Library Lady's Corner
Bees — and Books about Them! September 27 2023Can there ever be too many books for the young about bees? In our time of worries about the diminishing number of bees in the world, stories that help us all, children especially, to feel connected to bees through appreciation and gratitude, through love, are important. Fostering a lifelong sense of wonder and protectiveness for these tiny creatures who give us honey, nourishment, bees wax, and who pollinate fruit trees, herbs, and all flowering plants is imperative to the bees and our own survival.
This latest release from Waldorf Publications has us excited like never before. Louis Braille, a Blind Boy Invents Braille is another masterful telling of a story by Jakob Streit, made possible by the Streit Family Foundation in Switzerland and by Nina Kuettel, the fine translator.
Saint Nicholas and Building a Capacity for Self-Reflection in the Young - A Waldorf Perspective December 05 2022
December 6 is the day marked to celebrate the legendary Saint Nicholas (15 March 270 – 6 December 343)—the prototype for our North American Santa Claus. His feast day is often celebrated in Waldorf schools, though in some schools his celebration has been disapproved and removed for being too Eurocentric or too harsh for children. His legends are rooted in German lore and in Dutch stories (Sinterklaas* is his name in Dutch). But vestiges of this remarkable saint pop up in many places throughout Europe, Turkey, parts of Dutch-colonized African countries, North America and elsewhere.
Traditionally when Saint Nicholas appears to children, he wears the garb of an early Christian bishop* (so he wears a funny mitered hat, as some children would tell you) and he carries a large golden book. In this book are written all the good deeds children have done on one page, and on the opposing page, unfortunate deeds and challenges facing the child are written. Saint Nicholas addresses each child with these balancing facts of the little one’s life.
Hallowe’en Part 2: Through a Waldorf Lens October 28 2022
Our Own Children Now on Hallowe’en - Through a Waldorf Lens
Hallowe’en is meant to be fun, of course, but it also holds opportunities for us to allow our children to experience that death, too, is a part of life. Skeletons, ghosts (Ireland for a century or two kept a census of ghosts as well as of the living), and the barren fields after the harvest all speak to the human heart of the end of life. Children are no different and they sense on a deep intuitive level that this is true. It isn’t necessary (or beneficial) to frighten children, especially under the age of nine or so. Young children will experience the feelings around Hallowe’en without undue prompting.
Waldorf Book of Blessings from Around the World is now available!
Gratitude! What an uplifting attitude of soul to cultivate and maintain! It can be difficult to find in today’s contentious world; yet here it is in abundance in this little book by Warren Lee Cohen. It is overflowing with gratitude for the food we eat and the friends and family with whom we share our meals. All around the world, families and friends ask for blessings on their meals with a spirit of quiet peace. So many different cultures and languages are represented in this powerhouse collection!
Book Review - Honey Bee Haven January 12 2022
Honey Bee Haven that is a real delight. Teaching ourselves and our children about the precious work done by pollinators, especially bees, has become a topic of some urgency in the last decades. With gloriously colorful pictures, done in watercolor paintings by the author, and the simple telling of how bees live and work, a penetrating story gets told in this little masterpiece of a book. It is about the significance of the work of honey bees, and about our part in making them feel appreciated, cared-for, and loved!
Book Review: Form Drawing October 11 2021
Form Drawing is a book about a subject unique to Waldorf schools. This book offers the best introduction to form drawing this Library Lady has ever seen! Form Drawing is full-color and bursting-with-illustrations—it is a must-have for understanding this powerful and engaging artistic subject!
Beginning on the first day of first grade, form drawing helps artistically to develop in children a sense of space, movement, balance, proportion,
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.
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...
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.
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.
Using Our Hands Has a Calming Effect March 25 2020Certainly, 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.
Book Review: Growing Up Healthy in a World of Digital Media January 02 2020
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.
Book Review: Matt McFlack and His Flyaway Kite July 26 2018Here comes a darling children’s book about a little fellow who spends his wealth on a kite, blue yellow, and white. Through rhythmic verses, the story is told of Matt’s difficulties with a kite that demonstrates it has a personality of its own and takes train rides, wind rides, and long sails away from his little friend.
The illustrations are beautifully rendered with colors that express the friendship of the kite and the boy very well.
Book Review: The Four Temperaments May 23 2018Helmut Eller’s new book, The Four Temperaments gives us a fresh new look at the four temperaments — sanguines, melancholics, cholerics, and phlegmatics. Eller goes into great depth in examining all the implications of the tendencies in youngsters (and in people) of one temperament or another, giving teachers and parents powerful means with which to reach children and to help them to find their way as they grow.
Book Review: Painting at School April 16 2018
Dick Bruin and Attie Lichthart have devoted their lives to painting and the teaching of painting. In their new book, Painting at School, they express a deep understanding of color and joyful devotion to painting and its value in the lives of individuals, especially in children.
Their original work, now almost twenty years in the world, Painting in Waldorf Schools, is still rich with insights about painting as soul food for children (and adults) and valuable in its suggestions about approaching painting lessons. The original book came with a CD of paintings.
Teaching History á la Waldorf-Part I March 09 2018
History, or as it might be better to say, “Herstory,” is literally the story of the culture in which we live: his-story or her-story.
When a child is born there follows a long, demanding road to mastering the use of arms and legs, hands and feet, fingers and toes, vocalizing sounds, moving around, crawling, standing, speaking, and understanding this remarkable world which the tiny human being has joined.
Part I: Birth through grade four — learning to think about history through pictures
Why a Class Play in Waldorf Schools? February 08 2018For almost every grade in most Waldorf schools, there is a class play. This is an exciting event and means a great deal to everyone: the teachers, the students, the parents, the extended families of students. Interestingly enough, Rudolf Steiner never indicated that every year should have a class play! This is a tradition built in the ensuing decades of the last 100 years of Waldorf education. Doing plays is a happy tradition, but not a necessity in the curriculum!
How Do Children Learn to Write and to Read? October 13 2017Literacy 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 2017Waldorf 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.
Math and Arithmetic in a Waldorf School May 24 2017
Children learn arithmetic in school. Most of what we call “math” is arithmetic — the skills of computation and calculation. When we do addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, times tables, square roots, calculating area — for examples — we are doing arithmetic. Arithmetic is a division or department of mathematics. Geometry, algebra, and calculus are other branches of mathematics.
Teaching children skills in arithmetic tends to be a cause of anxiety in our culture. Comparative studies accomplished in the latter part of the last century, comparing the attitudes of Japanese parents and American parents about arithmetic skills was revealing. Read More
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