Required Reading

 

From: golden3000997
Date: Sun Feb 15, 2004 6:58 am
Subject: Required Reading

In a message dated 2/14/2004 11:01:03 PM Eastern Standard Time, awaldenpond writes:

Hey - you might even consider asking a nice, well intentioned, understanding ex-Waldorf parent (hint <g>) to suggest what prospective Waldorf parents need to know. Then post your work at Waldorf web sites. Working together to make mutual understanding a reality in the world of Waldorf and it's critics. What delicious karma.

Hi Walden,

By the way, is your "awaldenpond" handle a reference to Gary Trudeau's "Doonesbury" (the early years)? If so, GO ZONKER!! Boy, I miss that comic!!

In regard to what you wrote above (and thank you for the compliments on my writing), I would like you to give me a list of exactly what you think should be offered to a prospective parent walking into a Waldorf School for the first time. The articles that I have posted have been written with exactly that in mind and I would like to know what other subjects you would also like to see. I have a couple that I haven't finished PDF-ing yet, but should be added soon. This is what I have so far:

1. Waldorf - Education for the Real World (I made a powerpoint presentation out of this, by the way and it came out really good!)
2. The Waldorf Kindergarten - not PDF'd yet - stay tuned
3. Fairy Tales in the Waldorf School - also working on formatting for PDF - sometimes it moves the paragraphs around.
4. The Rhythms of Life (Threefold Man comes in here)
5. Waldorf Watercolor Painting
6. Religion in the Waldorf School (pre-natal existence emphasized)
7. The Waldorf Approach to Reading (21 pages with illustrations!) (Sylvia Ashton-Warner - now SHE's MY "guru"!)

The article on Waldorf Funding is "in house" and just a proposal, but I think it might be expanded on for parents to consider, too. Needs lots of work, still.

Also, I "stole" a lot of pix from websites, 'cause I liked them! I need to go back and figure out which sites they are from and write the schools and ask for permission to use them or else get some others. But a lot of the pictures are Me! and my children and I can use them all I want. : )

The Curriculum content of each grade really deserves a full article for each one. And yes, a good, clear, accurate and balanced biography of Rudolf Steiner and the history of the Anthroposophical Movement, the inception and development of the Waldorf Movement and the inception and development of the Christian Community (to show that it exists and why it is not the "church of Anthroposophy" or "church of Waldorf".)

Already looking like a book, no? And we do put some terrific books right into the hands of prospective parents. But we can't make them read them! I would like it to be REQUIRED reading before an enrollment application was even accepted! Maybe we should have an entrance exam for parents - and I don't mean that facetiously at all. I think it would be a really good idea.

So, let's get a comprehensive list together. Assume that WE like Waldorf AND Anthroposophy and we want to present them honestly and positively. What other subjects?

Some more ideas:

Music in Waldorf Education
Eurythmy - Words and Music Made Visible
The Waldorf Approach to Mathematics
The Elemental World - Fairies, Gnomes and Spiritual Ecology
Computers, Machines and the Transition to High School
The Waldorf Approach to Science
Gymnastics, Sports and Physical Development in the Growing Child
Drama in Waldorf Education
Freedom and Form in Education
Multi-cultural Experience in Waldorf Education
Form Drawing - What, When, Why and How?
Handwork - Boys Who Knit, Girls Who Carve Stone

Some of these I could probably tackle, some, like Mathematics and Music would be best left to others. I could do them simply, but someone with more talent and experience could do them better.

The next "required reading" to get into MY Class is Erma Bombeck's "Motherhood, the Second Oldest Profession" and Bill Cosby's "Childhood." I will only accept parents into my class who are willing to laugh at themselves, their children and me! And there WILL be a test!!

Happy Sunday!
Christine

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From: Frank Thomas Smith
Date: Sun Feb 15, 2004 8:27 am
Subject: RE: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Required Reading

In regard to what you wrote above (and thank you for the compliments on my writing), I would like you to give me a list of exactly what you think should be offered to a prospective parent walking into a Waldorf School for the first time. The articles that I have posted have been written with exactly that in mind and I would like to know what other subjects you would also like to see. I have a couple that I haven't finished PDF-ing yet, but should be added soon. This is what I have so far:

Christine,

Where are these articles?

Frank

1. Waldorf - Education for the Real World (I made a powerpoint presentation out of this, by the way and it came out really good!)
2. The Waldorf Kindergarten - not PDF'd yet - stay tuned
3. Fairy Tales in the Waldorf School - also working on formatting for PDF - sometimes it moves the paragraphs around.
4. The Rhythms of Life (Threefold Man comes in here)
5. Waldorf Watercolor Painting
6. Religion in the Waldorf School (pre-natal existence emphasized)
7. The Waldorf Approach to Reading (21 pages with illustrations!) (Sylvia Ashton-Warner - now SHE's MY "guru"!)

...................................................................................................................................

From: golden3000997
Date: Sun Feb 15, 2004 8:51 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Required Reading

Daaaaarrrlling,

Right here on the AT Website ( I tooo-oooold you! ) : D

Anthroposophy/ Files/ Christine/ VOILA!

: ) Moi!

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From: golden3000997
Date: Mon Feb 16, 2004 4:43 am
Subject: Re: Required Reading

In a message dated 2/16/2004 3:00:24 AM Eastern Standard Time, awaldenpond writes:

Would you be willing to comment on why you think the words we have previously mentioned (karma, clairvoyant, reincarnation, etc.) are conspicuously absent in Waldorf promotional material? Thanks.

Hello Walden!

Too bad about the Zonker thing - If you have an interest in '70's humor, go to alibri and order some of Gary Trudeau's early books. Zonker used to go scuba diving in his "Walden Pond" which was a puddle. : )

I really don't know why karma and reincarnation wasn't mentioned. Clairvoyance is part of a larger theme, but I can really imagine myself writing a clear and basic intro to both. I'm certainly not "clairvoyant" or anything, but I think I can put the basic steps of Steiner's path into the context of other spiritual paths in a basic way. Also, karma and reincarnation have become much more widely accepted premises since,say, the 60's. I'll see if I can put something together in the near future.

Maybe this group just has a "karma" to "out" us in a way - to actually bring Anthroposophy to a wider "audience" than ever before! Personally, I still think that the reticence has been more caused by a desire to "leave free" than to "lie". But we may have gone too much in the other direction. Also, we do NOT feel that any parent or child has to "believe" in Karma, Reincarnation, Clairvoyance, etc. to be an effective part of the school. But I would say that they (meaning primarily the parents) certainly need to be able to accept that most or many of the teachers and other parents "believe" in the existence of these things and the value of these concepts.

I have known people in my life who grew up going to Catholic Schools. I have known one from a Quaker family, a Jewish family and an agnostic/ mostly atheistic family. In each case, the decision was made based on its being the best available education in their area at the time. It was made clear to the children that what their teachers (nuns) believed and taught about religion was the belief system of the church and school, but that they didn't have to believe it, nor did the parents believe it. This can, of course, create some conflict for the child, but since they were instructed by the parent to treat the school, the nuns and the religion classes with respect and to bring their questions home to discuss, none of these people had a major problem with it. And none of them became Catholics.

Yes, parents do need to know that their child will be exposed to these and many other religious concepts - not only in the class curriculum, but on the playground and in overhearing adult conversations (can't be avoided). That is why I stated at the very start of my "Religion in Waldorf Schools" article that Waldorf Education is definitely not for fervently atheistic or fundamentalistically religious parents and their children. Anyone who does not want their children "exposed" to a smorgasbord of religious ideas should "run for the hills" away from a Waldorf School. But I think we are "fundamentally unfundamental" :) and give a broader, more varied and more comprehensive overview than any other school system I know of. We do address religious "paths" in an intellectual way with high schoolers, but keep it more in the imaginative and mythological realm in the middle years.

OK - so more articles to write:
Karma and Reincarnation - Did I Really Ask for This?
Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition ("clairvoyance" is referred to as Imagination with a capital "I" - will bring the word clairvoyance into this directly)
Lucifer and Ahriman - Evil and Its Meaning in the World

Pretty ambitious, right? What do you think of my "Religion in the Waldorf Schools?" You haven't said. Would that have been a good first step for you if you had received it when you first went to a Waldorf School?

Let me know.

: ) Christine

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