Today I am excited to bring you an interview with Nancy Parsons and a  Give Away from Nancy Parsons and Bob Lathe of Waldorf Books.

Nancy writes the Book Review Column for The Wonder of Childhood and co-manages the oldest online discussion group on Waldorf education, The Waldorf Education List and runs with her husband Bob Lathe the online book store, Waldorf Books , a treasure trove of information on Waldorf education where they love to answer questions about Waldorf education and anthroposophy. Nancy and Bob have translated about half of Rudolf Steiner’s pedagogical work that is currently  in print in English.

What brought you to Waldorf education?

Fundamentally, the birth of my first child.  I knew people who had trained as Waldorf teachers and had engaged in esoteric studies through my good friend Richard Koepsel in Madison, Wisconsin, but like so many parents, I had never given a thought to the question of “Education” before my first child was born.  Interestingly, as this question was emerging through the fog of sleep-deprived newborn parenting, Werner Glass  (founder and former head of what was then the Detroit Waldorf Teacher Training Center and then became Sunbridge College) came to town to deliver a talk on Waldorf education.  My daughter was only 2 weeks old, so we got permission from him that I could bring her.  Together we listened and I learned.

What I heard him say resonated so deeply within me that to this day I can recall it almost as a physical sensation.  For me, this wasn’t just learning about another way of teaching; this was the first time I had ever encountered anything or anyone that seemed to so clearly address what I saw was the reality of child development and how education can (and should) relate to it.  Literally, this one 2-hour talk changed the entire course of my life.

From that time on I worked with study groups, read voraciously, changed how our home was for our children and kept hoping and praying that somehow (think: miracle) there would be a Waldorf school for them.  Five years down the line we were suddenly transported to Los Angeles where my children entered school at Highland Hall.  I have never looked back so far as my commitment to the education is concerned, and continue to hold in gratitude that it is here and available to increasingly more children, whether at home or in schools.

What advice do you have for parents?

If I had one wish, it would be that parents could learn and then take to heart the developmental model that Rudolf Steiner presents in The Education of the Child.  If more people could really live into the reality of what he is saying and couple it with their own experience, I think the world would be beautifully enriched and gladdened.  And children would be raised and educated in ways that would empower, enwarm and free them.

What advice to you have for homeschoolers who are now planning the 2011-2012 year?

My key advice to homeschoolers, or to any parents really, is “never, ever do something for your children that you don’t really, truly believe in.”  First of all, you won’t really be able to do it; secondly, whatever you do manage will be compromised by your own inner uncertainty.  Regardless of how much you think something is supposed to be the right thing to do, if your heart doesn’t agree, it will not work on behalf of your children.

I personally believe that the Waldorf approach to educating growing human beings is the best available, but if you are uncertain, then please, please, do what you are certain of.  Conversely, don’t allow yourself to be pressured into other methods of education is you really believe that Waldorf is best for your children.  This is truly a place where “follow your heart” is much more than a catch phrase; it’s a necessity.  With each year of my life, I can see this much more clearly, and this is what I would share with anyone who asked.

Thank you Nancy.

Nancy and Bob are offering a gift certificate for $25 for Waldof Books

To enter the Give Away, join our mailing list by signing up in the blue box below and leave a comment below.

The drawing for the winner will be announced here on this page on Saturday, June 4th.

The winner is… Crystal Wood, Congratulations Crystal !

40 Responses to Give Away and Interview from Waldorf Books

  1. meg says:

    Oh this would be lovely! I am hoping to order a few things before fall… actually today I had the idea it would be awesome to own their store… I would be in heaven!

  2. Kathleen L says:

    Subscribed! Thank you for the giveaway! :)

  3. Sandra M says:

    That would be so nice to win! I am already subscribed to the mailing list of The Wonder of Childhood.

    Thanks for the chance!

  4. Sarah says:

    Thank you for bringing us this…I’ve ordered from their site before and would love to win! There’s no end to the books I want to read… :)

  5. ida says:

    thank you for the opportunity!

  6. Alisa says:

    Waldorf homeschooler would love some new books! My kids need readers!

  7. Becca says:

    Such wise words! What a generous giveaway! Thank you!


  8. Marjorie says:

    I am subscribed. I love Bob and Nancy’s. I could spend a gift certificate very quickly :)

  9. creekrose says:

    the advice for homeschoolers really resonates with me. i’ve found that even the teensiest bit of doubt about what we’re doing can kink up the entire experience in numerous ways. children seem to instinctively feel that bit of uncertainity and they’ll grab it, unravel it, and get down to the bottom of the matter, so we can go from there with truth . . . . truth resonates. it helps to clear away before hand as it saves a lot of time . . . although even the unravelling has it’s own processs that when honored can be educational in it’s own unexpected way!

  10. Marcia Kimpton says:

    Thank you for all you have done. Your website has always been a wonderful resource.

  11. Crystal Wood says:

    I have subscribed. Thanks for the chance to win such a lovely giveaway. We are excited to finish up our first year of Waldorf homeschooling and I am already planning for the fall.

  12. carrie says:


    Thank you for the generous giveaway. I love perusing their site. :)

  13. Karen Traversy says:

    I have read Bob and Nancy’s site for many years and ordered books from them. Thanks for the giveaway!!

  14. Kara May says:

    I really need this giveaway! I just read Beyond the Rainbow Bridge & You Are Your Child’s First Teacher and I am hooked! I love the Waldorf ideas I would love to start homeschooling my 4 year old son and 6 month old daughter in this way. I think it would be prefect for my son he loves to be creative and to explore nature and I love all natural wood and cloth toys. I hate plastic and overly stimulating, creativity killing toys (although my son has tons from the in-laws). (I don’t know what kind of little person my daughter will be yet) I’m not really sure what books I should get I don’t really know where to start. I would love to read The Education of the Child and I would love to learn some handiwork so I can start making toys and dolls for my kiddos and eventually teach them too! Fingers crossed I hope I win :) Thanks! Oh I subscribed!

  15. Michelle says:

    This would be so wonderful! Thank you for the opportunity!

  16. Lindsay E says:

    Done! Thanks for the chance to win!

  17. Kristin Lambert says:

    I love Bob and Nancy’s Bookshop! I could spend days on their site. I am currently prepping for our next order for books for next year. :) I really appreciate the detailed reviews of each book. It helps me to make wise choices to fit our resource needs and our budget and really helps me to save time debating whether each book is the right one. Thank you for the giveaway and especially for the encouragement to follow our hearts. I am already a subscriber.

  18. Christine says:

    Subscribed… looking forward to seeing who wins! :)

  19. Susan says:

    I subscribed after reading another post then ended up here. What a great site!

  20. Denise says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to win. I’ve been a customer of Bob and Nancy’s for several years and appreciate the thoughtfulness behind each one of their selections.

  21. Dara says:

    Thank you! We love your work!

  22. Debbie says:

    I LOVE ordering from Bob and Nancy’s bookstore! They have wonderful books and my orders always arrive very quickly. I am already subscribed to the Wonder Of Childhood mailing list.

  23. Jennifer W says:

    I am already subscribed. Glad I found out about Waldorf Books.

  24. Elizabeth says:

    Oh this would be fabulous as I still have a few items on my list for next fall.

  25. Carli says:

    What a great resource for everyone. Thanks for the giveaway :)

  26. Eva says:

    Thank you fo your inspiration!

  27. Devin says:

    I love your store! Thank your for the generous give away and your insightful words.

  28. keri says:

    Beautifully written! Thank you for sharing this story.

  29. Karen says:

    Thank you for the gift certificate,
    and congratulations to the recipient!

    I love the reminder, to only do for your child what you believe!
    I remember having misgivings about a lovely professional woman,
    who was of course doing exactly what she thought best …
    and after weeks of giving the sessions a go,
    my husband reminded me of the very same thing,
    that if I have any misgivings, to just let her go.
    Anything else is really counterproductive — for her or me or my child!

  30. Tori says:

    Subscribed for your newsletter. I have rising first grader at home and a book wish list a mile long! Thank you for such a generous give away and for making Steiner’s books accessible to all of us!

  31. Lisa says:

    I love Bob & Nancy’s! I have ordered so many things from them since homeschooling. This giveaway would be great! Thanks for offering!

  32. Carolin says:

    Oh, I already subscribe and would LOVE to win this for our homeschooling endeavors!

  33. Tanya says:

    Thank you for such a generous giveaway! This would most definitely be useful as I am beginning to gather materials for the 4th grade.

  34. domestic diva says:

    Thanks for the chance.

  35. Lubka says:

    Already subscribed. Have a 3 and 1 year old and reading all I can before they are ready for schooling. This would be a great help!

  36. Jennifer Miller says:

    Oooh, lovely giveaway! We have been buying from Bob and Nancy’s for years. They are such a wonderful company. Thanks so much for the giveaway. Peace, love and light.

  37. Tracie says:

    Oh delightful! Thank you for the opportunity. I have so much I wish I could get from their bookstore right now. Loving your articles and appreciating the effort and work it takes to do all of this.

  38. Christa says:

    I just found your website and magazine and am so excited. I love ordering from Bob and Nancy!

  39. Emily says:

    Thanks for this!

  40. nando says:

    Oh, what a joy! I am trying to learn as much as I can so I can be a better parent to my little one, so this would be a great help for sure!

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