Library Lady's Corner
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.
Book Review: At Home in Harmony: Bringing Families and Communities Together in Song ~ New Release June 29 2017Meg Chittenden’s new book, At Home in Harmony, Bringing Families and Communities Together in Song is both artistic and magical. The volume is beautiful, from the clean, bright cover to the charmingly illustrated pages of sheet music, to the quick anecdotes about every song. Her goal is to make it easy to learn songs and to add harmonies that can also be absorbed and then sung again and again as accompaniment to life. Singing is so much more beautiful when it harmonizes in a round or when a simple harmony can make a song that is fresh and simple, blossom like a rose in marvelous harmony.
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
Waldorf Publications Memorial Day Sale May 26 2017Get ready for your Summer Reading by shopping our Book Sale. All books published by Waldorf Publications are 30% off through Tuesday, May 30! We have something for everyone; parents, teachers, administrators, and students of all ages!
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...
The End of Year Report in Waldorf Schools May 12 2017
Assessment 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.” After a block on physiology in grade seven, an essay entitled, “The Diary of a Sandwich,” might be the means of assessment.
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.
Book Review: Liputto ~ Stories of Gnomes and Trolls March 30 2017The first few stories in this collection recount the exploits of a disagreeable troll, who ensnares unsuspecting creatures – a goldfish, butterflies – in his net and keeps them in his dark cave; other animals help to free the captives. Then begins the story, in short chapters, of Liputto, a gnome whose job it is to bring drops of sunlight deep into the earth; after seven years of work, he is awarded a kind of sabbatical, to explore for a year.
New Release! Three Plays for Small Classes March 24 2017Three Plays for Small Classes offers class teachers an inspiring start at approaches to drama with only a few in middle school. Vivian Jones-Schmidt demonstrates her Waldorf class teaching experience in the ingenious re-telling of profound tales through the scripts she offers. Drama is a source of endless redemption for pre-teens and for students of all ages, really.
Happy Spring Equinox 2017! March 20 2017
March 20th or 21st always marks “the first day of spring.” Jokes abound in the Northeastern part of our country because it often doesn’t feel at all like spring on this inaugural day.
But the real event is a cosmic one that takes place in the stars and planets. This is why the exact day is not possible to state without stellar calculations. The day is called “The Spring (Vernal) Equinox.”
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...
The Heart of Childhood in the Heart of Winter February 20 2017The Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN) holds its annual east coast conference in Spring Valley every year during the first or second weekend of February. A while ago this coincided with the beginning of February break for many schools. Now school districts do winter and spring breaks at different times; however, the established rhythm was set and has remained. That this rhythm has withstood the test of time is fine tribute to our Waldorf Early Childhood teachers who understand better than anyone in the world how powerful rhythm is in cultivating the foundation senses and strengthening our life forces. Read More...
Annual Damaged Book Sale! February 16 2017Every so often we receive a shipment of books that have been damaged during transit. A slight ding to the cover or a creased page does not mean that the book is unreadable, only that we cannot sell it at full price. We collect these cosmetically damaged books throughout the year and hold a “Damaged Book Sale” when we have a nice assortment collected. Despite being slightly damaged these books are ready to be read and treasured! 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.
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!