The first five grades are critical years where young students lay the foundation for a life-long love of learning. By engaging the imagination in the academic lessons and interweaving them with artistic activities, practical activities, and a connection to the natural world, Waldorf provides a uniquely engaged educational experience with depth, breadth, and beauty.
In order to accomplish this, the grade-schoolers hearts and hands must play a role in their education, as well as their minds. Each subject is consciously interdisciplinary and brought to life with through painting, drama, music, storytelling, and other hands-on experiences that stir their emotions and peak their curiosity. The goal is to go beyond imparting information by creating a dynamic learning experience which speaks to the whole child: the head, the heart, and the hands.
At Waldorf, each school day begins with an engaging two-hour Main lesson that focuses on one subject for two or more weeks at a time. These focused lessons offer students the fullest possible immersion in a subject and are infused with storytelling, art, music, movement, biography, and cultural facets that truly bring the lesson to life. Indeed Waldorf is unique in more ways than one. Take, for example, the Main Lesson book. To some, these books are an example of what makes this educational philosophy so powerful, an illustration of our daily commitment to learning by doing, arts integration, and the honoring of a student’s creativity. Not to be confused with mere note-taking, Main Lesson Books contain a student's very best work, recorded with time, care and attention and containing both illustration and narration. These unique student-created portfolios go hand-in-hand with another unique and important aspect of Waldorf Education: since the children create their own record of the lessons, our teachers themselves are founts of knowledge - teaching directly to the class (a warmly human approach) rather than acting as a tour guide through traditional textbooks and worksheets. As the children progress through the grades, subjects and skills taught become more rigorous, and their main lesson books increasingly sophisticated.
Beginning in first grade, Waldorf strives to ensure the continuity of the class teacher through fifth grade. As children advance through the grades the teacher-student relationship evolves and deepens, providing Waldorf families a sense of commitment, deep knowing, and mutual trust so often lacking today.
All of these features that set us apart - the engaged, imaginative, arts infused learning, the continuity of the class teacher (called "looping"), the intensive morning lesson (or "block") system, and the creation of lesson books - have been increasingly recognized by innovative educators. The Waldorf approach to education has been proving itself for over 100 years and is reflected by the success of its students. Our developmentally based curriculum offers a unique and rare environment for a student to grow and develop into the type of young adult every parent wants, one who is intellectually curious, vibrant, happy, and well adjusted.
Eurythmy, Spanish, music, games or physical education, fiber arts, woodwork and other subjects complement and strengthen main lessons throughout the year. This balanced approach to education deepens each child’s understanding by engaging the whole student—intellect, emotions, and physical experience. Eventually students possess the confidence to view the world of ideas as something they can use to make a difference for themselves and for their communities.
To learn more, inquire today, or email the Admissions Office or call: 410-367-6808, ext. 202