Who am I to argue with T.S. Eliot, but with two separate weeks of spring break, April may be the kindest month. The first week in April we will be taking a break from main lessons, spending a day at the dentist, and (hopefully, fingers crossed, please, please, please) finish all the scouting requirements for this year. On Friday, Andrea and I leave for Hot-lanta to attend the Peach Cobblers’ Waldorf Curriculum Fair. I am really looking forward to this little getaway. The next three weeks will be spent completing our second to last block of the year – unbelievable, but true. The last week in April will find us all at the beach with both sets of grandparents, hopefully catching some rays and eating lots and lots of shrimp.
Vincent: 11 years old, 5th grader Vincent will begin the first half of our 6 week block on Greece that will focus on Greek mythology. This will segue into Greek History for the better part of May. We will be using both the D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths and also Ancient Greece by Charles Kovacs. I am interested in seeing if the Greek myths will captivate Vincent’s imagination as others have spoken about with their fifth graders. We will be drawing a map of Greece, memorizing, drawing and summarizing the 12 Olympians, summarizing the myths we read, and perhaps rewriting one. I hope to continue our form drawing practice with some Greek inspired designs. I’m sure Vincent is planning to research and make some traditional Greek foods. Bring on the spanakopita!!
Jude: 7 years old, 1st grader Jude will be completing his final math block of first grade, delving a little deeper into the four processes with some mental math and also a few written problems. We will also be concentrating on memorizing the 2s, 5s and 10s multiplication tables by tossing around our bean bags. (Jude is reading this over my shoulder as I type and just informed me, “I know all those!” So, I don’t know what we’ll be doing with Sir Smarty Pants! Ok, he’s gone.) There will be some fun fairy tales to illustrate these math concepts and keep them from becoming too abstract. I think I will also pull out our jar of wooden shapes and work on some tanagrams during main lesson time. Those things always make my head hurt, but maybe Jude will like them. I also plan to bust out our jump ropes and get both boys jumping outside.
Sheila: This feels like the sweet spot in the year. I can appreciate how much we have accomplished, yet I still have some stamina and enthusiasm left for the last couple of blocks. Contrast this to the previous two years of homeschooling with Waldorf where I can vividly remember wanting to scrap the remainder of the year and just start planning next year’s blocks. Because then I had a clean slate and could get it all right – whatever I thought that meant! I know everybody says this, but I am going to say it too. Coming to Waldorf late is a process that takes time. I may even go out on a limb here and say homeschooling with Waldorf – no matter when you come to it – is a process that takes time. If it speaks to you, if it feeds you, if you can catch glimpses of it changing you, your children and your family for the better, stick with it and give yourself that time. Listen to the whispers that speak to that part of you that resonated with Waldorf in the first place. Focus on that and ignore the rest for now. You will get there. I am so grateful for all that I have learned this year and I plan on recording it like I did for Year 1 and Year 2 of our journey.
Here’s a look at what we were doing this time last year.