'Have we come to misunderstand children? Have we forgotten that children's consciousness, their minds, are intrinsically different from ours? And is that why we are trying to train them to become "adult", rather than realizing we need to relearn our way of thinking in order to understand children?' Given the fast pace of modern life, traditional qualities associated with childhood - imagination, play, wonder...fun! - are in danger of being left behind. Surrounded by technology and pressured into early learning, the modern child is often bounced between the 'entertainment' of television and computer games and the premature intellectualization of early reading and school tests.
Sally Schweizer calls for a new evaluation of childhood and an awakening to the real needs of children. As a mother of four, and having spent more than three decades working in education (as a kindergarten teacher, teacher-trainer and advisor), she is well qualified to ask questions and offer solutions. Well, I Wonder is packed with practical advice, anecdotes, humour and delightful quotes from the children Schweizer has taught. Her approach is based on the study and practice of Rudolf Steiner's educational philosophy, but she writes from personal, first-hand knowledge gained from her long experience.
Schweizer guides the reader through the stages of childhood development and explains children's need of daily rhythm, movement and play. She emphasizes the importance of guarding the quality of imagination, and indicates the significance of festivals and celebrations. She offers helpful tips and wise advice throughout this well-illustrated book, which also features an 8-page colour section on the evolution ofchildren's drawings.
Table of Contents
Illustration credits viii
Growing Up: 'I can help myself on my own.' 5
Reflections: 'Children need little change-infrequently.' 26
Impressions: 'I like roses, they're nature.' 38
Joy in Movement, Word and Song: 'Careful,...Careful,...Careful!' 60
Inspiration and Play: 'Let's pretend we're dear little children.' 81
Imagination in Stories and the Media: 'Tell it again!' 104
Busy-Ness: 'Did God sew my hair on?' 114
Mealtimes: 'This tea makes my teeth shake.' 148
Sleep, Clothing, Illness: 'I've changed my mind.' 158
Celebrations: 'She's crying for joy!' 169
At Home: 'It's handy to have a support network.' 183
Practical Tips for Behaviour: 'It's all right now.' 191
Further Reading 213