It's a new school year, and our classes are settling in to their new classrooms and first main lessons of the year. This uninterrupted block of learning each morning allows the class to explore a single subject through a variety of activities over the course of several weeks. Throughout the year, classes will study everything from language arts to history to math and science. Here is a glimpse of what each class is beginning the year with!
Grade 1 -- Form Drawing
The 1st grade year begins with the idea that all forms derive from one of two basic principles: the straight line and the curved line. These principles are explored both kinetically and on paper, as form drawing trains motor skills and provides a foundation for writing the alphabet.
Grade 2 -- Language Arts
The 2nd grade is beginning the year with a language arts block that reviews all of our phonics rules from 1st grade. New phonics rules will be introduced through the story content of saints and heroes, including that of Saint Michael as we approach our school-wide celebration of Michaelmas later this month.
Grade 3 -- From the Old Testament to Practical Life
The 3rd grader begins the curriculum content of the stories in the Old Testament, just as they, too, begin to wake up to being on the earth and to all that being on it entails. The practical aspect of life -- food, shelter and clothing -- become the intense focus of the year. The Old Testament stories intertwine our study of practical life: food and the rhythms and cycle of the farming year, the grains, the vegetables, the soil, the seed, and composting.
Grade 4 -- Local History and Geography
Fourth grade is beginning its year with an interdisciplinary look at local history and geography. This first of two blocks on this subject will include map-making as well as many forays into our local community to learn about and envision what it looked like throughout generations of natural and Native history.
Grade 5 -- Ancient Civilizations
Grade 5 is delving into Ancient Civilizations. At this point in Waldorf curriculum, the students begin to experience history in a more chronological fashion, beginning with the beginnings of civilized humanity in ancient India. Soon they will move on to the ancient Persian culture that followed.
Grades 6 and 7 -- Medieval History
The Arabian civilization brought many wonderful gifts as well as great challenges to Charlemagne's empire. The 6th and 7th grades entered Medieval history exploring how these wonderful gifts from the East began to reshape daily life in the West. We will follow these developments as religions clash and the first Crusade rises in a not too distant future. Passions sweep like great storms between the Islamic and Christian cultures and span large chunks of time. Each culture makes an impression upon the other. In Europe, great minds reach out into the world and the heavens, as hearts begin to be pulled in new directions, towards new explorations, farther west across the Atlantic.
Grade 8 -- Colonial America and Revolutions!
The 8th grade is looking at the conditions that led to the colonization of the New World and the resulting colonies in the north and south of North America, the global stage of the Seven Year War and the land disputes that sparked the French and Indian War on our continent, the need for a political system that represented the people and the American Revolution, the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, and the enlightenment thinkers that influenced both revolutions.Mrs. Ravenstar's chalk drawing brings the 8th grade's Colonial America and Revolution history block to life.