I have recently been jotting down a notes regarding fifth, sixth and seventh grades. These notes will probably only make sense if you are coming up to these grades and you are a Waldorf homeschooler. If you are planning for these grades, I hope these ideas are helpful.
The Greek myths of the stars should certainly be included as a preparation for astronomy in sixth or seventh grade.
I really think Ancient Egypt’s neighbors should be explored if possible. “Hear the Voice of the Griot!” by Betty Staley does have some information about Ancient Ethiopia. This would help set the stage for African geography in seventh or eighth grade.
I would try to put astronomy here, not really for any esoteric reason, but just that seventh grade is really busy enough, and it sets the stage for further discussion of navigation and the explorers in seventh grade.
I recommend placing percentages/business math and physics in the fall. I would limit physics to heat, light/optics and sound unless you have enough time to really dig in and do a five or six week physics block.
I would try to touch on feudal Japan during your medieval block if possible.
If you have time, I would put American Colonial History here, but this is a busy year. I am doing a block of American Colonial and Revolutionary War history in seventh, which will tie in nicely to looking at some of the Transcendentalist writers during our last weeks of Wish, Wonder, Surprise.
Whew. Still planning, but finding a few things out as I go along.
I feel strongly African geography should go in this year.
Physiology could take up a lot of time between Kovacs’ book, the idea of nutrition/health and the reproductive system. The reproductive system could be its own block as well. I like the “Coming of Age” curriculum, although I had to modify some of it for our own values and beliefs, and it runs about 5 weeks in total for a group/class situation, so you may want to see how you want to look at this. I also loved Rick Tan’s talk on this subject over at The Waldorf Connection this month. I have also found some good Christian resources to add to this block for more of the emotional/spiritual side that is started in the “Coming of Age’’ curriculum.
Like every year we teach, think economy of teaching. Physics could include poetry, painting, physiology and writing; chemistry can include poetry and writing; etc. You could work in Latin American geography and the Ancient Aztecs and Mayas with explorers. There are many possibilities.
I would recommend at this point to do your writing for Wish, Wonder, and Surprise throughout the year and perhaps culminate with just a few weeks toward the end of the school year.
I would love to hear how your planning for fifth, sixth, or seventh grade is coming along!