Heaven on Earth: A Handbook for Parents of Young Children
As we see a shift of old forms that were once the foundations of our daily lives, parents—who must prepare the next generation to meet the changing world—have more questions today than ever before. Although our cultural values and family structures may change, it is the atmosphere in the home that continues to form the foundation of a child’s life. In Heaven on Earth, parent and educator Sharifa Oppenheimer reveals how parents can make the home environment warm, lively, loving, and consistent with their highest ideals.
Heaven on Earth balances a theoretical understanding of child development with practical ideas, resources, and tips that can transform family life. Readers will learn how to create the regular life rhythms needed to establish a foundation for learning; how to design indoor play environments that allow children the broadest development of skills; and how to create outdoor play spaces that encourage vigorous movement and a wide sensory palette. Through art, storytelling, and the festival celebrations, this book is an invaluable guide to building a “family culture” based on the guiding principle of love—a culture that supports children and encourages the free development of each unique soul.
Sharifa Oppenheimer offers a gift from the heart. Heaven on Earth is a practical, inspiring resource that brings the author’s informed, intuitive understanding of young children into the heart of the home.
C O N T E N T S:
How to Use This Book
1. How Our Young Children Learn
2. The World of Rhythm
3. Celebrating Festivals Together
4. Indoor Play
5. Outdoor Play
6. The Wonder of Stories
7. Artistic Experiences for Your Young Child
8. Other Topics Parents Wonder About
9. Creating Your Family Culture
About the Author
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.