Greetings, Upper Grades parents!
We begin our second of three weeks of Geometry. We continue learning to make the classical geometric constructions with compass and straightedge. We have heard about the ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians and their contributions to practical Geometry. Now we will turn our attention to the ancient Greeks. Their development of a more theoretical abstract approach to Geometry meets children at this middle time of childhood; also we will be shifting in late February, in our study of Ancient Greece, from a mythological approach to history to a factual biographical one, which continues on through middle school and high school. I was amazed when I first learned how Waldorf education observes that the child's development is a microcosm of human development over the millennia.
We have been beginning the mornings by circling up outdoors with the other grades classes. Ki Kathee is teaching the Maypole dance that will be held in May. At first I wondered why we were starting in January. Soon it became clear to me that there is a lot to learn, especially with this larger mixed-age group. In the process we are getting a lot of practice with patience, rhythm, stamina, and community life. Learning a group dance first thing in the morning, in the cold, runs counter to our wish for comfort and instant gratification. It is great training for life! Afterward, we go indoors and complete our warmups; we're learning to recite William Blake's The Tyger, working on a song, and when we say our morning verse every day, I require that the students stand upright, their hands at their sides (not in their pockets), and not leaning on the furniture. It takes a lot of reminding. We can stand on our own two feet and greet the day's work!
Have a wondrous day,