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#1 of 21 Old 10-26-2005, 02:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all, just spent 30 minutes skimming some of these threads and I feel more confused about waldorf than when I started. Where to start? What is a good book or two about waldorf or rudolf steiner for parents thinking about waldorf education in the next year or two or three. (dd is 2.5 now). I really like the emphasis on the head, heart, and the hands and what I have seen seems calmer and gentler then public schools. I've been a public school teacher for 12 years in Seattle and am glad to be a sahm now and don't want to go back. Too chaotic and too focused on testing and the funding situation is a disaster. We are not particularly religious so catholic, christian schools are out. The academically advanced schools and the rigorously academic ones don't appeal to me at all. Montessori seems too structured to me. I don't think dd would like it. I want dd to have a more holistic education. I am going around visiting waldorf preschools in our area starting tomorrow and I will also ask teachers what books they recommend.

And, Pete, you can be sure I will ask about the religious aspect of anthroposophy.
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#2 of 21 Old 10-26-2005, 08:19 AM
 
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My first pick would be You Are Your Child's First Teacher by Rahima Baldwin Dancy

Great for nature studies! http://www.pleinairkids.com
Plein Air Kids - Handmade wooden art boxes for Budding Artists.
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#3 of 21 Old 10-26-2005, 08:25 AM
 
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AWSNA (association of waldorf schools in north america) website
ASA (anthroposophical society in america) website (anthroposophy.org)
waldorfworld.com---lots of info and links for a waldorf beginner
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#4 of 21 Old 10-26-2005, 09:04 AM
 
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I posted a thread with the open houses in Seattle. I would check out the Kindergarten ones and maybe even the grade school ones for an idea of what Waldorf is in Seattle.
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#5 of 21 Old 10-26-2005, 10:10 AM
 
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Boongirl... Have fun looking into this! Definately ask direct questions regarding religion and the dogma of anthroposophy and how it relates in the classroom. Ask this of all the people you speak with at the school. Expect and insist on answers, trying to not let the questions be open-ended.
My personal experience has been that the elementary teachers tend to get to answer with many rosy pictured scenarios , which is wonderful and probobly valid-- it is the grade-school teachers you might want to interview to be sure if you want only a preschool experience or more.
By the way, We love Waldorf
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#6 of 21 Old 10-26-2005, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. I will check into the book. The websites I have already visited. They are too huge to be a good starting place, imo. I have information packets from both Seattle Waldorf Schools and will probably check them out in the next year or so at open house time.

Thanks for all your answers. Keep it coming!
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#7 of 21 Old 10-26-2005, 12:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boongirl
And, Pete, you can be sure I will ask about the religious aspect of anthroposophy.
OK, but I can't answer in this Support Only thread.

Pete

PS - Waldorf Education, A Family Guide is great from a Waldorf perspective (I don't agree with everything they say, but that's to be expected )
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#8 of 21 Old 10-26-2005, 06:51 PM
 
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Understanding Waldorf Education: Teaching from the Inside Out by Jack Petrash is exceptional, especially for a parent starting out, I think. It has a forward written by John Taylor Gatto, who is a long time teacher, but not in Waldorf education.

Linda
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#9 of 21 Old 10-28-2005, 06:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by boongirl

Thanks for all your answers. Keep it coming!
At http://www.waldorfanswers.org/WLiterature.htm you can find a list of literature on Waldorf Education. At the bottom is a link to another list, at Amazon.com, and to Book Reviews at Waldorf Resources (http://www.waldorfresources.org/reviews/index.html)

For some articles on Waldorf Education, see http://www.waldorfanswers.org/WArticles.htm and http://www.americans4waldorf.org/Articles.html

Good luck!
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#10 of 21 Old 10-28-2005, 08:26 AM
 
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A great site for waldorf home learners is http://www.christopherushomeschool.org
Excellent books from a home learners perspective, not school.
She also has a blog and monthly newsletters.

Simple Living, Joyful Homemaking, Homeschooling Mom of 6
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#11 of 21 Old 10-28-2005, 10:27 AM
 
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At the open houses, don't just talk to the teachers. Talk to parents with children who have gone through more than one grade. Talk to parents who seem to have a lot in common with you. I found that to be most useful in deciding if we'd fit in well with the philosophy, anthroposophy, etc...
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#12 of 21 Old 10-29-2005, 07:22 AM
 
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Try and make it to "A Walk Through the Grades" at your local schools. This is better than an open house in that it lets you actually get a glimpse into the classrooms while the teachers are there teaching the students. Also attend other events if you can. Our old Waldorf school (Waldorf School of Santa Barbara) put on an amazing "Halloween Journey" for little kids every year that was open to the public. In my opinion the festivals, plays and such are a really good place to check out the whole school community. For instance, I was sure our old Waldorf school was getting too elitist and was probably not the place for us when I noticed Bush/Cheney stickers on some of the other parent's monsterous suvs.

Judy mom to Dash (9), Corbin (7) and Will (3) :
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#13 of 21 Old 11-02-2005, 09:55 PM
 
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If you are looking for a book about the Waldorf approach to education, I highly recommend Understanding Waldorf Education: Teaching from the Inside Out by Jack Petrash. Its very easy to read (unlike many out there!) and does a beautiful job of giving a real picture of what Waldorf schools are like.

If you are looking into how to incorporate Waldorf philosophies into your parenting, I would recommend You are Your Child's First Teacher by Rahima Baldwin Dancy.

Websites:
www.awsna.org
www.waldorfworld.net
http://www.waldorfresources.org/
www.bobnancy.com
http://hem.passagen.se/thebee/waldorf/links1.htm

Dana, mom to Avery & Natalie 7 , Cole 4 , and Baby #4 on the way!
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#14 of 21 Old 11-03-2005, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
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My local waldorf school sent me this reading list, from their handbook.

Reading List

Family Life

Festivals, Family and Food, Diana Carey and Judy Large
Parents as People: The Family as a Creative Process, Franklin G. Kane
To Dance with God: Family Ritual and Community Celebration, Gertrude Mueller Nelson
Lifeways: Working with Family Questions, Gudrun Davy and Bons Voors
Waldorf Education, A Family Guide, Pamela J. Fenner and Karen L Rivers

Early Childhood

Your Are Your Child’s First Teacher, Rahima Baldwin
The Way of A Child, A.C. Harwood
The Education of the Child, Rudolf Steiner
Brothers and Sisters: The Order of Birth in the Family, Karl Konig
Work and Play in Early Childhood, Freya Jaffke
Children at Play, Heidi Britz-Creclius
Beyond the Rainbow Bridge: Nurturing Our Children From Birth to Seven, Barbara J. Patterson, Pamela Bradley
The Waldorf Parenting Handbook, Lois Cusick
The Incarnating Child, Joan Salter

Grade School Age

The Kingdom of Childhood, Rudolf Steiner
Rudolf Steiner Education and the Developing Child, Willi Aeppli
Toward Wholeness: Rudolf Steiner Education in America, M.C. Richards
Education as an Art, Rudolf Steiner and others
Portrait of A Waldorf School, A.C. Harwood
The Hurried Child, David Elkind
Teaching as a Lively Art, Marjorie Spock

Media and Technology

The Child and the Machine: How Computers Put Our Child’s Education at Risk, Alison Armstrong and Charles Casement
The Children of the Cyclops: The Influence of Television Viewing on the Developing Brain, Keith Buzell
Failure to Connect: How Computers Affect Our Children’s Minds – For Better of Worse, Jane Healy
A is For Ox: The Collapse of Literacy and the Rise of Violence in an Electronic Age, Barry Sanders
The Plug in Drug: Television, Children and the Family, Marie Winn
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#15 of 21 Old 11-13-2005, 09:33 PM
 
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Another great resource is a recording of a live lecture called "Full Disclosure" by Penni Sparks, which I picked up at the school's store but it's also available online at Penni Sparks (look for pull-down, "CDs available").

She is an absolutely fantastic, and very charming speaker, and this talk I believe was delivered to Waldorf homeschoolers at a WE homeschool conference but it does give such a good picture of the why Waldorf teachers do what they do at each particular grade and how it's meant to respond to the development of the child at each stage of the way.

I wish I'd heard all this when I was a new parent because I learned so much listening this.

Linda
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#16 of 21 Old 03-02-2006, 07:16 PM
 
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Boongirl, are you still in Seattle? I have visited both Bright Water School (North Capitol Hill) and Seattle Waldorf School (NE Seattle). I liked Bright Water School very much and will visit again. Take a tour and ask your questions!
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#17 of 21 Old 04-01-2006, 01:27 AM
 
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Another great resource for Waldorf home life is http://www.waldorfinthehome.org.
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#18 of 21 Old 07-25-2007, 08:47 AM
 
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Thanks for all the helpful information!
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#19 of 21 Old 09-27-2007, 04:07 PM
 
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One to add - Why Waldorf Works
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#20 of 21 Old 10-06-2007, 01:20 AM
 
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Boongirl, about anthroposophy, it doesn't bother me, but I think it would bother atheists and secular humanists. There is no shoving beliefs down anybody's throats, but I can see how some people may not like it's presence at all. It depends on your personal beliefs. Look into Montessori, too. Some Friends Schools, while technically Quaker, are pretty much entirely secular now. Good luck!
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#21 of 21 Old 10-06-2007, 12:06 PM
 
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I just went to a presentation on the 2nd phase of the study done on Waldorf high school graduates. There were many of them who didn't even know what anthroposophy was.

When I get a chance, I will add a link to the study.
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