Grade School

Our goal is to enable each child's potential to unfold by developing creative and imaginative capacities while building a strong academic foundation. Waldorf education recognizes that children aged seven to fourteen learn best through their imagination. Knowledge is presented through activities which capture and enliven their imagination and channel their abundant energy in a disciplined and artistic way. The arts are integrated into the entire academic curriculum, including math and science, bringing vitality and wholeness to learning, balancing intellectual development and generating a genuine inner enthusiasm.

The uniqueness of the Waldorf approach lies in how the children are taught. Whether the subject is arithmetic, history or physics, the Class Teacher brings life to knowledge through vivid descriptions and characterizations which heighten students' curiosity and engage their feelings. Then the teacher leads students into painting, music, writing, rhythm, drama, experiment, poetry, drawing or movement to stimulate their imagination and strengthen their pictorial memory. The students focus on one subject for several weeks during the two-hour morning main lesson, which allows time for understanding to merge with experience. In this way, what is learned will live in the child.

Year by year, the curriculum expands with the maturing child, matching themes that mirror the children's inner development with skills, knowledge, and modes of expression appropriate to their age.

  • Literature and history give a broad overview of cultures throughout the ages. Children are led from the fairy-tale world in the first grade into humanity's earliest stories and myths, through ancient history up to modern times by eighth grade.

  • Geography, a study which leads children into the wider world and engenders a feeling of brotherhood and responsibility for the earth, reveals--as does each subject--a higher ideal.

  • Mathematics progress from rhythmic recitation and games, in which children discover the quality of numbers to the computation of abstract problems in algebra and geometry.

  • Science grows from stories about animals in preschool to nature study, which nurtures wonder and reverence for life, in the early grades. Zoology and botany in grades four and five build on the students' observations and experience of the world and their curiosity about how animals and plants live and grow. As students become more interested in how things work, optics, acoustics and electricity are explored through experiments beginning in grade six. By eighth grade, students have discovered principles of mineralogy, astronomy, physiology, chemistry, and physics.

Specialty Subjects

Special Subject Teachers complement the work of the Class Teacher, presenting each week:

  • Two foreign languages: Spanish and German

  • Eurythmy: an expressive movement art

  • Music: singing, recorders, string instruments, woodwinds, guitar

  • Practical Crafts: knitting, crocheting, sewing, needlework, woodcarving, copperwork, cooking, and gardening

  • Physical Education: games, gymnastics, and sports

Crafts and handwork are an integral part of the curriculum, developing dexterity, patience, perseverance, and imagination. Practical work such as woodworking, house-building, and gardening give children an understanding of how things are created and a respect for the work of others.

By entering into many disciplines, children can achieve clarity and flexibility in thinking, compassion of heart, and powers of good judgment that continue to ripen throughout life.

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