I knew from Jamie York's work that there was a sixth grade main lesson called Business Math. He explains this in his list of main lesson topics for middle school. I didn't know last December, when I tried this, that another great resource is a free book from the Online Waldorf Library (published high-quality Waldorf curriculum books made available for download as free PDFs) called Mathematics Lessons for the Sixth Grade by Ernst Schuberth.
I no doubt could have done a more Waldorf-y job with this block had I used both of these resources, but I simply took it as an opportunity before Christmas Break to review fractions, decimals, percents, and graphing. It took more time than I thought to review all four operations with fractions and with decimals, because I discovered that the girls really didn't understand at all (coming from a year at a local school). I was glad that I slowed down and spent more time on this topic. No doubt we would have gotten more done if we had rushed. But that's never the best solution!
My favorite activity? We did a GREAT data collection project as a family, creating and then administering a survey based on an authentic research question, and compiling the results and graphing our quantitative data, and then doing a follow-up interview with two study participants to gather qualitative data.
These are my blog posts from that time:
- Flannel Sheets and Grammar Symbols
Critical Thinking & Organic Gardening
(this is the one that explains the research project we did)
Since it was December and things are always hectic in December, I had both of my daughters (grade 6 and grade 8) do this block together.
Here is what we did. I'm happy to answer questions about any of the pages. The factor trees were inspired by Richard Evans Schwartz's You Can Count on Monsters: The First 100 Monsters and Their Characters. This involves factoring composite numbers down to their primes and creating an artistic representation of them. It REALLY helps you assess whether your child understands factoring.
We got HUGE main lesson books for this... 19 inches wide, 13 1/2 inches tall. Click on any picture to enlarge it and scroll through the pages with ease.