The most important way that history is shared is through story. Just think of the thousands and thousands of years of our history, where people shared stories around the fire, passed down from generation to generation.
In Daily Wonder, we recommend using the oral tradition as much as possible to impart wisdom to your child. For parents, this means reading stories ahead of time and having the time to learn them by heart. If this is impossible with your lifestyle, that's ok because you can also read it once and gain a heartfelt feeling for the message. When you do read it to your child, it will already be living in your heart. When a story lives in the storyteller's heart, the listener receives the story that much more deeply. Stories speak directly to our feeling realm and exercise our imagination. Children learn best when their feelings are activated. Stories are an incredible way to deliver knowledge and wisdom.
Daily Wonder follows Waldorf curriculum, and the first aspect of history from grades 1-4 comes through indigenous stories, folktales from around the world, ancient mythology, and religious stories. As children are still young and dreamy at this stage, our purpose for history is to nourish the child's soul with these deep and rich myths and tales. In this way, the child receives deep human wisdom from our ancient ancestors, which is culturally diverse in perspective. However, common themes are always apparent as well. The stories are not dissected and analyzed at this age; they are simply left to resonate. One could envision these stories as seeds of wisdom being planted in the child's soul to be brought into their mental life at the appropriate age.
The grade 5 year is when the child is ready to shift from mythology to history. The transition takes place over the year. We begin with the myths from Ancient India, Persia, Mesopotamia, and Egypt. Then, toward the end of the year, the child studies Greek mythology. This final study of mythology is the bridge to studying Ancient Greece. Now the child is being introduced to the humans who have greatly impacted our world. They now hear biographies instead of mythologies. They learn about famous Greek philosophers, mathematicians, leaders, and playwrights, which sets the stage for the rollout of history over grades 6 and 7.
In grade 6, history covers the rise and fall of the Roman Empire and Medieval Times. Grade 7 covers the late Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the Age of Cultural Encounters. The child meets each new stage of history at a time when they can also relate to this inwardly. For example, the grade 5 year is often referred to as the Golden Age of Childhood, where the 11-year-old child is gracefully poised and balanced in their body. They are no longer a young child, and they are not in puberty yet. This grace is a small reflection of the Golden Age experienced in Greece, where art, science and architecture all came together in a beautiful and balanced expression. One can make similar connections to the study of Rome and the advances in logic and law and order that came about at this time. The 12-year-old child is very much interested in logic and order, as well as debating and arguing! When the child is introduced to the Age of Cultural Encounters in grade 7, they are in the midst of puberty. The child can resonate with the theme of discovery and new encounters. This is the stage in history where overseas exploration began, and young men and women were setting sail, travelling far away from home, unsure of what lay on the other side of the ocean. There is a level of excitement, adventure and anxiety that the child can understand.
Daily Wonder guides the parent to deliver history in a heart-centred way. As the child reaches age 11 and onward, the level of sophistication increases, and lessons are brought into a more analytical space so the child can exercise logic, engage in debate, and develop the ability to express thoughts verbally and in written format. As teachers, what we have seen repeatedly over the years, is that when history is brought to the child at the developmentally appropriate time, the child is interested and engaged in the subject matter. They are open to receiving this knowledge and wisdom because it resonates with their own inner experience.
A common question we get is, "how can I possibly homeschool successfully with more than one child?!!!
We at Daily Wonder fully recognize this challenge and are here to encourage you to go for it. We have collected our ideas based on teaching experience and feedback from other DW members. We hope you'll be inspired and encouraged to persevere through the inevitable learning curve. Let us remind you that not only do you need to learn to homeschool for two different grades, but most of you are new to homeschooling entirely and ought to cut yourself some slack. You heard it here; take a deep breath; you've got this!
Here are the top 10 suggestions for homeschooling more than one child:
How Does Daily Wonder Approach History and Geography?
We get asked this important question often, as we are a Canadian-based company with members worldwide. So, how exactly do we approach subjects that are location specific?
We Follow the Waldorf Developmental Approach
Pssst! We have a brand new Kindergarten mini-course: Learn to Teach Finger Knitting. Learn more HERE.
The essential elements of a Waldorf Kindergarten are not the specific activities (baking, painting, etc.) but should reflect the underlying philosophy of Waldorf-inspired kindergarten: It's play-based, non-academic, and nature-inspired.
The kindergarten-aged child (and even the 3-4-year-old) learn through imitation, open-ended creative play, movement, music, stories, artistic activities and purposeful work.
Your role as the parent is to form the daily and weekly rhythm, create lots of opportunity to learn and play, and build your relationship with your child.
At Daily Wonder, learning to read evolves for each child in the same form as it evolved from the beginning of humanity: spoken language developed first, then people drew pictures to communicate their ideas, followed by symbols such as hieroglyphics and finally the abstract letters of our modern alphabets. Once there was a written language, people learned to read. This unfolding inspires the sequence of the literacy program laid out in Daily Wonder curriculum. For Daily Wonder, the central theme for all lessons, in every subject, is the human story. We use storytelling to shape and deliver the living pictures behind every lesson, including the literacy program.
Each Daily Wonder unit comes complete with three weeks of guided daily curriculum and a 4th week called a Flex Week. Parents can rest assured that the curriculum is covered as planned for each unit during the first three weeks. If parents choose to continue the daily routine with Flex Week, they will continue to cover the curriculum and expand on that with design thinking as well.
The Flex Week project for the Grade 2, Month 7, The Wonder of Reading unit is the completion of a Kindness Quilt. The theme of kindness runs through the stories told during this unit. Stories of kindness are a perfect backdrop for the level of reflection appropriate for the 7 or 8-year-old. It is more developmentally appropriate for a child this age to feel how they feel rather than to think about how they feel. This means it is easier for them to read about kindness and feel how that care feels than for them to bring this into their thinking for analysis.
Hey Parents! After you have been a super hero and guided your child through the Daily Wonder morning lesson, maybe you want to take a step back, maybe you have to attend to your regular job, or maybe you need a coffee break. Whatever the reason, learning does not have to stop. In fact, learning is an ongoing process, and Daily Wonder will show you how easy it is to connect regular homeschool activities like free-play and everyday life experiences with worldwide learning standards!
Teaching cursive is fun, easy, and has great pay-off. Cursive can be especially supportive to those that struggle with forming print, reversing letters, eye-tracking, or reading. Not convinced it’s worth it? Check out these articles that explain some of the benefits of teaching cursive.
Literacy Benefits: Scholastic.com
Biological and Psychological Benefits: PsychologyToday.com
Daily Wonder recommends teaching cursive as soon as grade two, when your child knows all the letters, knows their sounds, and is beginning to understand the rules for encoding (spelling). We recommend that the archetypal forms are brought in order of difficulty rather than letter by letter. Below is a step-by-step guide to bringing the forms that are the basis for the letters. Remember, any new skill needs daily practice to become a capacity. We recommend that once you have brought all the forms/letters that cursive then becomes your expectation for all written work. It can take a whole year to become a natural at cursive but just think of all the brain pathways you will create and strengthen in your child, what a gift
Year 5, Month 7 The Wonder of Greek Mythology
Here is a little snippet from the overview of the Daily Wonder Greek Mythology unit.
The Year 5, Month 7 unit, The Wonder of Greek Mythology, offers wonderful "soul food" for Grade 5 children. The myths of the Greek gods and goddesses offer rich characters and drama. Studying the Greek myths also allows children to see how deeply these myths are embedded in our culture and are often referenced in our arts and entertainment. It is deeply nourishing and educational when children understand the roots of Ancient Greece and Greek Mythology, and therefore have a deeper connection when references are made in modern comics, television and movie culture. This unit also provides an opportunity to learn about Greece's geography, the Greek alphabet, the Olympics, the Greek connection to the English language, poetic odes and hexameter, grammar and writing development, and artistic work.
The Grade Five student is considered at the "Golden Age" of childhood. They are balancing at this moment between childhood and puberty. There is grace, capability, and earnestness in this balance between two worlds. There was a time in Ancient Greece's history that was known as the "Golden Age'. Humanity was standing, poised and balanced between a dreamy child-like consciousness and a wakeful, intellectually capable consciousness. At this meeting point, the Greeks emerged as the ultimate example of grace, beauty, athletic ability, and intellectual and philosophical thought. The fact that the work produced thousands of years ago is still so highly esteemed is a tribute to the achieved greatness. Grade 5 children, standing in their Golden Age, must be inspired by greatness of such a high calibre. They must feel the call to their best work and their best effort. It will be through their artistic endeavours, their poetic writing and recitation, and their athletic efforts that they will feel their power, grace and inner beauty shining forward. This time in their life and the depth of their abilities provide them with a deep feeling of confidence and trust that will carry them into puberty and beyond.
Questions to ask before the unit begins: What is my connection to Greek Mythology? What do I hope to gain from bringing this unit to my child? What do I hope that my child gains?
Questions to ask at the end of the unit: What new connections did I make with this material? What wonder did I discover about Greek Mythology and its influence that still exists today? How did my child receive these lessons? What wonder was inspired?
New to home schooling? No problem. Daily Wonder can help you get started. You can trust that the planning is tried and true and will save your time to use for assembling materials instead of using your weekend to plan.
Not new to home schooling? Welcome. Daily Wonder offers organized, easy to use daily lesson plans when you are re-thinking your current routine.
Not sure? No problem, you can sign up for monthly membership and cancel anytime. Try it for a month and see if it is a fit. One of the many gifts of home schooling is that you can change and transform your curriculum, routine and schedule as you wish. With DW you are not locked in, we offer you the freedom to try it when, and for how long, it fits your goals.
Here are five reasons parents are choosing Daily Wonder:
We know planning can take the joy out of home schooling. We have your back. We have been panning for 20 years and feel like it is high time we share. What is your favourite part about preparing for a year, unit, or day of home schooling?
Explore schedules, rhythms & routines, songs, music, festivals, free play, meals, projects & more to support your homeschooling program.