A Review: “In A Nutshell: Dialogues with Parents at Acorn Hill”

I had a reader from Down Under ask my thoughts on this book as it would be expensive to buy it and have it shipped. 

Let’s take a quick peek at this little book:

It is about 91 pages long, and is formulated in a series of questions that parents ask and the author answers.

The Table of Contents:

(after the Foreword, the Preface, the Introduction):

Our Classroom Environment

Color in the Classroom

Why Curtains?

Teachers’ Dress

The Significance of Candles

Naming the Teacher

No Cars and Trucks?

What About Puzzles?

Musical Instruments in the Classroom

Work and Play at School

The Rhythm of the Morning

Saying, “You May”…

Ironing in the Classroom:  Danger?

Boys and Waldorf Education

Playing Cats and Dogs

Music in the Mood of the Fifth

Can Energetic Boys Enjoy Handwork?

Gun Play at School?

Field Trips?

Fairy Tales for Young Children

The Challenge of Circle Time

Puppetry and “Told” Stories

Children at Home

Colors for a Child’s Bedroom

Older and Younger Siblings



Bedtime Ritual

Feeding a Child

Swords vs. Guns

TV Away from Home


Forbidden Words?

Appropriate Gifts

“What Did You Do in School Today?”

Toys in the Neighborhood

Helping Children in a Time of Trouble – A Few Thoughts

Is the World a Good Place?

In Conclusion

About the Author


I have enjoyed this book and there is much food for thought here; however I do think many of these questions can be answered either by reading Steiner’s works or some of the classic Kindergarten Years texts that are out there such as “You Are Your Child’s First Teacher”, “Heaven on Earth”, or “Beyond the Rainbow Bridge.”   There is also a wonderful service available to us with free on-line articles of “Gateways” (a Waldorf Early Years publication) available through www.waldorflibrary.org that frequently addressed these types of questions.  Also, I would encourage you all to join some of the “National” waldorf group lists – Melisa Nielsen’s list homeschoolingwaldorf@yahoogroups.com; Marsha Johnson’s list at waldorfhomeeducators@yahoogroups.com or Donna Simmon’s paid subscription forum at  http://www.waldorf-at-home.com/forums/

On the other hand, if you are planning on enrolling your child within a Waldorf school setting, this work may answer some of the typical questions parents have from a classroom perspective.

Hope that helps,



2 thoughts on “A Review: “In A Nutshell: Dialogues with Parents at Acorn Hill”

  1. That’s really helpful – sounds like an interesting book but possibly a bit ‘once over lightly’ given that I have read an awful lot of other Waldorf/Steiner resources. I will give some thought to doing a 3 month stint on donna’s forum once my new baby is a bit more settled and I can put more time into it! I do a Steiner playgroup once a week with my 2 1/2 year old but apart from that we are at home and constant input and motivation is so necessary for me!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s