Monday, April 6, 2015

Plan for 6th and 8th Grade

My girls have been in other kinds of progressive schools for years, so if we want to do Waldorf-inspired homeschooling for 6th and 8th grades, we are going to have do do some blocks from previous years which they missed. I think I'm going to have to use Alan Whitehead's suggestion of three week blocks. Normally I recommend to clients that they think of each MLB as a month, but I have more content than that to fit in. I also am going to put most of the Science in "Hands" in order to get it in, and I think that this is fair, given that Science experiments are so hands-on.

This is a VERY Tentative Plan everybody, so don't hold me to it!

Especially since I'll have a thee month old infant when the school year starts!

School Year Times
I'm thinking Head (A block) from 8:30 am to 10 am. 1 1/2 hours.
This starts after we drop Becca off at school.

Heart (B block) from 10 am to 11 am. 1 hour.
Total morning span 2 1/2 hours.

Two hour block for lunch

Hands (C block) from 1 pm to 3 pm. 2 hours.
Total afternoon span 2 hours.
This ends when we go pick Becca up from school.

The color coding is from when I used to teach at the Montessori school. Kids would plan their own day and record what they did in each subject in a composition notebook. One page for each day, with the date at the top. They would record the tile of their lesson and put a colored dot in the margin to show what subject they were working in, to help them plan a balanced day. I like the idea of having a Plan Book for each child to write in. Even though I'm planning the day and not them, they need to have documentation of their homeschooling. I have my plan book; they should have theirs!

By the way, we made penmanship Gold, to along with Illuminated Manuscripts.

Marguerite Makes a Book

Hands - purple

I know that Sports needs to be weekly, maybe Fridays? That is when Alan Whitehead always had it. The weekend is an option too, of course, especially because then Adam will be able to work with them.

The other topics I'm going to list along with the MLB's they'll accompany, so that I can make sure the schedule looks balanced.

Heart - red

I like the idea of doing a daily rotation for these topics, and so I am thinking

  • Monday - Form Drawing and Cursive Handwriting
  • Tuesday - Singing and Orchestra
  • Wednesday - Beeswax and Clay Modeling
  • Thursday - Drawing and Painting
  • Friday - Foreign Language (Spanish and Latin)

We also need to remember that daily Yoga and Meditation go in Heart.

Head - Main Lesson Block Rotation
Cultural - orange
Language Arts - yellow
Science - green
Mathematics - blue

Week 1, 2, 3

6th - Aesop's fables, puppetry
8th - Renaissance & Reformation
Handwork - knitting & crochet

Week 4, 5, 6

6th - time, temperature, weight and volume: baking
8th - geometry: surfaces and volumes
Handwork - spinning & weaving

Week 7, 8, 9
Language Arts

6th - tall tales, personal narratives
8th - ballads, drama, tragedy
Handwork - wet & dry felting

Week 10, 11, 12

6th - zoology, man & animal block
8th - physiology & organic chemistry
Science - nature study, Thornton Burgess

Week 13, 14, 15

6th & 8th - saints and virtuous people, world geography
Handwork - dyeing & batik

Week 16, 17, 18

6th - fractions
8th - practical applications of arithmetic, graphing
Handwork - embroidery & cross stitch, Celtic knots

Week 19, 20, 21
Language Arts

6th - Norse mythology
8th - short stories and letters, creative writing
Science - physics: mechanics

Week 22, 23, 24

6th & 8th - physics: acoustics, optics
Handwork - artistic hand sewing projects

Week 25, 26, 27

6th - Native American legends, housebuilding, U.S. geography, biomes
8th - world economics
Handwork - inorganic chemistry

Week 28, 29, 30

6th - currency & decimals, percentage & ratio
8th - algebra, negative numbers, square and cube roots
Science - physics: thermodynamics, hydraulics, aerodynamics

Week 31, 32, 33
Language Arts

6th - Old Testament stories and grammar
8th - poems with contrasting moods, Shakespeare
Handwork - woodworking & carpentry

Week 34, 35, 36

6th & 8th - farming & gardening, botany
Handwork - soapstone carving

Week 37, 38, 39

6th - rise and fall of Rome, European civilization through the Middle Ages
8th - Industrial Rev to present day, machine sewing, electricity & magnetism
Science - ecology

There are so many resources, given that I'm doing so many topics! Happily several Waldorf books focus exclusively on, and thoroughly cover, the middle school (6th through 8th grade) curriculum. Two of these are

Making Math Meaningful:
A Middle School Math Curriculum for Teachers and Parents
by Jamie York

Physics Is Fun!
A Sourcebook for Teachers
by Roberto Trostli

I'm working on updating my page on 8th grade resources, so please check it out and let me know if you have any other suggestions!

On a completely unrelated note, Baby Pineapple has had the hiccups off and on all day. :-)

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