Why a Rough Guide Instead of a Syllabus
At age 12, in 6th grade, things change dramatically and this is seen clearly in Waldorf schools. The demands of the curriculum are more challenging and the variations from one school to the next far greater. There certainly is a clear curriculum, based, like the rest of the curriculum, on Steiner’s indications and on the traditions of Waldorf schools over the years, but exactly what is taught, in which grade it is taught, and how it is taught vary considerable. One even gets the situation, as in the US, where certain Waldorf schools are examining the possibility of establishing Waldorf middle schools, separate from grades 1-5.
At home the situation is even more dramatic. Children between 12 and 14 need to come into the world more and their homeschooling experience must include lessons taught by people other than their parents. To successfully homeschool children of this age – to truly meet their developmental needs – one must utilize the resources in one’s community and expand beyond the home. And this necessarily means using curriculum materials in a looser and more individualized way.
In light of the need for more flexibility and individualization in the middle school years, instead of a formal 8th grade syllabus, we are offering a range of materials and guidance on how to put together 8th grade lessons.
A Rough Guide to Eighth Grade
by Donna Simmons
New 2021 version coming soon.