RHYTHM OF THE DAY
In contrast to the often-hectic pace of daily life, children in our Nursery and Kindergarten experience a predictable rhythm that becomes familiar and nurturing. Beginning each morning with warm greetings, the day includes free play, song, artistic activity, storytelling, purposeful work, healthy food, traditional circle-time games, and ample outdoor time on our lovely campus.
Imaginative Free Play
In gently-guided free play, the children create a busy, imaginative world that fills the classroom with singing, building, discussion, and laughter. By surrounding the child with raw materials for play, their world can become whatever their imaginations insight. Each morning the classroom becomes an ever-changing "laboratory" offering new challenges in the realms of physics, construction, human relationships, and artistry. Through these experiences, each child is given the opportunity to grow and develop in their actions, thoughts, and feelings. The qualities we value in adulthood are fostered here: creative and flexible thinking, inner conviction, self-discipline, personal freedom, and self-knowledge.
During cleanup time, all the play materials return to their "homes" on shelves and in baskets, as the children sing and help alongside the teacher. The atmosphere is one of cooperation and lightheartedness. Many parents find that the children proudly bring these helpful habits home with them!
At circle time, we come together as a group to act out stories through verse and song and to play universal children's games. This is also a time to experience the rhythms of the seasons through special circle activities.
We gather together around the table to share conversation and a healthy snack of fruits or vegetables, whole grains, and a vegetarian protein prepared by the teacher and children together each morning. Snack is served family-style. During this time, a happy mood and warm conversation are encouraged!
A story is told each day. The children listen as the teacher tells a fairytale, folktale, or nature story. Our nature stories form a basis for science through their vivid, penetrating images of the natural world in all its cycles. Often these stories later weave into circle time, free play, and puppetry.
We journey outdoors together every day to tend to our garden, take walks, run and play. We dress for the elements so we can fully experience and celebrate all aspects of our climate. Our lush grounds invite many outdoor activities, including vegetable harvesting, nature observations, and tree-climbing.
At noon, we close the morning with a circle of verses and seasonal songs, followed by lunch. The children bring their lunches from home and enjoy a family-style meal around the table before a 1pm close to the morning program.
The aftercare program begins with quiet rest time, flexible to the needs of each child. Following a snack, the children spend the afternoon engaged in indoor and outdoor activities, and free play with friends.
A Walk Through The Grades
Grade school students are led by a Class Teacher, who provides primary academic instruction and stays with the class through all 8 grades. This approach is fundamental to Waldorf education and enhances student engagement, increases instructional time, and improves academic performance. Students also work with special subject teachers who are experts in foreign language, music, fine arts, practical arts, and movement.
The Academic Journey Begins
Ready for academic exploration, first graders love to learn through movement, stories and the arts. Language lessons come to life through poetry and song, students fill their main lesson books with illustrations that represent letters of the alphabet, mental math practice begins and there is plenty of time for the outdoors and free play.
The students and their Class Teacher begin a multi-year journey together and special subject teachers introduce foreign language, handwork, and movement. Teachers inspire an interest in learning and cultivate a spirit of respect and group cohesion, which will carry the class through their grade school years.
Emerging Awareness and Focus
By second grade, students possess an emerging a sense of themselves, as well as a growing awareness of the perspectives, values, imperfections and gifts of those around them. They begin to recognize the impact of individual actions and are drawn to stories of the saints and legends of noble people with purpose. They identify with animal characters from stories such as Aesop’s Fables and Native American and African Legends.
Recitation of poems, rhymes, and tongue twisters help students with phonetic awareness and clarity of speech as they delve into reading. They learn cursive writing and work with addition, times, and division tables as well as borrowing and place value.
Around the age of nine, students begin to think more independently and critically, sensing that one day they will make their own way in the world. Inspired to learn about the practicalities of everyday life, third graders explore measurement, time, and money. They also work hands-on outside the classroom cooking and building.
In the classroom, students continue academic practice in reading, writing, grammar, and mathematics and begin to read musical notation on their wooden flutes. They explore the stories and themes of the ancient Hebrew people who seek a home on earth and build community.
Adventure and Curiosity
Fourth graders are becoming more independent, developing a curiosity about the world and how people choose to live in it. Throughout the year, students learn about their environment, the animal kingdom, geography, and history. They are eager to work and ready to take up the complexity of new subjects like fractions, violin, chorus, and clay modeling.
Captivated by stories of adventure and misadventure and identifying with heroes and larger-than-life characters, Norse Mythology and epic tales in world literature provide the backdrop for fourth grade work in reading, grammar, and descriptive writing.
A Time of Harmony
With new capacities for thought and reflection, fifth graders are excited begin their study of human history, world geography and ancient civilizations. Students possess an emerging sense of community and personal responsibility and are creative, confident, and eager to work cooperatively.
In mathematics, students delve into the relationships between numbers through ratios and proportions. They explore the physicality of the earth through the world of plants — trees, flowers, algae, mushrooms, and mosses, as well as the geography and climate that influences plant growth. Woodworking is introduced and each student begins studying an instrument of his/her choice to play in the beginning strings or band group.
VENTURE INTO THE UNKNOWN
The sixth grader experiences a deepening power of objective judgment and an enhanced ability to understand cause and effect. This curriculum focuses on the children’s growing orientation towards the outer world. As new capacities for thinking emerge, the children are led to understand causal relationships at work in the world. The students can be challenged and are capable of high standards in their school work.
The sixth-grade curriculum serves to ground the students, to inspire them to venture out toward the unknown and to offer an introduction to their quest in life. In mathematics, students learn the exact constructions with precision tools to hone the child’s accuracy and develop a desire for exactness; also covered are properties of shapes and formulas and an introduction to business math. Physics is introduced through art and music. Children study the decline of Greece, the rise and fall of Rome, and the influence of these cultures on European civilization through the Middle Ages. Roman law, black and white drawing, gymnastic exercises designed to model how one overcomes obstacles, skills to “compare and contrast,” astronomy, and mineralogy are all woven into the curriculum during this year.
Exploration and Reflection
Seventh graders reach a stage of self-reflection and introspection. Challenged with increasingly rigorous academics, they are eager for knowledge, independence. and social connection. The Renaissance, Reformation, Scientific Revolution, and Age of Exploration are a major academic focus and they read biographies of historical figures who challenged prevailing views in search of truth, freedom, and self-expression.
Seventh graders are introduced to algebra and plane geometry, the interrelationship of chemical properties, and the physical laws of refraction, reflection, acoustics and heat. They study Renaissance artists and their use of geometric principles to develop the laws of perspective, as well as the form and function of their own bodies through blocks on anatomy and physiology.
By eighth grade, students have developed strong observational skills and reasoning abilities. They serve as role models for younger students and work productively on class projects and performances, as well as independent research, writing, and presentation.
Eighth graders study organic chemistry, construct the five three-dimensional Platonic solids in geometry and discover the mechanical principles that led to the development of our technological society. Students examine U.S. History, world events, and the people who helped define our time. And from the Industrial Revolution to the present day, the class explores major political and cultural events that shaped the modern world, with an emphasis on the ideals of human freedom that led to the American, French, and Russian Revolutions.