I am doing third grade for the second time this year, and I have to be honest and say it is much more fun this time around. I revised my starting plans several times almost up until the last minute, so we have ended up starting with Native Americans. I am so glad we did!
We start each day with a time of the heart as a whole family. We use the Morning Devotionals from The Book of Common Prayer, we recite Prayers of the People (form three from The Book of Common Prayer), recite Psalm One (because when that is memorized by each of our older girls they will get a necklace with a tree pendant!). We then usually do Circle Time and practical work for the smallest member of our family, our three-year-old.
Next up is movement and math for my children in the grades. We play a lot of games, and do a lot of movement to keep going over addition and subtraction facts and multiplication/division tables. I bring form drawing on Mondays. Usually I start with a whole block of form drawing, but this year I decided to combine forms and movement with a block on cursive writing. One of my dear friends told me about this book, and it was a great inspiration for this block:
The Path of The Quiet Elk is a Native American Alphabet book about Looks Within’s journey with the Medicine Woman. I used it as a springboard to create a story that would allow us to practice and continue the cursive writing we started in second grade, review letter sounds, short and long vowels and consonant blends (many third graders are reading at grade level in Waldorf third grade, but mine is not right now) , and just have fun! We made a little fringed pouch as one of our first projects, collected natural objects to put in the pouch, and also made a lovely talking stick. I highly recommend the craft kits by Tandy Leather. Hobby Lobby and other stores carry these, and I found their pre-punched kits to be just right for a third grader. (Some of the kits from other authentic Native American suppliers were really just too difficult for a third grader to navigate – I know because I ordered some, and also got some of the Tandy Leather ones).
In this way, we combined cursive writing, letter sounds and sight words, handwork, pentatonic flute using Native American themed songs, singing Native American themed songs, and this week we moved into Native American tribes and their shelters.
One of the other fun things about this block is that it leads to great imaginative play for the small children in the family. One of my other dear friends made a suggestion regarding putting a teepee in our playroom, so Daddy built our three-year-old a teepee in our school room, and he also has a small village of peg people complete with little miniature teepees and canoes the older children and I made as part of this block. When we were busy constructing a diorama this week, our three-year-old was busy making a little stone firepit for his peg people and beeswax fish for his people to fish. Even our sixth grader popped over to make a diorama as well.
Fun for all,