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Eugene Waldorf School

Curriculum, Second Grade

According to the Waldorf plan, the teacher progresses with the pupils from first to second grade; in fact, he or she continues with them through all eight years of their elementary schooling wherever this is feasible. The class teacher who can look back on his pupils' previous learning experiences and build step by step on his own foundation can endow his teaching with real unity. And primary children, who are very sensitive to readjustments and changes, are given the security of knowing one personality and method intimately and thoroughly.

English now becomes a special subject assigned its share of main lesson periods. Based again on the spoken languages, fables satisfy the children's deep interest in the animal kingdom while legends offer lofty striving and highlight the noblest human qualities. These fables and legends are now the focus of writing material. The children learn cursive writing by joining up the printed letters of last year. The flowing script pictures the breath as it streams through sound after sound and links them together in smooth continuity. Grammar is introduced with liveliness and humor by acting out stories in which the children can experience the contrast between "doing" words, "naming" words, and "describing" words.

In arithmetic, the children carry out more complicated operations with the four processes. Imaginative stories still form the basis of these problems. Through rhythmic counting accompanied by accented clapping and movement of the whole body, they learn to count by twos, threes, fours, and fives, and can begin learning the multiplication tables.

Nature study continues in connection with poetry, legends, and imaginative descriptions of natural processes.

Painting and modeling are drawn into constant service in other activities in the main lessons. Crocheting is introduced, and small projects of the children's own creating always observe an important principle: that handwork products be useful and functional as well as beautiful.

Foreign languages, singing, and flute lessons continue to be taught as in the first grade with eurythmy leading the children into a more conscious forming of vowels and consonants.

(The above description is paraphrased from Teaching as a Lively Art, by Marjorie Spock.)

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