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#1 of 26 Old 06-17-2004, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Where can find more information about the Waldorf philosophy? Books? A list of schools by area?

What do you love about Waldorf? Dislike? Are your children satisfied, happy, healthy in this environment?

TIA!
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#2 of 26 Old 06-17-2004, 04:08 PM
 
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www.openwaldorf.com You can find links to many many Waldorf sites with lots of info. I think it's www.awsna.org this site list all the Waldorf initiatives, sponsered and accredited schools in North America.
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#3 of 26 Old 06-18-2004, 12:08 AM
 
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Here are some other links you might enjoy reading:
http://www.waldorfresources.org
http://www.waldorfhomeschoolers.com
http://www.bobnancy.com
http://www.fortnet.org/rsws/waldorf/faq.html - FAQ on Waldorf education

For a list of schools and initiatives - http://www.awsna.org

Books I would recommend:
You are Your Child's First Teacher by Rahima Baldwin Dancy - great for learning about how the Waldorf philosophy is incorporated into parenting practices

Understanding Waldorf Education by Jack Petrash - easy to read, basic info on the philosophy behind Waldorf education and the approach it takes in the classroom from early childhood to high school.

The things I love about the Waldorf philosophy (my girls are only 20 months old, so this is more about Waldorf early childhood):
Following what is truly developmentally appropriate for young children
The importance of learning through free, creative play as opposed to pushing early academics
The importance of rhythm in the lives of young children
Storytellling, songs, toys that allow the child to use imagination
Not exposing children to media, commercialism
The goal of raising thoughtful, creative thinkers, well-rounded human beings, not just children who can memorize and recite facts.

Things I dislike:
I don't know a whole lot about Rudolf Steiner, but there are some things he said outside of the realm of the educational approach that can be controversial.

I think Waldorf sometimes gets a bad rap from people who look at some of their practices and think "wow, that's weird" without knowing what the philosophy is behind it.

That's what I can come up with off the top of my head right now!

Dana, mom to Avery & Natalie 7 , Cole 4 , and Baby #4 on the way!
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#4 of 26 Old 06-18-2004, 11:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks! That's exactly what I was looking for!
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#5 of 26 Old 06-22-2004, 02:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by springmama
Where can find more information about the Waldorf philosophy? Books? A list of schools by area?

What do you love about Waldorf? Dislike? Are your children satisfied, happy, healthy in this environment?

TIA!
http://www.waldorfcritics.com


The educational problem is that it is a concept born in the darkest era of the Industrial Age, and is a philisophical reaction from a class of elite that abhored the industrialization of the common man.

Nothing wrong with that.

Except that it is now out-of-date. Providing children an education steeped in the reactions of the Industrial Age, when we are moving rapidly into the Information Era, is not only a step back (by any measure) but a denial of the problems and opportunities faced by children in their futures.

a

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#6 of 26 Old 06-22-2004, 08:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Alexander
Except that it is now out-of-date. Providing children an education steeped in the reactions of the Industrial Age, when we are moving rapidly into the Information Era, is not only a step back (by any measure) but a denial of the problems and opportunities faced by children in their futures.
Alexander,

Please give me a description of an appropriate form of education for children in the Information Era? Or an example? I'm curious. Thanks.

Nana
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#7 of 26 Old 06-22-2004, 11:22 PM
 
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What our world needs is a generation of Waldorf Type Children - adults. I have heard some think htat Waldorf kids are hindered or not up to date however that is untrueALl I know is even though there isnt a Waldorf school in my area by the time my DS is ready its either Homeschool Waldorf , get a teacher where we live or most likely try montessori. I will not however place him in Public Schools ( my opinion ) however especially where i live i feel as though PS does not help the child get ready for the real world skills where as waldorf seems to do; such as simple things like the Arts ( cooking, crafts) I probably havent explained myself very well but hopefully kinda got my point across (its late and im starting to :

Michele

OH a great book is BEYOND THE RAINBOW BRIDGE nurturing our children form birth to seven) Also if anyone is interested you can Email me as I have an extra copy of the Magical Child
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#8 of 26 Old 06-23-2004, 10:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Alexander
http://www.waldorfcritics.com


The educational problem is that it is a concept born in the darkest era of the Industrial Age, and is a philisophical reaction from a class of elite that abhored the industrialization of the common man.

Nothing wrong with that.

Except that it is now out-of-date. Providing children an education steeped in the reactions of the Industrial Age, when we are moving rapidly into the Information Era, is not only a step back (by any measure) but a denial of the problems and opportunities faced by children in their futures.

a
Totally disagree with you. Waldorf kids are prepared to face the world as individuals and do quite well in college. I don't think you know what you are talking about.
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#9 of 26 Old 06-23-2004, 11:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Deborah
Alexander,

Please give me a description of an appropriate form of education for children in the Information Era? Or an example? I'm curious. Thanks.

Nana
Summerhill in the UK, all the Sands schools are pretty good, Sudbury Valley Model Schools, and the Windsor School in Vancouver are clearly leaders.

Any school that allows children to develop their interests freely and at their own pace, to be responsible for their environment (not just clearing up but decing the rule that they should all follow) is a place that begins to address the training of skills needed in the Info Era.


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#10 of 26 Old 06-23-2004, 12:19 PM
 
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Not all children thrive in Sudbury or totally child led learning. Also, Waldorf children are very prepared to thrive in the info age as they are very independent thinkers. My child is very bright but not very motivated to stretch in directions of little interest. Waldorf has made him a very balanced person instead of the total egghead he leans toward. He wouldn't be learning to jump rope, ride a unicycle or dance if he wasn't being gently pushed to do so. He will pick up computers very quickly in a couple of years when he is older. Now, he needs to be outside running, jumping and exploring.
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#11 of 26 Old 06-23-2004, 02:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Rhonwyn
Totally disagree with you. Waldorf kids are prepared to face the world as individuals and do quite well in college. I don't think you know what you are talking about.
Well, it is quite a few years since I properly researched the fundamentals of Waldorf, so my "facts and figures" are from memory, not from my hot-link armory.

However,

I have never said that Waldorf children are not prepared to face the world as individuals.

I hold the view that they are generally well ballanced individuals. Mostly, I suspect, this is more because they come from loving families than because of any educational advantage gained from "edu-spiritulism" (Anthroposophy).

"Do quite well in college". What does that mean? Compared to what? If we take a sample of parents with similar backgrounds (mostly educated and/or caring or professionals) that do NOT send their children to Waldorf schools, do you think these children will do less well at college than Waldorf children?

And there is another thing.

Waldorf education was born in the depths of a desperate time, and much of the anatomy of a school is a good antidote to the early mechanisation of the work place, (wooden toys, gentle music, discussion opportunities, art etc..). However, it has always been about preparing children for the rigures of industrial life, (though at the elite end of it) and I can hardly think of a better example of industrialization in education than the post modern university system we find undergrads in today.

Very different from the elite university educational environment of Steiner's time! But closer to the stratification of victorian society, and the struggles of individuals to both fit in and elevate themselves into a better earning bracket through self-improvement.

The Steiner system itself is from the victorian period, authoritarian, deeply paternal and socially un-enlightened, though we, blinkered by our own industrialized existance (that is almost all of us) may not at first clearly and immediately understand where the fault lies.

The fact is, in a marvelously victorian manner, Steiner takes the worst of the obviously bad environment and replaces it with something else (and by default better, since almost anything is better than for example, 9 year old girls working in rows, blindly following rules in large rooms, whether it be the modern US classroom, or a match factory etc),

The big question is, is his program of education, (harp by a certain age, no violin before (whenever because the child's spirit is not ready or whatever), no "dark" colours, only those of the rainbow (so help me!), discourage children from drawing machines (cars, planes, anything man-made) etc), an education that can be considered one that empowers children, and readies them for the Information Era?, or could we call that a left-over of another age along with his other ideas that place coloured people as "sub"-species, no "interbreading" with Jews, etc?

The growing middle classes, the industrialists and the monied intellectual class of which Steiner was a part was able simply to buy a different environment for their children, protecting them from the uncomfortable realities of latter-day imperialist industrial society.


These days, some of the schools may well have progressed, (banning Jews is simply not any longer acceptable in most scools) and there may not be the continuous analysis of the development of the spirit through paintings and colours. And schools do still allow children to run around outside etc. None of these things are bad, but the fundamental point I'm am making is that these schools are founded on a reactionary principle of the late 19th century.

For many people, that is fine. Perhaps they see the world largely as a continuation of the Industial Age, or perhaps they feel that the reaction to 19th century European Imperialist Industrial Society is enough.

Or maybe they don't think about any of this.

School systems that still plant their roots in the 19th century and have not adapted far enough for the Information Era will simply be irrelevent to today's four year olds.

Empowerment for an Industrial Society in the Industrial Age is different from empoerment for an Industrial Society in the Information Era.

Subtle, but different.

a

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#12 of 26 Old 06-23-2004, 03:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Rhonwyn
Not all children thrive in Sudbury or totally child led learning.
I really am tempted to say that this is absolutly true, but experience has taught me time and again, that children have their own time-table for everything, and they will thrive later, not never. Parents that panic that their children are not conforming to their idea of progress, or some chart or other, pull the kids before the children have a chance to get a grip of their place in their world.

Also, children that have had an excess of adult led activities need much more time than otherwise to re-learn the basic skills of self-motivation and action that were atrophied by well meaning adults "educating" them.

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Also, Waldorf children are very prepared to thrive in the info age as they are very independent thinkers.
Perhaps. And that is good. Independent thinking is key.

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My child is very bright but not very motivated to stretch in directions of little interest.
So, you let him exercise his independence right? And do what he feels is right for him.

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Waldorf has made him a very balanced person instead of the total egghead he leans toward. He wouldn't be learning to jump rope, ride a unicycle or dance if he wasn't being gently pushed to do so.
Yeah, but that is the classic paternal victorian Industrial Age thinking, creeping into what is meant to be a school that encourages independent thinkers.




Pushing someone to do something (however gently) IS taking the position that this person is better off not being empowered to make some decissions for himself. The same ends (an educationally well rounded individual) can be achieved without any "gental pushing" at all. It is really hard to find that environment, but Waldorf isn't, I believe, it.



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Originally Posted by Rhonwyn
He will pick up computers very quickly in a couple of years when he is older.
Why mention computers? Why not painting, or mechanical engineering or philosophy? Why computers?

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Now, he needs to be outside running, jumping and exploring.
Very healthy. But only if it is not at the expence of allowing him to fully exercise his independence.

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#13 of 26 Old 06-23-2004, 03:22 PM
 
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When do you allow them to stay home alone? Everything has a developemental place including academics. I am an engineer and I work with many lopsided people because they were never pushed to stretch in any area other than academics which is where they wanted to be anyway. Waldorf works to produce a well rounded, independent thinker but independence is not granted until the child is developmentally ready. Granted this does not occur for all children at the same time but it will happen at approximately the same time for many children. A good teacher will present material as the class is ready for it academically, emotionally and socially.

More independence is granted as the child matures. We don't let 16 year olds vote in politics for very good reasons. Some 16 year olds no doubt are ready to vote as not all 18 year olds are ready. I wouldn't want my child to make the majority of the decisions for himself at 8. My child does make some - which summer camps to attend but he doesn't have a choice about learning to swim or read which I view as life skills. Independence is granted slowly until full independence is gained at 18 or so.

I only mentioned computers because you brought up the information age.
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#14 of 26 Old 06-23-2004, 05:46 PM
 
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Springmama~ As you can probably tell, the Waldorf/Anti-waldorf arguments can be very passionate. It is not a bad idea to look at the waldorf critics website. Although go into it with an open mind. The writers of this are very hate-filled, and although entitled to their opinions are misinformed and have constrewed many facts and quotes. A very good way to find out more about Waldorf is to find other Waldorf parents in your area and hang out with them. Tap their brains, visit their school, etc. As any type of school can vary from area to area, so can Waldorf. So get the vibe from local mamas.

Some moms on MDC have had (many more have just heard of) bad experiences with Waldorf education. They will throw these stories at you readily. So beware, and try to read those good books yourself, and experience things IRL, so as not to get scared off by bad stories that someone heard from someone else who heard it from someone else... kwim?

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#15 of 26 Old 06-23-2004, 07:33 PM
 
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I was so bummed out by the Waldorf Tribe thread going away that I may have been a bit snippy. Thanks for you great reply.
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#16 of 26 Old 06-23-2004, 09:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander
Well, it is quite a few years since I properly researched the fundamentals of Waldorf, so my "facts and figures" are from memory, not from my hot-link armory.

However,

I have never said that Waldorf children are not prepared to face the world as individuals.

I hold the view that they are generally well ballanced individuals. Mostly, I suspect, this is more because they come from loving families than because of any educational advantage gained from "edu-spiritulism" (Anthroposophy).
I can answer this one fairly directly. My daughter and I are very similar in intelligence and general ability. I had two parents until I was 13 (when my father died), she had one. I went to a waldorf school for two years as a teenager and she attended for 13 years. Overall she is well ahead of me in a variety of areas: arts, music, math, science. We are neck and neck in literacy, general life skills, etc. I am way ahead in history (but that is my subject).

One of the interesting experiences I had working as the business manager at a waldorf school (1999-2002) was the number of parents who had waldorf envy. These were people who had just the kind of background you are talking about, coming from affluent, loving families. They were suffering because the education their children were getting at the waldorf school seemed so much richer than the education they had received.

Quote:
"Do quite well in college". What does that mean? Compared to what? If we take a sample of parents with similar backgrounds (mostly educated and/or caring or professionals) that do NOT send their children to Waldorf schools, do you think these children will do less well at college than Waldorf children?
Well, my daughter supported herself through 6 years of college and acquired an engineering degree and (this is a joke, please) a really delightful husband. I think she did okay out of her waldorf education.

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And there is another thing.

Waldorf education was born in the depths of a desperate time, and much of the anatomy of a school is a good antidote to the early mechanisation of the work place, (wooden toys, gentle music, discussion opportunities, art etc..). However, it has always been about preparing children for the rigures of industrial life, (though at the elite end of it) and I can hardly think of a better example of industrialization in education than the post modern university system we find undergrads in today.

Very different from the elite university educational environment of Steiner's time! But closer to the stratification of victorian society, and the struggles of individuals to both fit in and elevate themselves into a better earning bracket through self-improvement.
So are you saying that waldorf education is in fact a good prep for coping with the modern industrialized college system? These remarks are unclear.

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The Steiner system itself is from the victorian period, authoritarian, deeply paternal and socially un-enlightened, though we, blinkered by our own industrialized existance (that is almost all of us) may not at first clearly and immediately understand where the fault lies.
Speaking as a historian who has studied the victorian period, this is nonsense. Sorry. Waldorf schools are not anything like victorian schools, nor are they purely a reaction to the faults of victorian schools.

Quote:
The big question is, is his program of education, (harp by a certain age, no violin before (whenever because the child's spirit is not ready or whatever), no "dark" colours, only those of the rainbow (so help me!), discourage children from drawing machines (cars, planes, anything man-made) etc), an education that can be considered one that empowers children, and readies them for the Information Era?, or could we call that a left-over of another age along with his other ideas that place coloured people as "sub"-species, no "interbreading" with Jews, etc?
Please, do retract the mispelled comment on Jews. Not correct. For one thing, a significant number of Steiner's followers in Europe were Jews. For example the founder of the Camphill movement was an Austrian Jew who had to flee to England when the Nazis came in. Two of the major anthroposophists in the U.S. were Jewish refugees from Hitler who fled to England as children: Werner Glas from Vienna and Rene Querido from Holland.

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The growing middle classes, the industrialists and the monied intellectual class of which Steiner was a part was able simply to buy a different environment for their children, protecting them from the uncomfortable realities of latter-day imperialist industrial society.
Steiner's parents were peasants who had risen, slightly, in the world. His father worked for the Austrian railway system as a stationmaster. Steiner got his excellent education via scholarships and supported himself for many years by tutoring. He may have raised himself into the intellectual class, but he was never "monied." Of course affluent parents have always shielded their children. It goes with the territory and is one of the major motivations for pursuing affluence...


Quote:
These days, some of the schools may well have progressed, (banning Jews is simply not any longer acceptable in most scools) and there may not be the continuous analysis of the development of the spirit through paintings and colours. And schools do still allow children to run around outside etc. None of these things are bad, but the fundamental point I'm am making is that these schools are founded on a reactionary principle of the late 19th century.
The only circumstance under which Jews were banished from waldorf schools was during the Nazi era. The schools were closed down by 1938, except for one school in I think Hamburg. An interesting circumstance is that the waldorf schools in Germany were the first schools to be reopened by the occupation government because they were not tainted by Nazism. Waldorf schools have struggled against racism, not supported it. For example, the schools in South Africa were integrated before most other schools, and waldorf schools were opened in the Black townships. Some of the teachers at the school where I was employed were making monthly donations to support a black student at a waldorf school in South Africa.

Quote:
For many people, that is fine. Perhaps they see the world largely as a continuation of the Industial Age, or perhaps they feel that the reaction to 19th century European Imperialist Industrial Society is enough.
Or maybe they don't think about any of this.

School systems that still plant their roots in the 19th century and have not adapted far enough for the Information Era will simply be irrelevent to today's four year olds.

Empowerment for an Industrial Society in the Industrial Age is different from empoerment for an Industrial Society in the Information Era.

Subtle, but different.
My granddaughter is one of those poor waldorf four year olds. I'll have to let her know that her education is irrelevant.

Thanks for sharing your opinions. I'd appreciate a bit more fact checking (and a bit of spell checking wouldn't hurt either).

Nana
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#17 of 26 Old 06-23-2004, 10:54 PM
 
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I was so bummed out by the Waldorf Tribe thread going away that I may have been a bit snippy.
Me too!


Thanks for the post Nana! And to the OP, please, read the books that were recommended. Ive been reading all the suggested ones thru the public library, bought some here on the Trading Post, and have enjoyed all of them, esp Beyond the Rainbow Bridge. All the information you need is there. Then visit the Waldorf school you are considering. Once I met with the teachers and the director there, had my questions answered......I felt really great with my decision to send my dd there in 2 years. I also have 2 gf's that are teachers at Waldorf schools.....
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#18 of 26 Old 06-26-2004, 12:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Rhonwyn

I only mentioned computers because you brought up the information age.
Yes. I understand. However, the Inforamtion Era is not about computers, (although they are remarkable tools for the search and processing of information). The Information Era is about ideas, and problem solving (another coincidence with programming, as much thought is needed to be put into the solving of complex and unfamiliar problems brought about by the advent of computers).

A child of the Information Era is just as likely to be successful in design, painting, teaching or business, a mechanic, plumber or welder. A child of the Information Era is in this way equipped, that to any new situation, profession or problem, s/he can bring teamwork, insite, problem-solving skills and a vision of "the big picture" that today are generally lacking in the workforce at large.

Such a person may well never touch a computer.

Hope this helps.

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#19 of 26 Old 06-26-2004, 06:18 PM
 
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Yes. I understand. However, the Inforamtion Era is not about computers, (although they are remarkable tools for the search and processing of information). The Information Era is about ideas, and problem solving (another coincidence with programming, as much thought is needed to be put into the solving of complex and unfamiliar problems brought about by the advent of computers).

A child of the Information Era is just as likely to be successful in design, painting, teaching or business, a mechanic, plumber or welder. A child of the Information Era is in this way equipped, that to any new situation, profession or problem, s/he can bring teamwork, insite, problem-solving skills and a vision of "the big picture" that today are generally lacking in the workforce at large.

Such a person may well never touch a computer.

Hope this helps.

a
It involves all these things but everything is introduced at age appropriate times. The children learn knitting, crocheting, sewing, cooking, gardening, Japanese, Spanish, drawing in many media, painting, several music instruments, singing, wood work, etc. Things are not presented in a rote manner and almost always involve problem solving and team work. Some things, like the basics are presented in rote but also in several different formats so the visual learners, the aurol (hearing) (sp?) learners and the kinetic learners are all addressed. They also learn to work as a group and to respect one another.

The children learn to approach a problem from all sides and to listen to all points of view. They learn from observation and doing.

The teacher is there as a guide leading the way. Yes, the children have to do things they don't want to. My son is encouraged to dance, sing, do circle games and interact with large groups. This is growing him as a person and making him more well rounded. If he were left to himself, he would only read, draw, do math, science and history, and interact with others in small groups or one-on-one. He would never jump rope, play a circle game, play a flute, be in a play and many other things if left to himself. He has plenty of time everyday at home to focus only on the things he likes.
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#20 of 26 Old 07-02-2004, 11:02 PM
 
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I just got this book to try to start some early Waldorf type things with my 9 1/2 month old daughter. There are a lot of songs in the book. Is there a tape/CD out there to go with it?? We don't have a piano so I'm not really sure how the songs go. Is crossing the Rainbow Bridge a better book? I have that one coming and can't wait to get it. Thanks.
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#21 of 26 Old 07-02-2004, 11:41 PM
 
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I think there is a CD for 7x the Sun. Over the Rainbow Bridge is a really good read, but not along the same lines at 7x. Another book similar to 7x is A Child's Seasonal Treasury. I find it much more practical, and turn to it much more often than 7x. You are your Child's First Teacher is one other "must read" IMO!

Have fun and go to addall.com to find the best prices on used books, since those can empty the wallet pretty darn fast! (Don't mean to be advertising, or anything, I just hate to see people spend more $$ than they have to)

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#22 of 26 Old 07-03-2004, 10:11 AM
 
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Yes, there is a CD that goes along with Seven Times the Sun. The only place I've ever seen it is on the Nova Natural website. I've actually been trying to find where to get it to sell on my website!

You might also like some of the CD's & Songbooks by Mary Thienes Schumemann. She has one called Sing a Song With Baby that has lots of songs and finger/toe games for babies. Her website is at Naturally You Can Sing

HTH!
Dana

Dana, mom to Avery & Natalie 7 , Cole 4 , and Baby #4 on the way!
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#23 of 26 Old 07-04-2004, 12:00 AM
 
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I ordered the CD today. Thanks so much for the website. I did a Google search and the other site that came up was charging more than double the price!
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#24 of 26 Old 07-04-2004, 08:31 AM
 
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photosmile2.gifBabs + trekkie.gifCurtis - Parents of Tempest blahblah.gif(08/07/03 autismribbon.gif), Jericho angel2.gif(11/01/05 ribboncesarean.gif), Xan moon.gif(10/03/06 uc.jpghbac.gif), Zephyra baby.gif(06/02/11 hbac.gif). mdcblog5.gif @ babyslime.livejournal.com

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#25 of 26 Old 11-23-2004, 09:04 PM
 
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So we are a Waldorf family and it has been wonderful in so many aspects of our lives....I could go on and on about it.

But my point here is to say I have respect for Alexanders views. I do not believe he is coming from a hateful state of mind at all. He is stating what he came away with from the information he has gathered. The same information hit a different cord with me than me, but such is the world!
I think that this discussion thread has been a good one of great dignity for the most part ---- I've read a lot that have been horribly mean-spirited and I appreciate a good natured debate.

As with all things in life - - learn as much as you can about something, it's either going to sit well for you or not!
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#26 of 26 Old 11-23-2004, 10:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfie
So we are a Waldorf family and it has been wonderful in so many aspects of our lives....I could go on and on about it.

But my point here is to say I have respect for Alexanders views. I do not believe he is coming from a hateful state of mind at all. He is stating what he came away with from the information he has gathered. The same information hit a different cord with me than me, but such is the world!
I think that this discussion thread has been a good one of great dignity for the most part ---- I've read a lot that have been horribly mean-spirited and I appreciate a good natured debate.

As with all things in life - - learn as much as you can about something, it's either going to sit well for you or not!
I agree with you. This thread includes several examples of disagreements that did not get nasty, although they could have.

Someone on Mothering had a great signature line:

"breath in, breath out, repeat"

When I find myself suffering from an excess of indignation I find it truly excellent advice. It is also a good thing to use as a response if you get hit with an outraged e-mail from someone. I tried it once (elsewhere) during the lead up to the election when everyone was screaming. The person who had written a truly angry, nasty e-mail and got my single line response, came back with a friendly return e-mail, basically thanking me for having a sense of humor.

But it ain't easy...

I have noticed that I am most likely to go overboard and get rude when I have a sneaking feeling I'm at least partially in the wrong about something. Brings on the self-righteousness every time!

Nana
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