First Grade Language Arts & Drawing Course
In Waldorf Education, we strive to bring every lesson in a meaningful context. With language, this means that we can derive our language lessons out of stories and other imaginative sources that are already familiar to the child. From the images that have lived in the child's imagination, we draw artistic pictures and then find symbols from within those pictures. From the symbols, we find that the letters we use today have evolved. Of course, this is not meant to re-create the actual historical process for how the modern English alphabet evolved. Instead, the student experiences a process that is more immediately connected to the stories they heard and imagined. The result is that they feel more connected to these words and letters, when otherwise such symbology could feel random and abstract.
This course, of thirty-six total lessons, will present examples of how we create the pictures, words, and consonant letters from 21 different stories. The rest of the course brings in the practice of writing and reading--yes, in that order for some children. While it is completely possible to copy these lessons for your student(s), it is just as feasible to use these as examples that empower you to create your own lessons in the same ways. So you will have that option for yourself with every lesson. As you observe how much challenge your child needs, the creation of lessons that are more or less advanced may become something you choose to do.
Because the lesson-building process involves the creation of artwork, these video lessons will guide you through the process of creating the drawings. At the same time, this course is not meant to be an introductory art course. That being said, we are working with first-grade level drawings. So if you are new to visual artwork, this is a great course to help you gain confidence and skill. It is also important to remember that many students will surpass us anyway. When they are brought to artwork early in life, they have a much easier time later on developing to great heights. It is certainly important that we give them some foundational skills. However, the most important thing we can give the young student is the example of someone who is willing to strive and who does not engage in the detrimental self-critique. We give it our best efforts and move forward. We will definitely see things that we want to improve and we strive to do that in the future. We do not waste any time or energy degrading ourselves for some lack of perfection. When the teacher can embody this everyday--and sometimes it means we have to be able to laugh at ourselves in a healthy way--then we give the young student one of the most important gifts imaginable.
The story sources used in this course correspond to the stories presented in the First Grade Storytelling Course. This does not require that you take that course. If you do not, and if you are not familiar with the stories used, you may want to read the stories so that you can understand how the lesson is being derived from the story. Understanding how this works will help you feel more empowered to do the same thing on your own.