Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A New School Year: Sixth Grade

Sixth grade. Wow. It's hard to believe we're on year three of our homeschooling adventure. In the beginning of fourth grade I attempted to keep the Boy on the same schedule as his former class. I really thought he would finish out his elementary and middle school years at school, rather than at home. But, we have so enjoyed our homeschooling experience that we may decide to keep going through high school.

Well, I need to give that some more thought, a lot of thought, but that's not happening today. Today we are in sixth grade and I am focusing on the task at hand.

This year's plan is to follow, loosely, the prescribed Waldorf sixth grade program, with the addition of Egypt and Greece.

My block plan looks like this:
Greek myths
Geometric drawing
Greek history
Christmas break
Rome 1
Business math
Rome 2

In addition, the Boy is taking a year long Latin class at Lancaster Center for Classical Studies, piano with Tina Davidson, a 6-week woodwork class with Mr. Kelly, 5-week handwork class with Barb Freiburg, and 6 weeks of horseback riding lessons at River Valley Ranch. We might try archery in the spring. This makes a full schedule, especially now that there is homework in Latin and piano!

Boardwalk at Asbury

The week I had planned to start found us on the Northern New Jersey shore for an impromptu last-of-the-summer romp while Husband attended a training course nearby. For three peaceful, sun-soaked days the Boy and I sipped coffee by the pool and read "Tales of Egypt," aloud. As the long afternoons waned, we dressed for dinner and headed for the boardwalks of Long Branch and Asbury Park.

The evenings were gorgeous, warm and breezy, as we dined under the waxing, and then full moon. It was a much needed rest before diving full throttle into our studies.
The full moon

If you're familiar with Waldorf education then you know that the study of Egypt belongs in the fifth grade. If you're familiar with homeschooling then you know we home schoolers tend to work at our own pace and mix things up according to the needs of our child. Thus, our study of Egypt and Greece will be in sixth grade.
Welcome to Sixth Grade!
We typically begin our new school year immediately following Labor Day. Husband takes a vacation day in order to start us off with a grand breakfast, we gather as a family to review last year's main lesson books, and then take a leisurely walk in the park. We enjoyed the traditional breakfast and review, but the sky was purging itself of every bit of moisture that day, as our still damp basement can attest.

Our year did not start perfectly, nor will it end perfectly. I'm sure there will be both bumps and fun surprises through the year, that will derail us on occasion. That's all part of homeschooling.