So hot on the heels of my ideas of ways that will improve our next ninth grade experience, I am busy thinking about and ordering resources for tenth and seventh grade. Seventh grade is my favorite grade, but it is very full, so I am thinking of ways to combine an also very-full tenth grade (and second grade).
For tenth grade, I am seeing if there are any local classes we could take advantage of for areas where it might be a struggle, and then seeing what we will be doing at home. We are not going to do any kind of dual enrollment this year with our local colleges, but I know some tenth graders who have done that as well, so that may be a possibility for your family if you are planning tenth grade.
The main things covered in many Waldorf Schools in tenth grade (and I got this by looking at the grade outlines for high school from the Honolulu Waldorf High School, the Seattle Waldorf High School, Austin Waldorf School, The Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor, The Rudolf Steiner School in New York City, and Academe of the Oaks, the Waldorf High School in Atlanta), seem to include:
- History: Ancient River Valley Civilizations through Greece. Some include India, China, and Tibet as a focal area. Some include Colonial America as another block.
- U.S Studies: Some include Civics. Some include U.S. History I. (we already did US History over eighth and ninth).
- Literature/Language Arts: Most seem to include epic poems, The Odyssey, Poetics in general, Greek Drama and Mythology (some include Siddhartha), The Old Testament as literature. Some include separate world literature or focus on a geographic area literature (ie, Pacific Rim and literature, etc)
- Math: Most include geometry or Algebra II as a year long course, trigonometry and land surveying, practical trigonometry
- Earth Sciences: Some include hydrology or oceanography or crystallization
- Life Sciences: Embryology; some also include circulation. (we did circulation in ninth grade)
- Physical Sciences: Mechanics
- Chemistry: Acid and Bases (Since we are going to do a full chemistry course in eleventh grade, I may not totally worry about this!)
So, I started to think about where tenth and seventh grade will or COULD overlap. The middle school grades have a bit of fluidity to them, so I thought I would just see what I could come up with:
- Mechanics definitely
- Oceanography could be a maybe – hybrid between eighth grade and tenth grade
- Navigation (exploration and astronomy in seventh grade, navigation and astronomy in eleventh grade)
- Poetry – all three children can enjoy this
- Colonial America – not typically included in seventh grade, but I did this my first time around in seventh grade so we could start around the time of Lewis and Clark in eighth grade and I was thinking about how to include it again, and some schools are including Colonial America in tenth grade.
- World Geography – this could tie in to Africa and Latin American blocks in Seventh grade, and Ancient World Civilizations in tenth grade. This could also tie into World Literature.
So, I am thinking for blocks we will do Ancient Civilizations (but I have not decided which ones yet!), literature tie-ins to the Ancient Civilizations but not get too involved with compare and contrast between texts, (which is more eleventh grade in a Waldorf School), a hands- on trigonometry block using Trig Trainer and trigonometry board games plus a geometry design game, embryology and a poetry block.
Our number of blocks was smaller this year in ninth grade simply due to the year long courses requiring so much work. My main goal throughout these high school years besides helping our student with what she needs and wants and having fun and loving as a family is also to keep things manageable for myself because of the demands of teaching so many things at once and because I have already homeschooled for years. No burnout wanted here!
I was thinking our combination subjects could happen one day a week and will involve projects that both grades/students could enjoy about these areas ( and I am sure my little second grader will be listening in). They wouldn’t be blocks per say, since there would be no two or three day rhythm, only one day a week, but I was thinking one subject area per month and just having fun things to do throughout the Mondays (or on other days of the month! Field trips!). This would be a unique way to tackle some different parts of the curriculum for both grades that might otherwise be harder to get to and fit in (especially for tenth grade, which seems really full!)