What are the essential elements of a main lesson block? In the first two posts in this series, What Is a Main Lesson Block? and Why Does Main Lesson Block Learning Work?, we talked about the importance of rhythm and why staying with one subject for a number of weeks works. Now, let’s look more closely at the building blocks of a main lesson.

Essential Elements of a Main Lesson Block

Here are the 3 essential elements of a main lesson block:

1. Verses and Songs to warm up
2. a Story
3. Artistic Activity

In short, the essential elements of a main lesson block are the seven lively arts (plus one): storytelling, movement, music, speech, drama, painting, drawing, and modeling.

Want to read more about these artistic activities? Check out The Seven Lively Arts.

I like to think of weaving these lively arts into our homeschooling days by placing them into three different time buckets. 

The first bucket, usually in the morning, helps to start our learning time. Often referred to as Circle Time (but what I like to call Warm-Up Time), we gather first thing to sing songs, recite verses, and play movement games in order to get our bodies moving and come together.

Rudolf Steiner talked about how singing together and reciting verses together help to build community. And in a homeschool setting, WE are the community – Mama and the children (and sometimes Papa joins in!)

The second time bucket is story time. This is when new material is presented in the Waldorf approach. In the homeschool setting, this often takes place snuggled up on the couch! We share a story from Norse Mythology or from the Renaissance or whatever block we’re on. The story helps do the teaching and helps us to connect with each other as we find ourselves in the circumstances and adventures of other people in other times and places.

The third time bucket is often the only one that takes place seated at a table. During this time, children often record their learning in a main lesson book by drawing or painting one day, and writing a summary into their book the next.

Often, when you think of learning for a two-hour block of time, you might think of children sitting at a desk listening to the teacher for the entire time. Main lessons in the Waldorf approach don’t look like this at all. Instead, main lesson blocks integrate singing, movement, storytelling, recall, writing, painting, drawing and many other artistic activities into the learning time.

This post is part of a series, 5 Days to Homeschooling with Main Lesson Blocks. Tomorrow, I will delve into how to plan for this type of approach, Day 4: How to Plan Main Lesson Blocks.

5 Days to Homeschooling with Main Lesson Blocks

Hop around to all the posts in this series to find all you need to homeschool with main lesson blocks!

Day 1: What is a Main Lesson Block?

Day 2Why Does Main Lesson Block Learning Work? 

Day 3The Essential Elements of a Main Lesson Block (That’s this post!)

Day 4How to Plan Main a Lesson Block

Day 5: Recording the Learning in a Main Lesson Book

This series is part of the iHomeschool Network’s 5 Day Hopscotch. See what the other bloggers have shared and find tips, encouragement, and resources for your homeschool.

5 Day Hopscotch from iHomeschool Network Bloggers

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  1. Thank you! Thank you for putting things so clearly and simply. It’s very encouraging to someone like me who gets so overwhelmed with all the information that is out there.

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