Help with Waldorf info. for babes - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-13-2005, 05:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My dd is almost a year old and I'm interested in finding ways to incorporate Waldorf ideas into the home. I also need a good place to start for introductory info. TIA!
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Old 07-13-2005, 05:59 PM
 
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Hi,

My daughter is very waldorf. She likes "You are your child's first teacher" by Rahima Baldwin. She also swears by a non-waldorf book called "Your Self-Confident Baby." I don't remember the author of that one. It seems to work. My 2 year old grandson could win prizes on self-confidence! He is also very realistic on what he can manage to do: his self-confidence is based on a very solid set of movement and thinking skills.

You might also try the waldorf early childhood education association. My brain isn't working this afternoon and I can't remember what they are properly named! Do a search on waldorf and "early childhood" and you'll probably find them.

Nana
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Old 07-13-2005, 06:27 PM
 
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oh yes, rahima is very good. There is some non-AP info floating around in some waldorf circles, so don't worry about any weaning/co-sleeping/separation advice that feels wrong to you.

If you have a local waldorf school, see if they have parents and tots - we did a few years of that and it was really fun.

Songs and fingerplays are what you're after at this age, I think.
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Old 07-14-2005, 12:55 AM
 
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We have a "Waldorfy" family and besides "You are your child's first teacher" I also really liked "beyond the rainbow Bridge", "Seven Times the Sun" (by Shea Darian, quite AP friendly, too) and "A Child's Seasonal Treasury(which has some nice ideas for toddler and up ). Some of these books are nice for thinking a little ahead. Waldorfhomeschoolers.org has some interesting info starting from conception on and Kytka who runs the site is very breastfeeding friendly.

One thing: If you do try reading "Your Self Confident Baby" (Magda Gerber) some of it may be down right hard to even read as an AP parent. I read it after it was recommended at a waldorf natural child development workshop and a lot of it rubbed me the wrong way. You just have to go with the being attentive to your baby message and ignore what doen't work for you.
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Old 07-14-2005, 11:21 AM
 
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NOt to derail this thread but "Your self confident Baby" rubbed me the wrong way too. The authur doesn't think co-sleeping is a good idea but suggest (more than once) giving a child a 'lovey'. I find that strange, attach your child to an item but not to a parent?

I am a Waldorf mom of 2 girls, my older dd starts 1st grade in Sept, she has been in Waldorf for the past 3 yrs. There have been times when my AP ways have been challenged and questioned by teachers, this after calling my dd 'perfect', go figure.

The books I do love: 'Beyond the Rainbow Bridge', again ignore the 9 month weaning stuff if you are into child led or extended bfd. 'Seven Times the Sun' is great, and my fav is 'You Are your Child's 1st Teacher'. Also as suggested, try a Waldorf Playgroup. Our school has playgroup from 6 months to 3 yrs and one specifically for the 1st yr.

Overall Waldorf is great and the playgroups are great places to learn so much about Parenting and a great place to meet like minded parents. Most of the moms at our school, extended breastfeed, cosleep, sling, cloth diaper, no vax, no circ, and each healthy organic or natural food. Not everyone is into everything but many are into something 'Natural'.

IF you can't find a playgroup near you, you can start one, my sil is starting one in Ireland after spending some time with my dds, her dss are 9&7, the 7 yr did playgroup when he was 3.

Good luck & have fun!
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Old 07-15-2005, 01:15 AM
 
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On Your Self Confident Baby: my daughter feels perfectly free to take what she likes from the book and ignore what she doesn't like. I don't feel like any set of ideas about child-raising should be treated as absolutely inflexible dogma.

Again, my grandson has benefitted from some of the ideas in the book. He is a calm, friendly, self-confident, physically coordinated 2 year old, firmly attached to his parents, his big sister and his grandmother.

Some of the ideas in the book seemed weird to me at first, but I went along because my daughter is the mama and she gets to decide how to raise her kid. To given an example: she told me not to pick him up immediately if he fell down--give him 10 or 15 seconds to digest what happened (unless seriously hurt) and then provide comfort if needed. So I tried it. He fell down while climbing on a set of small steps. I sat back. After a few seconds he picked himself up, stopped crying and started climbing again, more carefully.

What he learned, in my opinion: he is not dependent on other people to make him feel better. He is not dependent on other people to help him figure out what went wrong. He is not dependent on other people to help him figure out how to do something safely.

Another example: from birth his parents have both spoken to him whenever they handled or moved him. "Loren, now we are going to the changing table and changing your diaper." "Loren, I'm going to pick you up and go in the kitchen." This has had two main results: first his language comprehension was early and large, although he hasn't been in a hurry to start talking English. Second, he is very cooperative. In the winter, I could dress him up to go outside very easily: "Time for mittens." He holds out his hands. "Time for your hood." He tips his head. "Time for boots." Out stick the feet. At the time I'm thinking of he was about 18 months.

So far I've seen no signs at all of his feeling neglected, abandoned, unloved, but I've seen a lot of evidence of a thriving child.

What the hey, I adore both of my grandchildren, just as a grandma should!

Nana
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Old 07-15-2005, 01:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions everyone.

I actually have the book You are Your Child's First Teacher. I didn't realize it was Wldorf..someone just suggested it. I was going to read it next anyway!
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Old 07-19-2005, 08:03 PM
 
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I didn't notice anyone mentioning it - but thinking back to this age - the desire to have the child crawl before they walk is very important in Waldorf environments. The action of crawling coordinates the limbs differently than walking does (the opposing actions of hands and feet) and this is considered very desirable. Some kids, it seems, don't spend enough time (and I don't know exactly how much time is enough - maybe someone else can help here) crawling and want to go very quickly to standing and walking. In such cases, playing crawling games (puppy dog) may be helpful.

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Old 07-22-2005, 02:17 AM
 
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I definitely recommend You are Your Child's First Teacher, it's fabulous! Rahima also has an excellent website with so many informative articles at http://www.waldorfinthehome.org.

Another book you might be interested in if you are curious to read about the purer anthroposophical observations and thoughts regarding child rearing, the Incarnating Child is a very good choice in this regard. It was an interesting read but I still preferred YAYCFT (and has a very interesting section on the phases of movement development as they mirror evolutionary development on this planet).
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Old 07-22-2005, 03:12 AM
 
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Hi leomom :-)
My dd is 2 1/2 I can't believe all the different ways my life has lead towards a waldorf path..we are still on the journey
here is what I have found helpful or learned...I am still a newbie to it all

waldorf emphises rythum, rythum to your day, your week, your year
it may not seem too important what you do now when you celebrate a holiday, but your child will come to remember, eventually, and look forward to these events. there is a great book called feast, festivals & food (or family?) lol, sorry, it's late and another called all year round by ann druitt, christine fynes-clinton and marije rowling(the later I have) that is filled with ideas for foods, crafts, poems and making days special....waldorf also emphasizes the changing of the seasons

you have a rythum to your day and you include your child(because yours is so young), so you sing as you fold laundry, I just image taking pride in what ever you do, eventually your soon to be toddler will want to stir those eggs! lol

I mentioned crafts, now is the time you can make toys for your little one, not the type of crafts your baby/toddler will do, but crafts for mom 'handwork' like knitting, felting, embroidering, sewing, simple knotty dolls are a good start. to me, it's 'waldorf' when a child sees where a plaything came from and sees it being made(and eventually helps then makes their own)

natural playthings, soft muted colors(not bold and bright)

seasonal/nature table

nice songs and music for little ones (not really waldorf, but pretty popular) are the Sing a song series by Mary theines-schunemann
http://www.naturallyyoucansing.com/

websites and forums...
our own annette marie has a wonderful yahoo group and a great preschool book out :-) pm me(or her) for the link
http://www.waldorfinthehome.org/
http://www.waldorfhomeschoolers.com/
http://www.waldorfresources.org/index.php

:-)
warmly
Stacey
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Old 07-22-2005, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the extra info. everyone.

Stacey, can you tell me more about the seasonal table?
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Old 07-22-2005, 12:31 PM
 
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We have a seasonal/nature table. We add lots of found objects; acorns in fall, shells in summer etc. I also put a little happy birthday card on the table for whoever is having b'days that season. We also have lots of little wooden animals. We put bears in a cave in winter, some tiny mama and baby ducks out in spring. Things like that. I also add various little seasonal poems.
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Old 07-22-2005, 01:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leomom
Thanks for the extra info. everyone.

Stacey, can you tell me more about the seasonal table?
UUMom described the seasonal table (Nature table) well. Another wonderful seasonal tradition can be at Christmas (assuming you celebrate Christmas, of course). A manger scene is portrayed (I use a bigger table for this). Each day of advent another element is added. One day a cow may appear, or a sheep - sometimes crystals or stones or driftwood. Eventually, Joseph and Mary and on Christmas day, baby Jesus. After that the wise men (the three kings) can appear and daily they are moved closer to the manger until they arrive on January 6th. You can use anything to represent these things. I have done this with crystals and sea shells (some can look very king-like) but other choices can be made or even purchased wooden figures (Waldorf stores will happily sell you the entire scene). Another good choice is cloth doll figures - they are a lot of work but you can keep them year after year. I've used beeswax models sometimes but I happen to have a talent for beeswax modeling. You can keep it the same or vary it from year to year. It depends on how much emphasis you want to place on the figures themselves vs the ideas represented.

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Old 07-22-2005, 08:44 PM
 
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Seasonal tables are really referred to as nature tables :-)
There is even a nice website for nature tables http://naturetables.com/
lol, I am the link queen ;-)
If you go to that website you will see how they have a lip, so items don't fall off, they are contained.
Anyway, I use my fireplace mantle......before I started waldorf, I kept my rock collection there and candles, it's interesting to me how i did alot of 'waldorf-y' things before I found waldorf, anyhoo, lol

I change my mantle 4 times a year now and then add to it during each season. I put rocks, moss, leaves, bark and shells and anything else dd has found on a walk and I use these as props with little gnomes and fairies and minuature dolls I have made or bought (or swapped!). Some mornings(not all, as we are not that religious about anything, lol) we light a tealight candle there as I open the curtians. I now have a collection of watercolor postcards representing the seasons that I change.
Spring time I add wood bunnies, felted eggs, a flower bulb doll in a mini clay pot
summer, seashells
autumn, pinecones, leaves,
winter, holiday items, winter animals

sorry, I'm distracted, lol
there is a book called the nature corner :-)
and it shows you how to make stuff for it

neet websites to drool at are
www.thesilverpenny.com ...... she has great links, all her books are always on discount!

www.threesisterstoys.com ... she is soooo nice! She also has information pages on having a waldorf home

www.achildsdream.com ........start saving paypal ! lol

www.greentaramama.com .......she has a table all done up on her wood animals link and she also has a great yahoo list for natural parenting
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