It is hard to believe I will have a sixth grader in the fall! I have started gathering some Waldorf resources to use for grade six.
First of all, here are a few things that I know my local Waldorf School covers in Grade Six and a few notes with what I plan to do at home:
Main Lesson Blocks:
- Roman empire, medieval society and history (at home, I plan on covering Rome this year and will save medieval for seventh grade. In Eighth Grade we will do the Renaissance and voyages of discovery, and then move into Asian and American history probably more in Ninth Grade. I just feel this is a more realistic timetable for home, and since we plan to homeschool in high school, I feel I can stretch the middle school subjects a bit.) Resources: Christopherus Roman History and Charles Kovacs’ Ancient Rome, Dorothy Harrer’s book)
- Compositions, book reports, research projects, speech work, oral presentations, discussion, debate (see Eric Fairman’s Path of Discovery Grade Six for some neat project ideas) — I am putting in our year a two week block of literature. I have not yet decided what book look at in-depth during this time. I also intend to take our daughter to see some plays during this time.
- Percents and business math, metric system, (Probably will use a mix of Making Math Meaningful, and The Key To Series….Also may pull from more standard sources for practice problems)
- Physics, geology, astronomy, botany (For physics, we will use Eric Fairman’s very clear experiments, some things I learned in my Foundation Studies course, and the book “Physics Is Fun” by Trostli. I also like the books “Physics for Kids” (a series) by Robert W. Wood that I believe was recommended in the Christopherus Homeschool materials. For geology, I haven’t found any resources I deem terrific except to read “The Living Earth” by Walther Cloos and I sort of like “All About Rocks and Minerals” by Ann Terry White as a vintage look into geology, along with an armchair guide to the minerals and geology of my state. We will also use our local resources – there is a marble quarry in my state, and lots of information about minerals found here in our local museums. For astronomy, I am thinking again about local resources available through our museums and astronomy clubs, along with Norman Davidson’s “Sky Phenomena: A Guide to Naked-Eye Observation of the Stars” and HA Rey’s “Find the Constellations”. For botany, I am going to use these ideas put together by The Nature Institute for middle school: http://www.natureinstitute.org/txt/ch/envir_cur2011.pdf . I also want to cover biographies of famous physicists as we go along, and do a short block on inventors. Whew!)
- Our local school covers South American Geography; I will do that as an early block in seventh grade and cover Europe/Middle East/North Africa this year.
Fine and Applied Arts
- Clay modeling (Arthur Auer’s book “Learning About The World Through Modeling”)
- Advanced Handwork ( we have a co-op and I am so grateful for our handwork teacher!)
- Woodwork (we have a co-op with a woodworking teacher that I am so grateful for!)
- Drama (we get this mainly through our place of worship’s spring musical)
- Geometric Drawing
I would add in here other painting and drawing, even though it is not listed separately on our local school’s list. Wet on dry painting is tops on my list. There are good examples on Eugene Schwarz’s DVD of Sixth Grade in conjunction with mineralogy, and in the book “Painting In Waldorf Education”.
- Soprano and alto recorder (I am a flautist but I have to say our use of Choroi flutes never really took off and I am planning on trying a simple pearwood or maple recorder this year with my sixth grader – my second grader is still using a Choroi pentatonic flute. Better late than never! And there is recorder music for heading into medieval and renaissance time periods!)
- Choral music (we get this through our place of worship, which has a program through the Royal School of Church Music to move through the levels of being a chorister. Very British indeed!)
- Wind ensemble or orchestra (my rising sixth grader plays guitar and is playing some in our place of worship in an ensemble)
- Eurythmy (I plan to do copper rods with poetry. copper balls and other movement. Copper rods are perfect for the gesture of the adolescent!)
- Sports (my oldest is in rhythmic gymnastics, which is a mix of dance, ballet and gymnastics and involves a lot of performing elements)
- Spanish (continuing with mainstream resources at this point and using the book “Senderos” as a reference
- German (continuing with mainstream resources; our children did attend a Saturday morning German School for a few years and now don’t and we also don’t have German tutoring anymore, so I need to think about how to continue German!)
- And it is not listed in our local school’s list, but we just started Latin through our homeschool co-op this Spring and will continue next year.
Would love to hear what you are planning for fall,
Can I just say ‘Wow’! This is incredible to read. All the things you plan to do and the fact you have planned a few years in advance as well! I had considered home-schooling if my daughter didn’t get in to our local Steiner, but she did and I’m ever so grateful. She’s only 4, but she’s loving it! I have no teaching experience and having read your post above I don’t think I could give her all that she needs at home. At the moment I am focusing on our rhythm and trying to synchronise a little with her school. I have to admit it is quite over whelming reading this post! You must be super organised and so passionate! I’m really enjoying your blog, you are most certainly inspirational.
Thank you for posting this Carrie! As you flesh out your planning, I would love to hear how you plan to use the copper rods and balls. Maybe a post on how this fits the gesture of the adolescent? I haven’t ventured anywhere near this, but am interested in the whys and hows. Thank you!
Mrs. Mallard, I have had one in the works for several months now on that very topic. It is slow going, LOL..but look for it eventually.:)
Blessings and love,
How ever do you do all this?! I wonder if you will write a review of the year now that it is in the past and tell us what went by the wayside and how you decided when to stop and when to go deeper. I found myself taking months to get through half of the geometry lessons. So much depth, so so hard to just rush through. So much I am NOT doing…like Spanish, even though my husband is fluent! He speaks Swiss German to our daughter 90% of the time, so Spanish has been on the wayside mostly.
Anyway, your plans are marvelous- I wish I could spend two years as your student just doing this 6th grade work!
I decide a lot of that over the summer when I plan – what to go more in depth with and what to not; I think that comes down to the art of teaching and who you are as a teacher. In sixth through eighth grades, the pace does step up. The volume of material is more. Some things in the home environment have to slide because you cannot do all jobs and be a full time housekeeper and chef and driver as well. But there are advantages to homeschooling, so we have to hold onto those. Home is not school. There is no way. It is different. You can go back and see my back posts from the first time I did sixth grade if you search under the homeschooling tab and sixth grade.
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