Library Lady's Corner
Book Review: Xavier Sings Stories of His Alphabet Friends January 12 2021
Technology has opened vistas galore on the science of brain development. One remarkable discovery for Waldorf teachers and parents is how potent music is in developing memory. All of us are much more likely to remember something if we learn it in song.
This isn't surprising in one significant way: music often makes us feel, sometimes very deeply. It cultivates a mood, and we are more likely to recall the mood than the content. If something is very funny or very sad or very moving or very shocking, we are much more likely to remember than if there is no mood at all. Once the mood is evoked, the content then follows.
Waldorf Grade 5 Book Recommendations December 15 2020The fifth-grade child is reaching the height of childhood. Capacities have solidified and consolidation runs through the whole fifth grade year. The child begins to realize what he or she knows and can do. Rudolf Steiner said that fifth grade is a year of balance. Though this is true, it can be misleading. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the fifth-grade year is without any problems. This balance is most clearly true for the physical maturing of the child, as a child. For the first time the breath and heartbeat reach adult proportions. Each breath is now accompanied by four heartbeats.
Looking for a last-minute teacher gift? You can't go wrong with these titles!
Waldorf Grade 4 Book Recommendations December 01 2020Youngsters in grade four are now ten years old and have past the nine-year-old shift in consciousness but are still smoothing this out in their understanding of the world. Their new independence means a bit of separation from parents and teachers and some cantankerousness as this adjustment settles. The curriculum brings...
Buy Nothing Day 2020 November 27 2020
Buy Nothing Friday is here! At last. Thanksgiving is past, and there's a wide-open day to DO things together. Ignore (the mighty, noisy hype of) Black Friday and come along with us for Buy Nothing Friday #7. The Library Lady has made many ideas ready for you to open and begin with family, friends, and your good ideas to enhance the ones she has prepared for us all! Sing and celebrate while you make nice things and forget about the world of commerce for just one day! Heads, hands, and hearts, make Buy Nothing Friday the best day of the year!
Happy Thanksgiving! And thank you for trying hard to do things a little differently, a little more quietly, with a lot of heart and goodwill!
The Day After Thanksgiving November 22 2020It’s early yet but we are gearing up for “Buy Nothing Friday” here at Waldorf Publications. Come along with us to turn “Black Friday” into “Light and Laughter Friday” with hearts and hands working on great crafting ideas together. You don’t need to buy anything on the Friday after Thanksgiving; instead, stay at home (we are all getting pretty good at that by now!!) and gather the family and friends in your home for a day of make-believe and making things. Turn off your phones and computers and stimulate those magnificent brains with hand activities extraordinaire!
Waldorf Grade 3 Book Recommendations November 19 2020At age nine, children go through an important shift in their consciousness. It’s the time when they discover that the Tooth Fairy is their parents, there is no Santa Claus, and parents and teachers are flawed.
Now available - Tapestry of a Waldorf Education November 14 2020Tapestry of a Waldorf Curriculum provides a fresh look at the curriculum in Waldorf schools. It is, of course, an endlessly flexible curriculum, and so these guidelines are offered in full recognition that creative teachers are free––indeed strongly encouraged––to adapt the Waldorf school paradigm to meet the needs of any given class or group of children.
Waldorf Grade 2 Book Recommendations November 02 2020Following Waldorf Grade 1 recommendations, here comes Waldorf Grade 2! Remember that books for general self-development and foundational work for teaching were offered in a previous writing. Also note that there are too many books in all these lists to presume that anyone should read them all, but knowing what books are available can help in deciding about the one or two or three books (or more!) that might prove useful as a guide both for teachers and students.
Waldorf Grade 1 Book Recommendations October 19 2020Books for general self-development and foundational work for teaching were offered in a previous writing. Now we will offer grade by grade book recommendations. There are too many books in all these lists, remember, to think that we are advising that anyone read them all.
We have an unusual request... October 14 2020
2020 is a very strange year! We are filled with admiration at the flexibility, courage, and determination with which you, our Waldorf families and school communities are accomplishing things for our youngsters! We are inspired by the cheerfulness and energy with which all our friends and community are coping with the time warps, the infection worries, the perception bending, and election frenzy. We have never felt closer to our whole community than we have over these last few weeks and months. Thank you!
Book Review - Tatatuck’s Journey to Crystal Mountain October 07 2020Finding a story that has authentic imagination is a true delight and this story of a small gnome hero has just that! Tatatuck is an ordinary root pulling gnome who wishes to become a crystal mining gnome. He is small and so his dream seems highly unlikely to be fulfilled. One day he is asked if he feels brave enough to travel over the seven mountains to Crystal Mountain to bring back an important jewel for the gnomes.
Betty Staley acknowledged for her fine book, "Tending the Spark" October 01 2020The Northern California Publishers and Authors have awarded Tending the Spark, Lighting the Future for Middle School Students by Betty Staley a well-deserved Gold Award for General Non-Fiction. This wonder of a book gives deep insight from Betty’s decades of teaching experience, lending...
Michaelmas in Waldorf Schools September 29 2020Every now and then after the school year gets underway and the Michaelmas buzz begins in the classrooms, I hear a Waldorf parent or two whisper "what is Michaelmas?" It's a question I hear frequently and one that I love to answer!
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 2020by 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 2020This 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.
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 2020Schools 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 2020The 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.”
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.
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