School Readiness Today
A Report from the Pedagogical Section of the Goetheanum
Geseke Lundgren, Claudia McKeen, MD, Barbara Ostheimer, Rainer Patzlaff, PhD, Claus-Peter Röh, Martina Schmidt, MD, Edmond Schoorel, MD, Michael S Urschitz, MD
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The authors, each expert in various aspects of early childhood development and pedagogy, approach their subject from a variety of perspectives, ranging from physical development to social development, cognitive development and studies demonstrating the impact of early academic education and more. This little book is a powerhouse of information and insight, and comes with a multitude of illustrations in color and duotone that chronicle the changes in human beings from birth through the early grades. Especially interesting are the full color reproductions of children's artwork that follow the development of different children over time. Being able to "see" these children develop is a fascinating journey as well as being concrete evidence of the changes taking place within each human being.
This research was originally presented at a colloquium at the Goetheanum in February 2013.
From Kindergarten into the Grades
Insights from Rudolf Steiner
Selected and edited by Ruth Ker
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In going through this outstanding collection of Rudolf Steiner's thoughts and observations of 6-7 year old children, I was struck at almost every page with how extremely practical his suggestions are, and how very clearly insightful he was.
This gathering of Steiner's thoughts about children at this age can serve parents, teachers, and caregivers in so very many ways: as a quick resource of useful suggestions as to how to help children through "bumpy times;" as an enriching account of the lives of children during this transition period; as food for thought as we find our own way with the very unique children in our care; as a bellweather indicator of how much and how little has changed in the 100 or so years since Steiner penned and spoke these words.
Ruth Ker is to be highly commended for her wisdom and discernment in the excerpts she has chosen to present. Her compilation is masterful, its potential to help the world's children beyond reckoning.
Recommended without reservation!
On the Play of the Child
Indications by Rudolf Steiner for Working with Young Children
Selected and edited by Freya Jaffke
2nd English Edition
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This new edition combines two resources that came into being just before and after the international gathering of Waldorf early childhood educators in Dornach, Switzerland in 2005. In On the Play of the Child, Freya Jaffke compiled statements by Rudolf Steiner about play and related topics, to serve as study material for the conference. Playing, Learning, Meeting the Other collects five of the lectures that were given at the 2005 conference, around the themes of play, development and learning, and the all-important encounter with the other. Together, they provide important insights that can inspire and inform our work with young children.
The Journey of the 'I' into Life
A Final Destination or a Path Toward Freedom?
Edited by Nancy Blanning
Lectures from the 2012 International Waldorf Early Childhood Conference at the Goetheanum
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The Journey of the "I" into Life presents us with the notes and transcripts of gleaned from five lectures given in 2012 by medical doctors, early childhood educators and a consulting Waldorf class teacher. It is a rare combination of crystal clear thought and facts presented through hearts filled with warmth and love. I have seldom been as moved as I was to read these lectures, and felt my understanding of human development was not just enhanced, but very much deepened as well. It is hard to convey in just this bit of writing, but there was something so poignant and wonderful about being able, for instance, to see the photographs of the progression of development of human synapses from 0 to 3 years. Combined with the thoughts being expressed by the lecturer (in this case, Dr. Michaela Glöckler), I found myself in the presence of a process that is in and of itself miraculous: it is a miracle that such development is possible, and a wonder that with it's indescribable fragility and mutability it most often leads to the emergence of fully capable adult human beings.
This little book in its entirety is filled to the brim with moments and revelations like this one. I would wish that everyone be allowed to encounter what it contains.
Under the Stars
The Foundations of Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood Education
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Under the Stars is a profound and practical anthology on the principles and methods of Waldorf early-childhood education. The purpose is to help early-years educators deepen their insights into Steiner's inspiring, holistic understanding of children. Rather than providing recipes, the book presents the author's thought-provoking insights and principles that arise from lifelong work in kindergarten education. He ideas will free educators to transform their ways of observing children, their practice, and their self-development.
- Recognizing and nurturing the life forces of the young child.
- Thinking and the consciousness of the young child.
- The development and the education of the will, including an appendix on moral education in early childhood.
- Relationships in early childhood: attachment, separation, individualization.
- Children in the modern world.
- Supporting movement development in the early years.
- Self-directed play in early childhood. Art experiences in early childhood education.
- Self development and child observation.
- Incarnation as a guide to self development.
Dr. Renate Long-Breipohl taught kindergarten for many years and now advises and lectures around the world in early-childhood education and with the Sydney (Australia) Rudolf Steiner College. Her books originate as much from her own experience and research with young children as from Rudolf Steiner, though she believes that engaging with his thinking is a crucial foundation for educators. She is also the author of Supporting Self Directed Play in Steiner/Waldorf Early Childhood Education (WECAN, 2011).
Under the Sky
Playing, Working and Enjoying Adventures in the Open Air
A Handbook for Parents, Carers and Teachers
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Sally Schweizer presents a fresh world of possibilities for children in both urban and rural areas, opening doors to expanded experiences of life in the open air. Packed with anecdotes, games and practical activities, Under the Sky is a vibrant resource for parents, teachers and carers.
What can children do outside? How about singing, whittling, chatting, climbing, digging, and making dens? They can build, run, watch small creatures, count tree rings, listen to stories, perform puppet plays, learn woodworking, and investigate the many forms of bark. Outside, children can enjoy quiet conversations or make a big noise, be alone or be with others. And that's just the beginning ...
Under the Sky is an invaluable guide for everyone who wants to help children cultivate play and imagination. It features ideas for planning expeditions and adventures, toys and equipment, and activities for the four seasons and the four elements! It includes plans, tips and advice on child-friendly outdoor design, materials, surfaces, seating, gardening, pets, wildlife—even campfires, picnics and train journeys. Under the Sky also includes a chapter on how educators can work toward formal “early years” government goals.
Adventures in Parenting
a support guide for parents
Rachel C Ross
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Adventures in Parenting is such a lovely book. It is like having a wise grandmother at hand, one who answers so many of the perplexing questions that young parents find themselves puzzling over as they raise their children.
Rachel Ross beautifully discusses the joys and concerns almost all new parents experience and goes on to discuss everything from parenting styles and the patterning we carry from our own parents to discipline and boundaries, developmental issues, and how to create a home that fully nurtures your children while it also nurtures you.
I want to add that her section on developmental issues is brilliant (Rachel is an remedial movement/eurythmy teacher). Her list of difficulties and solutions is unlike anything I've ever seen in print - I think if this were the only thing in the book, it would still be a treasure of priceless worth and will be comforting and liberating to parents everywhere.
El Desarollo del Nino y la Educacion Preescolar Waldorf
(The Devleopment of the Child and Waldorf Early Childhood Education - Spanish Language only)
Editado por Louise deFores
A WECAN Publication
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Louise selected six essential, fundamental articles for Waldorf early childhood educators by Joan Almon, Joop van Dam, Helmut von Kügelgen, Susan Howard, Roberto Trostli, and Freya Jaffke. We hope this little volume will become a valuable resource for our colleagues in Mexico and elsewhere in the Spanish speaking world, who do not yet have an equivalent of the English-language Gateways newsletter.
- Prólogo - Susan Howard
- Las Leyes de la Niñez - Helmut von Kügelgen
- Las Etapas del Desarrollo en la Primera Infancia - Freya Jaffe
- Comprendiendo la Imitación a Través de una Mirada más Profunda al Desarrollo Humano - Joop van Dam
- El Papel Vital del Juego en la Educación Preescolar - Joan Almon
- El Jardín de Niños Waldorf: El Mundo de la Primera Infancia - Roberto Trostli
- Conceptos Esenciales de la Educación Preescolar Waldorf - Susan Howard
What Babies and Children Really Need
Sally Goddard Blythe
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This book represents a milestone in our understanding of child development and what parents can do to give their children the best start in life. The author uses the latest scientific research to demonstrate how a baby’s relationship with the mother has a lasting and fundamental impact. She emphasizes ways that changes in society over the past fifty years—such as delayed motherhood, the limited practice of breastfeeding, and mothers’ early return to work—interfere with important developmental milestones that are essential to success and well being in later life.
“We need a state,” says Sally Goddard Blythe, “that gives children their parents and, most of all, gives babies their mothers back.”
What Babies and Children Really Need is an important book for parents of young children.
- Conception and Society: The Politics of Fertility
- Does Early Development Matter?
- Events Surrounding Birth
- Events Following Birth: Risk Factors
- Movement Instinct
- Language Instinct
- Building on the First Year: The Neuroscience of Developing Emotions
- Factors Parents Can Control
- What Needs to Be Done?
Creating a Home for Body, Soul, and Spirit
A New Approach to Childcare
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Creating a Home for Body, Soul, and Spirit answers with beauty and love the needs of children everywhere, and conveys a joyous hope to all adults how care for those children.
Because she took seriously the fact that many homes require the parent(s) to work away from their young children, and because she has such a great love for children and our world, she created one of the most beautiful and life-giving childcare centers anywhere.
In Creating a Home, she shares not only pictures of the life of Awhina (her center), but something more: she goes on to relate clear the developmental needs of the fourfold human being and in the most practical terms discusses how it is that caregivers can meet them within young children. Her's is a stirring, heartwarming account that is at the same time clear and deep.
Anyone who cares for children, particularly other people's children, will want to read this book and commit its wisdom to heart. I truly believe that the future will smile in return.
In a Nutshell
Dialogues with Parents at Acorn Hill, A Waldorf Kindergarten
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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
- Bedtime Ritual
- Feeding a Child
- Swords vs. Guns
- TV Away from Home
- 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?
The First Seven Years: Physiology of Childhood
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Bob and I have always believed that Steiner delivered the seminar, known in English as Foundations of Human Experience or Study of Man, as information and insights to be used. It is, therefore, deeply exciting to come upon a book such as Schoorel's The First Seven Years, written as it is from someone who has been doing precisely that: using and applying and developing a living understanding for the material Steiner shared with the teachers of the original Waldorf School.
Schoorel's approach is wonderful - he takes a particular topic, describes it thoroughly then moves on to relate it to physiology and environment. So, for instance, when he discusses "the birth of the etheric body", he not only offers a clear and meaningful picture of what that means for the developing human being, but then discusses what physiological changes mark this process as well as how environment affects it.
For anyone interested in or working with young children, this book is a treasure to be turned to again and again. It fosters understanding as it also gives much food for the sort of thought that deepens and enlightens. The First Seven Years is a gift to teachers, parents and most especially to our children.
The Genius of Play
Celebrating the Spirit of Childhood
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This is essential reading.
Christopher Clouder, Alliance for Childhood
Sally Jenkinson explores the secrets of play through moving stories and research. And what she reveals to all of is that play is essential for children's health, for their future as adults, and for the future of our world.
The author, a mother and former Steiner Waldorf Kindergarten teacher doesn't miss a beat in this extremely inportant book. She asks:
- What do children express in their play?
- How does play help develop empathy and social skills?
- How are children invluenced by inappropriate toys, TV and consumerism?
- How does play develop children's imaginations?
- Why do children need adults who encourage play?
- How lively childhood players become creative adult thinkers.
If you want to enter and understand this world of childhood, or if you want to make considered, healthy choices for your own child, this book is what you've been looking for. Thank you, Sally Jenkinson!!
The Young Child in the World Today
Part of the Gateways Series
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Wonderful! Some of the best articles published by Gateways on some of the most pressing concerns of the day.
Topics covered include new health problems of children and youth, sexual abuse of children, ADHD, violence and electronic media, TV and ADD, virtual reality and the child's growing mind, and child development and television.
Putting all these article inside one cover is a great idea - thank you, WECAN!
Compiled from articles published in the Newsletter of the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America.
Working with the Angels
The Young Child and the Spiritual World
Part of the Gateways Series
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Working with the Angels is clearly the result of intense, deep, sustained love: the love of each article's author for children and the world; the love of those responsible for publishing each article in its turn over the years; the love of the current editors in gathering all these remarkable insights and experiences together in one place; and, of course, the love of the angels for us.
This is a collection that is almost palpably alive with love and with love's possibilities. And with that, I'm going to let the contents speak for themselves:
Working with the Angels
- Working with the Angels, Archangels and Archai - Helmut von Kügelgen
- Conversation about Angels and Human Beings - Helmut von Kügelgen
- Finding a Connection to the World of the Angels - Helmut von Kügelgen
- The Meaning of Angels in Education and Self-Education - Michaela Glöckler, M.D.
The Destiny of the Child in Our Times
- Working with the Karma of the Young Child - Margaret Meyerkort
- Walking and the Incarnation of Destiny - Joan Almon
- Continuing the Work of the Hierarchies - Werner Glas
- Early Childhood and the Consciousness Soul - Joan Almon
- Threshold Experiences of Children and Adults - Helmut von Kügelgen
- Religion of the Young Child - Elizabeth Moore-Haas
The Gateway of Birth - the Sistine Madonna
- Raphael's Sistine Madonna - Is It Approriate in the Kindergarten? - René Querido
- The Sistine Madonna in the Waldorf Kindergarten - Joan Almon
- The Sistine Madonna - Symbol of the Eternal in Humanity - Rudolf Steiner
The Gateway of Death - Working with Death in the Kindergarten
- After-Death Care in the Home - Beth Knox
- Helping Children in a Time of Trouble - Nancy Foster
- Helping Our Children and Loved Ones at the Threshold of Death - Nancy Jewel Poer
- A Festival for a Threshold Crossing - Patricia Owens
- Birth into the spiritual World - Nancy Blanning
- A Story for Mia - Louise de Forest
- Grandma's Dream - Sheila Rubin
- For Anastasia and Her Dear Grandmother - Cynthia Aldinger
The Inner Path
- Self-Development as a Basis for the Relationship Between the Child and the Adult - Michaela Glöckler, M.D.
- Through the Eye of the Needle - Felicitas Vogt
- The Path of Inner Schooling - Jorgen Smit
- The Spiritual Foundations of Waldorf Education - Michaela Glöckler, M.D.
Compiled from articles published in the Newsletter of the Waldorf Early Childhood Association
The Gateways Series: Mentoring in Waldorf Early Childhood Educaton
Compiled from the workof the WECAN Mentoring Task Force
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When I first saw the title of this book, I confess I expected some fairly dry essays as its content. I am delighted to report that the articles it contains are warm, lively, beautifully and deeply considered and come from a rich selection of those who have mentored in many different settings. In short, if mentoring is something you or your school is ready to explore, you couldn't find a better guide than this one.
- Self-Education as the Basis for the Art of Mentoring
- The Role of Mentoring Early Childhood Teachers and Caregivers: Context and Purpose
- Laying the Bass for the Mentoring Visit
- The Essentials of Waldorf Early Childhood Education
- The Mentoring Observation: What Do We Look For?
- The Art of Fruitful conversation
- Pearls of Wisdom: The Role of Advice in Mentoring
Accountability: Written Records
Meeting at the Eye of the Needle: Mentoring on the Path of Adult Learning
Free to Learn
Introducing Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood Education
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Originally $24.00 -
This is the most thorough, interesting and inspiring introduction to the Waldorf kindergarten to yet appear in print. The author is to be congratulated indeed!
In the Steiner/Waldorf kindergarten, the teachers' approach stems from a belief that children's early learning is profound, that childhood matters and that the early years should be enjoyed, not rushed through. Free to Learn invites and presents a considered discussion of:
This is a unique guide to the principles and methods of Waldorf Early Childhood Education. It comes complete with a wonderful collection of photographs taken inside the kindergarten - those alone make this book a must-have addition to your library. Lynne Oldfield, a master kindergarten teacher, offers an invaluable picture of a stress-free childhood, exciting ways of seeing children, and a heartfelt respect for childhood. A wonderful book!
Ready to Learn
From Birth to School Readiness
Martyn Rawson and Michael Rose
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When are children ready for school? Many parents are concerned about 'too much formal schooling too soon.'
Ready to Learn will help you consider the transition from kindergarten to school. The key is a lively grasp of child development in the first seven years that includes:
- The physical, soul and spiritual aspects of child development
- How children 'grow down' into their bodies
- How language and senses develop
- 'Reading readiness,' and the place of computers
Simple tests for school readiness Ready to Learn is an excellent starting point for both teachers and parents. Here is an understanding of child development and the ever-changing needs of maturing children that is unusually detailed and insightful.
- Dr. John Pearce, Professor Emeritus in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Nottingham University
Toymaking with Children
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Originally $25.00 -
Freya Jaffke managed to breathe her many years experience as a master Waldorf kindergarten teacher into a volume capable of inspiring, guiding and reassuring new parents toward a balanced, beautiful life with their children. This is a hands-on approach that is deeply suited to working with and understanding young children. This is a book to enjoy in the deepest sense of the word, and makes an excellent companion to Work and Play in Early Childhood.
The new edition adds color photographs, more toys to make (more joy to bring!), and wonderful discussions of which toys to give to children at what ages, how to create a beautiful, nurturing environment, even tips for clean-up! I have loved this book since it was first published - this most recent incarnation elevates it from "wonderful" to "must have."
Nurturing Children and Families
One Model of a Parent/Child Program in a Waldorf School
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Sarah Baldwin has created a beautiful portrait of the grace that a Waldorf parent/child program can be -- for the parents, the children and the entire community. She writes from her heart, from her considerable knowledge of children and families, and from her experience leading the Ashwood School's Parent/Child Class. The result is a book that covers all the bases, from why to have such a class at all, to what sort of qualities a parent/child teacher needs, to a detailed description of the rhythms of day and season in her own class. In addition, about half the book is devoted to discussion about parent education, space, publicity, festivals, field trips, birthdays and more. Finally, there are brief descriptions of other Parent/Child classes at other schools.
All in all, this is a beautiful, delicious resource -- one which will inspire and guide anyone interested in young children, families and the fostering of healthy community. Like a small seed on fertile soil, I can see this book growing beyond its covers until it shares its harvest with all who pass by.