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With Stars in Their Eyes

Brain Science and Your Child’s Journey toward the Self

Sharifa Oppenheimer

276 pp.  
7 1/2" x 9"
Illustrations: B/W & Color



Published:  January 2019


In this book readers will find not only a heart-filled rendering of the gentle ways young children have been traditionally raised and educated, but also cutting edge research that supports these practices. With love as the foundation, and through the neural tapestry created by joyful movement, music, art, stories, and play, we feed and bathe the brain of the young child. These deep connections with life are woven together during childhood to become the wholeness we call “I.”

Each chapter offers ideas for bringing this new science and these time-honored ways into the home and classroom. Parents, educators, and everyone who has ever loved and cared for a child will find research, humor, wisdom, and a new paradigm that marries ageless wisdom with the new science of the human brain and heart.

  • “Friends, parents, educators, read this inspiring book. Sharifa’s research offers a rare and compelling marriage of the science of facts and figures and the science of the heart.” —Cynthia Aldinger, author, Life Is the Curriculum, and founder of LifeWays North America

    “Sharifa’s book is an uncommon meld of the science behind child development and the esoteric. She brings forward valuable current research and applies it directly to ways of being with children in an honoring and deeply loving way that empowers their growth as resilient, coherent and empathetic human beings.” —Carla Hannaford, PhD, biologist, international educational consultant, author of Smart Moves and Playing in the Unified Field

See excerpts and online appendices below.


  • How to Use This Book
  • Introduction: The Science of Connection
  1. Gentle Ways and Hard Science for the Early Years
  2. The Love Connection
  3. The Nature Connection
  4. The Spiritual Connection
  • Introduction: The Science of Childhood
  1. Exploring Self and the World through the Senses
  2. Making Sense of Self and the World through Movement
  3. Art and Stories: Tools to Imagine the Self
  4. Creative Play: The Art and Practice of Becoming Oneself
  • Conclusion
  • Appendix
  • Notes
  • Color Images

Sharifa Oppenheimer evening lecture 10-25-18 from WSRF on Vimeo.

Related Titles

  • The Genius of Play : Celebrating the Spirit of Childhood
  • Work and Play in Early Childhood
  • Heaven on Earth : A Handbook for Parents of Young Children
  • Games Children Sing and Play : Singing Movement Games to Play with Children Ages 3-5
  • The Child as a Sense Organ : An Anthroposophic Understanding of Imitation Processes
  • Movement, Your Child’s First language : How Movement and Music Assist Brain Development in Children Aged 3–7 Years
  • A Waldorf Guide to Children's Health : Illnesses, Symptoms, Treatments, and Therapies
  • The Parenting Toolkit

    Related Titles by Subject:

    Family: Education & Child Development and Family: Family Life