Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Four Temperaments

It always amazes me how much my son eats! He is 12 months old and a cheerful little guy, and what he likes best in life is variety. (Speaking of temperament... young children are always sanguine.) He happily dives into a new food, eats it vigorously for a while, gets bored, starts throwing it off his tray, and so I bring him something else. We sit for probably an hour at each mealtime, and he eats a little bit of a LOT of things. Which I've had to cut up into tiny pieces of course. So I spend my meal cutting things up and getting new things out. How many? Well, here's what Zac had yesterday:
    peach, pear, pineapple, cherry, clementine, grapes

    Life cereal, Kashi Sweet Potato Sunshine cereal, cheese crackers

    black beans, beef, ham, hard-cooked eggs

    baked potato, spaghetti squash, carrots

    cheddar cheese, feta cheese, yogurt

    green juice, prune juice, water, whole milk

We had a lovely little handwork class yesterday. We cut and sewed together fish finger puppets (this is easier to sew for little ones if you use the Kool-Aid dyed wool felt as the front of the fish and a piece of solid color wool felt on the backside -- the wool gets pretty stiff when it is dyed), put on a puppet show with silk draped over the body to make a stage, and then the girls covered my floor with blue silks, making oceans and rivers and streams, and set up a whole tableau and played with their fish for a long time.

Full 56 Color Assortment of Pure Wool Felt
from Magic Cabin

I got out the rainbow stacker and they used the blue pieces as waterfalls, and I got out the nautilus puzzle to be a "shell" decoration on their stage but they happily dismantled it and used each piece as coral.

Grimm's Large Ammonite Snail Shell Figurative Puzzle of Creative Wooden Blocks

Grimm's Large 12-Piece Rainbow Stacker - Wooden Nesting Puzzle/Creative Building Blocks

While they were playing I embroidered their initials on their strips of wool felt, which they will use to hold their pins and needle all summer during class. After lunch, snack breaks, time outside to sit under the big magnolia tree on a quilt and read, I told them the story of Red Berry Wool and taught them to finger knit. It's always interesting to me to see what color of yarn a child will pick when you give them a shelf with a whole rainbow of skeins of yarn on it. I think it's a clue to the temperament of each.

One child carefully chose rose and told me her favorite color is purple. The other yelled, "My favorite is red!" One child got started because I told her our goal was to finger knit a piece long enough to wrap around the whole outside of the house and that we needed it to start our next project together; the other sat nearby during the story and the lesson and stated that she wouldn't do it, so we went on without her. She then got curious and wanted to join in her sister and so I showed her how. They both picked it up quickly. And they both finger knitted cheerfully until our time was up.

    Sanguine is The Extrovert | The Talker | The Optimist

    Melancholic is The Introvert | The Thinker | The Pessimist

    Choleric is The Extrovert | The Doer | The Optimist

    Phlegmatic is The Introvert | The Watcher | The Pessimist

Determining your child's temperament, and your own, can make for more successful parenting. It's also helpful academic-wise and you'll see notes on temperament throughout Waldorf teaching materials, from things like what role to give a child in the school play and where to have them sit in the classroom, to what forms to have them work on for Form Drawing. This is one of the reason why determining your child's temperament is recommended before starting first grade. Find a good article about this by Rene Querido in Creativity in Education: The Waldorf Approach. The article was also reprinted in Waldorf Education: A Family Guide. Here are my cheat sheet notes in PDF form:

And some article links, if you're interested in further reading:

There's also a wonderful -- and LONG -- description of each of the four temperaments and how to deal with them in times of conflict in the Introduction to Games Children Play: How Games and Sport Help Children Developby Kim Brooking-Payne (highly recommended).

Your child's temperament factors curriculum-wise into how material is presented. If for no other reason, people often look into it when it comes to Form Drawing. Drawing spirals from the outside in, or from the inside out, can depend on temperament. It is used as an indication of what inner work is needed, for each temperament can lead to negative qualities as an adult if not properly balanced while it is developing as a child.


Penny said...

Hi, I've been enjoying your site a lot today (I actually sold you some Live Ed many years ago) and I wanted to let you know that once of your links (schooling from the heart) reroutes to a ... P*** site. I'm SURE you don't want THAT on your beautiful blog, so I thought I would write and let you know. It was pretty scary!

What a world. Very sad. I hope you can get rid of it.

Congratulations on all of your hard work. I can tell it's all good! (except for that awful link, of course!)

Renee said...

THANK YOU for letting me know! You're talking about the list of favorite blogs on the left hand side? I removed it immediately. It has been a while since I've checked that set of links. Thanks again!!!! If you saw it somewhere else please let me know and I'll delete ASAP.

Penny said...

Yes, that was it. I'm glad you figured it out.

Best wishes -