Tuesday, August 31, 2010

General Plan for Grade 2...

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:

Waldorf Curriculum 2nd Grade Curriculum
Main Lesson's Book Recs for 2nd Grade
Eugene Schwartz's 2nd Grade Summary
From Meredith's Waldorf Reviews blog: 2nd Grade Archives
From Carrie's blog: 2nd Grade Archives
From Schooling from the Heart's 2nd Grade Archives
2nd Grade Waldorf Yahoo Group *must join to access*
Marsha Johnson's Free Files from her Waldorf Homeschoolers Group *must join to access*

UPDATE: Here are some wonderful resources from other mommas out there:

~ Eva from Untrodden Paths posted about her Grade 2 Resources which can be found here

Again, if anyone has any Grade 2 blogs or planning sites to share or recommend, please place them in my comments section so we can all benefit :D Thank you!


  1. Looks like you have a fun year ahead of you! Try not to worry so much about the planning. Your intuition is right. More often than not, your children will guide you with what they need you to present. --Blessings on a joyous learning year together!

  2. "Peter and Anneli's Journey to the Moon" is one of my favorite childhood memories. I still have an original (German) edition from my grandmother. My children have really enjoyed it.

    I have a second grade tab on my blog. So far I've listed books I like to use for second grade:

    Here's the link.

  3. Thanks Sara! I admire your blog so much so I appreciate your inspiration!

    And Eva - wonderful resource! I'm excited to go through your blog and will edit this posting to include your blog list. Thanks for sharing!!!!


  4. Whoooo-hoooo,Jen, you have really gone to town, very inspiring Waldorf homeschooling! I am sure a couple of my children would rather be your pupils than mine. Mama is a little bit on the sanguine side when it comes to solid lesson plans. I've made them, I love to make them, lists too, but sticking to them does not always happen when life presents more interesting things to do. Both ways are OK, it's just that a couple of my children would benefit from a more extensive order in the home...I figure I'm giving them an education in spontaneity as well.

    Have a great year!


  5. Thank you, Jen. Even though I don't do Waldorf entirely (more like sprinkles), we are also doing 2nd grade(pulling up my son more), I enjoyed reading your plan. Thank you for reminding me about Main Lesson. I almost forgot what a great resource it is. Sounds like a great year!!

    You probably already know this book, but we really enjoy playing games out of the book Games Children Play.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing, I know this post took a long time to type up! :)