Monday, November 07, 2011

Mineralogy Day 2

Sometimes I am reminded why I should use curricula as a guide, not a manual. Today I read an essay by Goethe to the boys, a lesson from Live Education's Mineralogy book. Um, no. They didn't love it and they didn't connect with it. I am finding that I am really going to have to tweak a lot of these lessons and create blocks that are fun and educational for my boys.

They did each do a drawing of mountains and copy a quote from the essay, one that I thought would resonate most deeply (the suggested excerpt was rather religious).

In such a mood I approach you, the most ancient, the most exalted monuments of the ages. Sitting on a high, bare summit and surveying the wide landscape, I may so to myself: Here you are resting directly on a foundation which reaches down to the deepest layers of the earth. (Goethe)

J-Baby offered no resistance to doing his copywork; I decided to allow him to use a graphite pencil with an eraser rather than the usual Lyra colored pencil. He just gets so discouraged when he makes a mistake and he hates cross outs. I have to admit that I completely understand; I was am the kind of person who will start an entire new sheet of paper if I make a mistake (or even if I don't like how my hand writing looks). It was a rather big hindrance when I was a student. Even now I have to work really hard not to allow myself to start over when I am making something like a list.

On the Homespun Waldorf forum I have read several posts that have encouraged me to stop holding the main lesson book as the end-all, be-all in Waldorf education.  Really, why I am following the main lesson book rules when they don't necessarily work for my children? And what purpose does the main lesson book serve? If it is simply output, there are many ways we can do that. If it is a record for the parent to see at the end of the term, that is completely unnecessary. If it is, as I have read, a record for the child, then I have to figure out if that is something my children need. My boys don't actually have a major problem with MLBs so much as I have ideas about how they should look, and I need to let that go (or make my own MLB, which I used to do when the boys were younger).

We also did grammar, a fast fact sheet, and a Life of Fred lesson. I was so happy to see that a two week sleep with our math work really worked well for the boys.


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