• Grade One •
• Grade Two •
• Grade Three •
• Grade Four •
• Grade Five •
• Grade Six •
• Grade Seven •
• Grade Eight •
• Overview •
A Brief Overview
At Minnesota Waldorf School, every school day begins with a handshake from teacher to student, an acknowledgment that each is ready to begin the day’s work together. Whenever possible, teachers remain with the same class from 1st to 8th grade, allowing for growth and a deepening of the class community. This continuing connection allows teachers to better understand and meet the specific needs of the class as a whole and of individual students, without having to reestablish relationships each year.
The Main (Morning) Lesson
The main subjects, such as history, language arts, science, and mathematics are taught in blocks of two hours per day, with each block lasting from three to four weeks. Main Lesson is scheduled early in the day when the children are the most alert and receptive.
During Main Lesson, the children have the opportunity to study one subject intensively: basic language arts and arithmetic blocks in first grade, and more specialized blocks-Ancient Egypt, electricity, logarithms-in the higher grades. After a few weeks the subject is replaced by another, to reappear later in the year and, in more complex ways, in successive grades. Thus a fifth grade botany Main Lesson block will reinforce the farming experiences of third grade.
The Waldorf curriculum has been likened to an ascending spiral: subjects are revisited several times, but each new exposure affords greater depth and new insights into the subject at hand.
Students create their own main lesson books – valuable learning tools that record progress through the grades. The books include compositions and illustrations that the student creates from the lesson, such as scientific discoveries, math concepts, stories, or detailed botanical drawings.
Supporting Academics Through Creativity
Specialized teachers support and balance academic work through a diverse range of creative activities, including music, movement, foreign language, and the arts, including handwork, woodworking, clay sculpture, painting and drawing.
Music: Supporting academics, beautifully
The melody and rhythm of music are known for their capacity to enhance brain development. Wooden flutes and recorder are taught in grades 1-8. All students play a stringed instrument starting in 3rd grade. Choral training begins in 4th grade.
Movement: Creating space to grow and learn
The importance of physical activity, and its relationship to successful learning and healthy childhood development is reinforced through our unique movement program that includes games, sports and eurythmy.
Foreign Language: Mais oui, c’est important!
All students start stretching their minds early through exposure to foreign language and culture in grades 1 through 8.
All students begin working in the arts from grade 1 through 8. Watercolor begins in first grade and the art of painting moves through to pastel painting in eighth grade. Children learn knitting in first grade and quilt making with a sewing machine in eighth grade. Grades 6 through 8 rotate through an art curriculum that includes methods of painting, drawing, woodwork and sculpture.
By incorporating intellectual, artistic and hands-on learning into one, the learning sinks deeper – not only into their minds, but more importantly, into their hearts and, most profoundly, into their bodies.” – MWS Faculty member