This review is a little late due to our sheep shearing on Saturday (details to come) and our family birthday party for Lily on Sunday (pics to share soon).
Our first week of our Math block was rewarding on many levels. Math is such a spiritual and philosophical subject and it was so emotionally rewarding for me to teach it that way, and to see Sophia’s grasping the universal truths that are contained within numbers.
This first math block is the one traditionally started in Waldorf, The Quality of Numbers. I am utilizing multiple sources for ideas and insight. This first week, I relied heavily on Ernst Schuberth’s little book entitled Teaching Mathematics for First and Second Grade in Waldorf Schools.
We began by listing all things in life we spend money on. This way we began with the concept of whole to parts and structuring and dividing and adding and eliminating. We talked about 1. 1 is such a spiritual number! We discussed how we are all one, how there is one Sophia and one everybody else. Everything comes out of one. One is the whole.
Then we quickly went through 2, with its duality and pairing (2 hands, two eyes) and the magic of one person and another one person meeting up and becoming a twosome (another magical spiritual philosophical concept!) and 3, which is so beautifully illustrated by a mother and father holding their child’s hands, and 4 which we see in the changing of the seasons, and in how many legs our dogs and sheep have, and 5 which we saw illustrated by our hand (1) having 5 unique and amazing fingers.
We learned all of this through Roman numerals, which is the easiest way to learn these numbers – certainly makes the most visual sense.
We also played some math games – I blindfolded Sophia and I pulled out spices from the spice cabinet and she had to count each differing smell. We also played a touch game where she (still blindfolded) had to count how many taps I would give her shoulders.
For our other lessons, she did form drawing and autumn crafts, and of course piano and riding. For the crafts, we pressed leafs and then covered them with mod podge and the girls strung them up in garlands all over the house and also pasted them on mason jars.
For a girl who grew up hating math, I must admit that I am bathed in delight by this block. I feel almost a regenerative healing. This is what number work is supposed to be like. It is supposed to carry through the spiritual and philosophical meaning.
We began our second week of Math today, carrying on with The Quality of Numbers.