This is the first time throughout homeschooling my boys that I have to completely prepare the year’s curriculum. Sometime back in second grade, Donna Simmons of Christopherus homeschool had not completed her second-grade program, so I had some blocks to fill in. But I must say, it is a challenge building your own program yourself. The benefit of a custom program is you can make it suit your family’s needs, having missed most of 6th grade last year due to building our home and returning to a full-time work over the winter, many of last years blocks were not done. My husband took on the challenge of homeschooling both Tristan and Evan and so did what he could in a field he was not completely comfortable in. Tristan had done the Romans’ block and Geometry with him so I incorporated Physics, Geology and Astronomy into 7th grade. Along with Human Physiology, Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Algebra and a continuation of last year’s Geometry. In a 6th grade Waldorf program, the blocks seem to vary from school to school but I’ve read that as long as there is a continuity and interweaving in the way the blocks flow from one another the sequence of each block is not that important. However, the geological time in history is very important to not confuse your child while you are presenting these events. It is also important to keep anything modern from 1800’s to today for 8th grade.
I started my year with a simple printout of how I was dividing my blocks up, how much time I was concentrating on a particular subject, what was to be highlighted versus what could be overlooked. Searching the web can be so overwhelming and stressful when your trying to determine what is important versus what is not. There is also very little information on Waldorf homeschooling without having to purchase a dozen of books to compliment your lessons. Back in Megantic, an all french community, I had no choice but to purchase as many books required to successfully create my blocks. But I have learnt that with enough time devoted to preparation of future blocks, you can find all that is required by use of the internet. There is a vast amount of shared knowledge, you simply need the time to sift through it. A friend of mine introduced me to pinterest, a site I though initially was to pin photographs on and to share with friends and family. But I’ve found out that it’s a great tool to organize each of your blocks into year, category and lesson. Anytime I find a craft, picture, photo on the net that either provides me with inspiration or ideas for future blocks, I pin it in my account. My boards are available to anyone who would like to view them, but I mainly create them to organize my thoughts and ideas. The first image just above is mainly for my personal inspiration that I pinned on pinterest. My version is to the right. This picture in particular I decided to draw on paper instead of the blackboard, there were too many details that would be lost otherwise. Below you’ll find Tristan’s interpretation of the same drawing.
So by using some of Donna’s previous year schedule as a template, I went ahead and divided by interweaving each block. I first started the year with geology, I figured if I needed to look for rocks and land formations I did not want it to be buried beneath 4ft. of snow. The other deciding factor was that this block was mainly taught in sixth grade. We spent 4 wks on it. Then we moved on to Mathematics reviewing Geometry from last year and spent 3wks on this subject. We had 1 wk off school, we continued with 2wks of Physics I, studying acoustics and the properties of light. Then we spent 3 wks on Human Physiology studying the digestive system, respiratory and circulatory system and ended with a study of the Human reproductive system; a first introduction to puberty and a clear lesson on the birds and the bees. We will be ending the fall semester with a 3 wks block on the Middle Ages. All of these blocks will be interwoven in the Winter and Spring semesters when learning about Astronomy, which evidently is connected with Galileo the famous astronomer of the Renaissance. Beautiful art and sculptures from the Renaissance closely knit our Human Physiology lessons and Geometry, if you were to think of the cathedrals and their beautiful rose windows. Finally we will end with a second block on Physics but focus mainly on simple machines and gears. I’ll be linking up Leonardi Da Vinci’s flying machine, Middle Age weapons; trebuchets, catapults, levers and pulleys. I’ll do my best to upload everything I can in order to help you along with your lessons. I always appreciate your comments. Thanks for stopping by!