At Waldorf- inspired City Garden School in Columbia, MO, six grade finished its block about Rome last week.

First, we learned about the First Triumvirate who ruled after Sulla, and how Julius Caesar took control soon after. We heard about the life of Julius Caesar, how he led a huge army and conquered Gaul, and then crossed the Rubicon into Italy with his army, causing a civil war. We learned how he was victorious and named himself dictator for life, and then how he was assassinated by his friends in the Senate.

At my Waldorf training over the summer, our instructor talked about the significance of crossing the Rubicon, and what this phrase now means. Julius Caesar knew that crossing into Roman territory with an army would start a civil war because it was illegal to do so. After debating with his followers, Caesar decided to cross, and as he did, he said, “Let the die be cast.” Now, if we say that someone has “crossed the Rubicon,” it means that they have reached a point where they cannot change a decision or course of action.

Our 6th graders are right at this place, crossing into adolescence. It is a game changer, for them and for their caregivers. Let’s hope it doesn’t start a civil war! (Laughs). Lots of love is needed as they enter this new stage of development. With loving guidance, we can give new responsibilities and freedoms to our growing adolescents, while also maintaining clear boundaries with them. It is an exciting time, and much of what we are cultivating with the Knighting Project at City Garden is positive growth and self-reflection as students step into this new stage.

Waldorf chalkboard art
Hannibal Crosses the Alps

After hearing about Julius Caesar, we went on to hear about the Second Triumvirate and a bit about the life of Marc Antony and Queen Cleopatra. We heard about Octavian, Julius’ nephew, and his rise to power as Augustus Caesar. He ushered in the Golden Age or Pax Romana, and with his reign, the Roman Republic officially ended, and the Roman Empire began. We’ve talked in depth about the difference between these two governments.

On Wednesday and Thursday, we studied many things we’d mentioned in the stories of history. We talked about gladiators and the Circus Maximus, the Roman soldier and how the military operated, and Roman architecture. Then we talked about daily life in Rome such as food, homes, Roman baths, and the women of Rome.

Want to read more about what sixth grade has been learning at City Garden School? Here are some more of our lessons and Waldorf-inspired activities:

6th Grade learns about Business Math and Taxes at CoMo’s City Garden School

6th Grade celebrates the Lantern Walk at our Outdoor School, City Garden