Tag Archives: waldorf home school

Seventh Grade: The Age of Exploration and Discovery

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Ocean Currents

Ocean Currents

Watercolor of Africa

Watercolor of Africa


Routes of the Explorers


Teal did the cutest little gold blocks for Pizzaro and then we noticed she had spelled his name wrong! It was still a great effort.

Teal did the cutest little gold blocks for Pizarro.

I used Charles Kovacs’ book The Age of Discovery as the main text for our Age of Exploration and Discovery block. I also liberally used the internet to find background information, maps, etc.  The Kovacs books are excellent for short biographies. They really seem to capture the spirit of the historical figures, which is important because in the Waldorf pedagogy during grades 1-8 the teacher brings history to the child using biographies. In reality, for children aged 7-14 there is far too much to cover if you look at history as events only, but if you can capture the “feeling of the age” by studying a few notable people who lived during that time, you help your child develop a sense for how the human race is unfolding.

Here is a list of what we studied and did during this block;

  • Henry the Navigator with summary
  • Because Henry’s sailors were mapping the coast of Africa, we had a nice segue into a short study of Africa. Teal painted a watercolor of Africa as suggested in Creative Pathways by Auer and wrote a summary of some things we studied about Africa, including the geography of the land: deserts, jungle, mountains, etc. We also located places we had already studied in earlier history blocks.
  • This led to a discussion about why it was so darn difficult to sail down the west coast of Africa and northeast to India: ocean currents! This was a very fascinating part of our block and it was easy to see why it was so hard to sail from Portugal to India.
  • Vasco da Gama with summary
  • Amerigo Vespucci with summary
  • Christopher Columbus with summary
  • Pizarro with summary
  • Magellan with summary
  • Teal made another map of the world and mapped the routes of each of the explorers we talked about. We compared their travels to the ocean currents map, which was cool.
  • A title page drawing of a ship which was inspired by a main lesson book I saw at a workshop several years ago.
  • We made a little backtrack to talk about Marco Polo who was an explorer on land. Teal read a story about him from a book I found on mainlesson.com and wrote another summary.

Teal did a lot of summaries during this block! They were each fairly short, but our goal was to have beautiful main lesson book pages. We picked her favorite work to showcase in this post, and after all of her effort she was very pleased with how her main lesson book turned out saying she thinks it’s her best one yet. 🙂

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Sixth Grade Physics

IMG_4561 IMG_4562 IMG_4565 IMG_4566 IMG_4567 IMG_4568 IMG_4570IMG_5595 IMG_5597 IMG_5598 IMG_5601 IMG_5603 IMG_5604The sixth grade physics block was amazing! The only resource I used was Trostli’s Physics is Fun!, which I can’t recommend highly enough. The lessons were well explained and there was plenty to do. My only complaint, if I can call it that, was that it was hard to choose which experiments to leave out! We did not do the beautiful Chladni plates experiment, but aside from the Chladni plates, I found that most items for the lessons were things I had on hand or could substitute fairly easily. Teal recorded experiments and information in a small main lesson book.

We only made it through the chapters on Sound, Light, and Heat. I was prepared with all of the items for Magnetism, but we ran out of time. I plan to finish that and Electricity as part of seventh grade physics.

I managed to shatter a glass aquarium during one of the light lessons. Thank goodness we were outside working and not in the kitchen. I would have been finding glass shards for weeks!

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