The Handwork Curriculum at the Waldorf School of Atlanta is led by Lisa Roggow. Her loving care of the children is evident in these letters to parents of each grade.
Dear Second Grade Parents:
Welcome back! I wanted to update you about the work your children will be doing in Handwork class this year. Our second grade handwork classes are all about knitting. We will be sharpening our skills with a variety of challenges. During our first few classes we will roll yarn to be used throughout the year. This is a team building activity which helps to warm up the hands for the work we have to do and improves coordination. After this work is completed, we will begin the knitting curriculum for the year. Please bear in mind that second grade children do not know what they will be making ahead of time – we like to keep the element of surprise alive as long as possible. So please don’t tell your children what lies ahead!
Our first project will be rainbow balls. In this work we will learn to change colors. In addition, both this project and the one following help to reinforce mathematical operations in knitting. Each “ridge” in knitting takes two rows to make. Our rainbow ball will have four ridges of each color. We will practice counting these rows over and over again to ensure that our rainbow ball has a beautiful round shape. Once the ball is knitted we will have a great deal of work in sewing up, with 24 ends to hide. We will learn to gather and make square knots as well. Next we will embark on a gnome project, which reinforces the skills above and adds in the challenge of decreasing. Later in the year we will work with more complex projects involving shaping. Finally, we will complete our second grade work by bringing in the purl stitch, which is a mirror image of the knit.
Most of the projects the children will make this year are toys: animals and fairy tale creatures supplement and reinforce the work the children are doing with Ms. Wright in Main Lesson.
In addition, we will present the children an opportunity to give back: extra projects that will eventually become gifts for the kindergarten teachers will be brought in for students who are ahead in their work or who are waiting for help.
Ms. Bulmer and I are looking forward to a year filled with growth and possibility, as we help the children’s hands to fly! If you have any questions about this year’s curriculum, feel free to contact me.