Form Drawing for Beginners
written and illustrated by Donna Simmons
Christopherus Homeschool Resources
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I had intended to quickly review this amazing introduction to form drawing -- to capture it's contents and let you know what you could find in it. You know, the usual. And I will still do that, but first I want to share with you what I found that completely redirected my original intention.
I fully expected Donna's presentation to be what all her work has been: thorough, to-the-point, completely explained, intensely engaging. It is all that, but it is something much more, also. What I discovered when I opened the book was that Donna has explained in the warmest, friendliest and (as though as an added bonus) most concise way I've encountered just WHY form drawing is so important for our children, and for us. Her explanation is so simple, yet goes straight to the heart of not just form drawing, but the purpose of Waldorf education and of life itself. In two pages she allows us to step with her into a way of looking at life that is rich and vast with possibilities for growth. I've seen nothing in writing that is more alive than Donna Simmons' short introduction to form drawing -- it just doesn't get better than this.
And the content -- the perfect beginning! After addressing FAQs such as "Do I always have to tell a story?" and "How do I know when to move on to the next form?", Donna offers a check list of things to remember about form drawing, how to help yourself and your child, etc.
Finally, the remainder of the book is devoted to sequential forms for 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade and covers all the basics from Curves and Straight Lines to Crossing the Midline and Advanced Forms.
If you are using Form Drawing for Beginners as part of a first grade Christopherus Curriculum, you might also enjoy:
- Joyful Movement
- Learning about the World through Modeling
- The Christopherus Waldorf Curriculum Overview for Homeschoolers
- From Nature Stories to Natural Science: A Holistic Approach to Science for Families
- Drawing with Your Four- to Eleven-Year-Old
Grades One through Four
Laura Embrey-Stine and Ernst Schuberth
$11.95Add a review
This amazing little book is a thorough and insightful overview of the progress of form drawing through the first four grades. Within Waldorf Education these forms are seen not only as the precursors to good handwriting and eye/hand coordination in general, they are also known for their remarkable ability to help students integrate what are now known as left- and right-brain functions and, therefore, emerge into a more unified view of the world around them.
Both Embrey-Stine and Schuberth are to be congratulated (and thanked!) for their work. They have covered all the basic lessons for the first four grades, ways of presenting the forms to students, a myriad of forms to use (with lots of information on when to use them), associated the forms with the world around us, and then gone on to offer forms for each temperament and forms for the teacher. This is a book destined to become dog eared from enthusiastic use!
Hans R. Niederhauser Margaret Frohlich
$15.00Add a review
This is the classic teacher's guide to the art of form drawing as taught in Waldorf schools and anyone wanting to know more about Steiner's intentions for the pedagogical use of form drawing, or to learn directly from two master class teachers will love going through this book again and again. There are all manner of forms, including form drawings for grades 1 through 5, and wonderful discussion about them.
One cannot develop moral forces by talking at children or by moralizing, but by doing certain things with the cildren over and over again, by emphasis on the element of will. One must count on the metamorphosis of soul forces: what one has incorporated into the will of the growing child changes and comes to life later as moral feeling and moral imagination. It awakens as a new moral consciousness with the impulse to do in freedom and with love what necessity and duty require.
--Neidermeyer and Frohlich
As a resource for deepening your own understanding of how to use and present form drawing, I can't recommend Neiderhauser and Frohlich's work highly enough. If you are new to form drawing, I would suggest that either Form Drawing for Beginners or Form Drawing Grades One through Four would be better places to start -- but don't forget about this one. I promise, you'll want to dive into it once you feel you have your feet on the ground!
Creative Form Drawing - Workbook 1
Kutzli's presentation of form drawing is the most complete and dynamic, not to mention detailed, work on the subject available. Not only has he gathered a great deal of information about the nature and benefits of form drawing, but in offering the examples of the various forms, Kutzli has inserted the element of movement and transformation. The forms in Volume 1 represent a full range of forms suitable for the 8 grades (and beyond). The contents include introductions to the various exercises, verses for form drawers, verses for those studying form and 80 large pages of forms ranging from very simple to complex.
Creative Form Drawing - Workbook 2
Workbook 2 begins a variety of Celtic knot-forms, all both beautiful and fascinating. (Hint: If you try them, you'll know you've got it when you feel like you're dancing through the over-under knot patterns.) From there, you will move through many remarkable modern intertwined forms, then back to traditional labyrinths and much, much more. Woven into all these is a short discussion of the 12 senses, the role of 'will', the nature of movement, convex and concave forms and their effect. There's a lot more than this, but even this much is leaving me rather breathless. This is a great book - in my opinion the most enjoyable of the series. Be sure to have your pencil and paper handy when you sit down with it!
Creative Form Drawing - Workbook 3
$28.95Add a review
The forms in Volume 3 represent a more advanced study which contains forms appropriate in some older grades classes, but mainly in the high school or for adults. The contents are over 90 pages of "forms in process," interspersed with commentary and introductions to exercises. If you've ever thought form drawing was "just a simple exercise," you'll marvel at the depth and life that Kutzli brings to the subject. (Try the form on page 40 of section 12 and let me know how you manage. Wow!)
Teaching Children Handwriting
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Teaching Children Handwriting is not just another book about teaching block printing and cursive script. It is a reference for the whole language arts curriculum for the first three grades and beyond. It begins with the young child's orientation in space and presents written language in the context of the development of human consciousness. With practical suggestions for activities, posture, choice of writing instruments, and much more, it also gives helpful insights into learning difficulties that can be seen through writing. Teaching Children Handwriting offers guidance and encouragement; it is a real treasure for all who love the written word.
The Write Approach - Book 1
The "Write" Approach was conceived first as a self-help tool for adults, but quickly became an invaluable classroom/homeschool resource. Because this approach to improving handwriting clearly identifies not only common problems in handwriting, but also the form drawings that can be used to correct them, it's value for the teacher is enormous.
Book 1 gives introductory instructions and 25 form drawing exercises for developing clear handwriting.
The Write Approach - Book 2
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Book 2 picks up where Book 1 leaves off and uses the forms studied in Book 1 for the creation of beautiful harmonious letters.
Left Hand Writing Skills - Book 2
funky formation and flow
Mark and Heather Stewart
Techniques and practice for left-handers, with guidelines for parents and teachers.
$12.95Add a review
In Book 2, Pencil Pete and his gang take the left-handed child through a further series of essential exercises - all designed to give them the best possible start in learning to write.
This second book focuses on the flow of letters into complete word formation. Through extensive practice with patterns, different forms of letter-joining and in full word formation, the left hand writer should establish the fundamental good habits of hold, position and control which handwriting requires.
Left Hand Writing Skills - Book 3
successful smudge-free writing
Mark and Heather Stewart
Techniques and practice for left-handers, with guidelines for parents and teachers
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The third book of this series consolidates the process of developing good writing habits. Here, the writer applies what has been learned in Books 1 and 2 to writing with a pen. Ink is the real test of success for the left-handed writer! First, to form words which are accurate and legible, and then to avoid smudging them as the left hand follows the pen across the page.
Successful smudge-free writing can help overcome the frustration of so many left-handers. Note-taking, essay-writing, homework production and other normal handwriting uses can become satisfying events - no longer a source of disappointment.
The worksheets in Book 3 provide a wide variety of activities, all linked to handwriting in one way or another. From early Egyptian tablets, to Leonardo da Vinci's curious mirror-writing, invitations, shopping lists and menu cards. Full-color illustrations once again help keep the interest of the left-handed student while the correct left hand habits are finally absorbed.