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LifeWays Care of Children and Families

Cynthia Aldinger and Mary O'Connell



* * * Temporarily out of stock. More on the way!! * * *
If you order this item it will be shipped in 1-2 weeks.

It is with heartfelt joy that we offer Home Away from Home to you, a book we’ve been hoping would be written for many years.  The authors have been guiding lights in LifeWays early childcare – offering insight, training, and leadership-by-example (the very best kind!) for many years.  Now that they have published Home Away from Home, the heart of what they teach and know is available to everyone who wants it, even if they can’t get to a seminar.  This is simply the most complete, intimate, alive portrait of Steiner-inspired childcare that is available.

Whether you are a childcare provider or a parent of young children, there is a wealth of information, inspiration, support, and instruction between its covers.  Everyone who works and cares for young children will find that it is a well of resources that will never run dry no matter how often you turn to it.

You’ll find wonderful child development information, beautiful examples of others who are offering warm and loving care in their homes, including an abundance of black and white photos that show how to create these environments for young children and what daily life looks like within them.  You’ll also find discussion about licensing, parent relationships, and the business of caring for the children of others on a daily basis.

Altogether, this is one of the most potent books ever written.  We believe it will change the face of childcare everywhere it is read.


  • What is LifeWays child care?
    • LifeWays Principles of Caring for Children at Home and in Child Care
    • Best Practices in the Care of Young Children
    • A Word about Mixed Ages
  • The Many Faces of LifeWays
    • LifeWays of Wisconsin
    • Marcy Andrews’ Home Program
    • LifeWays Child Care Society
    • Spindlewood
    • The Orchard
    • Rainbow Bridge LifeWays Program
  • Other Facets of LifeWays
    • What is LifeWays Parent-Child Playgroup?
    • What is LifeWays Forest Kindergarten?
    • What is LifeWays Preschool?
    • What is LifeWays Parenting?
  • Home Away from Home – Rhythms, Routines, and the Living Arts
    • Rhythms and Routines
    • Environments
    • Examples of the Living Arts from Daily Life
  • Finding Your Colleagues
    • Characteristics of a LifeWays Caregiver
    • Characteristics of a LifeWays Director
    • Characteristics of a LifeWays Cook
    • Characteristics of a LifeWays Preschool Teacher, Forest Kindergarten Teacher, and Parent-Child Playgroup Leader
  • Protections: The Safety and Health of Children in Relationship-based Care
    • Safety
    • Health
  • Creating Your Community of Care
    • Is LifeWays for Every Child?
    • Is LifeWays for Every Parent?
    • What Are Some of the Blessings of Creating a Community in Your Program for Children?
    • Does Community Just Happen or Do You Work to Create It?
    • Are There Any Challenges to Creating and Sustaining Community?
    • How Does Your Community Come Together to Celebrate Festivals?
  • Regulatory Bodies and Professional Support
    • State Licensing
    • Municipalities and Zoning
    • Professional Support
  • Business Questions
    • The Business Plan
    • Funding
    • Systems
  • Supporting You in Your Work – LifeWays North America
    • History
    • LifeWays Training
    • LifeWays Membership
    • A Word about Advocacy

Facsimile Edition of the original book containing the calendar created by Rudolf Steiner for the year 1912-1913

Rudolf Steiner

Edited and introduced, with relevant English translations by Christopher Bamford



You will find meditative verses for the individual weeks of the year. You should take these meditations quite particularly into your hearts, for they contain what can make the soul alive and what really corresponds to a living relationship of the soul forces to the forces of the macrocosm.

—Rudolf Steiner

Many are familiar with Rudolf Steiner’s work The Calendar of the Soul, the book of fifty-two weekly meditative verses that run from Easter to Easter. Few, however, know anything of its history. The form in which it appears today derives from the 1925 edition, which appeared only a few days after Steiner’s death. This was the first printing of the verses in their current form as a commercially available edition. Seven years earlier, in 1918, an edition with a short introduction by Steiner appeared as the thirteenth of the “Colorful Waldorf Astoria Booklets,” tiny books packaged with Waldorf Astoria cigarettes and intended for soldiers in the trenches. The project was an initiative of Emil Molt, the owner of the cigarette company, an anthroposophist, and a close friend of Rudolf Steiner. It also appeared in a series of books edited by Molt’s friend Hermann Hesse, intended for German prisoners of war. Neither edition was available to the public through bookstores.

The Calendar itself came into being seven years previously. Imma von Eckhardstein, who had been a member of Steiner’s inner circle of coworkers since 1904, first had the idea in spring 1911. Soon afterword—for health reasons—Marie von Sivers decided to spend three months at Portorose, near Trieste, on the Adriatic. Imma von Eckhardstein accompanied her. Rudolf Steiner also spent much time there when not lecturing. Von Eckhardstein was given the task of illustrating the calendar, following Steiner’s indications for new monthly zodiacal images, as well as for other images.

Publication was planned for the end of 1911, with the help of a grant from the Foundation for Theosophical Art. The actual printing occurred in Munich in March 1912, under the watchful eyes of Imma von Eckhardstein. Books were available in April. Only a limited edition was published, and it was never reissued.

On April 11, in Helsinki, following a special lecture for Russian members who had traveled from Moscow to hear him, Steiner showed his audience the new Calendar 1912/13, saying, “Whoever meditates on these verses will achieve a great deal.”

The calendar begins with an introduction by Steiner on the nature of a calendar as a way to connect past and future as well as earth and cosmos. It is important to get a sense of the movements of the Sun and Moon in relation to the planets and fixed stars. It is also important to bring the past into the present by invoking great beings in the evolution of consciousness on their appropriate birth or death days, and to celebrate the Holy Days. Steiner designed new zodiacal images for each month, traced the phases of the moon, and specified significant people, events, and/or festivals for each day. By living into the year in this way, one is ready for the meditative year as expressed by the weekly verses of the soul calendar.

The Poetics, Letters, and Life of John Keats

Andrés Rodríguez



Keats stands as a prophetic precursor behind much in today’s radical attempts at cultural and self-transformation. Unfortunately, he is remembered, if at all, mostly as a Romantic poet whose value and standing was magnified by his early death. Eclipsed by the lushly sensuous affection of his poems, the real meaning of his life and the greatness of his achievement in poetics – how one makes sense out of experience – has been ignored.

Now Andrés Rodríguez redresses the balance by granting to Keats’ Letters their huge intellectual and spiritual labor. In these Letters, among the most inspiring spiritual documents of the West, we see the poet forming and transforming a passionate life of great joys and sorrows into a self of imagination and power.

Book of the Heart gives the Letters the central place in our literature they deserve. This is a book–for all kinds of readers–about the power of the life of imagination.

-Robert Hass

A Way to Heal and Revitalize the Earth

Rudolf Steiner

Seven Lectures and an introduction by Hugh J. Courtney



In 1924—in response to questions about the depletion of soils and a general deterioration of crops and livestock—Rudolf Steiner gave eight lectures on “the spiritual foundations for a renewal of agriculture.” Based on his suggestions and spiritual science, generations of farmers, gardeners, viticulturist, and researchers developed biodynamics as a healing, nurturing, holistic, ecological, organic, and spiritual approach to a sustainable care of the Earth.

Biodynamic methods consider the farm or garden to be a self-contained organism, embedded in the living landscape of the Earth, which is in turn part of a living, dynamic cosmos of vital, spiritual energies. The aim is to increase the health and vitality of the whole, including the farmer or gardener. The biodynamic practitioner follows an alchemical, transformative path of working with the Earth through the nine “homeopathic” preparations created by Steiner.

What Is Biodynamics? collects seven seminal lectures—four on developing a spiritual perception of nature and three from his Agriculture Course, dealing with the preparations. Hugh Courtney of the Josephine Porter Institute for Applied Biodynamics contributes an informative, passionate, and visionary introduction.

Whether you are concerned with the quality of agriculture and gardening in particular or have a broader interest in the ecological crises facing us today, this book offers a transformative approach that can truly change the way we live together on Earth.

Gathered from the Writings of Rudolf Steiner by Helmut von Kügelgen

Translated with permission of the author's estate by the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN)


This is a beautiful book and a fitting companion to Volume 1 (Spiritual Insights) of WECAN’s Little Series. Joan Almon’s Preface to Working with the Dead really says it all:

Since the following passages were written, Helmut von Kügelgen crossed the threshold of death. On 25 February, 1998, at age 81, he experienced his birth into the spirit lands he loved so dearly. Less than a year before, at the Whitsun kindergarten conference, he spoke to us with passion ringing in his voice and said, “The spirit is not over there. It is here!” During those days he shared this realization with us several times. He spoke in the spirit of the Gospels which say, “Look not for the realm of the spirit outside yourselves, for it is among you.” But he also spoke as if the veil which usually separates the spiritual world from the earthly had grown thin and translucent for him. The spiritual was now ever-present for him. Over the years we had watched his body grow frailer while his spirit grew stronger. he had prepared himself well for his journey into the spiritual world.

This booklet, along with the others he so lovingly compiled in the “Little Series,” is being made available to the English speaking world both in memory of his service on the earth and in recognition of his continued activity in the spiritual worlds. The work such a soul performs on behalf of humanity does not come to an end with so-called death. It continues on, and we are privileged to work with him – and with the legions of others who are active on the other side of the threshold. We can be grateful that in this booklet Helmut von Kügelgen compiled such riches from the work of Rudolf Steiner to show us the way to work with those who have died to the earth but who are born into the spiritual.

Joan Almon Easter, 2000

I would like to add that Helmut von Kügelgen gathered these excerpts specifically with the work of the Waldorf teacher in mind. He included a personal letter to teachers, mothers, fathers and colleagues in the kindergarten by way of introducing the pedagogical intent of Working with the Dead.

For Birthday's and Other Occasions

Anne and Peter Thomas



From A to Z, this is the most complete, idea-laden, sound advice giving, enthusiasm inspring book I’ve seen on the subject of how to give and what to do at children’s parties. The Children’s Party Book ranges in content from guidelines for parties and games for children of different ages, to a lovely discussion of what a birthday is and can be for a child. Then, it plunges into page after page of ideas – things to make; party themes to create; party hats, invitations, decorations & favors to easily make from inexpensive materials. And then there’s games, games, games – some sure to produce giggles and cheers, others that will evoke studious concentration, and still others that will leave the players happily collapsed on the lawn after joyous exertion. As if that weren’t enough, there is also a section on puppet shows – how to make the puppets and stage, what to perform, and some puppet plays to get you going.

Altogether, a great book – wish I could be there when you try it out!

Grade 8 Curriculum Resource

John Blackwood



NOTE: This has been replaced by the combination edition Mathematics in Nature, Space and Time which includes both Mathematics Around Us and Mathematics in Space and Time (this book).

From the author who brought us Mathematics Around Us comes another outstanding, even beautiful, mathematics teacher’s resource, this time for Grade 8 in the Waldorf curriculum.

John Blackwood guides us through a thorough exploration of the Platonic Solids with mathematical precision and an artist’s eye for color and form. It is heartstoppingly wonderful to see and read his exposition of these forms — I’m quite sure Plato must be smiling.

He then completes the block with lessons on Rhytms and Cycles that brings alive the rhythmic relationships of both space and time. You’ll love it. More importantly, so will your student(s). Blackwood’s work is one of the most valuable contributions to the teaching of the Waldorf curriculum to have ever been published.

Classroom Lessons Supporting the Development of Life Skills, Self Knowledge and Social Grace

Linda E Knodle

Coming of Age Curriculum Series



Linda’s second volume in the Coming of Age Curriculum Series focuses on a semester’s worth of topic-oriented lessons to be delivered to students ages 13 & 14 and grades 8-9. These lessons are open, enlivening, and nourishing of the upright human being within both students and adults. There is an artistry and playfulness that informs all these less and makes them so very beautiful and healthy for both the students and adults. We really can’t recommend them highly enough.


Part One: Preparation for the Course


  • Sample Rotation for Middle School Blocks of Study
  • Daily Main Lesson (Sample)
  • Elements of the Lesson

Preparation: Before Classroom Work

  • Preparing Yourself
  • Preparing the Faculty Letter for Faculty or Adult Community
  • Survey
  • Preparing for Parents Letter for Parents
  • Developing Values
  • Preview Questions for Interviews
  • Overview
  • Preparing for the Students Details of the Day
  • Spelling List
  • Resources for Teachers and Parents
  • Resources for Student

Part Two: Lesson Plans

  • Table of Contents for Lesson Plans
  • Student Lesson Book Entry Sequence
  • Optional Lessons for Day Five through Eighteen
  • Student Lesson Book Entry Sequence for Optional Lessons

Part Three: Supplements

  • Teacher’s Evaluation of Student
  • Student’s Evaluation of Teacher
  • Reviewing the Work
  • About the Author

Also available:
Human Fertility – 3rd Edition
Rites of Passage Workbook – 2nd Edition

116 pages, 8 1/2″ x 11″, 2012.

Waldorf Resource Teacher Training Program

Association for a Healing Education



What an amazing resource this little book is! It holds the instructions for 33 developmental exercises and their variations, discusses what the purpose of each exercise is, how often to do it, what sorts of observations are helpful and includes a space for your notes.

Additionally there is a beautiful and highly useful introduction by Mary Jo Orestito offering insight into the nature, origins and goals of the exercises and a section on “Teacher Tips for Many Ages and Various Situations.”

The potential of this simple tool nearly takes my breath away — with it, teachers and parents will have at hand the means to help their students and children move into the world more firmly, develop their capacities more fully. The Association for a Healing Education is to be commended for bringing this exceptional resource into print.


  • Dedication to Ruth Nilsson
  • Introduction by Mary Jo Oresti
  • Teacher Tips for Many Situations
  • Blind Man’s Bluff Forms
  • Run, Hop Numbers
  • Animals Out West
  • Clogging Numbers with the Feet
  • Form Drawing Homework
  • Group Letters in Space
  • Memory and Concentration
  • Multiplicaiton Table Forms in Movement
  • Blind Walk
  • Nature Creep
  • 20 Creeping Games
  • much, much more
  • Bibliography

A Journey through the Alphabet

Shelley Davidow

Illustrated by Krystyna Emilia Kurzyca



* * * Temporarily out of stock. More on the way!! * * *
If you order this item it will be shipped in 1-2 weeks.

I can’t begin to describe how much I love this story and the fact that Shelley Davidow has so much insight and such an understanding of children that she created it. The Wise Enchanter actually makes me wish that I could go back to the time before I learned to read and enter the magic world of words through this rich and wonderful door. I especially love that the story is so very like the worlds I created for myself in those pre-written-word days, yet carries with it the assurance that there are depths of goodness in the world and that searching for them is a worthy, yea, necessary thing to do. What could be a better way to introduce our written language to a child? This book is a beautiful creation and a gift to treasure.

Here’s a small sample, from the Prologue:

[The Wise Enchanter is on his magical island, and is troubled. He has called his daughter, Gadrun, to him.]

Gadrun ran to her father. A frown creased her brow. “Dear father,” she said, “I see that you are worried.”

“I am getting old,” he replied. “Without Wisdom, there can be no new Enchanters after I am gone. No children have come to my island for many years. It is happening just as I feared. Wisdom is fading in the world. Words are disappearing. The brightness in the sky is vanishing and the dark Cloud of Ignorance has grown suddenly dense. A new darkness is looming. Someone is being created in the deep. He is growing stronger every minute. If he is not stopped, he will grow immense. If he grows strong enough, he will rise up and devour every word and sound. The earth will become a cold, silent place, too terrible to imagine.”

“Who are you talking about?” Gadrun whispered.

“I do not like to utter his name,” her father whispered. “But I will say it for you. His name is the Master of Ignorance and Shadows. His name is Urckl!”

Gadrun grew pale and silent at the mention of Urckl. Once, some time ago, Urckl had found enough strength to send one of his messengers to the end of the world. Something terrible had happened then in the Enchanted Islands and Gadrun’s heart had been broken.

And thus, the adventure begins.

I should add that The Wise Enchanter is filled with soft black-and-white drawings that you can easily transform into main lesson drawings for the child(ren) you are teaching to recreate as each letter is rescued from darkness.

This is a wonderful, vibrant, masterful book — may your journey through it be rich and rewarding!

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