Lesson Plans for May 2013


This post is a part of Waldorf Wednesday. See all the links here.

The last blocks of the year! WooHoo! Yippee-yie-yay!! Happy dance, happy dance, happy, happy, happy dance!!! Here is what we are up to this month:

Vincent, 5th grader, 11 years old: Vincent will finish his Greek block by transitioning from Greek mythology to Greek history, again using Charles Kovacs’ wonderful book, Ancient Greece. Our study of Greece will finish with Alexander the Great and we plan to watch the 4 hour BBC production, In the Footsteps of Alexander. I am not much of a movie person and neither are my boys, but I think this will be a fun departure from our normal course of study. After the popcorn-fest, we will delve into A Little History of the World by EH Gombrich, reading up to the beginning of the Roman Empire. Our final project of grade 5 will be a timeline that I plan to have Vincent add to over the next couple of years. To say I have deliberated about how to do this timeline would be the understatement of the year. (I can see Tom rolling his eyes as he reads this.) However, I have made the decision to use these beautiful, hand-drawn figures from Homeschool in the Woods as our base. I will be modifying some of the early dates however, as they are based on a biblical view of creation. We will be coloring the figures with colored pencil, cutting them out and gluing them onto cardstock that I have printed using this free timeline maker. The completed pages will then put into plastic slip sheets and stored in a binder.

Jude, 1st grader, 7 1/2 years old: I have followed the Christopherus grade 1 syllabus pretty much block by block this entire year, but for some reason, I had absolutely nothing planned for Jude to do after April. When I realized my snafu, I looked at my grade 1 bookshelf and came across The Wise Enchanter by Shelley Davidow. We will be reading this lovely story and revisiting the alphabet, which is where we began back in September. Because Vincent will be doing something fun with his timeline, I am going to have Jude make an alphabet book using a set of Mother Goose postcards. There is one for every letter, and on the back I’m going to have him write a few words and draw a picture of something that starts with that letter. We will then bind the postcards into a book of sorts. Jude has also taken a fancy to Tiptoes Lightly, so we will be reading Eggs for the Hunting by Reg Down sporadically throughout these last few weeks of school as well.

Sheila: My brain shuts off around Memorial Day. As soon as the American flags start flying and the red, white and blue bunting appears, this year is officially over as far as I’m concerned. Of course we have loose ends to secure and testing needs to be done, but I feel like I can do this with my eyes closed and my hands tied behind my back. I give myself this little lull, because I know next year’s planning is right around the corner. And this year, the planning will be sooner rather than later. Due to a serendipitous alignment of the Waldorf homeschool planning stars, Jean Miller will be in town visiting her sister who happens to live a mere 45 minutes from me. Andrea and I are having a day-long planning session with her to hammer out next year together. I expect this to be a lot of fun and also very productive. I will still have a bunch of planning to accomplish, but I hope to have the big stuff out of the way, and spend my summer focusing on reading primary materials for grades 2 and 6 and also furthering my art and handwork skills. Crochet, anyone? (You can see the very beginning of my plans for grade 2 and grade 6 under “Planning” beneath my header. Right now, it is basically a list of resources organized per block.)


Here’s a peek at what we were doing this time last year. (US Geography)


11 thoughts on “Lesson Plans for May 2013

  1. Thank you Sheila for the planning inspiration for next year. Sounds like you’re back from vacation and you’ve hit the ground running toward the finish line. I appreciate your energy and ideas. Let’s talk soon.

      • Welcome back. I’ve missed you! We have a pair of morning doves who have taken up residence, nesting in a bush outside of our kitchen door. It is so lovely to watch this miracle unfolding! There is much to be learned about striving to be present in the moment, trusting the unfolding process of the development of our young. Along with the mysteries of faith, hope, and love…

  2. This sounds like a perfect way to end the year! I will warn you, the BBC documentary is not as all wonderful as Donna makes it seems, which was pretty disappointing. Blake didn’t even want to watch the rest of it, so he only saw the first hour and that was it :( I am slightly jealous of your planning session! I am going to give myself a break before delving into next year. Thankfully, I already have the bulk of my resources! And now that the weather is finally starting to feel like spring, we need to plan a get together :-) Enjoy the rest of your week!

    • Hey Tanya,
      Thanks for the heads up on the movie. Actually, I realized yesterday that I put an extra week in May, so if Alexander is a bust, that would be ok with me! How did you watch it? I found the first hour on youtube, but then I was going to buy the subsequent parts through Amazon’s instant download. Just curious. We don’t have netflix or anything.

      I started some planning yesterday – getting out the big piece of paper and plugging in all the holidays, festivals and whatnots. I had an idea of where I could sneak in geography (we are not getting to do any this year) so I wanted to put that in before I forgot. I also skimmed Donna’s rough guide to grade 6, but then decided I’m just going to wait until we meet with Jean. I want to cross-reference your resources with mine. I know I need some of the Kovacs books for Roman and Medieval History and probably the Trostli book for Physics.

      Spring has finally come to the mountains too. Yay!

      • Well, like I said, my son only saw the first part and it was on you tube. I do know the other “parts” popped up as links so it has to be out there. What did you think of it?

        If I remember correctly, Donna’s rough guide didn’t even include geography! I am really wishing we had done local and N. American Geography in 4th grade as we are still having a hard time wrapping it up this year with so much ground to cover.

        I do have Kovacs for Rome and Medieval History as well as Trostli’s Physics book. I have only flipped through some of them as I am still focused on finishing up. I will probably sit down and map out our year soon though. Usually by some grace, that is the easy part for me!

        Hope you have a lovely Mother’s Day weekend!

  3. Sheila,
    Great post about wrapping up your year and looking forward to the next. I wish I could spend the day with y’all and Jean and plan my year!!! Siobhan, I wish you could be there too. Looking at your list of resources makes me wish I could borrow your 6th and 2nd graders and do it all over again!!
    Loved the Magic Onions post as well. It really helped get my head on straight right before I did my phone interview with Donna Ashton about adapting Waldorf to you. Scary ..but I did it!! -Thank you for putting in a good word for me. Talk soon:) Alison

    • Hey Alison,
      Well we’ll all be together at Taproot soon enough.

      I need to email you about a couple of things. Will try to do that today.

      Yay about the Waldorf Expo!! Can’t wait to hear what you had to say.

  4. Sheila:

    I was wondering if you were planning to put together a sort of Grade 5 recap, maybe what all you did, in what order, what resources you used and so on. I know you post your PLANS often, but what we actually do is not always the same as what we PLANNED. :) I have a rising 5th grader and could use the help. Also, I cannot find any samples of the Kovacs books online and I’ve never seen any of them. Would you recommend them for 5th grade? If so, which ones? Also, if so, did you read this aloud to your son or did he read it on his own? Did you assign reading this year? Etc. … Help, lol. :)


    • Hey Melissa,
      Good to hear from you. I will probably do a grade 5 recap, but I don’t know when. I do post what we do, in addition to my plans. You can find them by doing a search on my blog for “grade 5 blocks” or simply clicking the grade 5 photo on the right side of my blog. I have done block summaries for everything except math and greece (bc we are doing Greece right now).

      I have found that I love the Kovacs books for mythologies and history. I do not like them for science (man and animal last year and botany this year). I think it is bc with the myths and history, I love his style of storytelling, but the sciences are too anthroposophical for me. I always read from the book to Vincent. I did begin to assign him reading this year that was directly related to our Greek block. We used the D’Aulaires book for Greece (in addition to the Kovacs) and he read from that and had to summarize the 12 olympians based on what he read.


  5. Pingback: Grade 6: Roman History Block | Sure as the World

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