I read 'Beyond the Rainbow Bridge' over Christmas, and have just finished 'You are your child's first teacher', and I'm so glad I did. I'm not a fan of parenting manuals, but these ones make sense to me, and fit in well with my personal philosophies. They have helped me to understand Waldorf philosophies on home life and education for the child, what the child really needs, rather than what society tells us the child needs. It worries me that children are being pushed into academics at younger and younger ages, being taught to read and write before they are developmentally ready, like it's some race. There's no evidence to show that this benefits the child, but there is evidence quite the contrary to show that it can be detrimental to their education down the track. While it is possible to teach these things to small children, it doesn't mean that we should. Waldorf philosophy states that we need to wait until the intense period of bodily growth is completed (at the change of teeth, around age 7) until concepts are taught. In the meantime, we need to let them play, watch us go about our daily tasks, and imitate what they see in the world around them, which helps them to process it in their minds. The world is a new place for them, their is so much to absorb, we don't need to be overstimulating them. They are children for such a short time, and adults for (hopefully) a very long time, there's no hurry to grow up!
So I highly recommend these books to any new parents or grandparents, they are definitely books I will keep coming back to.
I just had to add that I took the photo of the books on our NEW dining table! It finally arrived yesterday after 4 months of waiting, I put 3 of the legs on, but couldn't get that last pesky little one on, so Andrew had to save the day when he got home from work :)