A Developing Member in the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America
Serving Children From Early Childhood Through Eighth Grade
Children begin learning Spanish in first grade through songs, verses, stories, festivals and games. This presentation mirrors the way children learn their own native language. In 3rd through 5th, the written language and reading are added and in middle school, grammar. Throughout the eight years, the emphasis of the curriculum is on exposing the children to a different culture and on instilling a love of the language and culture.
Singing is part of every day. Simple melodies in early grades, progress in older grades to learning rounds and songs with two or more parts. The pentatonic flute is introduced in first grade, the diatonic flute and soprano recorder in grade 3, as well as a choice of a stringed instrument (violin, viola or cello). The teaching of music notation also begins in 3rd grade. As the children progress through later grades, they add descant, alto and tenor recorders, continue to perform in a strings orchestra, and sing increasingly more complex 2 and 3-part choral works.
The class teacher gives regular instruction in drawing and watercolor painting through all the grades. In the early grades, painting is (relatively) non-representational and children are immersed in colors and the uality of each. Painting incorporates themes from main lesson from 1st-8th and it is a weekly lesson. Clay and beeswax modeling, veil painting, drawing with charcoal, pastels and other art forms may also be part of art lessons.
Working with the hands is an essential component of the Waldorf curriculum. It develops fine motor skills, persistence and perseverance and strengthens related brain functions. Handwork (over the 8 years) includes knitting, purling, crocheting, spinning, simple weaving, cross stitch, four needle knitting, hand sewing, felting, needle felting, wood working, doll making, and machine sewing. Beginning in fourth grade, the handwork program includes wood working and carving.
Sports and games
Sports and games allow the students to develop a healthy sense of self and space and to move with intention. The early grades offer social and rhythmic games, circle games, hand-clapping games, bean bag activities, and jump ropes. The emphasis of games in the early grades is working together as a group and the games become increasingly more individualized in the middle school years. The 5th grade learns the events of the Greek pentathlon: javelin, discus, long jump, wrestling, running. In May, they join other Waldorf schools in an Olympiad. In the middle school team sports, archery, juggling, Greek wrestling and gymnastics. Lower grade students have recess outside twice a day regardless of weather. Upper Grade students are guaranteed at least one recess a day.
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