There are a handful of books that make great introductions to Waldorf education. A couple of these books have been my go-to gift choice for new parents, or friends who are exploring education options.
This Waldorf Education classic was my first Waldorf book. It has been the first Waldorf book of innumerable parents. My own 14-year-old copy is tattered and worn and has been loaned out countless times. It’s relevent for ages birth-7, though it really focuses on the first 3 years. It beautifully describes a basic Waldorf approach to child-rearing, covering all of the basic parenting topics. The section on the care and protection that a newborn requires is particularly well-done, beginning with the title, “What was birth like for your baby?” It’s a lovely way to begin thinking about the care that a newborn needs.
The book doesn’t stop with the newborn, though. It goes on to provide a guide for artistic living, including tips for inspiring that creativity in your children.
The best part, though, is that it doesn’t scream “I am a Waldorf book!” so you can give it to friends who may not be interested in Waldorf education and they’ll still get a lot out of it. (And maybe by the end be convinced that Waldorf education is the way to go!)
This is a great book! It has sections on preschool, grade school and high school. It has a section for parents and for teachers. It’s a very practical book, but incredibly inspiring, too. The final chapter, called “Towards a Truly Human Education” is the best part and it does a wonderful job of describing what is truly unique about Waldorf education and how it is truly the antidote to so many of the world’s ills. Love. This. Book. I’m putting it back on my nightstand for a reread.
This book is written by Finser, a Waldorf class teacher. He describes his experience teaching a class from 1st through 8th grade. In addition to giving a good feeling about what it is like for a student and teacher to be together for 8 years, he does an amazing job of capturing the mood and feeling of each grade. A chapter is dedicated to each grade, which really helps to create that mood. When I was teaching I often printed out the chapter devoted to the grade I was teaching and passed it out to parents. The book is incredibly readable as you get to know Finser as a teacher and even some of his students. It includes two appendices that gives some of the theoretical background behind Waldorf education. Any parent considering Waldorf education for his or her child should read this book — I’ve given it as a gift many times.
This is a very sweet, inspiring book that covers the beauty of early childhood. It makes a lovely companion to You Are Your Child’s First Teacher and with sections on play, discipline, rhythm and the child’s senses, it is useful in an inspiring way. I remember when I first got this book I read it cover to cover in a night, by flashlight in our family bed. Great book!
These books are so high on my list of the Waldorf canon that I am hard-pressed to come up with a fifth book! Perhaps there are only 4 top introduction to Waldorf books. I’d love to hear, though, if there’s one I’m missing. Ideas? What’s the favorite book on your Waldorf shelf?