Extending Latin America Through The Curriculum

After my post about extending Africa throughout the curriculum, a long-time reader ūüôā wrote in and said she would appreciate suggestions for including Latin America throughout the curriculum. ¬†I agree that this is needed, and in a way this comment was wonderful timing as we just returned from visiting Mexico, the Mayan ruins at Lamanai in Belize, and from snorkeling in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. ¬†Latin America is on my mind!

I think as Americans working within the Waldorf tradition of education, (whether North, Central, or South Americans), we should and must consider what contributed to the consciousness of the American soul in our own homeschooling. Although it is not as well spoken about, the basis of Waldorf Education does actually consider this. ¬†While the Egyptian Epoch is seen as the platform for Western Civilization, ¬†David Mitchell, in an essay in the free ebook, ¬†“Riddle of America,” wrote about how the legends of Mesoamerica, particularly the Legend of ¬†Huitzilopochtli, ¬†and those found in the temples of Mexico in particular were congruent to those found in the Egyptian Mystery Centers.

And, of course, the point of Waldorf Education, is to work with where you are in the world, and with the cultural heritage of your family or your classroom.  This is important and being done in Waldorf Schools around the world.  So, without further ado, this is how I see the Latin American influence unfolding in the American Waldorf homeschooling curriculum:

In kindergarten and first grade, I use Latin American fairy tales. ¬†I like the Bear Prince from Mexico (“El Principe Oso”). Juan Bobo, the trickster from Puetro Rico, I think could be used in first grade as lighter and funnier stories or in the second grade stories as he is quite a trickster. ¬†Other stories that come to mind for the trickster part of second grade include Ananzi the Spider, originally from West Africa, but extremely popular in the Caribbean Islands. ¬†There are stories about the fox and the guinea pig from South America, and ¬†the tiger and the rabbit tales from Puerto Rico. ¬†There are also many nature stories that could be used throughout first and second grade. This, in many ways, is an easy part of the curriculum to infuse. Festivals, cooking, and music can round out these grades in a lovely way.

In third grade, I really have enjoyed the approach of how man lived on the land through the stories of the First Peoples, and I think the Olmecs and Mayans should be included here. ¬†One could also include the mound-building practices of the indigenous people of the Amazon River. What I normally do is refer to the First Peoples by geographic area, the way the Christopherus Third Grade curriculum does. ¬†This makes sense to me in the consciousness of the child, but you may feel differently. ¬†At any rate, what I think should be included here is shelters, food sources, clothing, and save the societal structures for fifth grade. ¬† ¬†If one talks about time in second or third grade, I often see such books as “Thirteen Moons on A Turtle’s Back,” referenced by homeschoolers for block studies on time, but one could also include the Mayan calendar as part of this. In third grade, some Waldorf homeschoolers include more creation stories as part of their curriculum, so I was thinking that the Popul Vuh could be included here.

In fourth grade, one could choose animals from Latin America as representatives for the different categories of animals, and choose a favored animal found in Latin America as a subject for a report.  I think the fractions block could be done around something such as preparing for a festival, in practical form and Main Lesson book form.  Fourth grade is the year for the Norse Myths, and I think stories from the Popul Vuh might fit in nicely here.

For fifth grade, I would include a block on the Olmecs, Toltecs, Maya, and Nazca civilizations. The Olmecs certainly need to be covered, as they are a river valley civilization just like the civilizations that sprung up around the Indus, Nile, ¬†and Yellow Rivers. ( If there is not time to include the Toltecs, Maya and Nazca, I would put at least several days of the Nazca in with the Roman Empire in sixth grade as the Nazca also used aqueducts, and focus on the Olmecs and Maya). ¬†There are many beautiful artistic ventures that could be explored just from these two civilizations, the Olmecs and the Maya in fifth grade. ¬† Fifth grade botany typically focuses on the vegetation in the student’s world and beyond into the different types of plants, but one could also talk about the ethnobotanical practices of the Maya that are still used today as related to the palm trees and other types of trees. ¬†The British military even learns about some of these plants when they go to Belize to do jungle training; the give and take tree comes to mind. ¬† ¬†I would consider purchasing Master Waldorf teacher Marsha Johnson’s block unit guide on “Chocolate Math” as this talks a lot about the use of cacoa and how chocolate is made and would fit in nicely with Ancient Civilizations of Mesoamerica. ¬†It would also be nice to include a tie-in to Mayan mathematics much the way some homeschoolers focus on or at least touch upon Vedic math in fifth grade.

In sixth grade, some schools do Latin American geography as a block at this time.  I tend to do that in seventh grade.  In sixth grade, there could be a focus on naked eye astronomy, with a return to astronomy with lenses in seventh grade, so I would bring the Maya back in sixth grade to talk about Mayan Astronomy.  I would try to include the Incan Empire at the end of sixth grade if possible, as this fits in chronologically and in consciousness with the Medieval time period often covered in sixth grade, or begin seventh grade with this if you run out of time.

In Seventh Grade, I normally do a Latin American geography block and spend time on the Aztecs (and review the Inca and Maya).  Then,of course, during the block on Exploration, the sad effects of the Europeans on these civilizations must be discussed.  However, I think it is also important to say that Mayan people are alive today.  For example, in Belize where I just visited, the Mayan population is about 11 percent of the total population.  Incan people are still in South America today.   This is important for children to understand.

In Eighth grade, I like to do a World Geography course that counts for high school credit, so that would be another place to look at Latin America and perhaps pick up more modern streams of thought about this region in current events, more modern history from World War II onward. It usually takes us all of  eighth and ninth grade to get through American history because we literally start at the Paleo-Indian Era and work up, but there are many points to include Latin America in both of these subjects. A Revolutions block in eighth or ninth grade should include Simon Bolivar and all the Latin American revolutions.   Tenth grade typically includes a block of Ancient Civilizations, and I intend to focus again on the river civilization of the Olmecs and the Maya as well.

Lastly, if one is studying Spanish as a language, there will also be many more cultural opportunities for exploration through the grades as the language is learned. ¬†As homeschoolers, many of us are on a tight budget, but if you can save up money and travel to Central or South America, I would highly recommend it. There is nothing like standing in front of a Mayan temple that was built 1500 years BCE to bring all of this to life. ¬†Homeschooling is about using the ordinary minutes of every day, and there are some homeschoolers who embrace roadschooling and worldschooling as their medium, but wouldn’t it be nice if more of us had the opportunity to see culture and history come to life?

I hope this helps provide ideas for how to extend Latin America  throughout the curriculum. I  think in Waldorf homeschooling, we must always consider our cultural heritage and what streams make up the Americas as a vital part of the educational process.

Many blessings,
Carrie

 

Block Rotations For Tenth, Seventh, and Second Grade

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:

Second Grade:

  • 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 РClasses 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 Рin 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.

Many blessings,
Carrie

Extending Africa Through The Curriculum

If we are Waldorf homeschooling within the Americas, I feel the streams of the Native American culture and African culture must be represented as foundational and carried through all grades of the Waldorf curriculum.  I wrote a brief post about multiculturalism in the Waldorf Curriculum before, and highlighted the wonderful Waldorf Teacher resource book Hear The Voice of the Griot!  by Betty Staley that will carry you throughout all the grades, including high school.

For the early grades, the thrust, should of course, be stories and activities. ¬†First Grade can include African fairy tales; Second Grade can include Aesop’s fables and all the African folk tales and trickster tales, including Ananzi the Spider and the stories that Joel Chandler Harris wrote down as the B’rer Rabbit stories. ¬†In Third Grade, I like doing a another block of African tales and also in our focus of how people lived on the land and built shelters, I like to include that Geechee culture that is here in the Sea Islands of my state (you can see¬†this link¬†for more information). ¬†In talking about the farmer and crops and such, I also talk about indigo and cotton.¬† This could be included in¬†a fibers/textile block or the farming block or both.

In fourth grade, I like to have a block of Bantu and San tales along with the Norse Myths.  This is mentioned by Betty Staley as fitting nicely here. In fifth grade, I  spend a good amount of time studying the Nubians, who came from what is now present-day Sudan.  We talk about the Kingdoms of Kush and Meroe along with Egypt, and the connections between all of these kingdoms.  I like to point out that at that point, the Sahara Desert was semi-arid to downright lush around the southern Sudanese Sahara and that Sudan has more pyramids than Egypt.  The Ancient Egyptians wanted to control the wealth of the Nubian kingdom, and after the decline of the Egyptian dynasties, the Meroe kingdom became the center of power and increased links and trade to Sub-Saharan Africa.  We also spend time talking about trade routes across the Sahara, and return to this theme in sixth grade mineralogy when we talk even more about salt and its importance in trade.  The Kingdom of Askum would be great to cover in Fifth grade since it is also an ancient civilization, but I find I rarely have time and often it has to go into sixth grade.

In sixth grade, we cover more about Northern Africa in regards to the Roman Empire; and then I like to do an whole block on Africa beginning with the Kingdom of Askum , which I rarely get to cover completely in Fifth grade, and move into Medieval Western African kingdoms. I also do a mini-block in Islam Рnot just how this fits into the Crusades, but the religion of Islam and how many of the African kings were Muslim and how Islam spread throughout the African continent.  We cover Timbuktu and the importance of the Niger River; Ghana, Songhai and Mali, salt and copper mining;  and then I like to talk about Swahili-speaking peoples. We often, in Waldorf Education, say that Latin phrases should be brought in during this grade.  I feel Swahili could also be brought in as well.  The Swahili-speaking peoples were extending trade across the Indian Ocean.

In Seventh grade, I pick up with Africa¬†beginning with ¬†whatever I didn’t get done in sixth grade, and move into an entire block on the geography and peoples of Africa. ¬†Last time I did seventh grade, this was probably my longest block of the entire school year! ¬†We really get into it and paint and draw and cook and make things and learn songs. ¬†If anyone is interested, I am happy to post an outline of this block in the comments. In our Explorations block, we also talk about African explorers – the connections with Meso-America, the explorations by Africans into the Indian Ocean, Ibn Battuta.¬† We talk about¬†the deadly impact of the European explorers in¬†both our Africa¬†block and our Exploration block and start to tackle the very hard and real subject of enslaved, kidnapped people brought here to the United States. ¬†¬†This sets us up well for the Colonial America block I usually do as the very last block of Seventh grade. ¬†We also talk about the¬†biographies through sixth, seventh, and eighth grade of black scientists.

Eighth grade and ninth grade brings us to an entire curriculum of United States history where we study the times of Lewis and Clark onward to the very present day in eight grade, and in ninth grade I go back to the pre-European beginnings of the Americas in order¬†to make a full American history course that hopefully brings the stream of Africa into the consciousness of the high school student and how we look at American history. ¬†We talk a lot about enslaved people in our country, but also the settlements of free black people, the role of black people in the Revolutionary ¬†War and the and Civil War. ¬† I also devote a good amount of time to the struggle for Civil Rights in our country, the peacemakers in our country in this movement, and also the struggle for freedom in South Africa. ¬†We also focus on Africa in world geography, including ideas about renewable enery in Africa,and the economy of the continent of Africa. ¬†In literature in eighth and ninth grade, we look at both African-American literature in prose and poetry, usually through authors more well known in high school literature classes – Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, the play The Raisin In The Sun, and various poems, along with “Black Like Me,” by John Griffin.

Next year, in tenth grade, we will be doing an entire unit on ¬†contemporary African-American literature, which will cover truly contemporary literature (not the Harlem Renaissance!). ¬†We will be studying U.S. Government and will be looking at the issue of white privilege, the prison system, inequality and poverty and more. ¬†We will be reading “Just Mercy,” by Brian Stevenson, and the book, “Between The World and Me,” by Ta-Nehisi Coates. ¬†Eleventh and Twelfth grade ideas will unfold next year.

I hope this post brings you some ideas for bringing in Africa throughout your homeschooling years.

Many blessings,
Carrie

 

Planning 101

So, planning season is upon us!  Are you getting ready for fall school yet?  I am.  Partially because I am more sanguine and sick of all our current subjects this time of year, and partially because I like to be prepared.

So, step number one:  gather your chief helper in planning. Mine is a fuzzy dog who sits by me whilst I contemplate my thoughts.  And tea.  I always have tea.

Then, I make or pull out a yearly plan. I have had my yearly plan since my oldest was six, so it is very battered by now.  It is a big piece of paper divided into twelve big squares, one for each month, and scribbled/ written on with all kinds of pens and pencils. Each month is labeled and I added things such as our family holidays, food we normally eat around that time of year, things in nature in our area that time of year, different fairy tales and songs.  You might wonder what this has to do with homeschooling a tenth and seventh grader (outside of the fact I still have a second grader) in the fall, but I find the essence of these months still permeates into our work within the diversity of the year.

Then, because my children have friends who are in two different school districts, I look at the public school calendars for those districts and see what days friends are likely to have off. We can’t always take off all the dates, but I try to look and see what fun we might be able to have at those times. ¬†Then ¬†I determine a possible start and end date to our school year, and our vacations and festivals. ¬†It is always flexible, though. ¬† I never really know when field trips will pop up per se as we have a homeschooling group that often gets good deals to things, but if I know any field trips for the coming school year I pencil those in.

When I know how many weeks I am schooling and how many days are in each week, then I know approximately how many weeks I can devote to a block.  I start thinking about what order I want to do my blocks in.  What makes sense for that time of year?  Will we be getting ready for holidays or tired or wanting to be outside more?  Those kinds of things help the decision- making process. So I write the order of the blocks on the yearly calendar that has all the dates. After getting the order of blocks down, I start assembling resources for each block of each grade.  Usually that means stacks of books in each block divided by grade and my house is a giant library- looking mess, and a list of books I would like to either look at through the library or books I want to buy used.  For our high schooler, it also means figuring out if I am ordering any curricula for the year long track classes or if we are doing any classes outside the home.

I then start to think about daily plans.  I think about if we need any extra time for skill development  for the upper grades or for track classes that run all year. This year, I decided that during non-literature blocks for my tenth grader, I am going to combine her with her seventh grade sister for writing several days a week (skill development for the seventh grader).  I also decided I am going to pick a topic a month and all the children can do a project on it together once each week.  I chose things that mainly overlap in seventh and tenth grade, but I will have something special for my little second grader too.  So, I make this idea of weekly lessons down to the daily flow of things.  Who will go first?  Together?  Last?  How will this flow?

And lastly, but perhaps it should be first Рwhere will my self-care be?  This year I realized I had to do some things for my own physical health and I had to put those things first thing in the morning but I could no longer do it at 5:30 AM.  So I am meditating on self care and what that will look like in the new school year.

I would love to hear how your planning is coming along!

Blessings and love,
Carrie

 

 

 

Sorting Through Writing In The Middle School Grades

Waldorf Education lays an amazing foundation for writing throughout the elementary school years by working with rich oral language, varied sentence structure and vocabulary and opportunities for expository writing ( informative), creative writing (narrative), poetry (both written and in songs).  Many of the Waldorf teachers I have spoken to do speak of the need to bring in more opportunities and examples for book reports, reading non-fiction sources and writing reports, and opportunities for persuasive (argumentative writing) throughout the middle school years of grades 6-8. A public school environment would also focus upon cause and effect and comparitive essays in addition to the types of writings just mentioned. I think there are many ways to incorporate all of these types of writing along with grammar and oral language opportunities, but only if one plans ahead.  I  also fully believe on demand timed writing can wait until at least eighth grade if the student is headed to a public school high school  environment (but to know that this can be a focus in some school districts) and to begin in high school otherwise.

There is no one “Waldorf writing” resource for grades 6-8 or high school, although I am partial to the articles by Betty Staley on these topics over at the Waldorf Library On-Line and I like the Comedy and Tragedy booklet that Christopherus Homeschool Resources, Inc offers for ninth grade. ¬†Live Education does have a grammar book for the upper grades that could be of interest to some.

If you are looking for resources, I have been reading a lot lately in the realm of English Language Arts for teenaged writers (which would essentially cover grades 7-12 in a Waldorf School or Waldorf homeschooling setting).  My favorite author so far is Kelly Gallagher and pretty much anything he writes I enjoy and can find gems in his work for my own homeschool.

I think ¬†in the Waldorf homeschool setting, sixth grade is a great time to work on grammar, poetry, book reports, and ¬†creative/narrative writing and expository writing, which can include gathering information from non-fiction sources. ¬†Looking back upon Mr. Gallagher’s work and the sixth grade year I am in the midst of ¬†with our second child, I am convinced we have done enough reading, but I am not convinced we have done enough writing. ¬†I am working hard to increase our writing volume now.

Seventh grade is a traditional time of creative/narrative writing with the “Wish, Wonder, Surprise” block in Waldorf Schools. ¬†I find seventh grade is a time when many students really up the quantity and quality of their writing. ¬†I look back upon my first child’s work and I can see this amazing leap between sixth and seventh grade. ¬†Then, in eighth grade, just as in previous years, ¬†there is opportunity for all types of writing and I think also opportunities for using and deciphering news articles regarding current events. ¬† I like requiring book reports quarterly from sixth grade onward (perhaps some of you start this requirement earlier), and I focus a lot on reading non-fiction texts in putting together ¬†2-3 ¬†research papers or to accompany larger projects ¬†a year in sixth grade, and then in seventh grade and up even more. Of course, we are learning grammar, summarizing topics, working with poetry and recitation and more throughout the year in all of the middle school grades.

I would love to hear some of your successes in homeschooling grades sixth through eight and how you approached the development of lovely writing in these grades.

Blessings,
Carrie

 

Curriculum Decision Fatigue

Sometimes mothers can really work themselves into a decision fatigue over planning the homeschool year and picking resources.  In the land of Waldorf Education, homemade is wonderful because the subjects that speak to the development of the child at a particular age are ALWAYS going to be better when they are understood and warmed by the breath and touch of a parent and teacher.

However, that being said, many parents are trying to Waldorf homeschool without ever seeing a Waldorf School, where so many of our traditions as homeschoolers come from.  Parents are trying to homeschool without ever knowing another Waldorf homeschooler, let alone Waldorf homeschoolers that have walked this path into the upper grades or high school to see where things really land!

For these reasons, I think curriculum can help, especially if it means not choosing to do the healing waters of Waldorf Education versus other streams of education.  I have spoken again and again about what I look for within a curriculum and from a curriculum author who proclaims to represent Waldorf Education.  I have spoken time and again about how I wished mothers would read Steiner for themselves, look at the descriptions and blogs of the school, and to consider attending any in-person workshops or conferences they can travel to.  Choose your resources wisely and with care.

But most of all, know in your heart that homeschooling will be different than the school setting. It is not supposed to be school.  You cannot do every extra subject on top of a main lesson time with multiple children.  And that is okay.  You do need an afternoon to clean your house and go grocery shopping and you do need time to take care of yourself.

Homeschooling can become ¬†a long picture view instead of a quick decision fatigue over curriculum. ¬†If you homeschool through eighth grade or high school, you have eight to twelve years to get things together. ¬†It is okay if it all doesn’t happen in one year! ¬†Small steps add up to beig results in being slow and steady over the years.

Love yourself, and your family,  by trying to get things down to a level of simplicity and a feeling of being unrushed. If you feel rushed, you are doing too much probably both outside of the home and also probably trying to do too much within your homeschool.  Simple is best, and oh so lovely.

Many blessings and much love,
Carrie

Planning Tenth Grade (And Combining With Seventh Grade!)

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!)

Many blessings,
Carrie