More Details of Our New Curriculum
Well, I’ve been faithfully writing up a storm these last months, pulling together the new Christopherus second and third grade curricula so that they’ll be ready for you late spring/early summer. I have been enjoying myself immensely and have learned an enormous amount.
One of the things which is especially important to us as we create this curriculum is that it hangs together and makes up an integrated whole as befits anything which calls itself Waldorf. As I have been thinking through the various lessons I am always asking myself “what will they do with this subject next year? And in years to come? How does this subject develop over a number of years?”
To that end we now have details on our website not only of what will be in both the second and third grade curriculum but we also have a plan detailing both our Handwork and Crafts vertical curriculum from grades one through eight as well as our vertical Science curriculum for grades one through eight.
You’ll see that the science curriculum especially is a little different from what one might expect to find in a Waldorf school – and that’s because we encourage parents to not try to late schools but to capitalize on the uniqueness of the home situation! Thus gardening and cooking feature strongly in our work as these are subjects which lend themselves easily to home learning – and are also both excellent subjects to not only tie together a large part of the overall science curriculum, but to also underline the ecological consciousness which permeates our work.
I have also worked in a geography plan into this as geography in Waldorf education is much more to do with how the land expresses itself across the globe than with a “what is the major export of Peru” kind of approach. I have also shifted the geography curriculum slightly, moving local geography of one’s country into fourth grade and Our Neighbors – in the case of the US this is Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean – into fifth grade. Children are more awake now to a global relationship to the world and I think this is a good thing to work with at this age. My plan also allows the geography of all five continents to be explored by eighth grade, something which often doesn’t happen in Waldorf schools. There are also weather blocks in the early grades, a block on biomes in sixth and one on sustainable technology and agriculture in eighth which again bring the child into a healthy relationship to the earth.
I teach zoology at our local Waldorf-flavored high school and have been appalled at the students’ lack of knowledge of the animal kingdom. I have therefore decided to add a zoology block to the eighth grade science plan.
We have also added a new Waldorf homeschooling FAQ on our website which should help people navigate the decisions they need to make as they embark on their Waldorf homeschooling journey.
We have also added a section for the Do It Yourself homeschooler who has no wish to use a full curriculum!