Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Waldorf Homeschooling: Preparing for Eighth Grade

Summer Nights Spent Reading

The public school kids are back to school already; it's only the middle of August. Our district decided to start earlier this year to make sure they could get in all of the required 180 days without deducting from the teacher in-service days. I am so glad we homeschool! It still feels like sun; sticky air; the cicadas buzz sawing; I would HATE to have to be in school. 

Even though we are not ready to start yet, I have been preparing. I think about the upcoming year all summer long. And I usually try to read as much as possible about the potential subject matter before I dig and plan. This summer I did not. I took a much needed break and decided to give myself a start date of August 1. I could think about things....but  NO PLANNING. I just needed to breathe a little.

As the Boy advances toward high school, our subjects get "meatier." Which means more preparation on my part...getting a real understanding of the subjects so I can present the main ideas at a deeper level. It is no longer enough to present everything through story. The Boy wants to know about things: how they work, why events ocurred, how things affect his life.  I spend much of my time looking for resources that i can use to articulate what I think is really important for him to know and understand. Thank goodness for the public library!

This year I need to concentrate on math. We are still a bit behind; I wanted to introduce Algebra last year but didn't get to it. So, along with Geometry in Art and Nature and regular Mathematics, I will be introducing Algebra. It will be a big math year for us. Ive decided to start the year off with Geometry and Algebra.

Some of the other subjects we will tackle include:
Latin III using the Cambridge Latin series, taught at Lancaster Center for Classical Studies
Dissection, taught at Lancaster County Parks
Geometry, also using JYP
Physics: electricity, incline plane, levers, aerodynamics, hydraulics
Anatomy and Physiology: digestion, circulation, reproduction,
                                          skeletal and muscular systems, eye, ear
History: Reformation, Revolution (including French, Russian, American, and Industrial)
Meteorology: Weather systems
Geography: South America, Africa, Eurasia, Asia
Language Arts: Short stories
Drawing: continue black and white drawing
Handwork: sewing
Piano and Voice: Tina Davidson
Drama/Speech: various plays through local theater