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What Is a Waldorf Kindergarten?

Compiled by Sharifa Oppenheimer and Joan Almon

Here is the perfect companion to Sharifa Oppenheimer's Heaven on Earth: A Handbook for Parents of Young Children, which answers the initial and most pressing questions of new parents of young children. Inevitably, a big decision arises: How and where should my child be educated?

The authors featured in What Is a Waldorf Kindergarten? describe from experience the numerous aspects of the "Steiner school" approach to early childhood education. Readers will learn what lies behind the Waldorf kindergarten methods and the practical ways in which it is applied by teachers in the classroom. Throughout the book, the reader is guided by the sure and compassionate hand of longtime kindergarten teacher Sharifa Oppenheimer as she introduces the authors and each topic.

Given the confusing array of educational approaches available today, this book serves to clarify one of the most dynamic and successful approaches to beginning young children on the path of education and life in the world. An invaluable resource for parents of young children!

  • Foreword by Joan Almon
  • Part One: An Overview of the Waldorf Kindergarten
  • Introductions by Sharifa Oppenheimer
  • “A Day in the Life of the Kindergarten” by Ingeborg Schöttner
  • “Handwork in the Kindergarten” by Dora Dolder
  • “Human Development through Art” by Freya Jaffke
  • “Circle Time in the Kindergarten” by Nancy Foster
  • “Fairy Tales and the Image of the Human Being” by Helmut von Kügelglen
  • “Choosing Fairy Tales for Different Ages” by Joan Almon
  • “The Seasons and Their Festivals” by Joan Almon
  • Part Two: A Deeper Understanding of the Waldorf Kindergarten
  • Introductions by Sharifa Oppenheimer
  • “Stages of Development in Early Childhood” by Freya Jaffke
  • “Kindergarten Education with Mixed-Age Groups” by Freya Jaffke
  • “The Significance of Imitation in the Development of the Will” by Freya Jaffke
  • “Considerations about Kindergarten Readiness” by Joan Almon
  • Afterword: “Meeting the Needs of the Times” by Cynthia K. Aldinger
  • Resources

112 pp.  



Published:  October 2006


Sharifa Oppenheimer was the founding teacher of the Charlottesville Waldorf School, Virginia, where she taught kindergarten for twenty-one years and served as day care director of the early-childhood program. She has helped develop new teachers through teacher-training programs at Sunbridge College in New York State, and at Rudolf Steiner College near Sacramento as a master teacher offering practicum and internship opportunities. She has written many articles on Waldorf education, helping the parents of her students create supportive home environments. Recently she initiated a home-based kindergarten program, The Rose Garden. Sharifa is the mother of three grown sons, who received Waldorf educations. She lives in an enchanted forest in Virginia. See all books by Sharifa Oppenheimer
Joan Almon s a former Waldorf kindergarten teacher and coordinator of the Alliance for Childhood in the United States. She is also co-general secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in America and former editor of the Journal For Anthroposopohy. See all books by Joan Almon

Related Titles

Related Titles by Subject:

Waldorf & Special Needs Education and Waldorf & Special Needs Education: Early Childhood

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