Our youngest is going to be a FIFTH GRADER in the fall! It doesn’t seem possible that we will have a high school graduate/college attendee, a high school sophomore, and a fifth grader this year! So exciting!
Fifth grade is one of my favorite years in the Waldorf curriculum and I can’t wait to tackle it for the third time! I have an idea of approaching it in a different way in the past, and have essentially divided the curriculum by semester. This is because I fully understand the developmental reasons and anthroposophical reasons that the main stream of fifth grade in a Steiner School is the consciousness found developing though the Ancient Civilizations covered, but I always grappled with having to fit in North American Geography as well. I felt that as an American, Ancient Africa and the Ancient Americas were not fully represented,and that this was a disservice children. And yes, there is time for this in further grades in middle school and high school, but I was still bothered by it.
So this year I am doing things a bit differently and sort of dividing things into two semesters where we spend almost an entire semester on the North American geography part of the curriculum and a semester on Ancient Civilizations in the manner of most Waldorf fifth grades around the world.
August – North American Geography/Social Studies – Mexico and Central America, stories of the Olmec and the Maya ; Math Review in practice sessions
September – Botany; practice sessions devoted to freehand geometry
October – Math/Practice of Decimals and Fractions; Metric System using Canadian Geography – 3 weeks
November/December – Language Arts – The Stories of Hawaii – American Geography – The West, Southwest, Midwest, and Alaska
January – North American Geography – Great Lakes Region, Northeast, Southeast
February – Stories of Ancient Civilizations – 7 weeks, including Ancient Africa and the Nahua and Aztec as similar to Egptyian consciousness – see the book “Riddle of America” at the Waldorf Library On-Line for more about this
March – Botany
April – Greek Mythology
May – Greek History; practice sessions gardening and math
I am really looking forward to planning this out in detail. I will be happy to share these blocks for sale once we have gone through them and of course look for notes for these blocks here on the blog, as well as previous posts from when I went through these blocks two other times!