The work I am doing in teaching our American Colonial History block in seventh grade and thinking a bit to eighth grade has prompted a bit of a search for me for history resources to help guide my teaching. I recently went over to the Waldorf Library On Line and read the free ebook, “The Riddle of America” (which also would be lovely for those of you preparing for fifth grade next fall), and it was a great read for those of you interested in a perspective regarding American geography and history.
The thought of eighth grade history really has me a bit stymied. Many talk about how the goal is to get the child up to “modern day times”. However, I do know parents who put that “Revolutions” block in ninth grade. Everything in history is also circled around again in high school, so I have been pondering this and how much detail or how far do I need to go in eighth grade. I just found this blog post about teaching eighth grade history and it was very helpful to me. I am still thinking. I also found this video, which I haven’t watched yet, about teaching American history in the eighth grade Waldorf classroom.
The thing I am finding most helpful, though is the 123 paged AWNSA document, “Colloquium on American History”. It talks about teaching American history in high school, Waldorf high school teachers give many examples of what is taught when and why (and how this varies from region to region!), and looking at bias within history. When I pull it up as a search, it goes directly to an Adobe document and I am not sure how to link to it, but it should come up if you search.
Here is a document by Betty Staley that details the high school grades, but also alludes to the seventh and eighth graders and their developmental changes and how the curriculum fits into that:
Would love to hear from you about this subject. Many Waldorf homeschooling mothers have told me the history blocks can be difficult to plan because the biography/symptomology approach is foreign to them and the blocks cover huge expanses of time in grades one through eight.