Mercurius Lesson Books - Frequently Asked Questions
Introducing Main Lesson Books
Mercurius Lesson Books are used throughout the world as the preferred Lesson Book in Steiner and Waldorf classrooms. Developed over years of consultation, feedback and practical classroom experience, our lesson books have developed and evolved to meet the specialised curriculum and pedagogical development of the child in a Waldorf classroom.
Growing from this expertise, the value of the Mercurius Lesson Books has been recognised outside the Steiner classroom, and they are now sought by a number of schools, home school families, and progressive and independent teachers, all of whom are focused on the natural and creative development of the child.
In addition to the large range of specialised books developed Internationally, Mercurius in Australia has developed a core range of essential books that are made in Australia. These specifically meet the need of our Australian schools, while supporting traditional skills and employment within Australia, and are offered at fair pricing.
Our full range of lesson books cover a variety of styles, including portrait or landscape, staple or spiral bound, quality drawing cartridge or high bulk creamy newsprint, blank, lined or graph pages, with or without separating pages (onion skin). Every type of book you could imagine or need, including a specialised Astronomy Lesson Book with high quality, realistic night-sky blue pages for recording the constellations.
We realise the range of lesson books can be overwhelming and to help you navigate through the options, we have created this FAQ guide.
If you still have questions ... please be in touch. Mercurius has been supporting Australian schools for over 35 years, during which we have built an abundance of knowledge through practical classroom teaching, child development and pedagogy training and consultations, and professional art experience.
Why do our books have round corners?
Have you noticed our lesson books have rounded corners? There is a natural aesthetic in curves and roundness, and a very practical aspect as well. Put simply, round corners last the test of children's desks and bags, and round lines are what we find in nature, with nature being our best teacher.
Why do the Mercurius Lesson books have three staples and not two?
We have been making and working with Lesson books for over 35 years. Our staples are not normal staples you can buy off the shelf - each staple is cut as it staples the book, to the exact correct length each book requires. Along with the three staples, our specially measured staples give your lesson book strength and longevity.
We use 3 staples, simply because this is what hardwearing Lesson Books need.
Why Italian Drawing Cartridge Paper?
Drawing Cartridge is a mixed-medium paper and can be used for a variety of purposes. This makes it an ideal choice for a Lesson Book.
Within the drawing cartridge world, there are many variations and we have gone to great lengths to choose a high quality premium drawing cartridge that lives up to the demands of a Lesson book that will be used with mixed-art mediums, including crayons, coloured pencils, graphite pencils, ink, charcoal and paint. We searched high and low and would have loved an Australian made paper - did you know Australian paper mills no longer make quality drawing or painting paper?
In the end, we selected a premium drawing cartridge from Italy. It is a high quality Italian drawing cartridge made by a company committed to measurable sustainability and the circular economy.
Our drawing cartridge is fully recyclable and 100% of the pulp comes from sustainable and responsible forestry, 100% of the production waste is recycled on the mill site, and 86% of all site waste is reused or recycled.
Chemicals are not added to the production process, meaning 97% of the water used in the production of our paper can be returned clean and unpolluted to the environment.
Premium quality, 110gsm Italian drawing cartridge that is ph neutral, acid and elemental chlorine free.
What makes our High Bulk Newsprint different?
Not all work requires the highest quality drawing cartridge, and in our practice and sketching book, we have selected a hardwearing, high bulk newsprint. Newsprint is the ideal choice for less demanding works, while it is still important that it will produce good results and withstand the general use by an energetic child.
Our luxurious creamy newsprint paper has a high wood content, making it tough and durable. We use this paper as a cost-effective alternative to quality drawing cartridge or watercolour paper. Great for crayon and pencil work, and a favourite in the home. We even love this for simple watercolour paints - just not too much water!
The pulp used in our high bulk newsprint paper is from sustainable forestry, grown in forests with a commitment to biodiversity. The finished paper is recyclable, elemental chlorine and acid free, and carries the EU Ecolabel certification.
And to top it off, the company behind our paper has a social agenda, and as a socially responsible company, their ethical company culture goes way beyond complying with regulations. What more could you ask for?
Find our High Bulk Newsprint in our Mercurius Australia Practice Lesson Book.
Why are there so many sizes - which size book do I need?
We offer a variety of lesson book sizes, but to keep things simple, we will group them into the four most common sizes - Large, Medium, A4 and Journals, and summarise them from the largest to the smallest.
Large Lesson books are used in the earlier years. At this stage, learning is more pictorial, movements are bigger and a child needs the freedom of space, that the Large Lesson Book and Extra Large Lesson Book provide.
This is NOT an A3 sized book - while it uses a similar amount of paper, the proportions are different. Our Large Lesson Book is both wider and shorter than a standard A3. This keeps it in the proportions a child can work with more naturally. The narrower and longer A3 constrains the young childs breadth of movement, while unconsciously favouring a more up and down sense of space.
Medium Lesson books follow on from the Large. Usually these are introduced in Class 2-3, and then used all the way through to the end of primary school, and for main lessons or projects in the high school. More than just the next step down in size, there is something very special about the actual size and proportions of our Medium Lesson book - read the question to find out more! Our Medium Lesson book is the ideal sized book for lessons when the child is finding their way with learning, to help develop a harmony and balanced approach to lessons, and to help support the brain to develop a relaxed natural mode of thinking.
A4 Lesson books are introduced in high school. This is the time to test critical thinking and the A4 format book comes into its own. The A4 sized book is the accepted, measurable standard for lesson books the world over, and these standardised and measurable world standards are what the high school student is meeting. Of course for projects or main lessons that retain a strong creative element, the Medium Lesson Book still finds a valuable place.
Journal books are our answer to journals, diaries and travel sketch books. Ideal as a book on the go, in the handbag, and as a mini-project book, our Journal books find their place on holidays, school camps, weekends away or simply journalling the contemplations of daily life. A small book for big ideas!
What is special about the size of the Mercurius Medium Lesson Book?
There is one answer to this - our Medium Lesson Books follow the ratio of the Golden Mean!
The Golden Mean, or Golden Ratio is an important number to mathematicians. It is known as the divine proportion and symbolised as the Greek letter phi.
In Art and Design, it is used to achieve beauty, balance and harmony, is extremely aesthetically pleasing, denotes natural proportions and supports a path of least resistance. When presented with an object that follows the proportions and mathematical laws of the Golden Ratio, our eye can process details faster, and our brain is more relaxed.
A lesson book following the proportions of the Golden Mean is the ideal sized book for lessons when the child is finding their way with learning, to help develop a harmony and balanced approach to lessons and to help support the brain in working in a relaxed and natural mode of thinking.
Post primary school, our Medium Lesson Books will always find a home with older students and adults looking for a creative and relaxed approach to learning.
Images: Mercurius Australia, Kate Kwijas and Linuwel Steiner School, Australia