I hope you are well on your way with home school planning for fall; I have planned about six weeks’ worth of lessons so far myself.
One thing that does not always get mentioned among the Waldorf forums and websites is this notion of INDIVIDUAL ASSESSMENT. Very often we know WHAT to teach (ie, Norse Myths in the Fourth Grade, Modern History in the Eighth Grade); hopefully we have the pieces to know HOW to teach (through movement, through whole to parts, through oral to written to reading, through a rhythm that includes sleep). Maybe we even know WHY we teach what we teach – based upon the development of the human being.
But we still need the piece of individual assessment in order to plan for the school year. And who knows your child better than yourself?
Here are some areas I might consider for the Kindergarten-aged child (those aged 5 and 6):
- Physical Appearance (this often provides insight into the speed of incarnation into the physical body – ie, tall and thin? how do they walk and move? loss of teeth yet?)
- Gross Motor Skills/Fine Motor Skills
- Reaction of Child to Rhythm
- Imagination/Creative Play
- Artistic Abilities/Handwork
- General Personality (adaptability, perseverance, inquisitive or not, how do they do with other adults, how do they do with children, etc)
- Spirituality (does the child show reverence? when? how?)
- Health (how many times sick this past year? with what?)
- Academic Areas (are they able to catch onto oral rhymes that you are doing? how do they order things outside and inside? do they understand sequencing of a story? attention span? etc.)
- Practical Life Skills
You may also want to assess yourself:
- What qualities do I need to work on bringing to my family through my modeling? Where did I succeed as a homeschooling parent this past year? Where were my weaknesses?
- How did I arrange our days at home and our days out? How was the flow on the days we were home?
- How did I cultivate protection and development of the 12 senses for my small child, both in physical and emotional ways?
- What was my inner work? How did I do this? What did I learn from it?
- What do I need to read over the Summer to prepare for the upcoming year?
- What skills do I really need to learn in order to help my children?
For older children in the grades, I might consider all of the above plus some of the following areas:
- Very specific academic and artistic skills for goals for the school year
- Areas of challenge within the personality/temperament areas that need harmonizing and balancing during the school year (this could be done through your selection of stories, your own modeling, setting up situations or opportunities for this to occur)
- Do I have a theme for the year or a quality for the year that I want to work with and run as a theme through my year?
- As a family, what do we need to have more of? to see more of?
- What are our challenges as a family?
- What do I need to do artistically or through my inner work?
- What do I need to be successful as a homeschooling mother?
Just a few ideas to get you started, please do feel free to share some of your planning tips below!