Annette wrote a lovely post about using stories beyond just The Brothers Grimm here: http://natural-childhood.blogspot.com/ Please do take the time to go and read it; Annette has some great thoughts about how to bring all this to your children!
Please do keep in mind that modern Waldorf schools in the United States and Europe now pull from a variety of cultural traditions for fairy tales, folk tales and legends besides just the Brothers Grimm. I know our local Waldorf school here in Kindergarten and First Grade uses a large number of African and Asian fairy tales. Besides that, different cultures, religions and places in world geography are addressed each year in the journey through the grades.
Luckily, in homeschooling, we can pick and choose the best for our family!
Here are some resources to assist you:
- If you are Waldorf homeschooling, you really should have Betty Staley’s book, “Hear The Voice of the Griot!” which is a Waldorf resource for teaching about Africa for Kindergarten all the way through high school. I wrote a review here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/01/10/hear-the-voice-of-the-griot/
- Here is a wonderful article “Diversity and Story in the Kindergarten” from Gateways: http://www.waldorflibrary.org/Journal_Articles/GW3303.pdf
- Here is an article by Donna Simmons tracing geography through the grades: http://www.christopherushomeschool.org/waldorf-homeschool-publishing-and-consulting/curriculum/subjects/geography.html
- There is a wonderful little booklet called, (can you guess?LOL) Multiculturism in Waldorf Education…In it are fairy tales from around the world appropriate for the Kindergarten Years – the tales are from Africa, Zulu, East Africa, Japan, Tlingit, and Micmac traditions. THere is also a list of multi-cultural picture books.
- Teach your children foreign languages, there are several posts on this blog about that. It is a great way to absorb information about new cultures. We are learning Spanish and German in our homeschool and interact with native speakers from Spanish and German speaking countries.
- Cooking is a great place to add in different types of foods from different lands in connection with festivals from those places.
- Music is another wonderful place to add in languages and ideas about how people from other cultures do things.
- Do work consciously to provide tales from many different traditions,and to really study cultures and geography in the grades. There are many wonderful archetypal tales out there for the younger crowd; you see similar themes appearing again and again.