The Waldorf Curriculum is designed to be responsive to the various phases of a child's development. The relationship between student and teacher is, likewise, recognized to be both crucial and dynamic throughout the course of childhood and early adolescence. From the ages of 7 to 14, the students ideally stay with the same teacher for several years in a row, looping up with him/her each year. The class becomes a kind of family, with the teacher as its authority figure. Within this ideal environment, the student comes to know and respect his or her teacher, and over the years, the teacher is able to discover the healthiest ways to educate each individual child.
The main subjects such as history, language arts, science and mathematics are taught in main lesson "blocks" of two to three hours per day, with each block lasting from two to five weeks. The total Waldorf curriculum has been likened to an ascending spiral: subjects are revisited several times. Each new exposure affords greater depth and new insights into the subject at hand. Students use what they have learned to create their own handmade, beautifully illustrated lesson books, called Main Lesson Books. At the end of each block, the teacher thoughtfully evaluates each student's progress, identifies strengths and weaknesses, and plans subsequent lessons with the student's individualized learning style in mind. Parents may receive regular block reviews as well as a comprehensive, individualized end-of-the-year report.
Examples of block rotation lesson plans: