Library Lady's Corner
The Poetic Meaning of End of Year Reports in Waldorf Schools May 16 2023Children, students, everywhere strive for excellence. All children who have not been traumatized by extraordinary experiences or abused by adults one way or another, want to learn, to be smart, to understand this large and confusing world into which they have been born. Some children hide this yearning. If they find out early that those delivering education, in whatever form, have decided they are not excellent, or have not met invisible expectations, they might become seemingly insouciant, uncaring, indifferent to what is happening in a learning environment. Some children crumble and dissolve into confusion, striking out at whatever they can identify that might be “right.”
Just in time for Earth Day! The Green Curriculum in Waldorf Schools April 21 2023
A Twelve Part Series
From Roots to Bloom
A few years ago on AWSNA’s “Green Pages” Sarah Hearn, Waldorf graduate from the New York City Rudolf Steiner School, with help from a class teacher or two, wrote a series of short articles on the many ways in which the curriculum in our schools connects a child to the Earth, awakens a devoted love of Nature and grows environmentalists who carry a passion for caring for the Earth and all its gifts. Sarah has agreed to have these little articles republished as a guest blogger here. She called her series “From Roots to Bloom,” to emphasize the growth in a human being as reflected in the plant kingdom. We are delighted about Sarah’s giving us permission as this overview of the “green curriculum” bears repeating many times. Embedded as it is in all that’s done in Waldorf schools, it’s wonderful to see it teased out for a minute to reveal some of its better parts!
Holi — The Hindu Festival of Colors, India March 08 2023
Water balloons, powders of vibrant colors, feasting, music, dancing; the festival of Holi is celebrated in March in the Hindu calendar during the full moon. It celebrates the coming of spring and the triumph of good over evil.
This festival, dating back to the 4th century CE, memorializes the story of Vishnu, the god who comes to earth in one of his several incarnations as a human being — this time as Narasimha— and is the celebration of his defeat of the demon twins, Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha.
Imbolc, Groundhog Day, St. Brigid’s Day, Candlemas Day and the Celtic Calendar of Celebrations February 01 2023
By the ancient Celtic calendar, the year was divided into four seasons. The mighty passage of the sun through these periods signaled the change of seasons—as it does for us today. These days and times vary slightly from year-to-year. For 2023 the dates for the Northern Hemisphere are:
The Summer Solstice (June 21) marks the longest day of the year when there is more daylight than on any other day of the year.
The Autumnal Equinox (September 22) marks the day in fall when there is an exact equality of daylight and darkness.
Book Review: From Mechanism to Organism: Enlivening the Study of Human Biology August 16 2022At long last, a resource book for high school teachers, parents, and students that brings to life the experiential approach to the complex subject of human biology! Michael Holdrege’s decades of experience at the Chicago Waldorf School teaching middle and high school science and math shines on every page of this penetrating book. From Mechanism to Organism contains wonderful illustrations that demonstrate valuable ideas for teachers to use in bringing different aspects of the ninth-and tenth-grade science in a Waldorf curriculum to high school students.
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: The First Waldorf Teachers December 08 2021
Read of them in the NEW Waldorf Publications book: The First Waldorf Teachers: Twelve Biographical Vignettes of Leaders of the First School
Tomas Zdrazil has collected twelve biographical sketches of the twelve teachers and Emil Molt, the bold industrialist who started the whole idea of a new school, in one collection, wrapped in a single book by your friends at Waldorf Publications!
Now Available - Threefoldness in Humans and Mammals: Toward a Biology of Form March 29 2021Waldorf Publications is pleased to announce the inclusion of Wolfgang Schad’s new edition of his master work: Threefoldness in Humans and Mammals (original editions in English titled: Understanding Mammals or Man and Animal) in our offerings. Anyone teaching fourth grade or High School, anyone interested in strengthening the relationship to the animal world must have this two-volume set! The photographs are compelling, the information is comprehensive and compassionate, and the shared relationship between mammals and human beings is made crystal clear and movingly complete through this deep study. It is a necessarily expensive set, but the results are beyond ordinary value and you will treasure the books for a lifetime!
Waldorf Grade 7 Book Recommendations February 25 2021Seventh graders are in the throes of the mighty force of puberty and the birth of the last of the “finer bodies” that some would call the “aura” of the human being. No births are quiet and the chatter in a classroom is the sound that begins in sixth grade and lasts through eighth and signals the arrival of a new birth, new capacities, and new challenges. The growth at this time in a young human being rivals the growth of a newborn and will not be repeated for the rest of life.
Waldorf Grade 6 Book Recommendations February 19 2021In sixth grade, the 11/12 year-old is usually beginning to experience the onset of puberty. Growth happens at an increasingly rapid rate and the child often goes through a time of alarm, not recognizing who he or she is anymore. Just as a single example, somewhere during the time of puberty a girl’s larynx grows to three times its original size and a boy’s, seven times its original size. This growth rate will never be repeated in the life span of human development.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Book Review: Exploring Shapes Creatively Through Pure Form Modeling September 01 2019Exploring 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.
Book Review: Emil and Berta, The Origins of the Waldorf School Movement August 06 2019
Waldorf Education is named after the cigarette and tobacco company partly owned and completely managed by Emil Molt but named from family names, the Waldorf and Astoria families. The cigarette company was primarily owned by an inheriting family, the Giorgiis, who so trusted Emil that he was given 47% shareholding in the company and free rein in management. The company was remarkably profitable while Emil was the “CEO” and so the owning family was content to allow Emil free rein. (Where does the name Waldorf come from, she may want to know.)
Emil and his wife, Berta, were earnest students of Rudolf Steiner.
Book Review: See the Child, Love the Child, Know Yourself: Now Teach June 30 2019
See the Child, Love the Child, Know Yourself: Now Teach
For the six years that the Research Institute for Waldorf Education (RIWE) was fortunate enough to have Elan Leibner as the editor of the Research Bulletin, a striking confluence of practices and consciousness from both the Pedagogical Section Council of North America, (PSC) and that of more standard research ideals was possible. Elan was and is the chair of the PSC and has stimulated attention and effective practices in spiritual research out of his own Waldorf teaching experiences, and out of his research.
Book Review: Truth, Beauty and Goodness June 07 2019
Truth, Beauty and Goodness: The Future of Education, Healing Arts and Health Care
Lectures by Michaela Glöckler
This book offers the best we can offer to children in need of special care. The transformative powers of truth, beauty, and goodness are those that give birth to love, the most potent agent in a child’s development possible.
Interview with Betty Staley, author of "Tending the Spark" May 02 2019Betty Staley’s new book, Tending the Spark, Lighting the Future for Middle Schools Students, has generated a spark! Clearly, all of us responsible for this vulnerable age need help in understanding. Meg Gorman stepped up to interviewing Betty to find out more about her motives in writing this book.
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.
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