For a full year now I have been learning about Waldorf education. We have been involved with our local school longer than that, but for the last year I have been actively reading and researching the philosophies and educational paradigms (Don’t run away! This is interesting, I promise.)
I am a certified “public school” teacher, so a lot of the educational ideas are a bit of a shift for me. Some, a bit hard to wrap my head around. But all in all, I am loving Waldorf.
One thing I read recently was about “filling the page”. The idea is that children should be encouraged to take their time with their art. They should be encouraged to put a full effort into it and make it look beautiful (whatever beautiful might be to them, that is).
My Sam had gotten into the habit of drawing a line or two, maybe a single person, and then being done and wanting a new piece of paper. I really liked the idea of encouraging him to focus longer and put his full effort into creating a beautiful work of art. Focus and increasing attention are wonderful skills.
One of the best ways to encourage this? Like with most things, it’s by modeling it. So I started to sit with Sam and draw while he drew. I would take my time, fill the paper, and actually really enjoyed myself. It had been a very long time since I last sat down and really drew.
This modeling really helped Sam, though after awhile he wanted to help me with my art. I thought it was a great idea to work on a big collaborative art project, a great step to having him fill the page on his own.
I decided we would use the chalkboard and some chalk, since it was bigger. We took turns drawing one thing each. I began with a big tree, and then Sam added the house. Next I slowly and carefully added many leaves to my tree, and as you can see, Sam then slowly and carefully added many windows to his house.
Back and forth we went, taking turns to add more detail and beauty to our art. And it turned out rather lovely. Sam was so proud of his artwork, a pride I hadn’t seen him take in his artwork before.
Filling the page is a nice, simple way for children to increase their focus and attention. Sam sat and worked on this art project for well over 30 minutes. For my busy little guy that is quite the feat!
Waldorf has a very large focus on art and creating, something that my whole family really enjoys. I know this aspect will be very easy to integrate into our daily lives – the no television on the other hand …. hmmm ….
Off to work in the garden with my helpers. Today we are making a snap pea teepee – wish us luck! Mostly because our snap peas were actually suppose to be planted weeks ago (and they were, but they didn’t take) … here’s hoping for a week of cool weather!
What are you up to this week? Leave me a comment please, I would love to know.
Thank you for reading!