Our big girl will turn nine in this year, and according to Steiner, a metamorphosis is occuring -
"as two streams now flow in opposing directions, the influences of heredity are lessening and the individuality found in each child is awakening. This is sometimes referred to as ‘the crossing’. A new awareness of self as separate from the all embracing world of nature makes the child begin to look at the world more objectively"
As she becomes more aware of her own inner world, she will become more introspective, but also more critical and judgmental of her relationships with others, including me (and him - her parents) and her teachers. Children of this age often become worried and insecure.
"Nine year old children will question those things that previously went unquestioned: “Who are you to tell me?”, “What is my real name?”, “Am I adopted?” They will push boundaries, venture forth fearlessly when you wish they wouldn't and shrivel up fearfully where once they were confident.
With the ninth year there comes an important stage in the development of the growing child, and this should be carefully watched and considered in teaching and education. It is the age when the child first really feels separate from the surroundings, which formerly were taken so much for granted. Self-consciousness becomes noticeably stronger and the soul‑life more inward and independent. All the child's powers of consciousness stir to life, and a wish to learn to know both teacher and world from a new angle.
This age makes great claims on the wisdom and tact of the teacher. The children need to be protected from a feeling of disappointment with themselves or the world, which they can so easily fall into at this age, especially in the presence of world‑weary or cynical adults."
Rudolf Steiner described how the principle of imitation, which is still prevalent in the first two grades, gives way to a new element that becomes necessary for 8 and 9 year olds. The new element is the need for authority. No longer one with the environment, the class three children now experiences the world “outside” as being separate from the Self. The child at this age wants to make decisions but is only gradually developing the inner resources to do so.
The natural authority figures of mother and father are often questioned, The children need to experience wisdom that is connected with authority, which comes through the story content of the main lessons in the middle years. One might call this a need for guidance through recognising the voice of authority-guidance that develops the children’s own growing ability to discern truth from untruth, Encountering the guiding authority that permeates the Old Testament can ignite the inner process of finding the inner voice of authority, which can become the ultimate authority for life.
"and there was light"
In the car on the way home she tells me wonderful colourful stories about Lucifer and his evil ways and how there is light and dark and a particularly lovely story about the very first water lily. I must find out the title of the book her teacher is reading from (cause sure as hell it ain't the bible!)