For me, this block encapsulated the essence of grade 1: lots of physical activity in the form of playful work, fun stories that captured the imagination and simple crafts that little hands could accomplish. Yes, we had dedicated main lesson time, but so much of what we did became a seamless part of our daily rhythm. The little Easter garden shown above was Jude’s favorite part of the block – and may well be his favorite part of the whole year. We took a shallow metal planter, filled it with potting soil and scattered wheat berries that we had soaked overnight in water. The wheat sprouted within a week and Jude had so much fun spraying/watering the seeds and the seedlings. I don’t know whose idea it was to add the bunny finger puppets, but that’s when the fun really began.
Watching Jude hop the bunnies around and get lost in his imagination showed me how small he is and how little he needs as far as “instruction”. I have said this before and consider yourself forewarned that I will say it again, taking the time for these elemental grade 1 lessons is so important. Because I came to Waldorf when Vincent was in grade 3, he/we did not experience how incredibly beautiful this curriculum is laid out from the beginning. I can appreciate how the measured progression of the subjects nourishes the soul in a way that allows time to unfold in a radically different way than it does in the current frenzy we call everyday life. Whether you homeschool with Waldorf or not, I think we all need to find a counterbalance to the lightening fast pace of how we live today. The lesson of watching the grass grow is one I want to remember.
- Joyful Movement, Donna Simmons
- From Nature Stories to Natural Science, Donna Simmons
- The Tales of Tiptoes Lightly, Reg Down (I cannot recommend this book enough! I’m sure I will talk more about it in subsequent posts.)
- The Gift of a Tree, Alvin Tresselt (Fantastic story and stunning illustrations.)
- Planted wheat berries to create an Easter Garden. (photo above)
- Made boats out of acorn tops and holly leaves to go along with the tale, “The Bee who Lost his Buzz” by Reg Down.
- Painted a hillside in winter. (We will do this again when spring is really here and the hill turns bright green.)
- Worked in the garden.
- Cleaned up yard and gathered sticks.
- Painted dirt by mixing all the colors and making brown.