So, I am planning for homeschooling Waldorf Third Grade right now………
and I am glad I have started early. There is a lot to figure out!
Many people talk about how Third Grade is the year of “doing” and how things in Fourth Grade really shift. I actually see a bigger shift occurring in Fifth Grade, with the start of ancient history and such, with first through fourth leading up to this point in tracing human consciousness and evolution. So, I actually am planning Third and Fourth Grades together so they flow nicely.
This came about because I feel one has some decisions to make regarding Third and Fourth Grade:
1. Do you want Third Grade to be the year of the Old Testament stories (Eugene Schwartz, Eric Fairman) or include Native American stories as well (Melisa Nielsen, Donna Simmons)?
2. Where will you put Native Americans? In with the Third Grade building block? In with gardening in the Third Grade? In with local geography in the Fourth Grade?
3. Do you want to split the Old Testament Stories up between Third and Fourth Grade? Donna Simmons makes an argument for that here: http://christopherushomeschool.typepad.com/blog/2009/06/ot-stories-again.html
4. What about those Norse myths – do want a shorter block of those, several blocks throughout the year, do you want to do any part of The Kalevala? The Norse myths are dark, good for a TEN-year-old, do you want to put them toward the end of Fourth Grade depending upon your child’s birthday?
5. In Fourth Grade, do you want to bring in US Geography along with local geography? I have heard good things about the way Melisa Nielsen approaches local geography in her Fourth Grade curriculum guide, and I like how Donna Simmons lays out her approach to geography through the grades here: http://www.christopherushomeschool.org/waldorf-homeschool-publishing-and-consulting/curriculum/subjects/geography.html
According to “The Waldorf Curriculum Chart” I have hanging on my wall, the following areas are typically covered in Third Grade:
- History- Biblical stories as part of Ancient history and American Indian tales and fables. History in the Fourth Grade includes local history, why the early settlers chose your geographic location to live, how they developed the natural resources
- You can see more about literature and skill development throughout the grades here: https://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/03/10/history-and-literature-waldorf-homeschooling-grades-one-through-twelve/
- Math – times tables, prime numbers, carrying and borrowing, problems in time and more goals are listed in other Waldorf math resource books (remember this is just a little chart with boxes!)
- Housebuilding, farming, clothing are mentioned along with studies of the cycles of the year, soils, farm life, grains, vegetables and fruits, practical work in a garden, introducing colored pencils for writing (my daughter’s handwriting is exceptionally good so we probably are going to go with a fountain pen at this point), crochet work, forest walks and stories about trees and forests as an introduction to woodworking, beginning an instrument, lots of games and more!
Lots to think about! Start now!