Planning a Waldorf Homeschool Year

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Determine what grades you’re teaching. This may sound ridiculous, but I think it is terribly important – especially in the beginning. You can read my thoughts about age and grade, especially about starting grade 1, here.

Familiarize yourself with a general overview and the specific blocks for the grade(s). I do this by listening to audio downloads by both Melisa Nielsen and Donna Simmons. I also read the pertinent sections in The Waldorf Curriculum Overview for Homeschoolers by Donna Simmons. (In my humble opinion, this is the best overall resource out there.)

Collect your resources. I begin with books and things I already own – which usually turns out to be a lot of stuff. As I plan, I make a list of additional resources I want to purchase. You can see my in-progress list of resources for next year here: Grade 6 and Grade 2.

Organize your resources by block. Put them in a box or on a shelf so they stay together. I use these handy-dandy bins shown here.

Look at the calendar. Jean Miller sent along this link and it is a good one. This is the first year I have looked at the months in calendar form, and it has been very beneficial. (Especially in regard to how Thanksgiving and Advent fall this year!) It made the next step easier . . .

Get a big piece of paper. You can see more details about how I did this last year here. This year I have added my spines, possible field trips, read-alouds and other specifics. I have this hanging right above my desk, and seeing it all the time helps keep everything fresh in my mind. (I have since done a subsequent post where I go into much more detail about filling int the “Big Paper,” you can find it here. You can also get a reality check of what my planning REALLY looks like here.)

So . . . taking my own advice, I have followed the steps outlined above and this is how our year is shaping up so far:

August:

  • Vincent (grade 6) – Bird Study/Form Drawing/Math Review (2 weeks)
  • Jude (grade 2) – Bird Study/Form Drawing/Math Review (2 weeks)

September:

  • Vincent (grade 6) – Rome (4 weeks)
  • Jude (grade 2) – Animal Legends (4 weeks)

October:

  • Vincent (grade 6) – Geology (3 weeks) / Biography Study (2 weeks)
  • Jude (grade 2) – Math (4 weeks) / Nature (1 week)

November:

  • Vincent (grade 6) – Business Math (3 weeks)
  • Jude (grade 2) – Celtic Legends (3 weeks)

December:

  • Vincent (grade 6) – European Geography (2 weeks)
  • Jude (grade 2) – Festival of Stones, Reg Down

January:

  • Vincent (grade 6) – Geometric Drawing (4 weeks)
  • Jude (grade 2) – Math (3 weeks) / Nature (1 week)

February: Room of Requirement

March:

  • Vincent (grade 6) – Physics (4 weeks)
  • Jude (grade 2) – Saints and Heroes (4 weeks)

April:

  • Vincent (grade 6) – Medieval History (4 weeks)
  • Jude (grade 2) – Math (3 weeks) / Nature (1 week)

May:

  • Vincent (grade 6) – Arthurian Legends / Time Line / A Little History of the World, EH Gombrich (4 – 5 weeks)
  • Jude (grade 2) – King of Ireland’s Son, Padraic Colum (4 weeks)

June:

  • Vincent (grade 6) – Wrap Up / Review (2 weeks)
  • Jude (grade 2) – Wrap Up / Review (2 weeks)

15 thoughts on “Planning a Waldorf Homeschool Year

  1. lt’s 7.15am and I’ve been home renovating for 2 hours. Reading your plans and how neat and tidy everything is (at least theoretically (: has been a much welcomed break and nice morning respite.

    Can I suggest for your bird unit:

    BBC’s Life of Birds with David Attenborough (we’ve watched the entire series, from the library, twice over the last 4 or 5 years and we are all enthralled by it each time)

    the Cornell Ornithology lab website has great little entries about each bird and you can hear the calls recorded

    the story book, The Boy Who Drew Birds, is a good one about Audubon

    you’re friend’s rec. on storybooks were all big hits here! (e.g. Albert, Grandma’s Pigeon, Angelo)

    I think a bird unit is in order over here again!!

    Well, it’s 7.18. Three minutes…where did the time go (;

    Wish me luck on the painting and renovating front this morning.

    xoxox

  2. I adore those post-its. And I, for one, am interested in the nitty-gritty. I feel like I have a good handle on the scheduling of the blocks, but then…what do I actually DO with these little people?????

    Grade 6 at your house sounds awesome. I want to join in! I like your idea about boxing up the resources for each block, too. Seems obvious but it has never occurred to me to do that and consequently I spend a lot of time looking for stuff.

    Hope you are enjoying your first bit of summer!

    • Great. I will go into detail in another post.

      My goal this year is to make an inventory of what I have. Like an honest-to-goodness list, because if I don’t see it, I forget I have it. OR, OR, if I remember I have it, I spend way too much time looking for the darned thing.

      At least those bins help me out with the books. Once we start schooling, I make room on the shelves for the grade-specific books. It seems to make life a bit easier.

      • Yes, my goal is also an inventory of what I have and to actually use it, instead of buying new stuff. That used curriculum list is the devil!

  3. Looks like a very full and interesting year. I love the room of requirement idea for February. And the end of winter when everyone is fed up seems like a great time to sink into a good book without feeling guilty about spending the day beside the fire. I wish I could bring myself to leaving a whole glorious month unplanned but there are so many delicious things to do I find it hard to leave anything out!
    I find deciding which blocks to do and when a fairly easy process, and I’ve usually got it all planned out in my head that way six months or so before the end of the previous grade. It’s the day-to-day plans that consume all my time and energy. Would love to hear your method for working out what to do. Thanks, Sheila. Cathy

    • Hey Cathy,
      I will try to translate how I do my daily plans in a future post. I picked up some tips and tricks at Taproot that I’ll share.
      Hope you guys are well.
      Sheila

  4. As usual, this is a very helpful post! I really appreciate your organization and attention to the “nitty gritty!” I’ve been absorbed with wrapping up the PA homeschool requirements this week and I look forward to comparing notes with you on planning. Have a great day!
    xo

    • Hey Sheila – this is GrrrEAT – I love the concrete, tactile quality of using the post its. I plan my history class sessions with post its! Kindred spirits for sure:) Hope you would be willing to share and perhaps demonstrate at Taproot – you too Siobhan – I hope it can be a really collaborative effort this year – you two inspire me with every conversation and in every blog post. I think translating our block plans into daily reality would make a great topic as well – after all that is where the “magic of Waldorf” happens:)

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