We’ve really been jumping all over the place here. I don’t know about you.
Even though I had the curriculum all ironed out, I just never know what will happen as I start a new school year.
Isaiah is a person. And as a person his likes and dislikes change. What works for him changes. And to be honest, I don’t do well with change.
And so I went back to what I know works, and we started a Waldorf spelling block. I’m adding it in twice a week. We have never done “spelling” per se so I am starting from the beginning with the first 100 of the High Utility 500 words.
And since this is Waldorf,
The beauty of Waldorf is they did Sensory work, before Sensory was cool.
We pulled out the box of modeling beeswax.
I have to say I really missed the modeling beeswax, and I didn’t realize how much until we started using it.
You can’t get anymore sensory integrated than having to wait patiently as the beeswax warms in your hands, as it warms you begin to smell that light comforting smell that is uniquely beeswax. Slowly you begin rolling it in your hands, it warms more and becomes more and more malleable until it’s ready to use.
The whole process is so integrated with the senses that it has a very calming effect. The key is getting your child there.
Isaiah is impatient. And at first refused to take the time to grab a lump and let it warm up.
So I grabbed a lump and worked on it as I walked around the room.
When I came back I found him working carefully on his own beeswax project. Even he couldn’t resist that feeling. It also speaks to just doing it, and waiting for your child to follow. Don’t press, just do.
Working in beeswax is completely unique and inviting. It responds so well to your directions. Even the artistically challenged can make something look like what they (I) want.
The road became clear to me when yesterday I asked him to spell “the” as we were driving home from his allergy shots.
His response? “We don’t do spelling mom.” and then after some negotiating “th”.
I found this odd, I know he can read that word just fine. But clearly the idea of spelling was foreign to him. You have to start somewhere, right? Immediately I realized Waldorf’s method of learning to spell was going to be the right answer for us.
So today, I handed him my warmed up red and asked him to spell “of.”
At first he resisted, but then he formed the letters carefully and put them in front of me.
We continued through the first 9 words of the first 100. And amazingly, even though he couldn’t spell them as we drove down the street, he had no problem modeling them out of beeswax.
Score 1 for Waldorf, or more like 100!
Of course I am nothing if not a crazy, whatever method works for you, homeschooling mom. And so this happened too.
Here are some tips for Waldorf – Sensory Spelling.
Modeling Beeswax, slowly warm and then form the words.
Write the words in whatever handwriting your child enjoys using colored pencils or beeswax crayons, and then walk to the other side of the room and write it again, either the same way or a different way.
Then on his way back to you, have him walk the letters of the word he’s spelling.
Make it fun, encourage him, do it with him if he’s being resistant.
I know everything there is to know about a child who won’t do it “because.” He doesn’t need a reason to say no, me asking is usually enough. So be gentle, do it yourself at first if you need to.
I am very confident this will work for your reluctant speller!
Please feel free to ask any questions or share your ideas for sensory spelling!