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 thirteen here and 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.
Rhythm: We completed week fourteen before our Winter Break, and this week was week fifteen of school. I made a very simple schedule with times on it for school in January, knowing that we might need to ease back into school. I am so glad I did since we all ended up with the flu, and I have been the sickest out of everyone. I didn’t get the cleaning and planning (ie, hunt for images ahead of time for our seventh grader’s block), but I am also so happy I plan all blocks over the spring and summer. It really saves you when you fall sick over the winter break. I highly encourage you to start thinking about the grade you will start in the fall and compiling your resources. I am ready to start ordering things soon.
Kindergarten: This week was a low energy week for our littlest guy, so it was mainly baking, making snowflakes, coloring and sitting in someone’s lap and playing hide and go seek when he had more energy and wasn’t coughing. I think that is perfectly acceptable!
Fourth Grade: The week before Christmas Break we finished up some fractions – mainly adding and subtracting with like and unlike denominators. We also worked hard on times tables. This week, we have been reviewing math every day. We finally started the fourth grade worksheets from Jamie York’s “Making Math Meaningful”, the fourth grade flashcards, and are still working on times tables every day. We only do ten problems a day from the worksheets as our fourth grader is not ready to do thirty problems at a time. Therefore, one day of Jamie York’s worksheets give me three days worth of practice. We have also been working with measurement and time as well, and baking as a practical application of measurement. We started Norse Myths yesterday and have gone back through some grammar (see Dorothy Harrer’s grammar book that is a free e-book on the Waldorf On-Line Library). Today we went over punctuation, what is a sentence, types of sentences and made up sentences from the Norse Myths that we have read so far. Next week we will review the Three Norns and work on past, present and future tense sentences. We finished reading “Wheel on the School” this week. Our cross stitch bookmark is done, so we will have a new handwork project to start next week. There is still choir at church and we had a big Epiphany Pageant at church that our fourth grader played a part in. It took quite a few practices, so I count that as drama and music!
Seventh Grade: We kept plugging along with chemistry the week before Christmas and finished this block this week. I have to say how absolutely pleased I am with this block. I think it was our seventh grader’s favorite outside of Colonial American History this year. As mentioned, we used “A Demonstration Manual for Use in the Waldorf School Seventh Grade Chemistry Main Lesson” by Mikko Bojarsky. This is very excellent, and I highly recommend it, but PLEASE be aware it is solely experiments – great experiments! – but you are going to have to hunt for biographies of chemists, artistic work, poetry, etc. to really bring this block to life. I recommend the (Christian, so pre-read if this bothers you) book, “Exploring the World of Chemistry; from Ancient Metals to High –Speed Computers” by John Hudson Tiner as a way to bring in great biographies and the history of chemistry and how chemistry fits into every day life.
Our chemistry main lesson book ended up being:
- Title Page/Table of Contents
- Abbreviations/Symbols for Common Elements
- The Combustion of Natural and Man-Made Items (table)
- Wet on Dry Painting of Combustion
- The Chemical Processes In the Candle
- Burning Powdered Metals and Making Colored Flames
- Limestone, Quicklime and Slaked Lime Cycle
- The Limestone Cycle of the Earth
- A Poem About Lime
- The pH Scale
- Properties of Acids and Bases
- Cabbage Juice Indicator – what we learned
- Neutralizing an Acid with A Base
- The Water Cycle
- Salt Solutions
- Crystals from Table Salt
- Water: The Universal Solvent (chemistry book I mentioned above was very helpful)
- Water as a Catalyst
- The Nitrogen Cycle
Yesterday and today we jumped into our Africa block. I am very, very excited about this block and really think it will be one of the best blocks of the year. I introduced the continent of Africa, we talked extensively about the desert regions (and the people who live there – specifically the Tuareg and the San) and the rain forest, the life cycle of the baobab tree, made charcoal drawings of the acacia tree and the baobab tree, and I assigned my daughter to write a play based upon the life cycle of the baobab tree. She also made a terrific title page that I hope to share an image of in the future.
A busy but successful week of homeschooling.