So I have gone through a good deal of thinking recently about these grades. I have been writing things down (and scratching things out), and have come up with a yearly plan, a weekly plan, and a daily plan for my first time through tenth grade, my second time through seventh grade, and my third time through second grade.
To help clarify the roles of yearly, weekly, and daily plans, I think of the possibilities in the following ways. The yearly plan is our start and end dates, vacation dates, any field trips I know about. It is figuring out how many weeks we will run total. It is festivals and religious observances and seasonal fun.
The weekly plan includes things like how many days I week I will teach, how many days will we be outside the home (unfortunately, with a high schooler, more than I would like). I think about things like how many times a week do I need to teach X high school subject that runs all year and is not in a block, or does my seventh grader need extra help in an area outside of block scheduling?
The daily plan includes things such as how to get everyone’s school in, what can we all do together as a family or what can I do to combine my seventh and tenth grader, what can I do for self-care and my own health each and every day, how will the house and meals be handled.
The block rotations are specific to Waldorf homeschooling and how I prefer to teach and how my children prefer to learn. So, the block plan rotation for each of these grades looks like this so far:
- August – Nature Tales for form drawing and to review the alphabet and all letter sounds
- September – Math through Trickster Tales
- October – Fables
- November – Math and American Tall Tales
- December – Stories of Light
- January – Math
- February – Chinese Fairy Tales
- March – Math
- April – Native American Tales
- May- Gardening and Herbs, more Native American Tales
Seventh Grade – We will be doing practice math daily and in blocks; we will be doing extra writing twice a week combined with our tenth grader, and we will be folding the physiology block into some of the things for health our tenth grader is doing weekly. Also, I am planning a once a week “together” block with some of the areas that overlap between seventh and tenth grades: Africa, Oceanography, Navigation, Mechanics, Exploration and World Geography, Latin America, Colonial America, Poetry.
For blocks, I am thinking (totally subject to change!)
- August/September – The Renaissance, The Reformation, and Perspective Drawing
- October- Math
- November – Africa – geography, people, animals (may work in poetry writing haikus about animals as well)
- December – Physics and Math
- January – Latin America
- February- Exploration (with a focus on writing with a Wish, Wonder, Suprise theme. We will also be doing this in our two day a week writing throughout the year).
- March – Math
- April – Colonial History – Biographies
- May- Astronomy and Magnetism
- I am thinking of skipping chemistry and combining seventh and eighth grade chemistry into one block in eighth grade but we shall see!
Tenth Grade – Classes that will run all year will include geometry, United States Government, Environmental Science, Health, and possibly Spanish 3. English will run in blocks and twice a week during non-writing blocks. United States Government will run in much the same way – in blocks but also in weekly classes when we are not on that subject as a block.
Block Rotation will include: (also totally subject to change!)
- August – United States Government
- September – Embryology
- October- United States Government
- November and December- Ancient Civilizations with Ancient Literature
- January – Hands On Trigonometry, Triangulation
- February – Contemporary African-American Literature (6 weeks)
- March/April – United States Government
- April/May – Poetry
We shall see how it all works out! It promises to be a busy year.
I am interested in how you are doing your high schooler as I am learning. Are you counting hours to determine the completion of a course? I want to continue the block schedule as well. I am going to try combine some with my seventh grader as well.
I have a late Spring birthday and I have decided to take a victory lap through Grade 2 rather than go on to Grade 3 stories in the fall. Your ideas are really helpful to me since I will be creating my own curriculum for this extra time. Thanks for posting!
Thanks for this, Carrie, and for all your recent posts about planning and about choosing curriculum providers and planning your own. All such helpful food for thought! (And speaking of that, thank you for a wonderful meal planning post from last fall. Three to four vegetables plus a salad per meal–you are such a good Southern mama!!! I grew up with a baked potato, corn, and two to three other hot vegetables plus a side salad every dinner. I usually feed my family one or two veg, but it is occasionally three or even four thanks to your inspiration!) Anyway, back to planning, I’ll be doing first grade with my seven year old only child next year. I LOVE my curriculum provider. It is one of the major ones that one hears about, and it is just perfect for me and for my child. I have and will continue to tweak a few things here and there in terms of schedule and content and fill in with a few additional resources, but it will be my main anchor.
I feel really fortunate that I was able to review four curricular options in full before making the choice of which one to purchase. I wish this was possible for everyone, because I tell you, it is really hard to get the full picture from the sample pages on Websites. I would encourage anyone else who is starting out to read a lot of the blog or other writings of any curriculum writer and/or try to talk to that person via phone, or at least their staff…if you can’t get ahold of any other friend’s copy of the curriculum to review.
I am really and truly amazed by all of you who are doing multiple main lessons with several children each day. Even with an only child, I find I am still having to cut out things that I wish I had more time for. Through the kindergarten years (we started kindy at age four, so this is our third year), it has really been a trial and error process of starting out each year trying to do WAY too much each day, and then having the cooking and housework fall apart. I think this year I’ve finally (maybe!) found a daily rhythm and flow that works for getting enough accomplished on all fronts…with lots of time for joy and cuddles along the way!
It worked for me to really think (and make hard choices) about what my priorities are for my child, and then to plan our days accordingly. For our family, those priorities are: 1) Circle time and Main Lesson; 2) Outside/physical activity–hiking, bicycling, swinging/sliding, swimming, outside chores, gardening; 3) Music–pennywhistle and singing; 4) Handwork; 5) French; 6) Painting; and 7) Baking/cooking. Circle time followed by Main Lesson and then Outside time will be our mornings four days a week. (We’re outside every day, of course.) In the afternoons, we will do music three days a week, handwork two days a week (with materials remaining available for other times), painting once a week and baking once a week. With the rest of the afternoon taken up by chores, cooking, etc., and more outside time, I just couldn’t find a dedicated time in our schedule to do French. But I speak French, and it is really important to me to pass that on to my child. So I decided that we will simply incorporate it into our lives. Of course! We will do French songs and verses incorporated into Circle time, and we’ll start speaking simple phrases along with household chores, while getting dressed and caring for our bodies, and at the table.
Aw, thank you, Chris! And I so agree with your curriculum comments and love to hear about your plans and priorities. That really is what it is all about in the end – what priority is really top, and to go from there. We only have so many hours in the day and in the week!