Get ready for something totally new and inspiring!
This group of curriculum themes for 5th-8th graders is an expansion into self-directed learning as a collaborative experience.
At this level, it’s a slow removal of the scaffolding that you put up for them in earlier years. With each new year, you are removing that scaffolding little by little, guided by the abilities of your child.
In traditional public schools, 5th grade is seen as the time that we must prepare children for middle school. Similarly, 8th grade is the gateway to high school. Unfortunately, this just looks like a myriad of tests, extra homework, locker codes, and lectures on “more responsibility.”
Here, you’ll see this preparation look a little bit different.... we believe that this time between 5th-8th grade is a beautiful opportunity to test the waters of true self-directed learning with the support and guidance of adults nearby, and a gently structured resource to lead their path. In short, we are helping them learn HOW to learn and follow their interests, not how to fit into the mold that an arbitrary timeline and system has deemed appropriate.
Recognize that this process is all about showing your child that they are capable of learning anything they desire whenever they want. This is EMPOWERING!
Each theme is a gently guided structure - starts with an open-ended, broad topic and gives suggestions for narrowing down and diving deeper and deeper at the child’s discretion. Each theme offers suggestions for resources, how to find information, and prompts for different ways to go deeper into the topic.
Some may be quick to move through if your child shows minimal interest or loses interest quickly. Some may send you down great rabbit holes for months. Both are ok. Be prepared for anything and most importantly TRUST the process and TRUST YOUR CHILD.
There are 12 themes provided for this four year period. Choose the ones that pique your child’s interest and TAKE YOUR TIME. This is NOT about timelines. Maybe you’ll do 4 or 5 in a year. Maybe you’ll cycle back through 6-7 of them each year. Maybe you’ll only do one all year long and go super deep! This is all ok. For general planning, consider working through about three themes each year.
The goal is to show your child how to learn more about something when they have the desire and interest. This process can be expanded into 9th and beyond.
- World Culture
- Famous Person
- Historical Event
Each theme includes a printable workbook for students to organize and process their learning and research.