Our third and last child is entering eighth grade and has plans to enter an academically oriented high school hybrid. It is definitely not an arts-focused program, and our focus right now is really getting math and writing at a good level this year so he can feel successful in high school. This is driving our eighth grade as an addition to the important elements that Waldorf Education brings to our homeschooling experience as we endeavor to develop the whole person.
From a Waldorf perspective, 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 did not do the second time around); and number bases and loci as another block.
When I begin planning for the upper grades, I usually begin by looking through at least six to eight websites of Waldorf Schools around the country to see what their description of the curriculum for eighth grade is at their school. If you are also interested in resources to look at, something like this from a Waldorf homeschooling perspective, you can see back posts as to how I planned for the first time around in eighth grade, or 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 – Aerodynamics, Physics and Meteorology/Oceanography
October – Revolutions (mainly Industrial and Simon Bolivar because our student will be getting American Revolution as part of his hybrid homeschool program this coming school year)
November – Math
December – Chemistry
January – Modern History
February – Physiology
March – Math
April/ May -Energy, Carbon, Climate, and the Environment
At this point, we will be doing a daily math program in order to prepare for high school. Geography will be 2 times a week. Our son also wants to learn French and to play guitar, so I will coordinate that (but not teach those things).
Our student’s main activities include an all boys adventure/outdoor middle school hybrid program two days a week, riding horses, 4H and helping on our farm. I am looking forward to involving him more in gardening and beekeeping on our land.
I will begin planning week by week plans this weekend for the fall. I like to get a bit ahead as May will be very busy for us with our middle child graduating from high school, and summer will be busy!
What are you planning for fall?