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You Are Your Child's First Teacher, Third Edition: Encouraging Your Child's Natural Development from Birth to Age Six Paperback – 20 Sep 2012


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You Are Your Child's First Teacher, Third Edition: Encouraging Your Child's Natural Development from Birth to Age Six + Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids + Playful Parenting
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; 3 edition (20 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607743027
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607743026
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.3 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 82,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bookworm on 31 May 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has been the most helpful and eye opening book. It really helped me understand what my daughter needed at each age and how my everyday actions help her learn. It showed how little you need in terms of 'things' and helped me see how my daughter saw things. An absolute must for any parent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nicole Herpich on 11 Feb 2014
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i havent read many parenting books but i'd read this one all over again. it has so many good advices - life is much easier if you really understand your child's development stages.
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very use book to keep as your baby/ kid grows well thought out and with lots of tips one of the best books bought
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Haven't really read it but my friend said it was good.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 33 reviews
85 of 91 people found the following review helpful
Very dogmatic 13 Jun 2013
By AshleyDri - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I tend toward the "crunchy" end of the spectrum as far as parenting styles are concerned, but something about this book just bugs me. There are lots of things that I appreciate about the Waldorf approach: creating a calm, loving home environment with reassuring rituals and rhythms through the days, weeks, seasons and years; providing an environment that nurtures creativity, with quality, open-ended toys; limiting "screen time" for young children. Basically, let your kids enjoy their childhoods, let them get outside and get dirty, and take it easy with all the lessons, teams, camps, and enrichment whatever.

If this is your general philosophy, skip this book and try "Simplicity Parenting" by Kim John Payne or "Calm and Compassionate Children", by Susan Dremond. Both of these are Waldorf-inspired, but written for a more mainstream audience. "You are your child's first teacher" is very strongly based on Rudolf Steiner's anthroposophy philosophy. While I think it's possible to appreciate and incorporate many of Steiner's indications, "You are your child's first teacher" is quite dogmatic from my perspective. While others' have commented that they find the author's tone to be supportive I find it to be condescending in a lot of instances. While she pays lip service to the fact that guilt is not helpful to anyone, the exhaustive list of very specific "Do's" in this book can't help but be guilt-inducing, especially for a newer parent.

If you're not familiar with Waldorf, these "Do's" include things like: music in the pentatonic scale (Major scales, with C & F, are "too bright" for a young child and interfere with the "incarnation" process), surrounding an infant in a particular colour (peach blossom), and providing a young child with beeswax for modelling purposes, because clay is too cold and associated with the earth to be appropriate for a young child.

Again I appreciate many aspects of Waldorf education/parenting - I just think that it's possible for kid's to do wet-on-wet watercolour painting while also enjoying markers and puffy paint. You can have play silks AND "dress-up" costumes. Of course you want your children to be comfortable but for my giant-headed kid, cotton shirts with a bit of spandex are perfect - despite the fact that synthetics are so "inappropriate" for children, according to this book. I also think that there are some good toys out there that... wait for it... contain plastic.

If you're looking for a less dogmatic approach, try "Simplicity Parenting" or "Calm and Compassionate Children". If you're already feeling a bit guilty about something in your parenting life, you could also check out "Buddhism for Mothers" by Sarah Napthali. The "Creative Family" by Amanda Soule is more of a craft book than a parenting book, but very sweet and worth the read.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Loved This Book! 25 Aug 2012
By Jenell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As a new mom, I was curious to know more about the Waldorf philosophies on early childhood development and education. I found this book to be very enlightening and fun to read. It confirmed many of my thoughts on things like television and toys that inspire creativity, but also inspired me as I read about what my 14-month old might be learning through her everyday experiences.
I noticed that during a recent trip to the park, I felt more relaxed and patient to allow my daughter to play and experience the newness and materiality of the sand and a found pinecone on her own.
I've also been challenged to slow down and regard the rhythm of my movements in daily work around the house as important keys to her development. As a SAHM, it is easy to consider mundane household tasks such as washing dishes and doing laundry as less important than, and even in competition with, directly interacting with my daughter. This book values a child's observations of, and later interactions with, this kind of work in the home, and encourages parents to allow their child more time for independent play and exploration.
I am not sure that we will ultimately choose a Waldorf education for our child, but I do feel I've gained a lot of insight into ways that we can promote her natural growth and development during these important first few years. And I feel that we'll be better-equipped to evaluate our early-schooling options when the time comes.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Contains erroneous breastfeeding advice! 24 Aug 2014
By A reviewer in Brussels, Belgium - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
OK, I'll admit I didn't read this book in its entirety. However, I am already familiar with many of the Waldorf concepts, and agree with some of the ideas (barring some of the weird fruitcake notions). My major complaint is that, reading excerpts of this book that I came across, there is evidently BAD breastfeeding advice in this book. This book is not supportive of mothers who continue to nurse over a year. In fact, it seems that the author has some very unscientific, silly ideas and would encourage mothers to wean around nine months. This completely goes against the very uncontroversial and scientifically sound medical advice to breastfeed for AT LEAST a year. Know your facts! How can an author that claims to be some self-appointed expert on child-rearing peddle such ideas? She says things that are so kooky, so beyond the pale that I find it to be dangerous to anyone that would take her seriously! For example, the notion of milk and heredity, and that by weaning our children earlier we are "releasing" them from the clutches of our "lineage". Such nonsense! Honestly, it makes me want to throw the book out the window.

To sum up: wooden toys, low media, organic snacks- great. But all the other silly unscientific advice? Give me a break. If you support breastfeeding and believe in weaning babies and children when they are developmentally ready, I think you can give this book a miss.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Food for Thought 21 Dec 2012
By Lauren E Kolb - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I found it an easy read that gave a lot of insight into the phases of growth our children go through. The information is presented in a way that is memorable and easy to share with other adults in my child's life. My son is only 8 months old, but I plan to return to this book throughout his childhood for a refresher on ideas and information for each stage of life. I especially appreciated the lists of suggested resources at the end of each chapter.

Most importantly, I feel this book validated my actions as a mother who doesn't keep my baby on my hip all day. He has always needed time to play independently. This book helped me to realize that, by letting my baby play independently (with supervision, of course), he will have the opportunities to learn to crawl, walk, manipulate objects, observe adult actions, and imitate life around him. I now am more guilt free about letting him do things like bang on the swiffer box in the kitchen while I unload the dishwasher instead of feeling like every waking moment I need to be interacting with an entertaining him. With this approach, he has become a very curious, independent, and determined little mover who can teach ME how he likes to play and explore the fascinating (every day) world around him.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The Revision I've Been Waiting For! 18 Aug 2012
By Susan Silverio - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I took a deep breath of fresh air when I opened this new edition of You Are Your Child's First Teacher. This is the book that has introduced the insights of Waldorf education to the world, now with the new chapter Home Life as the Basis for All Learning. Rahima unlocks the mysteries and brings them right down to earth. I'll be buying this book for all of the new parents I know.
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