How Can I Simplify Working With a First and Third Grader?

Question from Member Eva: So, I am starting to homeschool my first and third grader. I am not sure where to begin. I have printed out the creation and origin myth legends. And language and math for her. For the first grader, I printed out March. That is easier to understand. I am more concerned with my Third grader. We also got some workbooks from Barnes and noble. Do you have any ideas of how I might simplify things?

Answer from Kristie: As a general tip I would suggest using the first grade schedule for March as your third grade schedule as well and just insert some of the third grade lessons in the appropriate places. They can both do the same crafts. The third grader is basically just perfecting their first grade knitting, etc… skills at this point so it is very appropriate. The third grader can use the same music as the first grader. If they have not yet worked with the pentatonic recorder then they can do the same lesson. If they have, then they should advance to a stringed instrument and do the music on a violin or harp (even a lap harp works on a budget) instead. Snack and nature walk are the same too.

So…all you would need to do is “tweak” the morning verse and plan for two main lessons each morning. Both kids can attend both lessons or you can have one child working on their main lesson book while the other one is getting their lesson 🙂

For the morning verses – in the first grade month the verses are listed after the calendar for each week. These verses are also suitable for the third grader. However, you may also get some more advanced verses for the G3 student from your Third Grade Curriculum page HERE (Look under “Main Lessons in Music”).

For the main lesson – as long as you have one main lesson each day you will be able to do your chosen lesson for each (using the March G1 guide for G1 and the block you chose for G3). The great thing is that the 3-day rhythm is the same for both. YAY! So when your schedule says “read/tell the story on day one” – you will also do this for the G3 student. Then when it says, “create a crayon drawing on day 2” you will also do this for the G3 student and so on…The only difference is they will both have different stories.

The only addition I would make to the structure of the schedule beyond that is I would have the G3 student write for ten mintues a day in their Main Lesson Book (anything at all – poem, copy work, journal, anything) as well as do 3-5 math problems each day. You can print out from a selection of currated worksheets on this page (we chose them so you don’t have to do all the hard work searching for them). Some Waldorf teachers just hand out the worksheets and assign 3-5 problems a day. If you want to be “pure Waldorf” then you can write 3-5 problems a day from one of the worksheets HERE.

Another advantage of having G1 & G3 together are that they can both also work on the G3 housebuilding and gardening units together. The only difference is that the G3 student will do more of the advanced work with the building and gardening as well as making entries in their Main Lesson Book for those lessons. The G1 student only needs to help with seed planting, harvesting and weeding and other manageable small tasks 🙂

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