….and into the fire I leap. You can see my controversial opinion of the RIE movement that is making inroads into Waldorf Early Care here : http://christopherushomeschool.typepad.com/blog/2010/03/review-a-warm-and-gentle-welcome-a-wecan-publication.html
For those of you who have not heard of this movement, here is the beginning part of the review I wrote that explains what is happening:
A Review: “A Warm and Gentle Welcome: Nurturing Children from Birth to Age Three”
“This is the Gateways Series Five book which consists of a series of articles compiled from the work of the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America RIE/Pikler Working Group. I bought this book because I am a Waldorf homeschooling mother with an extreme interest in the Early Years. Also, as a neonatal/pediatric physical therapist, I really wanted to understand more about the RIE/Pikler approach that is seems to be becoming part of the world of Waldorf for children from birth to age three.
Unfortunately, I found I had more questions than answers after reading this book than when I started.
The underlying assumption of this book is laid out in an article of Introduction by Trice Atchinson and Margaret Ris: that there is a growing conviction within the Waldorf movement to “respond to the needs of the times” (ie, child care for younger and younger children) and because Rudolf Steiner’s indications for working with children and adolescents in Waldorf schools had been put to practical use for many decades, little existed on how best to meet the needs of children at the very beginning of life – particularly in light of societal trends such as daycare, single parenting, dual working families and the isolation of at-home mothers.” Therefore, a working group associated with WECAN began to investigate Resources for Infant Educarers, or RIE, founded by Magda Gerber, as a resource for the child at the beginning of life.”
To read the whole review I wrote, please see the link above. I have grave and serious concerns about this approach, which my review details.
For those of you looking at Waldorf early, early care (for birth to age three), please do a bit of research regarding this issue and see how you feel about it; really talk to the provider and see what approach they use within their care. This way you can make the best decision for your family.