I’ve been dabbling a little in the Waldorf education. I’ve always had a “whole child” philosophy to education with a delayed academics approach. I mean Finland is leading the globe in education, and they don’t even begin formal academics until after age 7. They must be doing something right. That doesn’t mean the children aren’t learning, by the way. Quite the contrary. However, I have been slow discovering the Waldorf approach to education, and it is a steep climb on that learning curve, but I’m really enjoying some of their activities.
It started with running across the title of this book that caught my interest-Making Math Meaningful by Jamie York. My oldest is a tough customer when it comes to homeschool education, as he does not like worksheets (neither do I in general unless the child loves them,) and is not easily satisfied with what he considers “school.” This leads me to looking for different, active approaches that will hold his curiosity and dare I hope, excite him. This book sounded interesting and active, so after reading the reviews on Amazon, I decided to purchase the book.
It’s a source book. Though it gives valuable information, it is not necessarily a curriculum that tells you what to teach or how to teach it. It more gives the concepts and skills that should be taught each year and some supplementing material that you might need to teach it. The book does, however, expect that a certain level of Waldorf education philosophy is known (which in my case is not true) and some level of understandingof the concepts are also known. It has some math “tricks” that I knew nothing about like “casting out nines,” but I am particularly enthralled with the geometry and am excited to say, so is my son.
It mostly consists of a series of little geometric construction logic puzzles using a straightedge (we are using a ruler) and a compass. They go in a step by step fashion so that no leap is too wide to cross from concept to concept. And in the whole child value that is Waldorf, they shade in their work with beautiful colors. I am using Uborne’s Illustrated Math Dictionary to supplement the geometric constructions, explaining the various concepts as we go along. I am also looking up videos and other activities to supplement. We are both really enjoying it.
To go along with the unit, I am using an app from We Want to Know called Dragonbox Elements. It is also a series of geometric logic puzzles. Dragonbox has some phenomenal math apps. That is a topic for another post.
In addition to my son’s geometry, I am trying some of the activities for skip counting from the Waldorf education activities as well. We did a beanbag toss today while skip counting first with 5’s, then 10’s, and lastly 2’s. She LOVED it. I’ll try to share them along the way.
I am enjoying this journey of discovering a new-to-me educational philosophy that so parallels my own. I’ve recently ordered an art book from a Waldorf philosophy to continue my excursion and excited at what I will find within the folds of that adventure.