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
Waldorf pedagogy (the method and practice of teaching) informs us that a child is developmentally ready to sink into the lessons of history and geography around the age of nine or ten. Around this time, your child gets a sense of time. Before that, there was much dreaminess in how they saw the world. Once they can understand the past, present, and future, they're ready to grasp history.
At the same time, around the age of nine or ten, they develop the ability to have a 'bird's eye' view, which means that they can now have an inner picture, an imagining, that they're above, looking down on a landscape. This new ability allows them to draw maps and be ready for geography lessons.
Delivering curriculum content at an age-appropriate time gives the child the best opportunity to receive lessons deeply and appreciate and be excited about what they are learning.
In Grade Four, we start with very local geography, beginning with the geography right in and around your home. We then slowly and methodically expand outwards, and your child will start by drawing maps, such as the familiar route to their friend's house or favourite park. After that, the unit will continue to expand from your neighbourhood to your city, into your province or state. Each monthly unit will guide parents to integrate Indigenous values and knowledge about the land they live on.
As mentioned, Daily Wonder has students all around the world, so when it comes to learning about your specific province/state in Grade 4, and country, in Grade 5, we provide step-by-step guidance as to what aspects of history and geography you'll bring to your child each week of the unit. You, the parent, or teacher, will then research and gather the information necessary to share with your child or learning pod students. And with Daily Wonder, each week is laid out so you can prepare with ease.
Regarding teaching about the continents, Grade 6 covers North America and Europe, and Grade 7 covers Africa and Asia. If you live on a continent not covered in the Daily Wonder curriculum, you can take ideas from any of the continental studies and adapt them to your needs.
So, you can see, Daily Wonder begins formal history and geography studies in Grade 4, with mapmaking skills starting in your child's bedroom, and slowly and steadily expands outward over the grades to cover continental geography in Grades 6 and 7. Parents are held with a lot of care and support and guided as to how, what, and when to research.
Since Daily Wonder typically does all the planning for you, in these three units (local, provincial/state and country geography units), we've included a comprehensive breakdown of topics to cover along with website links to help you find suitable material. In the preceding units there are reminders about these upcoming history/geography units and what work needs to be done. It may take 1-2 weeks to prepare for a history/geography unit, and we suggest using the built-in flex week to finish much of this work.
Always know that Daily Wonder is here for you! Our teachers are available to answer questions and offer reassurance when needed. Teaching history and geography is so rewarding; as adults, we often learn new things about the land we live on. Researching and preparing for these three units will be enriching and often a re-education for ourselves!
Trust the Wonder.
Curious about what Parent Preparation entails? Check out this sample from our Grade 5, The Wonder of My Country unit.
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