Building a block around a few fairy tales in February was a great way to fit in a bunch of seemingly unrelated activities we have not given much time to this year. Chief among them was form drawing and handwriting. I have wanted to incorporate form drawing into our lessons since coming to Waldorf 3 years ago. I have read all the books. I have watched all the videos. I have reams of paper with form after form drawn on them. But for some reason, when I tried to do it with the boys, it never seemed natural and it never seemed right. I started this current year with a 2 week block of form drawing, and I think we continued it for maybe two Mondays after that. Then . . . nothing. No forms. No progression. No handwriting improvement. No etheric body strengthening. Nothing.
For some reason, something clicked for me this past month. It started with this post by Mrs. Mallard over at Ducks in the Pond. In hearing her describe how she uses sleep in conjunction with form drawing made a lot of sense to me. I could finally visualize a rhythm of exactly how this could work. Instead of isolating it as something separate, I incorporated a variety of forms directly into our main lesson work. Jude’s favorite was the five-pointed star, a form we worked with in his numbers block back in the fall. Both boys were struggling with the progression of the star on paper, so I remembered that walking the form is another approach. We constructed a big 5 pointed star with yarn and set candles at each point to hold the points in place. (These are the days you hope the neighbors don’t come knocking or peeking in the schoolroom window! Because, really, how does one explain having one’s children walking around what is essentially a lighted pentagram?) This turned out to be a beautiful, reverent lesson around one of my favorite fairy tales, “The Wise Hare.”
Another highlight was one day when I gave Vincent a particular form, and after drawing it, he told me he had made up a form of his own. I will admit, I didn’t have high hopes, as he didn’t seem to especially enjoy form drawing. He surprised me. It was beautiful: a lovely curvy, running form that was particularly stunning when intertwined and done in two colors. Sometimes we teach them, sometimes they teach us.
- Christopherus Grade 1 Syllabus, Donna Simmons
- Grimm’s Fairy Tales: “Snow White and Rose Red”; The Laziest Man”; “The Wise Hare”; “The Clever Farmer”; “King Thrushbeard”; “Little Briar Rose”; “The Golden Footprints”
- Form Drawing Webinar DVD, Melisa Nielsen
- Modeled a fish from beeswax, “The Laziest Man”
- Hand-sewed a bunny finger puppet, “The Wise Hare”
- Drew lots of forms on slates and on paper
- Walked the forms, “The Wise Hare”
- Comprised main lesson book with block crayon drawings and sentence summaries, “King Thrushbeard”