Main Lesson

kids 1380After circle time and getting all those wiggles out ,it’s time to take a deep breath and plunge right into the “head ” part of Waldorf Education. This years main lesson blocks are 3 blocks of Old Testament stories, 3 blocks of math, 4 one week blocks of practical life skills, and 2 blocks of Native American tales and legends.  Waldorf schools use a three day rhythm to teach their main lesson.  So What is a three day rhythm?  I really like how Marsh Johnson of waldorfhomeeducators describes it. “A child has to eat a story with the ears. Then a night of digestion is required to fully take this story into the sleep life and work it out with other beings in a sense. Then comes back to the lesson the next day ready to talk over what has been processed and digested. We then draw a picture about this story. On the third day we re talk the story or act it out. Then we must find some wonderful phrase that catches the essence of the story that has spoken to your child.” It allows the child to sleep on the topic awhile instead of bringing a bunch of facts to the child all at once. So what  does our three day rhythm look like?   Monday is day one of our rhythm where I bring a new story to Miss Sky to see what she might catch from it. I give her vocabulary and a spelling list which are key words that have been picked out of the story. Here are some ideas we use to  practice spelling during the week. We throw the beanbag back and forth practicing new words forwards and backwards. I really like this website to make  up word searches or crossword puzzles from her list http://www.spellingcity.com/.  Made up stories with misspelled words and letting her correct them is fun and we really like the game bananagrams. We also practice form drawing and starting this year will work on grammar. Day two of our rhythm is to bring in the artistic element of the story.  Miss Sky loves to put on puppet shows and I love her interpretations of the story.childrens museum 118 She copies from a picture I have drawn out already. Day three is bringing in the academic element. She narrates to me parts of the story and I write it for her to copy off the board. Thursdays we take off for grocery shopping and what ever errands we might have.  Friday is drama class , she writes her form from the week  in her MLB and Miss Sky takes her spelling test.  From the start of circle time to the end of main lesson is about two hours then we take an hour break for lunch .  After lunch we have reading time, which is quiet time in disguise, and handwork then we finish up with either painting, beeswax, baking or playing games. We end our school day with a verse and that’s it. This set up has really worked for us it lays structure to our days without feeling overwhelming of “doing” to much. I love the fact that we are never just sitting doing busy work. I wish” I “could have gone to a school like this.

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One Response to “Main Lesson”

  1. What Do Animals Teach Us About Being Human? « Our Journey 'Round the Mulberry Bush Says:

    […] follow a 3 day rhythm which you can read about here https://dkjsv05.wordpress.com/2009/08/07/main-lesson/ . So this means we focus on 1 story a week. If our block lasts 4 weeks that is 4 stories. For this […]

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