The Handwork teacher

I am a mother to two beautiful girls and I teach Handwork and Fine Arts in our local waldorf charter school in Arizona.

Monday, July 13, 2009

a waldorf art link

I just ran across this site...nice pics

I like the chalk board drawings and the art on these sites


what other people have to say about handwork

The handwork and practical arts curriculum in the Waldorf school stimulates the creative powers while establishing esthetic confidence through a conscious guidance of the student's developing will. These "will" activities lay the foundation for thinking. Recent neurological research confirms that mobility and dexterity in the fine motor muscles, especially in the hands, stimulates cellular development in the brain and strengthens the physical instrument of thinking.

Knitting is an indispensable first-grade activity as there exists a close relationship between finger movement, speech and thinking. Some classes may choose to make scarves or perhaps knitted squares to be joined into a blanket.

Through handwork, children learn the value of creating practical and beautiful objects with their own hands. All children are provided with the opportunity to learn to knit, crochet, cross-stitch and sew.

The handwork curriculum is based on the value of teaching children the skills needed to create beautiful, functional projects. We use only natural materials (wool, wood, sheep’s fleece, cotton and plant dyes) to teach them the process of creating a beautiful and functional object while teaching their hands a variety of skills that enhance their fine motor abilities and boost their self esteem.

The projects in the Handwork curriculum are chosen to reinforce the main lesson curriculum and to support and enhance the growth in the children’s particular developmental stage.

Handwork is taught in all grades at our school because movement of the hands and limbs is essential to the development of the intellect. Both boys and girls learn to knit in first grade, creating simple balls, gnomes, and animal forms. In second through fifth grades they learn to crochet, cross-stitch and knit with four needles. In sixth grade, when their bodies begin to change, all students design and stitch an animal, which can be an outer expression of their inner being. In eighth grade, while the students are studying the Industrial Age, they make a pattern and sew their own pajamas. Throughout the grades, projects are of a practical nature: potholders, toys, hats, socks, pillows, and articles of clothing. Mathematical concepts such as parallelism, mirror imaging, progression and geometric forms are implicitly experienced through this tactile learning process. The aesthetic experience of creating beautiful objects also nourishes the child’s emotional sensibilities.

Artistic activity is an integral part of the curriculum. Students have many opportunities for creative expression through watercolor painting, drawing, modeling and puppetry. Instruction in practical arts is intended not simply to teach skills, but to support each student’s unfolding as a well-balanced, self-confident individual. Over the course of eight years, every student learns to knit, crochet, embroider and sew, as well as model with clay and work with wood.


WendyZ said...

I was wondering... what type of handwork activities should I work on with my Kindergardener at home before she reaches grades in the local Waldorf school? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this Blog. I am going to start teaching specialty classes this fall. I am feeling a little nervous for I have never taught at the Waldorf school but I am familiar with the paradigm. I am looking for resources for writing up lesson plans for Specialty classes. Do you know of any? I appreciate your time.