Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Main Lesson Books

Oak Meadow, being a Waldorf-inspired curriculum, makes use of Main Lesson Books in the Third Grade curriculum (as well as in the younger grades). The Main Lesson Book (MLB) is simply an artistic and creative record of lessons we have completed. It might include drawings, copy work, stories, etc. The MLB serves as a beautiful textbook that the child creates herself. It is also a wonderful keepsake.

We are still getting used to the idea of creating these Main Lesson Books, and it gets easier with every lesson. Any Waldorf purists who happen upon this post will surely realize how woefully inadequate our MLBs are, but I'm hoping they get better over time. Don't judge me.

Here, after hearing and re-telling the story of Rapunzel, Thing 4 drew a scene to represent the story. She added the happy witch later. And yes, I realize she misspelled Rapunzel one time, but I'm torn between the Charlotte Mason idea that you never leave a word misspelled and the fact that I love looking back at my older kids' early work that has those kinds of sweet mistakes. I went with sentimental this time. Don't judge me.

Her entry about the Kush civilization:

She told me the other day, "You know, I learn so well this way. I hear a lesson, then I tell it back to you, then I write about it and then I draw a picture about it. That really helps me remember it." Success! Go ahead and judge me on this one.

Today's Science lesson about the plant food cycle:

While Thing 3's lesson plans do not call for the use of MLBs, I like them so much that I'm going to start using them with him next week.


  1. Wow! Story of the World (as well teaching techniques in "The Well Trained Mind") is VERY much like this MLB!! So neat. I like though how they are in art books. TWTM has us create binders which then become their own textbooks as well. One reads the lesson, then the student dictates back what they learned, me (or them when they can) writes that down, then they read their words aloud back, then they draw their lesson. Lovely seems to be remembering things as well. She loves the art side of it all! We do it for History (Story of the World), Science, Reading, and Faith. We're both enjoying the process.

    And I too am torn with "perfection" of CM and the little examples of childhood growth that learning unleashes. I feel it is ok to let them have those moments. Unless Lovely is doing copywork, I'm totally ok with her sounding out words to spell, and writing what she can. I try to remember the strictness of Mason's time period - it was different than today.

    My neighbor does a lot of Montessori, and she also questions the "perfect" presentations by the teacher. One time she owned up to a mistake and her daughter seemed relieved her mother could make a mistake and fix it. She said "Mommy, you mess up too?". Sometimes perfection is a hard yoke, you know? Let our children be children I say!!!

    Fantastic work Melanie!!!

  2. Great job to Thing too!!! :) hehe!

  3. I just posted a basic sketch Lovely did for a lesson this past week. I need to take pics of her finished products. Your entries keep me on my toes! I need to keep blogging and recording our adventures....thanks for inspiring me!!



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