Recently I have embarked on a new homeschooling journey.
After hearing numerous times about the Waldorf method of teaching and learning, I decided to try it out for myself.
Our homeschool has always been an eclectic mix of what our children need at the time.
I was drawn to the Waldorf method because it integrates so much of nature, puts a high emphasis on free play and outside play, and the celebration of holidays throughout the year.
I am going to show you what this has looked like in our homeschool in five lessons.
This lesson is all about temperament.
What is temperament in Waldorf?
Temperament is a person’s nature as it affects their behavior.
In Waldorf, there are 4 temperaments that have held true since their creation by Hippocrates.
What are the temperaments?
|Thrive on||Short Term Tasks||Variety||Security||Order|
(Chart from WaldorfonEtsy.blogspot)
The chart above is a very basic understanding of each temperament.
Before I explain each temperament, take a minute to discover your own temperament. Click here to download a short quiz.
It is said that we all hold all 4 temperaments, but one is most dominant. We are discovering which temperament is the most dominant.
A choleric temperament is someone who is an extrovert. You know when they walk in the room by their take charge attitude.
Cholerics are no-nonsense, go-getters. They are leaders and capable of responsibility.
Choleric temperaments are often described as lions.
“She is irritable and quick tempered, yet her driven personality makes her purposeful and productive.” (Kindredgrace.com)
Choleric adjectives: determined, strong-willed, independent, productive, decisive, practical, visionary, optimistic, and courageous.
A sanguine temperament is someone who is popular. You know when they walk in the room by their grand entrance and extroverted attitude.
Sanguines are warm, loving, cheerful, and bubbly.
Sanguine temperaments are often described as otters.
“The Sanguine lives for the moment, and goes with the flow. In her energy and enthusiasm, she also is quickly distracted. She can tend to be selfish and irresponsible, but she’s so lovable that her friends can easily ignore her weaker tendencies.” (Kindredgrace.com)
Sanguine adjectives: outgoing, warm, friendly, responsive, talkative, enthusiastic, carefree, compassionate, and generous.
A melancholic temperament is the perfectionist of the group. Everything must be done properly and in order.
Melancholics are reserved, introverted, and self-sacrificing.
Melancholic temperaments are often described as a beaver.
Her perfectionist nature makes her prone to procrastination and legalism, yet she is organized and self-disciplined.” (Kindredgrace.com)
Melancholic adjectives: gifted, analytical, perfectionist, loyal, idealistic, sensitive, self-sacrificing, and self-disciplined.
A phlegmatic temperament is the peaceful one who wants to stay out of trouble and get along with everyone.
Phlegmatics are introverted, funny, consistent, and caring.
Phlegmatic temperaments are often described as a golden retriever.The Phlegmatic is gracious and kind to all—she loves everybody and they all love her back. Gary Smalley likens the Phlegmatic’s traits to a
“The Phlegmatic is gracious and kind to all—she loves everybody and they all love her back. Phlegmatics are sensitive and blend into any situation.” (Kindredgrace.com)
Phlegmatic adjectives: calm, quiet, easygoing, likable, efficient, organized, dependable, conservative, and practical.
Temperaments and Homeschooling
Our temperament affects how we parent and certainly how we homeschool.
But even more than that, homeschooling moms have to think of their children’s temperaments.
After reading the descriptions above, think of the temperaments of each of your children.
Now let’s take the temperaments one step further for children:
Choleric children can be bossy and think the world revolves around them. They also have a hard time taking correction.
On the positive note, choleric children are good leaders and enjoy challenges and encouragement.
These children do well by playing percussion instruments. They enjoy stories with a lot of activity and vibrant color.
On the parenting side, choleric children need you to allow them to calm down before correcting. They also need firm, direct instructions to follow. Parents need to be strong and firm.
Sanguine children have varying interests that do not often last long. You have to stay on them and make sure they finish their task.
Sanguine children are social and enjoy being a part of groups.
These children do well with reeds and brass instruments.
To get sanguine children moving, ask for a favor. Use kind, friendly words with sanguines. Yelling is not tolerated well. Sanguines like lots to do, but need a list to remember it all.
Melancholic children tend to overthink things. Often introverted, but still enjoys the company of quiet people, melancholic children can still be bossy and do not like to be wrong.
Melancholic children thrive on balance and are great helpers.
These children do well with string instruments.
Melancholic children tend to be very detailed, which can sometimes be frustrating to parents.
Give melancholic children space when they make a mistake before correcting. Also, use a sympathetic attitude.
Phlegmatic children are kind. Food and warmth are things that they love. Phlegmatic children are steady and will get the work done even if it takes time.
These children do well with the piano.
Phlegmatic children need encouragement to finish their work. They also need firm, right away correction with calm strength.
What I Learned About Temperaments
After taking the quiz, I learned that my dominant temperament is phlegmatic.
I am drawn to warmth and comfort. I am calm and quiet, but can also be stubborn and fearful.
I also am efficient and organized, but can sometimes be unmotivated and prefer to be a spectator.
For my five children, my oldest son seems to be phlegmatic just like me. He is a homebody who certainly needs a push to get his work done. I seem to understand him the most since I too am a phlegmatic.
My second son seems to be choleric. He enjoys leading and is certainly a visionary. He brings life and energy to our family.
My only daughter seems to be melancholic. She is a perfectionist and very sensitive. She enjoys finishing her work with detail and care.
My next son seems to be sanguine. He is extremely outgoing, warm, friendly, and talkative. He can be very disorganized and loud, but is so generous to others.
The baby of the family seems to be sanguine as well. He is extremely enthusiastic, but also restless and sometimes egocentric. Right now, he is our biggest challenge. Knowing his temperament has been a lifesaver in finding the most effective way to discipline and teach.
Taking the time to learn your children’s temperaments and certainly your own is an eye-opening experience. I pray you will take the time to learn more.
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