Friday, January 04, 2008

Fifth Grade Curriculum / Resources

We are using a variety of materials for our home education. I have always been quite dedicated to the Waldorf approach, but also appreciate other methods as well. For instance, Charlotte Mason's approach was designed specifically for home education, and I have found much of her approach not only blends well with Waldorf but also works well for us. I am also doing much in-depth research on Classical Education. Interestingly, this has sent me straight to Steiner for more in-depth research! Studying the history of CE (as opposed to simply neo-CE) has helped me to understand the entire history of education and how (and perhaps why) the various methods came about.

  • Cradle Tales of Hinduism, Nivedita -- for much of our India block -- especially the stories of Krishna
  • Notes from attending Rudolf Steiner College weeklong course: "The Art of Teaching Grade 5"
  • Ancient Mythlogies, Charles Kovacs
  • Recorder by Peter Gelling -- for use with our C-flutes; this is a very nice music book as it gives lots of music theory. It also has a number of nice duets -- great for home schoolers! But if you are using a C-flute, be sure to use the fingering chart that comes with the C-flute (diatonic).
  • "Botany" by Donna Simmons
  • Key to Decimals
  • Key to Fractions (began in 4th grade; completed during 1st sem. of 5th grade)
  • Live Education!
  • The Children's Material -- A Complete "Miracles" Course for Children, Bette Jean Cundiff; we use this as our "spiritual works" material, a la Charlotte Mason, reading it typically at the breakfast or dinner table.
  • The "Write" Approach Book 1 -- Form Drawing for Better Handwriting by Joen Gladich and Paula A. Sassi; we are revisiting this book to help improve fluidity of handwriting; we originally used it in Grade 3 for many weeks before introducing the Vimala alphabet
  • A Greek Alphabetarion and A Greek Hupogrammon both by Harvey Bluedorn. Yes we are learning the Greek alphabet and basic Ancient Greek! I know you will not find this subject on many Waldorf curriculum lists. However, my research of CE drove me deeper into Steiner and I found that at the first Waldorf school(s), Greek and Latin were indeed taught! Through my study of CE, I have found many, many good reasons to teach these languages. My plan is to begin Greek this year, since we will be encountering Ancient Greek mythology soon and Latin next year. And by the way, the old Waldorf curriculum wall chart does indicate Greek and Latin. Does anyone know of any Waldorf schools teaching these? I think I only found one in the states. If so, please let me know!
The above are mostly our Waldorf-inspired curriculum choices. The following are our literature selections -- I suppose they can be called "Charlotte Mason" selections or simply "free reading." These I read to my son.

A Christmas Carol (well we didn't actually finish it and it is rather challenging, but we will read it again next year and hopefully see the play)
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

On his own this year, he has read Harry Potter books 1-3 (saving the others until he is a bit older) and is currently reading Farmer Boy.

Other selections from our loosely CM piece of home education:
The Story Book of Science, Jean Henri Fabre (I read; he narrates back)
By Pond and River, A. Buckley (my son reads this aloud and narrates it back)
Home Geography for Primary Grades, by C.C. Long; I originally found this at Project Gutenburg, but click here to see & download a PDF including original illustrations and cover. My son has enjoyed this book very much and it would make a lot of sense to use it in fourth grade as well. I think you will find the opening section written "To the Teacher," to ring of Waldorf ideas and approaches to this subject. (I read; he narrates)

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