Hard to believe our first “trimester” was over as of Friday! We have been in school for a full twelve weeks (starting week thirteen today!) and I do have a full thirty six weeks of school planned (although we will see if we stop at thirty four weeks instead). At any rate, I feel as if we have accomplished quite a bit and I also feel like we are hitting a stride. Some days are still rough, as always in homeschooling, but many days flow. I love how so many areas of seventh grade bleed into each other and cycle around. It really makes for great unity in this grade I think. Fourth grade with its strong and passionate feeling life has always been one of my favorite grades as well.
I am trying to post a little wrap-up of each week of grades seven, four and five year old kindergarten year throughout the 36 weeks I have planned for school this year. I hope this will encourage mothers that are homeschooling multiple children (or who want to but are worried!), and encourage mothers that even homeschooling children of multiple ages who are far apart in age is doable. You can find week eleven here and https://theparentingpassageway.com/2014/11/08/wrap-up-of-week-eleven-seventh-and-fourth-grade/ and further in back posts you can find a post pertaining to the first two days of school this year which gives insight to our general daily rhythm.
Changes in the Air: During week twelve we did much better starting earlier. I was talking to a friend of mine who also has three children and we both had come to the realization that at this stage of the game, the start time matters so everyone can get what they need in and also that we can get done at a reasonable hour!
Kindergarten: During week twelve we were still in Autumn circle, autumn fingerplays and songs, and “The Pumpkin Hotel” by Suzanne Down. We were busy singing for Martinmas and will move into an extended circle during week thirteen melding elements of our autumn circle with gnomes, King Winter, and Martinmas lanterns and singing to extend our Martinmas celebration. Despite the chilly weather, it has been prime acorn gathering season down here, and since we have a big bowl we have gathered on our nature walk, we are going to do the story “The Acorn Mill” this last week before we break for Thanksgiving.
Fourth Grade: Week Twelve saw us diving into summary writing about the piedmont geographic region of our state, discussing and drawing animals from the Mountain regions of our state, and talking about how the rivers and marshes lent themselves to early rice production. This week, week thirteen, we will be moving into discussing the journey from rice to cotton and how the cotton industry caused our state to think about canals and then railroads for transportation. Lastly, we will end with a look at airplanes in our local Delta museum since our capitol know holds one of the busiest airports in the world. After Thanksgiving break, we are moving into a block about fractions and will continue to review measurement. We are still hard at work on multiplication tables and our fourth grader is preparing a small speech for 4-H about horses. We are also finishing up reading a biography of the childhood of Teddy Roosevelt, which we will circle back around to in the spring to talk about the creation of the National Park System during our next Man and Animal block.
Seventh Grade: Week Twelve was the week of Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging for 4-H, so that was an exciting day that involved consumer judging, reasoning of consumer product reviews in front of a judge, and researching and presenting a thirty second advertisement for cotton or a cotton product. Our seventh grader did an ad about duct tape! (Did you know cotton is used in duct tape?) We finished up Colonial History by ending with a portrait of General George Washington, a summary of how the minutemen moved into a Grand American Army during the Revolutionary War, and wrote a summary about the Revolutionary War and the “new order of the ages” once that war was won. We will pick up with reviewing the Revolution during our Revolutions block in eighth grade and our new nation in eighth grade. We then moved into Perspective Drawing by working with the horizon line in drawing and painting, overlapping in pencil and charcoal and atmospheric perspective in colored pencil. This week, our last week of perspective drawing in block form, will see us painting some more and moving into other areas of perspective. We also took the end of last week to review all of our work from the beginning of the year and finish up any stray pictures, summaries or table of contents that needed finishing. We also are hard at work on math every day, mainly geometry and fraction/decimal conversions this past week. We finished the book “Ben and Me” and are now on “Eighteen Roses” about the Revolutionary War.
One thing this week we are going to do to extend our Martinmas celebration is to create some lanterns for our school room using a folded paper design. There are a few tutorials out there to go by!
I would love to hear how your school year is shaping up. Please do leave a comment or a link to your blog in the comment box. Week thirteen is underway!
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I am sorry that you are having a hard fall. We are too, although we have not lost anyone near to us it is more hard financially and transitions with our move from Los Angeles to Michigan.
I had posted last week, but maybe something went weird with it showing, so I thought I would just post again. Thank you so much for the support you give us, even as you have so much of your own life going on.
I have a 4.5 yo and 2.5 and we have been loving our fall circle time. I had ordered Old Gnome and Suzanne’s Down fall book after reading that you had been using them, and we just love them. Her stories and poems actually “speak” to us and energize us. We had started with Seasons of Joy booklets last year and while they gave me a great introduction to circle time, not much of the “curriculum” spoke to us (well, me). So the Wynestones book and Let us Form a ring are totally new to me. Are they much different that Down’s Autumn book? I wish I knew other waldorf families in my area so I could preview them. We don’t have any finger plays about owls and turkeys and I know my son would really connect to those. Sometimes, I just don’t know where to looks.
Also, last year I struggled to put together an advent circle time. It is funny, but being a christian I was hesitant to buy waldorf advent materials thinking they probably strayed a bit from the meaning of the season for my family. But, besides a few carols, bible verses, and our advent wreath I was stuck on what else I could bring. Are there any “advent” materials you could recommend for us?
Thank you for being a guide for so many of us here!!