So I started planning Third Grade first, since it will be my third time teaching third grade and therefore has a sense of familiarity. I wrote several posts about the planning process for third grade here. Now I am looking at planning eighth grade next, since it will be my second time teaching eighth grade.
I really like eighth grade and am looking forward to it. This particular student has very strong opinions about what she will or won’t participate in, and she won’t really try to do anything with a block she doesn’t want to do. So I have had to think long and hard about what I really think is essential in eighth grade for soul development and what blocks will be well-received as well.
It doesn’t help that I think eighth grade seems to me one of the years with the least amount of “must do” soul material. Yes, there is a Revolutions block, but some schools put that in ninth. There is an idea of “modern” and getting children up to present-day, but again, many schools also spread that into ninth grade if they have a high school program. The AWNSA chart for the Waldorf School curriculum includes The Industrial Revolution to the Modern Day; American History; Shakespeare and poetry; stories about different people of the world and their folklore and poetry; reviewing all grammar; writing including newspaper reporting, business writing, writing a short play and spelling; Latin and Greek and vocabulary building exercises; World Geography and geography of Asia, Australia and Antarctica; Chemistry, Physiology, Physics including aerodynamics and meteorology; Three Dimensional Geometry. “Making Math Meaningful” by Jamie York for Grade 8 includes geometry and platonic solids as a block (which I did the first time around in eighth grade but I will not do this time); and number bases and loci as another block.
You can see some of the ideas I planned the the first time around in eighth grade for our oldest child. You can see how I planned high school American History between eighth and ninth grade in order to earn a high school credit in American History (this is something that would happen in homeschooling, not a Waldorf School setting). You can see my post about Eighth Grade Chemistry here, and I went through each week of eighth grade beginning here, with weeks one and two.
So, my tentative – totally subject to change- plans right now include:
August and September – Physics and Meteorology
October – Oceanography
November – Short Stories
December – Short Stories
January – Revolutions
February – Two weeks of aerodynamics; American History
March – American History
April/ May -Energy, Carbon, Climate, and the Environment (my own invented block)
Each of these blocks will work closely on academic skills. I am not doing the typical eighth grade Chemistry block which focuses on the human body or cooking and fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, we are not doing the typical Physiology block either, and we will do Shakespeare in High School. We will be doing World Geography one day a week and go through all regions of the world, including the typical eighth grade geography block countries.
My main idea for the week’s rhythm is to bring four days of being together as this student will have an outside academic math class one day a week. Three days will be main lesson work, and one day will be geography. We will do math daily together and a lot of math investigation as a family.
I would love to hear what you are planning! Have you started planning your block rotations yet?