Lots of planning was accomplished this week thanks to the boys spending Thursday night through Saturday with their grandparents (Thanks Gigi and Papa!). We are also headed out of town this week, and I don’t see much planning happening while we are in Boston – lots of time and inspiration to get some stuff done!
I took the first steps toward planning our blocks for the year. I learned this method from Melisa Nielsen, who learned it from Barbara Dewey. Basically you take a big piece of paper and fold it into 12 sections – one for each month. As you can see, I am still so tentative in my planning that my months are planned in pencil, on post-its, on the paper. I have an “in progress” version of this information here. (You can find it at the top of my home page under “Planning.” There is a page for grade 1 and a page for grade 5.)
I don’t know if there is a method to my madness in how I determine which block I teach when. It may be more of a matter of timing in what I want to teach later versus earlier in the year. I know I want to save Geometry, Greek Mythology and Greek History (grade 5) until the end of the year. I know I want one Botany block (grade 5) in the fall and one in the spring. Knitting (grade 1) needs to be introduced in October to correspond with the local Fiber Fair in town. Math (grades 1 and 5) always seems suited for November (because the beginnings of holiday and birthday preparations call for an “easier” block to prep) and January (again because of the ease of preparation and because it is so cold!). I listed the festivals I want us to celebrate this year (Michaelmas/September, Martinmas/November, St. Nicholas Day/December, Candlemas/February). And I also plugged in a few read-alouds that I don’t want to forget.
Instead of listening to the grade overview audios (links here and here) on my walk like I usually do, I sat down on my back porch and took notes while I listened. This gave me a solid grounding for both grades. I have been trying to use a 2-day rhythm with my planning, and slept on everything I heard and wrote down. It does make a difference.
I renewed my membership in Melisa Nielsen’s Thinking, Feeling, Willing program. I love what she is doing and enjoy having her as my consultant throughout the year. I started doing the Form Drawing Intensive workshop that she has included in TFW – the grade 1 forms are enough to keep me busy for now!
I finished reading and marking up the Waldorf Curriculum Overview by Christopherus and have moved onto reading and marking up Living Language also by Christopherus. (You can find my thoughts on all the resources I have mentioned in this post here.) I am still definitely in the “big picture” phase of my planning – trying to take in the themes for grades 1 and 5, thinking about what is most important for my boys and playing around with how it is all going to work in reality. If you are planning on your blog, please leave a link in the comments. I would love to know what you’re up to.