“If we force intellectual powers on the child we arrest growth; but we liberate the forces of growth if we approach the intellect by way of art. For this reason, at the Waldorf school, value is placed upon artistic rather then intellectual training at the beginning of school life. The teaching is at first pictorial, non-intellectual; the relation of the teacher to the child is pervaded by a musical, rhythmic quality, and by such methods we achieve the degree of intellectual development that the child needs. The mental training in this way becomes, at the same time, the very best training of the physical body.”. ~Rudolf Steiner
I love that quote.
I have spent the past couple weeks delving into personal spiritual growth so that I can bring the material to Sophia in a living way. Steiner was such an amazing person…prophet really? I have been utilizing Eugene Schwartz amazing website and lectures, Millennial Child which I cannot recommend enough. These lectures are a gift to us homeschool Waldorf families. I feel a depth and connection with Steiner’s work which would have taken much longer to achieve had I not had these wise lectures.
For this week of our math block, we carried on learning about the quality of numbers. We spent a lot of time talking about what is oneness, what is twoness, threeness, etc. We talked about what it felt like to be…whatever number….2, a 2, a 2some, etc. We tried to embody the quality and spiritual implications of the first 12 numbers, to essentially imbue their qualities into our hearts. We played finger games of addition and subtraction. We also played finding games…I sent S off to find a certain number of various objects, and then we played more mathematical games with the found objects. We also did marching/clapping games whereby we have introduced the beginning of counting by 2’s and 3’s.
We also did the pennywhistle and handiwork this week. Sophia and Grace both helped to sew a cloth ball for Lily’s birthday. Sophia also knitted.
Eugene Schwartz said the angels love math, they love everything to do with numbers. I think you can really feel that when teaching math properly. He also said the process of teaching reading (not reading and writing themselves) is sort of anathema to the angels, and that is a part of why we try to bring it creatively through stories and art and imagination, so that the angels don’t flee during the technical teaching of language arts. I guess that is why Steiner said ideally , in a perfect world, we would not force children to learn to read before the age of 11 or 12. Good thongs to remember while we wade through this wonderful but totally imperfect world.