Wednesday, 30 January 2008
Last Saturday was the Open Day for the school. It was really heart warming to see all the best work collected and displayed. Sometimes, where you're running around, concerned with the everyday, an event like this enables you to life your eyes and gaze at the amazing work that is being done collectively. I took the opportunity to get pictures from the main lesson books which the kids had out on display.
There are no textbooks in a Steiner school. This is in keeping with the ethos of learning how to learn, rather than simply being told what is right. In addition to encouraging individuality it also give independence of thought as well. However, because so much is done together, the class operates as a single unit too, which contantly reminds the children that they work as a team. So, children enter the work that they do in their Main Lesson book. In class one this means that after they've written numbers and letters with their bodies, wheelbarrowed them, played games, knitted them, spoken them, done them in German, etc, they then enter them into the main lesson book.
Here are a selection of those books. No pencils, pen, or even crayons are used. Instead, they write with large, flat beeswax sticks. This is best suited for little fingers learning how to hold and control their images that they put to paper. to practise, they have a form drawing book which is filled with washes and spirals of beeswax colours.
Motor skills are paramount at this stage and creating things from tissue paper that encourages tearing and control is important. To this end, the class created St Michael in tissue paper for Michelmas.