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Heaven on Earth: A Handbook for Parents of Young Children Paperback – August 1, 2006
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About the Author
Stephanie Gross has viewed the world through a camera lens for nearly twenty-five years. A freelance photographer, she holds a bachelor's degree in fine arts from the Rhode Island School of Design. She lives on a farm in the foothills of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains with her husband Charles and her son Emmet, who spent two wonderful years in Sharifa's magical Rose Garden.
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Top Customer Reviews
The next book was "Beyond the Rainbow Bridge, Nurturing our Children from Birth to Seven," by Patterson, Bradley & Riordan. This was a great intro to Waldorf style parenting. It was a quick, easy read with a lot of good information, but again it left me wanting to know more about how to implement the ideas of fesivals & rhythms.
I finally purchased "Heaven on Earth" (recommended by a Waldorf kindergarten teacher at a parenting meeting I went to), and I finally found what I'm looking for. This book has the theory, talks about how children learn, is easy to read, and has all the how to information I was looking for. She gives the elements of festivals, then goes step by step through a few sample festivals, including a fall apple festival and an Easter festival (which I plan to do this year).
She talks about toys, gives sample stories to tell children at different ages, talks about discipline, rhythms, how to set up an indoor play space and how to set up an outdoor play space, how to incorporate children into your daily chores and much more.
It would be very difficult to incorporate everything she talks about in this book, but it's easy to pick and choose a few things you want to improve or change. I knew I wanted to do some annual festivals, but had no idea where to start. I love her ideas for children's birthdays, Christmas and Easter.Read more ›
I love the notes in the margins to help find information quickly, or as a reminder once you have read the book. It is a book that I could see going back to over and over. One of the ideas that I loved was the one about helping children through problems. Instead of telling them what to do, or talking about it with them, tell them a story using their toy animals and such, letting the protagonist animal have their same issue. That way they can see their own issue dramatized and they can take it in so much easier and with less stress. No lecturing...just a story. How's that for a great idea? (I know the Native Americans often problem solve with stories, but I could never figure out how to do it "naturally." Now I know!) And that's just ONE of the ideas.
The book also gives ideas for the day to day rhythms of family life, seasonal celebrations and birthdays. It reignited my respect for the magical essence of young children, and my passion to help them flourish!
This book is a keeper.
We ordered this book because were interested in an introduction to the Waldorf method of schooling/learning. There are lots of great ideas in here about activities for you and your children, how to create an environment that fosters creativity, the way that play shapes children's life and learning, etc. I really found some of the guidance helpful. However, we found as many challenges in the book as we did strengths.
First, the Waldorf method of learning and teaching is pretty specific. The author writes as if there is a specific way that you SHOULD structure your child's world in order for him/her to learn and grow and, essentially, for him or her to turn out well. It isn't so much presented as ONE way of raising children, but the best way and one of the only ways in order for your children to turn out well. And it is very specific about things that just don't seem like that big of a deal: she goes on for pages about the sort of clothes that are best for children to wear. I mean, okay, of course you want your kids to have comfortable clothes, but the time spent on really specific things like this seems to be a bit much.
Second, this book assumes that everyone must live in the country and have enough time and money to design very specific sorts of play environments for their children. There is a whole industry of buying specifically Waldorf toys and learning materials, which is the last thing we need: more specific, expensive things to buy.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
wonderful book for parents of toddlers. Lots of great information on stories and outdoor play and even lesson plans.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book is full of wonderful ideas for creating a lovely, nurturing home environment for your children. Read morePublished 6 months ago by SCann2
I absolutely love this book! It is full of so many great ideas and insights into child development, as well as reminders that young children are not small adults and do not benefit... Read morePublished 8 months ago by mamamama
Lots of helpful ideas on how to create a home routine for a young child from a developmental point of view.Published 10 months ago by Kelli
Loved it. It supports gentle parenting, attachment parenting, natural consequences and raising children softly.Published 10 months ago by Honey of Honey's Life
It was exactly what I expected and was hoping for - a thoughtful guide to creating a nurturing family environment based on rhythm and childhood wonder. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Amy Hill