Library Lady's Corner
New Release Book Review: Tending the Spark April 04 2019Tending the Spark: Lighting the Future for Middle School Students is Betty Staley’s latest contribution to better understanding child development to better educate the child. This is a book every parent and teacher of eleven to fifteen-year-olds must read! Tending the Spark covers a multiplicity of topics related to raising and teaching middle-schoolers. Everything from physical development, brain development, peer pressure, social media, and creativity are covered in this thorough sweep through middle school changes and realities.
We asked Fred Amrine, author of the newest release from Waldorf Publications, Kicking Away the Ladder, the Philosophical Roots of Waldorf Education, why he wrote his book and why its content is so important.
Fred Amrine: It’s very important for people to understand the roots of Waldorf education in German idealism. German idealism was, in fact, Steiner’s first choice as a vehicle and a language in which to put forth Anthroposophy. For a variety of reasons, this didn’t work out....
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
A Path Worth Treading - Encountering Nature and the Nature of Things February 13 2018A Guest Blog from The Nature Institute
Here at the Nature Institute, we have conceived of a new year-long foundation course in Goethean science. For participants who attend the program and want to continue the work with further guidance, we plan to offer a second year with more individualized work which could be followed by a research fellowship.
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!
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.
Book Review: Earth Science July 17 2017
By Hans-Ulrich Schmutz, PhD
Reviewed by Ronald Koetzsch
Many Waldorf parents and Waldorf teachers regret that they themselves did not receive a Waldorf education. But parts of the Waldorf curriculum can be studied and experienced at any age. Earth Science, by Hans-Ulrich Schmutz, although meant as a guide for Waldorf high school science teachers, gives any rueful adult the opportunity to work through the rich Waldorf earth science curriculum for grades nine through twelve.
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.
The Seven Core Principles of Waldorf Education (Waldorf Publications, 2017, 124 pages, $24).
The Pedagogical Section Council developed the seven, essential elements that make a school truly a Waldorf school. Pedagogical Section Council members then took up elaborating on each of these principles, the essays written were published in the Research Bulletin over a couple of years, and then the essays were gathered with a few additional treatises on the principles and made into this fine book explaining what makes a Waldorf school a Waldorf school.
Book Review: The Falconer June 11 2017
In Waldorf schools, history is taught largely through the medium of biography. The life stories of individual human beings, famous and not so famous, good and not so good, are told by the teacher or read in books. Each life, interesting in itself, illuminates the events and conditions of the time in which the person lived.
Can Morality be Taught? June 08 2017
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
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.
There’s No Minute Like the Last Minute! December 16 2016Waldorf 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!
Being Nine Years Old June 16 2016
The teacher knelt before the boy to explain how to cross the street carefully and to check to see if he felt uneasy about crossing without a teacher holding his hand. The boy’s mother was taking a job in the area and she wanted her children in a Waldorf school. The boy had come to visit the second grade that day. He had, up till then, been home schooled, and there was a question about whether or not the boy belonged in second grade or third grade because of his age—older than the youngest in the third grade and younger than the oldest in the second grade.
After the teacher had completed explaining carefully how to cross the street without a teacher helping him, the teacher asked, “Can you do that?.....
The Waldorf School and the End of Year Report May 27 2016Assessment is a “hot topic” in the news and in educational debate. In Waldorf schools assessment takes many forms, none of which includes standardized testing.
During the year, concentrated “blocks” of study might include an end-of-block assessment. A block might be three or four weeks long and concentrate study on one topic. After a botany block in the fifth grade an outdoor “treasure” hunt to find, for example, a monocotyledon, a pistil, a tap root, a deciduous conifer branch, a dicotyledon, and so on, might be the "test.” Read More...
Stories for Upper Grade Students April 19 2016At 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.
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