The New Year has arrived and with it, endless possibilities. Tomorrow begins our first day back at school, and we're trying some new things. First, you should know that while we do follow a Waldorf curriculum, I'm not a purist. A ninety-eight-percent-ist maybe. But the beauty of homeschooling is being able to tailor your child's education to his or her needs, no matter what pedagogy you follow. Therefore, we are beginning some Waldorf Grade 1 work with my five year old. (insert gasps of horror here from those who are purists)
We are starting a two week block of Form Drawing. This is typically how the first grade year in a Waldorf school begins. It is taught before and literacy, math or art skills, and incorporates elements of each.
My DD (dear daughter), however, was an early reader and already has a pretty firm grasp of the alphabet, phonics, and writing skills. Why bother with Form Drawing then? Because: A) It won't hurt to take a small step back to educate her will a bit. (For more about Form Drawing and the will, look here or here) B) It will certainly improve her handwriting, which admittedly is pretty good already. And C) I have seen her produce many of the repeating forms on her own in her drawings and paintings. She is ready. And in my opinion, as a parent and trained teacher, when a child is ready, you jump right on board, even if where they are developmentally or academically is not where a typical student (Waldorf or otherwise) is.
There is some excitement building around this new beginning. We are awaiting the arrival of our large free-standing blackboard. It'll feel much more school-y around here with a great big blackboard! And she gets to use her first Main Lesson Book. I have no doubt whatsoever that she is going to love this.
We're also going to begin some math games during our Circle Time in the morning. We'll start with some counting rhymes (like that good old "One two, buckle my shoe"), then move onto some even adding and odd adding rhymes and games. Again, some of these activities might be seem a bit redundant as she has been counting and adding (and subtracting) small numbers for quite a while. However, my three year old, who joins us for just about everything lest he feel left out, will benefit greatly from listening and moving with us. He's great at remembering songs and verses, and by the time he's ready for math, they'll just be in that smart, little brain already.
Here's to an exciting new school year!