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)