Far and away, the best part of this past week was Sophia’s entry into the world of grade school.
We began on Monday, despite the holiday. I went to bed the night before mediating on a verse by Rudolf Steiner, and I tried to fall asleep with Sophia’s spiritual and emotional presence in mind. (The verse was one commonly used by Waldorf teachers –
we have the will to work
that into this our work may flow,
that which, from out of the Spiritual Worlds,
working in Soul and Spirit,
in Life and Body,
strives to become the human being within us.
and in the morning I read over and over another Steiner verse before getting up,
Imbue thyself with the power of imagination,
Have courage for the truth,
Sharpen thy feeling for responsibility of the soul.
We got up, ate a breakfast of mainly protein, so as not to be mentally sluggish; the girls then played outside while I did chores around the house and cared for the animals. When we finally came in doors, we sat down for Circle Time. Lily went for a nap, and then Grace and Sophia and I went to the weather board.
This board was mostly created with Grace in mind, so that she feels included for as much activity as possible. I asked the girls to recreate the world outside on our weather board. At this point, I gave Grace some activities I’d specially put together for her – a very small Waldorf doll I’d made, and a felt swan I had my husband make for her. These were placed inside a sensory box I had put together, made of rice. On another day, I gave her homemade playdoh. Grace played very happily with all these things while Sophia and I moved on to her Main Lesson work (henceforth abbreviated ML!)
For our beginning month, I had planned for the first week’s ML to be form drawing. In Waldorf, form drawing is a very important spiritual and practical activity of sacred shapes being drawn in increasingly complex forms. In the very beginning grades, form drawing is simple, full of straight and curvy and circular lines, but eventually, form drawing becomes highly complex. It is used in the early weeks of school as a warm-up for the discipline and focus needed in the coming weeks.
We learned two forms on Monday and one each on Tuesday and Wednesday. I drew them on paper first, and then Sophia copied them. I then drew the form on her back with my finger and she had to tell me which one it was. She then drew the form on my back. We spent time looking around the house and outside in the yard for things in our environment that had the same shape as the form. We found curvy and straight and wavy forms all over our world. Then we would come back inside and Sophia practiced the form again before putting a definitive copy in her special Main Lesson Book.
When ML work was complete, we had a snack and Sophia went off to play for a while and I was able to get some other things accomplished. But I wanted to begin and end her next lesson, Lesson A, before Lily woke up, so soon she came back to the table and we began the next lesson. This was the penny whistle, and we will spend – I believe – the next month with the penny whistle being Lesson A, and knitting being Lesson B. That will get switched up eventually with clay modeling, crafts, sewing, etc.
We are following Jodie Mesler’s musical method and Sophia had a lot of fun playing “Blow, Dragon, Blow” and doing call-backs. The fingering on the penny whistle is a bit confusing to her, but I think within the next few weeks she will feel quite confident with the finger placement.
We did Lesson B after lunch, in the lull of the day. Sophia is not especially enthralled with knitting at this time, but I am focusing on making the lessons short and fun – and therefore the emphasis is mostly on short!
In other lessons – we had to cancel her first piano lesson due to the mayhem which was the rest of our life this week. She will therefore have her first piano lesson next week. And we also had to cancel horseback riding this week, again due to the insanity that transpired. I think I want to write soon about the turmoil our family is being put through, because we are being flat-out persecuted due to legal medical choices we’ve made. The unfortunate part is our legal right to make this choice is not socially popular, and I know that other families have endured the same consequences we are.
But – not in this post, and not until I get a little more emotional distance from the topic. It’s too raw right now.
In closing, our first week of school was wonderful. On Monday, we will begin a 4 week long Language Arts block. We are all very excited!!