to realize that in the same year that Waldorf Education is celebrating a hundred years on Earth, environmentalists like Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, and Friends of the Earth celebrated the 50th birthday of Earth Day.

Waldorf graduates leave their schools with a keen awareness of the environment, the living quality of the Earth herself, and the interconnectedness of each of us with each other and with all living things on the Earth. This is not accomplished in Waldorf schools as a kind of “object lesson.”

 


Week Three or Four of Quarantine — Who can tell anymore?? April 13 2020

The days and the time seem to blend together when one is positioned in one place all the time, don’t they?  We can feel united in this phenomenon!

In speaking with parents whose children are home from school, yet who still have full time jobs for which they are still responsible, it is clear that this is not an easy time for parents made suddenly responsible for educating their children along with sustaining a profession. Limitless time for tending to a student’s schoolwork is not possible. I heard one mother say that everyone keeps sending “great ideas” for helping youngsters to learn. She said in exasperation that she did not need more ideas, because there just wasn’t enough time in a day to cover her job and her child’s schooling as well. It’s a fine example of the old paradigm crashing into our new reality.


Finding Indoor Ways! April 06 2020

Guaranteed Cures for Cabin Fever
There’s something about being told you have to stay indoors that creates an immediate urgency to get outside! If you are at home with children of any age, this urgency can become almost frantic at times. It’s important to re-orient our thinking to something along the lines of, “Ah! We get to stay in! We don’t have to rush to be anywhere at all!” And we have some ideas about how to help you actually enjoy this time.

The Importance of Rhythm
To the extent possible, build a new daily rhythm and stick to it, not rigidly, but at least approximately.  After a few days, you’ll see that the family looks forward to “the next thing” they anticipate even if it’s not their favorite thing. Rhythm solves many “cabin fever” issues, you will see!


Using Our Hands Has a Calming Effect March 25 2020

Certainly, in these times of being housebound for preventing the spread of illness, the uncertainty and fearful anticipation can cause nervous restlessness, particularly in children whose rhythms are disrupted. Establishing new rhythms can be very helpful, and so can using our hands (after washing, of course) in constructive activities.

Update from Waldorf Publications March 23 2020

We will continue to work and fulfill orders as we can. Our 15% discount sale on all Waldorf Publications will continue throughout the time of this emergency.

Heightened Awareness is a Wonderful Thing March 18 2020

For the duration of the state of emergency we are offering our books at 15% off.

Book Review: Growing Up Healthy in a World of Digital Media January 02 2020

Growing Up Healthy in a World of Digital Media: A guide for parents and caregivers of children and adolescents

This is an essential and timely book that addresses the dangers of screen time, addiction, and EMFs on human beings, especially on young ones. It helps empower parents and teachers to be mindful and vigilant. The overwhelming acceptance of digital media (digital everything!) happened as if without Input from us, parents, teachers, everyone! Schools, businesses, and ordinary people were, within a decade, all managing, reading, learning and communicating on wired, digital devices. Only recently have the deleterious effects of free-range use of digital media become well-known.  Behavior disorders, depression, addiction, loss of concentration, and general feelings of malaise or unhappiness have been traced back to screen time for many.  The younger the user, the more powerful the impact.

The Weeks Before Christmas and All through the School all the children were stirring…. December 19 2019

The holidays bring a lot of excitement into a child’s life, and there are so many events in a Waldorf school and at home:

  • Thanksgiving ushers in “Advent” in many schools with a winter garden spiral in which the    children experience the growing of light in the darkness with individual candles lighting a pathway of winter greens;

  • In many schools St. Nicholas comes and explains to the children all their good and other deeds, with hope for the future;

Great Gift Ideas For Waldorf Teachers December 11 2019

Wondering how to spoil your child's teacher but don't want to partake in the materialism that is taking over our culture? How about a purposeful and enriching book? Below is a list of a few of our most loved titles!
14 Books for Waldorf Teachers

Waldorf teacher essentials! Ten titles $10 or less! December 08 2019

Looking for a last-minute teacher gift? You can't go wrong with these titles!

Waldorf Teacher Gifts Under $10 Waldorf Publications

 


Buy nothing! That's the statement! Today's the Day! November 29 2019

Join us for our 7th annual BUY NOTHING DAY! Instead of Black Friday, make this relax at home Friday. Stay home with your family, be offline and create pine-cone decorations, festive felt ball garland, scented fire-starters, or learn a song,  (all instructions, lyrics, and ideas included here). Or snuggle in and read a story!
Balance the universe with quiet, loving, relationships at home with the people you cherish most on this (traditionally frantic) Friday.

Director of Publications and Development
Research Institute for Waldorf Education (RIWE)
 


*** We want to hear from you! Send us photos and descriptions of your 2019 Buy Nothing Day creations to receive $7 off your next purchase from Waldorf Publications! Email your information to

 sarah@waldorf-research.org 

by December 2, 2019, and on December 3, you will receive a code with redemption instructions. Hope to hear from you soon!


Are you ready for “Buy Nothing Day” and a Cozy Thanksgiving Weekend? November 24 2019

We’re in Year Seven of our celebrations, and we want to hear from you!

The moment is coming to gather in your family and friends and take up a craft or two together: BUY NOTHING FRIDAY.


The day after Thanksgiving, the hectic day traditionally called “Black Friday,” is our day to say, “Let’s relax, sing tell stories and craft together.” 

Get ready! This day of giving thanks, particular to American and Canadian cultures, is a holiday, a pause, a gift-free weekend that has only to do with the people we love and good food in all the abundance we can muster. The day after the big day of family and feasting, Friday can be one of sustaining the feelings of gratitude, the keynote of Thanksgiving Day. Feeling appreciation for all we have in our lives is the reason for this break in regular life. Feeling grateful is a restorative mood of the soul all by itself. Why not maintain it for more than a single day? 

 

Here at Waldorf Publications and the Research Institute for Waldorf Education (RIWE), we are preparing to offer ideas for crafts, songs, stories, and plans for fun things to share with your family and friends that help you to relax, avoid the frenzy “out there” and to take advantage of the more inward aspects of the season of thanks and the season of grace that follows. Doing things together unites us and builds understanding and peace on earth.

 

Some of you may have joined us for “Screen-Free September.” Friends from around the world worked to eliminate or curtail the number of hours spent in front of a screen. The University of Witten in Germany joined in. It surveyed participants both before and after to measure participants’ moods and feelings of well-being after measurable numbers of hours away from screen activity.

 

Those of you who joined us will recognize immediately the opportunity in Buy Nothing Friday to continue practices that give us joy in working together, working with our hands, working with real (not virtual) things!

 

Come along with us on Buy Nothing Friday and look forward to the wonderful easy, fun, and heartwarming projects for this golden day of family, friends, and quiet fun.

 

To celebrate our Seventh Anniversary of Buy Nothing Friday, we’d be glad to hear from you about what your good craft ideas are, and on the very day, what you do to celebrate being together with your family and friends. Anyone who sends us ideas or pictures of your Buy Nothing Friday will receive a code to earn $7.00 off any purchase at Waldorf Publications. Let us know and celebrate by buying nothing! 

 

We will be posting the Buy Nothing Friday activity packet (and the instructions to receive $7 off your next purchase) on Thursday evening. However, it is not too early to begin gathering materials to use for some of the crafts. Specifically, dried pinecones and felt balls! Gather as many as you can and get ready for Buy Nothing Friday 2019!


OCTOBER IS HERE! AND SO IS THE POST-SCREEN-FREE SEPTEMBER SALE! October 01 2019

As promised here comes the Waldorf Publications October sale!  Big and bright, like autumn leaves, and with a refreshed, post-screen-free-September verve!

Take advantage of discounted prices, free gifts, new shipping options, and a variety of exciting newly published books!

All books are 10% – 50% off for the first week of our sale: October 1 – 7.


Book Review: Bare Hand Knitting October 01 2019

Bare Hand Knitting — Tool Free Knitting at It's Finest

Aleshanee Aikin does not think as ordinary people do. She is multi-lingual, interested in everything, and endlessly busy with her creative hands. In her new book, Bare Hand Knitting, Tool Free Knitting at Its Finest, she applies these remarkably different ways of thinking to teaching us a technique known mostly by Waldorf kindergarten teachers: finger knitting.


Dear Generous Participants in our Screen-Free September/Waldorf100 efforts! September 30 2019

Today is the last day of Screen-Free (or as Free as Possible) September. Your Screen-Free commitment is a gift to the Waldorf100 celebrations. Thank you all so much for your willingness and success—however, that looked for you!  We plan to continue with this plan for next year. Mark your calendars!

Get ready for a return to ordinary habits of screen use for all of us at Waldorf Publications — or not, if you are lucky enough to continue Screen-Free! Our collaborators at Witten University would be grateful if everyone who participated could take fifteen minutes and answer their questionnaire so that all of our experiences become part of their research.

Here’s their message to us all— become a part of scientific history! Answer the survey from our friends at Witten U.:

Dear participant of the September media fasting (in combination with the Waldorf 100) now that we are nearing the end of the media-fasting we would like to remind those of you who kindly contributed to the research of Witten/Herdecke University in Germany to help us use their data by also filling out the questionnaire for AFTER the media fasting. 

We are planning on comparing the pre/post data to identify the effects of the fasting.

Many thanks for your help. We are very happy about our collaboration.
Silke, Katja and David

 

Waldorf Publications and RIWE return to post Screen-Free with a mixed reaction of trepidation and relief.  As we reported, giving up hours on the computer squeezed the work a bit, even as it made the day go more quickly and improved moods.

Hooray for our group of intrepid Screen-Free-ers! A warm and happy Michaelmas to you all! 

Patrice


Book Review: Exploring Shapes Creatively Through Pure Form Modeling September 01 2019

Exploring Shapes Creatively Through Pure Form Modeling

Arthur Auer’s new book on modeling is a genuine launch into the unknown territory of creating form and knowing yourself better while exploring!  He gathers thoughts from many before him, including himself!  But the book casts a new look at using clay for modeling as a means to self-development and creativity.  The book is big, chock full of strong ideas, with specific exercises to attempt, and worthwhile practices.