Special Subjects

Cultivating Creative Expression

After morning lessons, students engage in a variety of special subjects that enrich and balance their overall education.

World Languages

Our world language program provides students with a broader vision of the world, inspiring a genuine appreciation for multiculturalism.

THE WALDORF DIFFERENCE: Beginning in first grade, students explore Spanish and Japanese with songs, games, and stories shared orally, with the help of pictures and gestures.

Imitating their teacher, who demonstrates correct pronunciation and uses a playful curriculum, students learn new vocabulary. They then transition to a more academic focus in fourth grade, with grammar, writing, reading comprehension and conversation skills.

Music

Throughout their education, students increase in awareness of tone, melody, form, rhythm, tempo, harmony, mode, and instrumentation.

THE WALDORF DIFFERENCE:

  • COMPOSERS: All students become familiar with composers from medieval times through the evolution of Western music.
  • ORCHESTRA: In grade four, each student begins to play a stringed instrument and learns to read music as part of a twice-weekly orchestra class with our specialty strings teacher. Orchestral study continues through eighth grade with opportunities for performance within the school and in the larger community.
  • CHOIR: Choir begins in grade six, with an emphasis on developing the voice in a healthy manner, and the use of various vocal colors and techniques.

Handwork

Handwork class includes felting, knitting, crocheting, cross-stitching, embroidering and sewing. Work created by the hands is meaningful, beautiful and complete.

THE WALDORF DIFFERENCE: Handwork provides rich sensory experiences that activate neural pathways in the brain, enhance memory and connect the student with the surrounding world. The sensations of touch and smell—along with the rhythmic, repetitive, purposeful movements of the hands—create a blueprint for the process of receiving and integrating abstract concepts.

Eurythmy

An expressive movement art originated by Rudolf Steiner with Marie von Sivers in the early 20th century. This physical art form makes speech and music visible through the movement of the body.

THE WALDORF DIFFERENCE: In the early grades, natural play is channeled into formed movement, acquainting children with their own bodies by imitating their teacher. Students are then guided towards more exact movements in rhythm with the spoken word.
In the higher grades, students learn to move in different directions and to form moving geometrical shapes in space. Group formations teach students to consider the movements of others, as they harmonize their own movements with those of the larger group.

Physical Education

Games and movement are critical in shaping physical and inner growth, as well as social and emotional development.

THE WALDORF DIFFERENCE:

  • GRADE SCHOOL: In the lower grades, games focus on imagination and creativity. By fourth grade, the awakening intellect is fed through games involving a task or problem. While studying ancient civilizations in the fifth grade, students train for the Olympiad, an ancient Greece sporting event that emphasizes performing with grace, beauty, and skill.
  • MIDDLE SCHOOL: Students play games that focus on formation, including how players position and conduct themselves in a team setting. Seventh and eighth graders compete in a regional track meet to challenge themselves and meet students from other area Waldorf schools.
  • EXTRACURRICULAR TEAM SPORTS: Beginning in 5th grade, students can participate in cross country in the fall and Ultimate Frisbee in the spring. Additional sports teams form when there is student interest, such as volleyball and basketball.

Gardening

Students engage in gardening lessons, which provide real-world, sensory support for science lessons on food production and farming.

THE WALDORF DIFFERENCE: Gardening begins in third grade with seasonal agricultural activities. Children explore garden bed preparation, seed sowing and cultivation, weeding, composting and harvesting. They study tool care, food preservation and farm work animals.
In subsequent grades, they become stewards of the school grounds, experience an integrated approach to gardening, and enjoy work excursions to a biodynamic farm.

Woodworking

Woodworking develops creativity, three-dimensional thinking, and the art of patience. A child’s discipline, accuracy and confidence are strengthened as a purposeful object emerges from the wood.

THE WALDORF DIFFERENCE: In fifth grade, the practical art of woodworking instruction begins. Students learn to work with various hand tools. They bring form and function to blocks of wood through the shaping of useful objects, including a bowl and spoon. Projects with moveable parts are later introduced.