Read Up on Waldorf for Free

It’s school tour season again, and I love sharing about the Waldorf-style school my daughter attends. It’s not a fit for everyone, but if it is, Waldorf education can be transformative for the entire family.

I have my elevator pitch about why it works for us, but people I talk to have lots more questions, like —

Why Waldorf school? Why delayed academics and no media? What is all that talk about “rhythm”? Is this stuff actually proven scientifically? Is all the spiritual stuff a bit strange?

Here are some suggested readings, almost all free and available online, on Waldorf education and its originator, Rudolf Steiner.

To start, the book Simplicity Parenting (free from the library!) is accesible to a general audience, no knowledge of Waldorf required. It makes the case for protecting our children from the stresses of modern adult life. Here is a great summary from Lisa Boisvert-Mackensie.

The first article on Waldorf education that really spoke to me was this one, on why play is important for children’s development before academic learning begins —
“The Vital Role of Play” by Joan Almon

The lightbulbs went off for me, and I finally felt I could practice this stuff at home (like the mysterious “rhythm”), as I read these two Waldorf education blogs and participated in Lisa’s E-courses. I don’t think one or two articles can capture it, but here are some places to start on both sites —

Lisa Boisvert-Mackensie’s Celebrate the Rhythm of Life
“The Foundational Senses” from The Wonder of Childhood online magazine
Carrie Dendtler’s Parenting Passageway

Next, here are some articles that local Waldorf schools have compiled, making the case for Waldorf education. New scientific research is supporting much of Steiner’s work.
From East Bay Waldorf School
From Golden Bridges School in San Francisco

Here are some examples of the many, many free online readings on Waldorf education and Rudolf Steiner at the Waldorf Library and the Rudolf Steiner Archive.

A collection of articles on the young child from the anthroposophical perspective:  The Developing Child: The First Seven Years

If you’re interested in reading Steiner’s work directly, I actually find it easier to understand than a lot of modern writers who write about him! Here is a great place to start, to understand the concepts behind Waldorf schools that come from anthroposophy: “The Kingdom of Childhood” by Rudolf Steiner.

Please post your suggestions if you have them. Happy Reading!

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