The liberal use of color that infuses all aspects of a Waldorf Education is not only delightful, it’s deliberate. Beautiful main lesson book entries created by students, beginning in first grade with the heartwarming “One Sun”, increase in complexity throughout the grades. Color, form, technique, and meaning converge to animate all subject matter from math to science, foreign language and native language studies. What is the value of this approach?
“The important thing is to arouse in children a real feeling for life, and color and form have the power to lead right into life...these details are essential to the vitality of the work.” -- Rudolf Steiner, 1922, The Spiritual Ground of Higher Education
Shaping and Perceiving
Artistic endeavors sharpen two very important human skills: the ability to shape, or see, and the ability to perceive, or distinguish. When practiced over time using diverse techniques across a variety of subjects, something very special emerges: the ability to shape and perceive new ways of looking at the world. In 1st grade, “One Sun” might become “one son” -- or “one bun”, as my son said to me, giggling, as I ate a hamburger when he was six. As the Waldorf student develops, connections continue to be made on ever deepening levels and the creative process is strengthened, resulting in students who are able to make connections across a variety of subjects. This skill is highly valued in our culture and is known as interdisciplinary thinking. It’s a truly holistic way of looking at the world and contributing effectively.
I am always doing things I can't do, that's how I get to do them. -- Pablo Picasso
The idea that a child cannot succeed in Waldorf Education unless he or she has excellent artistic skills is a myth to be dispelled. One child may draw endlessly in the early grades while another may be adept at origami or painting, or lose herself in handwork. Skills and interests “come in” at different times and under different circumstances. The creative process is sometimes mysterious and always transformative, no matter when and how it reveals itself. There is no wrong way to express oneself artistically. We must teach our children to create without judgement, only then will they be free from inner constraints and available to capture a world in perpetual motion. Therein lies the magic and power of art.
What is Waldorfish Weekly Art?
Waldorfish Weekly Art is a unique series of online art classes aimed at teaching a variety of methods widely practiced in Waldorf schools around the world. These classes can be used as weekly art classes that are folded into existing homeschool routines of any kind, as refresher courses for brick-and-mortar Waldorf school teachers, and, for those with far-reaching goals with respect to Waldorf homeschooling, as foundation courses that can be applied to different subjects as your student progresses through the grades.
"I’m so pleased to have found art lessons that draw on the Waldorf style as opposed to all of the “outline and color in” art lessons that seem to be popular online. We are really enjoying them!” ~ Heidi
"As a teacher - drawing figures for my chalkboard drawings has always been difficult, and I was rarely happy with the results. Learning how to first draw the gestures and then detailing it. Soooo much easier and successful! I will play more with this one!" ~ Debra