A hearth is the heart of the home. It is where we come to gather, especially at the end of the day. We draw about the fire to warm ourselves; we take in the smells of the cooking, nourishing our bodies; we come to tell stories of our day, nourishing our spirits. Yearning for the wisdom of the past, I hope those who come to this blog will feel the warmth of the hearth.
I am homeschooling my Grade 4 twin girls using Waldorf inspired education and that is the primary focus of this blog.
I have spent quite a bit of time documenting our Grade 1 year, which can be found through the links below. Grade 2 is sparse and for that, I apologize. Grade 3 is even more sparse as life keeps us more and more pressed for time. Nonetheless, I have decided to leave this blog up because I know how much I have relied on other blogs to enhance my children's lives and even if I don't have time to put as much content up as I did when my twins were younger, I hope the efforts I have put out in prior years will help inspire other families who have embarked on their own unique journeys.
Wow - this 2nd Grade planning is intense! I had a wonderful email chat in the summer with Carrie of The Parenting Passageway about her Grade 2 year and she really got me thinking about how to balance the dualities of this year.
On the one hand, we are speaking to both the angelic life forces within our 7/8 year olds, but we are also balancing that with the tricksters in us all! So how to do all that without it becoming too *muddled*???
Well, I spoke to as many waldorf teachers and homeschooling mommas as possible this year to get their takes on it. And again, found that some did it this way and some did it that way... My big question was - do we just do Saints one month and then Fables another month or do we mix them up. I received a wonderfully helpful email from Jenn at Our Little Nature Nest, as well as Rick Tan of The Waldorf Way. I had the pleasure of attending the Grade 2 conference at Syrendell Academy last spring and Rick was amazing! I would highly recommend attending if you are in the area!
After sleeping on it and realizing that as homeschoolers, we can appeal to the moods of our individual children, I decided it would be best for us if I mix it up so that I can change gears if I see that my girls need a little saintliness put in them that day or if they need to relax and let that trickster come out, then a mischievous tale will be told!
So, here is my general plan of intention for Grade 2. I don't have all of my stories or every single saint/hero picked out just yet and I admit that I am behind where I'd like to be at this moment. But I know so many others are planning, too, and I want to put out what I have right now so that it can help others who are looking for additional ideas that they might not have thought of yet. The main purpose of this blog is to reach out to others to help as many homeschooling mommas and little learners as possible on their journey!
Of course, if anyone has a blog for Grade 2 or wants to share their plans, please put it in my comments section so we can all inspire each other! :D
I'd like to note the following (again these are my *ideal* intentions - they might not be something we will fully accomplish this year, but I will still strive to set these standards for myself and the girls):
~ a monthly play based on a fable, folk, trickster or saint/hero story ~ a monthly novel outside of classroom time to be tied into our learning/season/development, etc. I might try to cover two novels, if they are shorter and for the months when I see a need for the additional stories. ~ when not doing a form drawing block, will try to do Form Drawing Fridays, keeping in mind that sometimes we will need the forms to just rest. Will try to keep a nice balance with this... ~ every month, be sure that we have covered a nice mix of gardening, baking, cleaning, music, painting, modeling, foreign language, board game playing, jump roping, string games, play dates, field trips, library trips, ice skating, family visits and snuggles!
Now, as far as my plan goes - I am doing some form drawing blocks and will balance with Form Drawing Fridays and resting. I am also going to do 2 monthly blocks on the Saints, but will be learning about them throughout the year on their *day*. And yes, even if a month says, "Fables", I will do saints and heroes when needed and/or on the Saint's Day - though finding the exact balance and smooth transition so that it doesn't become muddled will be an art - and hopefully one I can do well (gulp)! So without further ado:
Sept:2 weeks Form Drawing review & 2 weeks Maths review Main Vehicle: Chumash (trickster tales & Harvest celebration) Michaelmas is also this month so we will spend one week on a lower case letter review and "The Dragon of Krakow" legend to tie into my Polish heritage. Novel: "The Dragon Boy" by Donald Samson (* this ties into the dragon theme of the month *) "John Henry" by Julius Lester (* also ties into St. Michael * )
Oct:4 weeks Language Arts Main Vehicle: Fables (1-2 per week) Novel: "King Arthur" by Roger Lancelyn Green
Nov:4 weeks Maths Main Vehicle: Animals (trickster and Jacob Streit's "Animal Stories") Novel: "The Adventures of Robin Hood" by Roger Lancelyn Green * this ties into St. Martin and the beggar*
Dec: 2-4 weeks Language Arts Main Vehicle: Saints Stories/Nativity Stories Novel: various Nativity stories and "Peter and Annali's Journey to the Moon" by Gerdt Von Bassewitz
Jan: 2 weeks Form Drawing & 2 weeks Language Arts *I added the 2 weeks LA as flex time in case we get tied up in holiday fun* Main Vehicle: Fables Novel: "Old Peter's Russian Tales" by Arthur Ransome "Where the Mountain Meets the Moon" by Grace Lin ( *Chinese New Year is Feb 3rd this year*)
Feb: 4 weeks Maths Main Vehicle: Jataka Tales Novel: "The Light Princess", "The Princess & the Goblin", "The Princess & the Curdie" by George MacDonald ( * light tying into Candlemas *)
March: 4 weeks Language Arts Main Vehicle: Celtic Fairy Tales Novel: "The King of Ireland's Son" by Padraic Colum (our Irish month)
April: 4 weeks Maths Main Vehicle: Anansi Stories Novel: "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" ( * tying into Easter *)
May: 4 weeks combo of Nature Studies and Form Drawing Main Vehicle: Fables and Thornton Burgess stories Novel: "The Wind in the Willows" by Kenneth Grahame
June: 2-4 weeks Language Arts Main Vehicle: Saint Francis & Saint Clare, Reynard the Fox and Chaucer's Chanticleer and the Fox Novel: "The Complete Tales of Uncle Remus" by Joel Chandler Harris
I am compiling a list of summer books, as well & have a list going in case we finish any of the monthly novels early. I will read the novels to the girls after school is done and then before bedtime.
I'd also love to include some helpful links in planning 2nd Grade: