Saturday, April 30, 2011
ABC...Come Meet The Waldorf Alphabet Book
Learning the Alphabet is daunting for children. We expect them to understand that a symbol represents a sound, and then linking them to create a word. Often, children memorize the symbols and sounds but have no true understanding as to what it all means. Waldorf principle tells us that when teaching any subject, to integrate intellectual development with artistic creativity and practical skill. This comes from developmental psychology of linking cognitive development, emotional intelligence and bodily-kinesthetic intelligence. Children are currently being taught to read and write so early without these important connections being made. Often children are wrongly diagnosed with learning disorders, when it was simply a matter of the time and way it was taught to them. Steiner Books has a large collection of Waldorf Books to help you in this process.
In the Waldorf Alphabet Book, words, symbols and art are linked. The pictures come alive and do the "reading" for them. Each page in the Waldorf Alphabet Book is filled with pictures that relate to that letter, but in a drastically different manner than the simple "A is for Apple."
In the "M" page pictured, your see mermaids making up the letter "M" and then the moon with mountains and monkeys. It becomes a visceral and emotional experience for the child.
My daughter knows her letters, but certain ones were giving her trouble. I did not want her to just "memorize", but to understand. We looked through the entire Waldorf Alphabet Book and she was intrigued and charmed by each picture. Even better, because the pictures told a story, we had conversations about each one. The pictures translated in her mind to letters, making it easier for her to understand. She was learning through art. I have since been recommending this book to friends and family. Learning should never be stressful, and maybe if we learn to better understand the minds of our children, we can help them flourish as adults.