Middle School Language Arts
updated March 15, 2019
Recorded here is my own personal collection of articles, resources, favorite links, teaching ideas, and lesson plans. It encompasses many years, from the very beginning of my experience studying and learning about Waldorf to the present time. People from all around the world visit my site and recommend it to others. Welcome!
This site records my journey. I hope my honesty is encouraging and helps break down some barriers that may prevent people from trying Waldorf ideas. Because this is an ongoing site documenting my curriculum experiences and ideas, some materials are more Waldorf-y than others. Please feel free to take what you like and leave the rest.
Middle School Language Arts Booklist
for Class 6, 7, 8
Mission Statement - Consulting Services - Lending Library
I haven't found a good all-in-one book on Waldorf language arts for the middle school years...
If you find one, please let me know!
Jamie York recommends math homework every night, two math main lesson blocks during the course of the school year, and an afternoon math class several times a week for further
reinforcement and practice. I think this is a reasonable suggestion for language arts as well.
Here are some homework options. If your child has problems with spelling, punctuation, grammar, and so on, I recommend nightly editing practice. Practice Makes Progress!
Simply provide a sentence or
two with the types of errors your child is making in his/her own work and ask for your child to find all of the mistakes and rewrite the sentences correctly. Telling your child
the number of mistakes in the passage is optional.
I like these FREE Homework Scorecards which ask students to self-assess their work. (Mon - Thu)
I also strongly believe that language arts should be woven into real life, and homeschooling provides you with so many opportunities to do that!
Writing, actually writing letters to family members, like grandparents -- who often miss this type of old-fashioned correspondence -- is one practical way to practice penmanship.
school teacher I know has a simple homework requirement for her students. It is the same every night throughout the school year.
30 minutes of reading
30 minutes of writing
30 minutes of research
She determines the time requirement for R/W/R based on the child. One child may have to do only 15 minutes of each, one child may do 20 minutes, another child the full 30.
It is easy to individualize this type of assignment. You can read whatever you want, be it fiction, non fiction, etc. You can write in whatever way you like, such as pen pal letters, writing in your diary, writing a creative story, etc. You can
research on whatever topic you are curious about, and this can be a hands-on science experiment, reading, going to a museum... and if you are reading you can count it as reading, and if you are taking notes you can count it as writing. I
like that reading can be absorbed into research and writing can be absorbed into research but you MUST do research every night... it is unavoidable. I think this helps support
mental curiosity at an age when school can seem rote and dull, and it allows for students to have some variety in their day every day.
Now a Waldorf family may not be 100% sure about this, right? Because what if your children want to research something that they aren't supposed to be learning about yet developmentally, in subjects such as Physics or Chemistry or World History?
So this is an individual family's decision. But I have found it to be wonderful for reinforcing DAILY how to use a dictionary and encyclopedia, and the museum visits and other family field trips and science experiments
we have done to help fulfill the research requirement have been really fun.
An Overview of Main Lesson Topics:
Grammar - grade 6
Creative Writing - grade 7
Persuasive Writing - grade 8
Short Story - grade 8
Shakespearean Drama - grade 8
Famous Speeches - grade 8
Here are a few Waldorf (and traditional) language resources which I suggest for this age group:
Grammar & Composition
"Wonder, Wish & Surprise" / Creative Writing
If you decide to start keyboarding (which I think is necessary before high school), I like Ten Thumbs Typing Tutor best.
In our house it is affectionately known as "Typing Viking."
They offer a free typing test plus a free trial week if you're not sure, and with your purchase you can also donate one free license to a school of your choosing.
Essay Writing & Research Papers
Other free language arts downloads (from Teachers Pay Teachers) which we've used and liked:
This school year (2017-2018) I have several students who will be moving on to the
public high school next year. I'm concerned that they haven't had enough "traditional" language
arts activities, and won't be prepared for the volume of writing and the literary analysis requirements of 9th grade.
So, for the first time, we are doing novel studies.
Here is the list of our books, and the public
school resources I used for lesson planning (please note that a lot of these are NOT FREE), in an effort to help them more easily bridge that gap.
no novel study; this was our Wonder, Wish & Surprise main lesson block
November & December
February & March