We are up to Chapter 9, “Math”. This chapter gives great ideas for practice during the first number block of first grade. The author recommends counting a long a number line and seeing a number as an entity by itself as the beginning, fundamental capacity of math. Else Gottgens talks about the importance of speaking and moving, standing still and speaking and finally writing from memory, and then reading back aloud what has been written. She gives many ideas for counting and working with individual numbers and working from whole to parts and parts to whole. She also addresses estimation, and how to “structure” a number, the decimal system, and the times tables. Learning times tables in grade 2 is a major undertaking, and then being able to recite the time tables out of order, randomly, is a task for grade 3. There is also a wonderful table of math capacities that need to be developed from grade 1 onward, along with typical challenges for these capacities.
Chapter 10 discusses “Play-Acting”. Putting on a play with a group is important for developing clear speech, meaningful gesture, enhancing spatial orientation and hearing what the other actor is speaking and reacting to it. Drama also assists children in having more self-confidence, communicating better socially, gaining help in thinking more clearly, and helping children become better spellers. It is also an excellent way to strengthen the will as the children work with a play for an extended period of time.
Chapter 11 discusses “Image” – the most powerful education tool for a child aged seven to fourteen. An image for whatever the children need to learn requires creativity, and it brings a subject in teaching alive.
Two chapter remain to be discussed in this wonderful book. The next book we will be reading will be . “LIfeways: Working with Family Questions: A Parent’s Anthology by Davy and Boors. If you are on Facebook, the Facebook group “Spirit of the Home: A Resource for Waldorf Families” will also be . studying this book beginning in February. So if you come here and also go there, you will be getting a double dose of “Lifeways”. Hope to see you all there, and order your books!