Why Handwork?

By Windsong School
Saturday, June 11th, 2011

Including handwork as a serious and ongoing part of the school day is unique to Waldorf Education.  Working with the hands is such a healthy activity.  Working with beautiful materials is such a healthy activity.  And working with natural hand-made materials is such a healthy activity!  I remember when my daughter was in kindergarten and she brought home a set of pony reins made with a rope of finger crocheting – she still has those reins today and they are used often, and in a variety of ways.  I remember all of the First Grade boys playing catch with the balls they had knitted – their first knitting project.  When a prospective parent was questioning my daughter’s teacher about why so much time is devoted to handwork he received many compelling answers such as that handwork provides an opportunity to teach the value of precision and attention to detail, how it develops the corpus collosum in the brain, how it provides a lived example of the results of working at a project over time, bit by bit, how it is a practical application of their learning in math – but what brought a smile to his face was when another teacher added “joy!”.  I think it does create joy to learn and work at something that supports health and development on so many levels.

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