Third Grade Syllabus
A fully integrated year with a hands-on and practical orientation.
by Donna Simmons
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The Christopherus Third Grade Curriculum
Our third grade curriculum is a carefully woven whole, with the main theme of 'practical work' appearing again and again. The hands-on approach this year emphasizes practical construction projects, gardening, cooking, and making and doing in every aspect of the curriculum. Practical math centers on measurement and math instruction occurs not only in specific math main lessons and practice lessons, but during cooking, weather, farming and building lessons.
A Native American theme also runs through the year, with two 4 week main lessons devoted to gaining an experience of the lives of Peoples of the Desert, Woodlands, Rice, Rain and Mist, Ice and Snow, Swamps and Plains. Building projects, a Three Sisters Garden, cooking, crafts and handwork throughout the year tie the Native American and practical work themes together.
As always, our curriculum is designed to give step-by-step instruction with a clear progression of the year's lessons whilst also remaining flexible and open to meeting the needs of widely different children.
Aside from full and clear lessons, stories, crafts and other ideas for all main lessons, we provide instructions, advice and stories for lessons in music, form drawing, handwork, movement, painting, cooking, modeling and crafts. We give advice on how to include health and safety and other lessons to meet legal requirements one might have.
Our curriculum is packed with realistic advice so you can make this year work! Our Practical Considerations include: a full schedule not only of main lessons but of all other lessons and advice on how to adjust the schedule and pacing of subjects to meet your needs; an in-depth look at the Nine Year Change; how the Waldorf curriculum meets the developmental stage and what parents can do to support this; advice, tips and strategies for teaching; meeting legal requirements.
As any Waldorf-inspired curriculum is, by definition, utterly holistic, it can be misleading to split main lessons into categories such as 'language arts' or 'science'. The Native American blocks, for instance, can be easily considered to meet requirements for language arts, science, social studies, art and more!
Our assumption this year, as in past years, is that you still have a 4 day week. This will change next year. We give the following main lessons which add up to a 34 week year – this gives you enough leeway to schedule in an extra week for this or that block; to add in a weeks' camping trip or similar; and to generally ensure that life breathes and is not too hectic!
We are excited to share this curriculum with you! Donna's lifelong experience with Waldorf education plus her experience of working on farms and in gardening make this an especially rich year's curriculum. We hope you and your child enjoy using it as much as we did in creating it!
We invite all people wishing to work with the Christopherus Curriculum to consider purchasing either or both our Waldorf Curriculum Overview for Homeschoolers and From Nature Stories to Natural Science. These books will considerably broaden and enrich the homeschool parent's way of bringing Waldorf to one's homeschool.
Here is an outline of our Third Grade Curriculum:
The Language Arts section of the Third Grade Syllabus discusses skill areas such as reading, writing, grammar, spelling and vocabulary and then gives ideas on how to work with these skill areas throughout the curriculum. There is also ample discussion and advice on telling and reading stories; handwriting and the pros and cons of cursive (script); and poetry as well as lists of readers and 3rd grade read-aloud books.
Old Testament Stories – one 6 week block
Stories of Wonder – one 3 week block
Native Americans – two 4 week blocks
review – one block
time and money – one block
measurement – one block
consolidation and moving forward – one block
Science this year centers on an experiential, phenomena-based study of the weather where you live. Gardening as well as gaining an understanding of the way Native Americans traditionally lived in harmony with the environment are also science subjects in the 3rd grade curriculum.weather – 3 one week blocks
gardening and farming – one 3 week block
making various indoor and outdoor building projects – one 4 week block
Painting, Drawing & Modeling:
Painting, drawing and modeling appear throughout the year and there are plenty of step-by-step instructions and specific ideas for you to do with your child. Full handwork and crafts curricula are also included.
3rd Grade Curriculum Is Amazing
I’ve just finished reading the 3rd grade curriculum you so promptly sent us. It is absolutely amazing. It is so well laid out, easy to follow and enjoyable to read. I can hardly wait to start next year!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for a job well done.
Mollie New Jersey USA
All Of Your Manuals Have Become Blessed Advisers
It was with great joy that I received your Third Grade Curriculum last week. An even greater joy was mine when I finished reading it! My husband and I feel tremendously blessed that you “guide” us on our homeschool journey. All of your manuals (well at least those we have yet purchased!) have become blessed advisers.
Thank you kindly for your brilliant work! May you have a lovely summer in your garden. I would have liked to have sent you a sweat pea from ours, but they are just so fragile,
With sincerest regards,
Lynn Connecticut USA