Waldorf Form Drawing-Homeschool Writing Lesson
Waldorf Form Drawing, In Waldorf Schools, one has to consider Rudolf Steiner's beliefs and views about form drawing. Form drawing is the basis for the increase of fine motor skills as a way to get ready for writing. Recognize, the action of the hand also teaches the brain. In the book Form Drawing Grades One through Four: "It is part of the evolution of art and, as such, develops the aesthetic sense and a feeling for form. It also teaches thinking but not in a non-intellectual way; it trains the intelligence to be flexible, able to follow and understand a complicated line of thought."
Waldorf Form Drawing
The student encounters the forms, and this increases the Waldorf Form Drawing. It is a process of "seeing" with the hands. Rudolf Steiner said, "the line is the subject and not a picture of something in the outer world." This procedure is also why when form drawing you must not permit the child to color in in the figures and lines. Kids in Waldorf schools study and learn through art.
By examining the work for the first grade, following Steiner's philosophy, lessons begin with two lines: and the curved and the straight. The first year of school is when the child gains posture- so in this position, the child actually "draw" these forms with her upright state. So you see it's not just about drawing a line or letters or writing words. The reasons Steiner set out his specific methods of teaching go much more deeply, and as a Waldorf homeschool teacher, you do need to do your homework to understand the process. You must develop an understanding of coordination, mobility, and senses. The human ego and will forces and the soul force. Waldorf is about readiness, thinking, feeling and all of this is going on in your child at all times!
Physical movement of the child's whole body should regularly precede any effort at placing anything on paper. The child should be asked to stand erect with their arms upright above their heads. They should learn to run a straightforward in a line. They should try it with their eyes closed, walk it backward and sideways and every other way. Then they should write the line in the air, and also practice drawing it with their arms, hands, legs. A Ribbon stick or a scarf is an excellent tool for this practice.
Waldorf Form Drawing-The Approach
In the Waldorf, approach writing before reading is the order of learning. The purpose for this is that writing is much more concrete, practical and less demanding activity. In writing the whole being is involved. Ideally, the child begins with beeswax paper on the most massive sheets of paper so the scale of the form can be entirely writing physically experienced by the child. Also, when done tremendous, the child can differentiate between the straight lines and curves of the letters. In Waldorf schools, the alphabet is taught by forming the symbols in the air, on the ground, with paint, drawing, and modeling them with clay and other media. Every symbol of the alphabet must become meaningful to the student.
This method follows the natural evolution of civilization. The first writing was a picture, and the actual written word evolved very slowly and gradually out of picture awareness. The little shapes of printed letters which we use are entirely foreign to young children!
Additionally, note that reading words came much later once the printing of books in Europe. Only about a century ago very few people could read or write. So as you start to think about it in this way, it is entirely "alien" to efficiently follow or understand reading at such a young age.
Waldorf Form Drawing Imagination
This idea is also why precise form continually accompanies the introduction of letters because the child sees and understands the picture. The growing child lives in a world packed with imagination where animals can talk, dragons and witches live, and all kinds of fantastic stuff happen. When playing with a stick, he sees it in turns like an airliner or a racecar, a sword, and any number of things. We must understand the world of fiction and use it in our teaching. The child will learn far more swiftly and efficiently because he has not been made to work with concepts and tools; it will have a healthy impact on his later development.
Keeping between the lines is an adult concept. The result may look neat and all organized to us, but we are doing a disservice to the child. We must make sure that the child experiences are learning like a child.
It's tough because everyone else is learning to write on handwriting paper, and are not going off the expected line. However if you cannot understand the significance of providing a lesson to develop the creative forces in your child, then you may want to examine another method of learning because this is the very center of the Waldorf education.
How does a child respond when given a notebook of lined paper? Does it allow the child's imagination to be stimulated and interested? Because without the creativity the child becomes indifferent, uneasy or burdened by the very power of knowledge he does not understand. Because what affects the child emotionally will ultimately work through to the physical body, and your child can get sick from this type of "education."
In Waldorf education, the letters are pictures which appeal to the child's imagination. All letters of the alphabet were once pictured themselves. Are pictures ever drawn on rigid lined paper? (And coloring books are NOT pictures!) Additionally, lower case letters came much later - so we ALWAYS begin with capital letters ONLY.
Waldorf Form Drawing-Examples
- Think of a picture that resembles the letter you are drawing. Example W = wave, M = mountain, S = snake
- Build a narrative around that picture
- Make up an uncomplicated one or two line poem; this is called a consonant verse.
W = Over windswept waves, the white seagulls wildly sweep.
M = Most muscular men mount the majestic mountain
S = Six silver snakes silently slithered over the soft sea of sliding sand.
These verses and images are acted out in story, drama, rhyme, song, poetry, writing and movement as well as drawing, painting, modeling, etc. The letterforms must be "alive" for the kids to adequately perceive them. The children need to recognize the letter and make it their own.
So you see these core ideas you immediately see that the very idea of putting them on a lined sheet of notebook paper is not the Waldorf way. The entire idea is observed in a child's speech development. It goes from toddler talk to more fluent speech. Children aren't born speaking. Text and printing are technical and mechanical talents which are learned at a later level of development. The importance is in building a good foundation for learning to happen quickly at the proper stage of development. An unusual but little-known reality is also that Steiner said that cursive writing should come before printing words. However, in American schools, cursive writing is not taught until the third grade or not taught at all. So, with American standards of reading - this necessary task of learning has been cast aside due to rules from outside sources. The new philosophy of the current system is to see immediate results. As a consequence, there are one-sided, left-brained achievement tests that have become the determiner of success in learning. These exams, are driven by agencies of noneducators to improve education supposedly.
Waldorf Form Drawing Summary
Lastly, to accurately discuss your question, the only real mention I have ever heard of writing on the lines was a brief mention of writing on lines is in the 3rd-grade curriculum. Paper is folded into three parts, two across and one as if to place it into an envelope and not consciously to produce an awareness of the folds. The child is them told to draw pictures for the letters.
Waldorf pupils read and write without tension or stress. Most do not need to be shown how to learn but discover on their own. The Waldorf school environment is language and literature, and all materials are introduced first through the spoken word. As a consequence, Waldorf students form a genuine love for writing in all of its forms, and they become genuinely proficient in its various applications. These students also have a higher rate of continuing their education after high school.