Waldorf education holds geometry in high regard, and works with geometry in some form from first grade onward. In grades first through fourth we mainly draw geometric forms in math, form drawing or even in painting. Fifth grade usually becomes the first grade with a real geometry block, but it involves constructions more with a straight edge. Sixth grade typically marks the movement into a geometry block that uses a compass. Many of the resources available through Waldorf booksellers and companies will carry you through multiple grades, as sixth grade is the beginning of constructed geometry that is continued into seventh grade with perspective drawing and a closer study of the Pythagorean Theorem , and then into the number progressions, the Golden Proportion and proportions of the human form, along with Solid Geometry, in eighth grade.
For this block, you will need a good quality paper. We used paper that was 14 X 17 with a weight of 70 pounds and we will bind our work after we finish. ( I may save them and bind all the middle school geometry blocks together as well). A good compass that can lock, a straight edge, a set of triangles, and lots of colored pencils are also essential tools. A drawing board and painter’s tape is also necessary to keep work from sliding.
For movement, there are many poems that involve tracing a star on the floor. We used the making of window stars, thread art and an old-fashioned spirograph kit as our “warm-up” for getting ready for work. Cutting out paper snowflakes would also be wonderful if your block is in the wintertime!
Our constructions were beautiful and a perfect introduction to the feeling and precision of geometry. I am following this block up with some of the “Key To Geometry” books (there are eight of these little workbooks) recommended by many Waldorf curriculums, but I have to say they are not enticing at all. Practical, perhaps, but not enticing.
Please share your wonderful insights on geometry in your Waldorf homeschool.