Library Lady's Corner

How Do Children Learn to Write and to Read? October 13 2017

Literacy has been made an urgent issue in the last decade. As parents and teachers, we worry, often deeply. Back in the 1900s, we didn’t worry so desperately. Dr. Seuss’s Cat in the Hat, and T.V.’s “Sesame Street” were ever present to reassure us that ways were there for children to learn to read. Maybe these extrinsic tools for children to learn to read and copy writing laid the foundations for the worry — if these tools did not do the trick, perhaps there was something wrong with the child.

Book Review: Award Winning "Helping Children on Their Way" August 16 2017

Waldorf Publications is proud to be recognized by Mom’s Choice Awards with Helping Children on Their Way

Elizabeth Auer has assembled a remarkable group of educators to write about many aspects of supporting children in their different and varied “stuck places” along the road to a balanced development for life.


Summertime and the Livin’ is Easy — and the Reading is Fantastic July 08 2017

At this time of year being a teacher looks like a good career. After all, teachers “get the summer off!”  Sure, they don’t have to show up at school every day, and sure they can wear shorts and sandals instead of dresses and collared shirts. However, once school ends, once reports are completed and meetings subside, the energetic work of preparation begins.

Through books galore, teachers travel to exotic lands from times gone by — India, Persia, Mesopotamia, Egypt and Greece if you are a rising fifth or tenth grade teacher — back in time to the reformation in Europe and the many wars around the world in the last 150 years if you are a rising eighth or ninth grade teacher — ‘round the world for the first conscious time with Magellan (was it worth it when so many died along the way?) if seventh grade will be you destination in the fall — back to the land of stories from before recorded history if you are starting as a first grade teacher — and lost in a miraculous world of new life in embryology if you are a twelfth grade teacher.

To be ready for classes in autumn, the reading is varied and enormous in volume.


Can Morality be Taught? June 08 2017

A generation ago, the children's magazine Highlights for Children had in every issue, in addition to stories, activities, and crafts, a regular section called "Goofus and Gallant." The names of these two brothers always proved prophetic. Goofus consistently did the impolite, uncivil, "wrong" thing, while Gallant always did the kind, considerate, "right" thing. While Goofus slammed the door on those coming behind him, Gallant gallantly held it open. This section was one of my favorites. I found the vignettes quite funny, but I also found them, in terms of their obvious intent, not especially convincing.     Read More
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Book Review: Difficult Children – There is No Such Thing May 16 2017

Today "difficult children"—children with attention deficit disorder, high levels of anxiety, restlessness, aggressiveness, and other emotional and behavioral problems — are a major challenge for parents, educators. and therapists. Once the child has been diagnosed and labeled as having ADD or autism or some other condition, the standard approach is to use psychotherapy and/or psychotropic drugs to change behavior. Millions of children today, for example, take the drug Ritalin for attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity.   Continue reading...

 


Traditional Tales Retold by Kelly Morrow April 20 2017

Lazy Jack; King Thrushbeard; The Prince and the Dragon; and Sylvain and Jocosa

When class teacher Kelly Morrow’s search for first readers appropriate and challenging for her students proved fruitless, she created her own. The four little books range from 18 to 38 pages. Each book tells a folk story in a simple, clear, but interesting way, and each story is enriched by a moral truth. The cover of each is an engaging color illustration, and there are black and white drawings throughout.


Waldorf Publications and WECAN Form a More Perfect Union February 26 2017

Here in the land of publishing it’s not always easy to tell what is happening beyond the borders of a completed book process. During the journey of publishing a book there are proposals from authors, committee decisions about those proposals, backs-and-forths with authors, decisions about the age range of the book’s usefulness, permissions from other publishers, decisions about illustrations where needed, layouts, font choices, size of the book, cover decisions, edits, proofreading, biographies of authors, sometimes translation issues, and then the actual lining up for printing of the book before going to press.       Read More...


There’s No Minute Like the Last Minute! December 16 2016

Waldorf Publications and the Research Institute for Waldorf Education have many fine possibilities for thoughtful gifts when thoughtfulness in the hectic season becomes hard to muster.

Consider the caliber and depth of some of these gifts — remember, books and subscriptions keep giving long into the future!


Happiness is Winning the World Series after 108 Years November 04 2016

Just ask the Chicago Cubs what happiness is and they will tell you. Winning the World Series for their team and their community after 108 years of no participation in the Series or championship wins is the “sweetest thing, with no words to describe it,” one elated team member said to a journalist when the last inning was completed and the Series was won.

That word, “happy” or “happiness,” is a mysterious word, overused in the USA. Deviating from the sports arena for a moment — the word happiness is used frequently about schools and teachers and education. Recent surveys done by private schools indicate that many parents....

Twelve Senses: Not Just Five in the Human Being – Part III August 24 2016

The four senses that become the focus of development in a young person’s high school years are sometimes called the “higher” senses.  All the senses must be cared for and developed with equal care.  Development of all twelve senses is important all through a child’s life. However these final four senses flower in a particular way in high school that is a wonder to behold if the work done on the other eight is deep and thorough.

Twelve Senses: Not Just Five in the Human Being - Part II August 16 2016

Part II : The Soul Senses

The sense of smell, the sense of taste, sense of vision (sight), and the sense of warmth are the next four senses that are sometimes called the “lower senses,” or the “soul senses.”  These senses are those we concentrate most on in the elementary and middle school grades....Read More


Twelve Senses: Not Just Five in the Human Being - Part I August 12 2016

Part 1: The Physical Senses

One of the pillars of Waldorf education that defies ordinary thinking lives in the comprehension of the twelve senses of the human being—and, particularly, the child.


What is a Summer for but Daydreaming, Play, and Rest? July 08 2016

In the early chapters of the American classic, Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, we find young Tom out in the woods near his home, playacting with his friends the legendary tales of Robin Hood: robbing from the rich, giving to the poor, avoiding the deadly arrows of the Sheriff of Nottingham, tricking the upper classes with clever stunts and disguises, and swooning in love for Maid Marian.    Read More...

The Truth About Age Twelve June 20 2016

The age of twelve is remarkable. As childhood comes to its end, the twelve-year-old can feel accomplishment and mastery of many skills in jump rope, running, reading, arithmetic, high jumping, memorization, writing, logic, and reasoning. Just as the sense of mastery peaks, the child’s body begins to change. Though the first changes are invisible, the child feels them with a growing sense of alarm at what the changes might be.     Read More...

Three Timelines in the Education of a Youngster: Three Opportunities for Misunderstanding April 28 2016

Let us think peace and use the understanding of dissimilar timelines to weave collaboration and solutions instead of additional strife in an unsettled and unsettling world. Our children will thrive if we do.

Stories for Upper Grade Students April 19 2016

At this time is becomes important to think of the child’s true and higher self. Misdemeanors or illegal actions must be dealt with quickly with appropriate consequences directed but without harshness or judgment. To remember who the child really is in his or her best character, understanding that these developing pre-teens are capable of many downright dumb experiments that instruct and pass away. To give the student the impression that he is condemned to a label of “bad” or “untrustworthy” is unbearable for one so young. This can engender bitterness or instincts of revenge or retaliation. Warmth and decisiveness and unwavering adherence to whatever the consequence is for a misdeed are important. Once the consequence is completed, the youngster should know that the burden of that misdeed is lifted and that the child’s goodness can again prevail. This may need to be repeated a number of time before the young person regains equilibrium.

Book Review: Solving the Riddle of the Child: the Art of the Child Study by Christof Wiechert January 25 2016

The very essence of Waldorf education lives in the Child Study. Observing the children is primary task of every Waldorf teacher. The entire curriculum should be formed out of this child observation practice and new organs of perception are developed from this practice. This is why Rudolf Steiner was so insistent about administration being done by those who are with the children every day, not by others who have nothing directly to do with teaching the children. The real revolution lives in this open secret of Waldorf education: that the observation of children is the heart of the curriculum…     Read More...

In Our Image: Why Make a “Waldorf” Doll? August 21 2015

Waldorf dolls, like many toys used in Waldorf classrooms, are handmade using natural materials and are very simple in appearance. Designed to encourage and stimulate a child’s imagination the doll’s simple expression easily reflects the child’s mood and creativity. This is one doll maker’s account of the magical process of making a Waldorf doll.

Temperaments in a Waldorf School August 18 2015

The four temperaments are used in Waldorf schools for evaluating the character of each child one is teaching. These temperaments provide the teacher with tools for forging an inner connection, making the child feel that his or her teacher knows with wisdom what is behind each decision made in the classroom. Diagnosing temperaments correctly helps to build trust between teacher and student, teacher and class. Teachers often arrange seating of children so that students with similar temperaments are seated together or near each other. This provides a kind of gentle “homeopathic” experience or mirror to the child that helps the child build balance within his or her character without being heavy-handed, or too didactic.

Waldorf Education is Developmentally Appropriate - What exactly does this mean? July 26 2015

When Waldorf teachers say their curriculum is developmentally appropriate they mean it! But Waldorf educators understand child development in a unique way. Child development in the Waldorf plan is very specific. The decisions about the curriculum are based on exactly what is happening in the child’s physical, and emotional development and also in the development of the child’s consciousness.

Foreign Languages in a Waldorf School July 13 2015

In front of the restaurant, famous for its Quebequoise regional cuisine, a cluster of tourists was gathered examining the menu. As one couple read with excitement the menu, glad to find a place with regional cuisine as part of their experience in the beautiful old cit of Quebec, another couple was heard saying, in loud, harsh despair with a sharp New York, distinctively American accent, “Oh no! The whole menu is in French! Can you see anything on there that looks like it could be a steak?” Couple number one turned and explained that the restaurant’s menu was very specifically not American, but devoted to genuine, Quebequoise cuisine. Couple number two expressed disgust and stalked off, expressing loudly their anger and hunger, to find a “better restaurant”.

What Do Children Learn in a Waldorf Kindergarten? Everything! July 08 2015

The grandmother of the birthday child in the Waldorf Kindergarten was pleased to be invited to her granddaughter’s birthday celebration at the Waldorf kindergarten. She ended up more deeply moved and impressed as she participated in the birthday celebration. When she came to the kindergarten, mid-morning, she noticed the soft beautiful colors of the room and the natural wood finish of the tables and chairs. She also felt the busy hum of the room as children cleaned up after having made bread dough. The aroma of bread baking filled the room. Two children smiled at her and excitedly said, “It’s bread roll day for Michaela’s birthday!” The special guest for the big day was invited to sit in a special chair and watched as her granddaughter was led by two children, holding her hands, to the chair prepared for the child with a rose-colored silken cloth draped over it.

Four Phases of Teenage Development Reflected in the Waldorf High School Curriculum June 08 2015


In broad strokes, each of the four years in the Waldorf high school curriculum embodies an underlying theme and method that helps guide students not just through their studies of outer phenomena but through their inner growth as well. Obviously, these themes and methods are adapted to each specific group of students and take account of the fact that teenagers grow at their own pace. Hence, the “broad strokes.” And yet, one can identify struggles common to most any teenager even though adolescents pass through developmental landscape at varying speeds, they nonetheless have to cover similar terrain.     READ MORE

The Waldorf Classroom and the Cycle of Eight Elementary Years with the Same Teacher June 03 2015

Blog- The Waldorf Classroom and the Cycle of Eight Elementary Years with the Same Teacher
One characteristic of Waldorf schools in elementary grades is to keep one “Class Teacher” with a class from first through eighth grades. This practice has been adopted by public and private schools and is known as looping. In Waldorf schools this eight-year cycle could be called “giant looping.” Of course, this eight-year cycle is an ideal that is not always possible. Life, marriage, health, age, can all get in the way of completing this commitment. In some Waldorf schools it is even policy to have the looping go from grades...          READ MORE