All grades students participate in subjects that complement the core arts and academics curriculum. These include Russian, Spanish, Movement Education, Handwork, Music, Chorus, and Woodworking.
Russian and Spanish
Foreign languages in Waldorf Schools are taught immersion-style beginning in first grade. Language lessons are presented orally in the first three grades, using games, poems, and songs. Reading, writing, and grammar are introduced in third and fourth grade, building upon the oral work. In the middle school, more complex grammar and sentence structure are incorporated into the writing lessons, and classes perform plays in the foreign language, such as Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard
. Assemblies on the first Friday of the month showcase the work of students, as they perform skits, recite poems, and display artwork completed during their language lessons. During seasonal celebrations, students learn about the customs and traditions of the Russian people and Spanish-speaking cultures, and help to prepare foods or complete projects typical of those countries.
Physical activity is an important part of Waldorf education, providing integration of the whole body. The games curriculum cultivates basic coordination and movement skills in children, throughout their developmental stages. As they move through the grades, students explore movement activities ranging from imaginative or strategic games to tackling challenging obstacle courses and finally to competitive games (after grade 5). We encourage students to learn to play with each other before playing against each other, giving them a greater sense of responsibility and self-confidence.
Handwork carries over from skills first taught in kindergarten: knitting, woodworking, and needlework. Hand and machine sewing and quilting are taught in later grades. Students create many beautiful and useful objects, such as toys, pouches, handwork bags, dolls and more. Coordination, patience, perseverance and imagination are learned through this practical work.
Music & Chorus
Students sing and learn to play the recorder in the first grade. In fourth and fifth grades, they learn a stringed instrument. Music is taught not only for its own sake and the joy it engenders, but also because it brings a strong harmonizing and humanizing force into the student’s life. Students may begin Strings Ensemble in fifth grade, and Chorus in eighth grade.