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 7th grade syllabus, we are offering a range of materials and guidance on how to put together 7th grade lessons.
A Rough Guide to Seventh Grade
by Donna Simmons
$5.00 – $10.00 | Understanding our pricing
Our Rough Guide to Seventh Grade will help you schedule, plan and teach 7th grade at home.
In many ways 7th grade can be characterized as the year of looking ahead. Finally able to call themselves teens, thirteen-year old-children (who rarely accept being called such) are chomping at the bit, ready to join the world. Their horizons are expanding and every day can be full of wonders.
Yet this sense of wonder must not be only the naïve and open-eyed sense of wonder that is so important for younger children. Such moments should exist for 7th graders, but, in general, wonder needs to be experienced as a growing sense for the richness, complexity and unending beauty of our world, including the works of man.
This is the year when we travel to Africa, Asia and South and Central America in geography. Following on from main lessons devoted to exploring the land and cultures of such vastly differing parts of the world, we turn to a study of the Renaissance and into the Enlightenment. New frontiers in science, religion, art, exploration and human relationships emerged as human evolution turned the corner toward modern consciousness.
In science the children focus on chemistry, electricity and magnetism, and human physiology. In English, the first lessons in bringing consciousness to writing as writing occur. This is an exciting year in mathematics as well, when algebra and geometric proofs are explored. Interesting math topics such as the Fibonacci series are studied.