Monday, February 06, 2012

Moving Forward With Grade 6

People who read this blog (I think there are two of you) maybe astounded confused by the number of times we change course over the space of a year. Either I am brilliant and move constantly to meet the needs of my children or I am fickle / can't make up my mind / still haven't found anything that works. I hope it is the former ...

We have 5 blocks left in our homeschool year. Our current Ancient Roman History I block has been preempted by illness and a need to get back to basics and work on skills. Actually, a nice conversation at Homespun Waldorf left me thinking that my boys had already learned enough of Roman History for now and that we can move that off the calendar this year regardless of the traditional Waldorf curriculum. We'll keep going with in-depth math work for the next three weeks.

Our next planned block is the grade 6 Physics block and I am thinking that we'll leave it on the calendar. It may be just what we need to refresh our little homeschool and inject some enthusiasm and excitement. Plus it is very hands on, which is perfect for the March doldrums. The trick will be finding a way to keep it fresh as the boys have spent countless hours exploring physics with Papa and on their own. (Can I say here that I am looking forward to teaching a grade at some point in the future where the boys haven't already learned most of what I am planning to teach? I wonder if it is possible.)

After that would have been our Ancient Roman History II block, which will be replaced with another skills block, this time focusing on the writing process. I finally got hold of a Lively Lessons Story Board and think it will really help us. We've also added another computer for the boys to use, so they will start writing using a word processing program.

Astronomy comes in May. It's another subject that the boys have studied extensively, so it will need a fresh approach. Or perhaps we'll do it as a part time block and add in something else, like continuing decimals and percents work.

Our final block of the year is supposed to be an introduction to The Middle Ages, except, as always, the boys already know quite a bit of history from this time period. Honestly, this is the block I expect to have the most trouble with, as most of the boys' friends will be done with schooling / homeschooling for the summer. I'n thinking of having the boys review The Story of the World Volume 2 (gasps heard 'round the web from the Waldorf purists) over the rest of this homeschool year (starting now) and then jettisoning this block in favor of some low pressure skills work in writing. We'll have to see how it goes.

I feel really relaxed about all of it. Coming to understand with the very basics of the grade 6 (fractions/decimals/percents plus the five paragraph essay) has given me the compass that I've been lacking all year.

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