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....
New Release Book Review: Kicking Away the Ladder March 12 2019
It’s important to investigate the philosophical underpinnings of something as influential as the educational approach for our children. Clues about the image of human development, respect for life on earth, and the reasons for different methods used can be more deeply understood by comprehending the founding principles of educational philosophy.
In addition, following the lines of philosophical thought trains our own thinking and promotes clarity; qualities our children are inevitably going to imitate. Since the crown jewel of all education is thinking (clearly and inventively, lately called “executive function,” or “critical thinking”),
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.
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!
Entry Points: A Study Guide to Rudolf Steiner’s Study of Man
In 2003-2004, when eBooks were launched, before any test marketing or forethought, and eBook readers were “the new best thing” with Nooks and Kindles competing for the “best Christmas present of the year,” the word was that books were a thing of the past. Books were so “yesterday.” But books are holding steady. Maybe it is because reading a book holds an 85% comprehension and retention rate while reading eBooks (any screens, really), comprehension drops to 34% on average.
Book Review: Towards the Deepening of Waldorf Education October 19 2017In the 1980s and early 1990s, The Pedagogical Section Council of North America worked closely with the Pedagogical Section in Dornach, Switzerland, to develop a publication that gathered the esoteric material Rudolf Steiner gave to the Waldorf teachers in the first Waldorf school in his first training lectures and along the way at teachers’ meetings. The book was beautiful and lovingly compiled. It had a linen hard cover with gold leafing for the title.
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.
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.
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...
Groundhog Day or Candlemas? February 02 2017
In the mighty Celtic calendar, the year is marked by the two solstices and the two equinoxes. At the Winter Solstice, the days are the shortest of the year; at the Summer Solstice, the days are the longest of the year. At the Autumn Equinox and the Spring Equinox the days are exactly as long as the nights.
The days that mark the halfway mark between these four celestial events are traditionally named “cross-quarter days” as they are the between the quarters markers.
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