In a Nutshell

Dialogues with Parents at Acorn Hill, A Waldorf Kindergarten

Nancy Foster



What an absolutely wonderful book! Nancy Foster has not only given us great explanation of just about everything parents new to Waldorf education ever wonder about, but she has gone on to give some of the best parenting advice ever written down. In other words, she has poured over 30 years experience as a Waldorf kindergarten teacher into the most concise, readable and useful wee book every printed on the subject teaching and parenting young children. This is a genuinely must-have book for anyone working with or raising young children.

Table of Contents:

Our Classroom Environment

  • Color in the Classroom
  • Why Curtains?
  • Teachers’ Dress
  • The Significance of Candles
  • Naming the Teacher
  • No Cars and Trucks?
  • What about Puzzles?
  • Musical Instruments in the Classroom

Work and Play at School

  • The Rhythm of the Morning
  • Saying “You may . . . “
  • Ironing in the Classroom: Danger?
  • Boys and Waldorf Education
  • Playing Cats and Dogs
  • Music in the Mood of the Fifth
  • Can Energetic Boys Enjoy Handwork?
  • Gun Play at School
  • Field Trips?
  • Fairy Tales for Young Children
  • The Challenge of Circle Time
  • Puppetry and “Told” Stories

Children at Home

  • Colors for a Child’s Bedroom
  • Older and Younger Siblings
  • Boredom
  • Telephone
  • Bedtime Ritual
  • Feeding a Child
  • Swords vs. Guns
  • TV Away from Home
  • Barbie
  • Forbidden Words?
  • Appropriate Gifts
  • “What did you learn in school today?”
  • Toys in the Neighborhood
  • Helping Children in a Time of Trouble – A Few Thoughts
  • Is the World a Good Place?
  1. In trying to read others’ reviews I pressed the add review and stars and it gave the book a rating of 3. If I had read the book I might have awarded it a 10. As it is I have only read the table of contents listed on the WECAN site – judging from this it looks fantastic.


    1. @ Marcie Matthews – I just did the same thing. I am really looking forward to reading the book in order to review it properly.


    2. Foster’s book is a great read for several reasons. One, it is short and concise. If you have or care for small children, it’s nice to be able to pick up and put down something that improves your brain. That said, I read the entire thing in just two sittings, because it was so interesting. For another, she answers questions that you may have about Waldorf education, about how to be a teacher in a Waldorf setting, or how to implement some of these ideas in your home with your own children. Finally, Foster offers multiple points of view, and explains her reasoning. The book is in a question answer format, since the columns came from the Acorn Hill Kindergarten newsletter. The topics range from the color schemes in the classrooms (soothing pastels) to handling your children’s interactions with other mainstream (non-Waldorf) style families. She also offers some great advice in shutting down unappealing types of play among groups of children, which I imagine will start coming in handy for me with my children soon.