Thursday, April 08, 2010

Soul Development through Handwriting – The Waldorf Approach to the Vimala Alphabet.

Recently, I followed a link to this blog which is pretty critical of Jennifer Crebbin's book, Soul Development through Handwriting -- The Waldorf Approach to the Vimala Alphabet.

I tried to post a comment, but could not do so as I am not a "team member" of the blog.

Over the last few years, I have heard tidbits here and there -- criticisms of Jennifer's book, and even that certain "Waldorf" booksellers and other vendors are choosing not to sell it. As mentioned below, I have not yet read it. (I had finished introducing handwriting to my son long before her book was published.) However, I DID use the Vimala method and I am a bit puzzled about all the hoopla in regard to Jennifer's book.

I have pasted the comment that I would have posted to the critical blog below:


I disagree. I have not read "Soul Development," but I have read Vimala's book, "Your Handwriting Can Change Your Life." I practiced it for quite some time before introducing it to my son in Grade 3 (who is now 13; homeschooled) after many weeks of running forms.

As with all children, my son's writing is unique to him (as with any adult -- even those who pursue Vimala).

I modeled leaving some gaps between letters. But at times he insisted on connecting and I did not make an issue of it. If you read Vimala's book, she points out that most people DO leave gaps -- they just appear joined.

It really comes down to HOW the teacher works with the students. And of course, the teacher needs to have a deep understanding of the WHY behind this approach. (I recommend Vimala's book for a thorough understanding.)

As with so many things concerning Waldorf, yes, the Vimala approach can, I suppose, be turned into a dogma -- as you seem to present it. However, it can also be taken with fluidity and flexibility -- to meet the needs of the children.

It seems to me the "spirit" that you mention comes from the teacher and the students -- not from any formula or method -- which are simply the tools the teacher uses.

Having not yet read Jennifer's book, I cannot criticize or necessarily recommend it. However, I would not "throw out the baby with the bathwater," as the Vimala approach is grounded in a deep, spiritual understanding and one that brings new thought and meaning to a habit that will last a lifetime -- even with all of our technology, typing and texting.