The Elementary Grades, 1-5
As children begin Waldorf elementary school they are guided by a class teacher who begins with the first grade and ideally carries the same group of children through the eighth grade. The goal of the grade school program is to support all students in developing their highest potential by encouraging the child's artistic, creative, and imaginative life and by providing a strong base in academic studies.
Subjects are taught in such a way that the whole child is involved in the learning process, from writing and illustrating their own lesson books beginning in Grade 1, to sowing, harvesting and baking wheat in Grade 3, and modeling a relief map of the western hemisphere in Grade 5. The Waldorf Curriculum provides an interdisciplinary approach to a wide range of academic subjects including mathematics, grammar, botany, zoology, chemistry, physics, physiology, history, geography, and foreign languages in blocks of 3-4 weeks per subject. Teachers strive to bring the subject alive, first within themselves, and then through their presentation awaken the enthusiasm and interest of the students.
Read about our Grade 1-5 curriculum in more detail:
The Middle School, Grades 6-8
By middle school, the students' capacities begin to truly flower, and their teacher meets them with lessons of greater depth and scope.
Mathematics builds upon discoveries made in the earlier grades through rhythmic movement, recitation, and games, to the mental computation of problems in algebra and geometry in the middle school years. Literature and history give a broad overview of cultures throughout the ages, from humanity's earliest stories and myths, through ancient history, and into modern times by eighth grade. In history and geography, students are given the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills as they explore humanity's transition to a modern industrial civilization. For a physics class, the students may enter their classroom one day and find it completely darkened in order to study the principles of light. Physiology lessons may integrate the physical sensation of modeling clay into bones, hands, or their own heads.
Read about our Grade 6-8 curriculum in more detail: