Eighth graders burst with ideals and opinions; they offer unsolicited judgments and are eager for tests of their powers.
Since the inescapable step into adolescence is the end of childhood, it is taken with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Some students do not want to give up the dreamy world of childhood. Some sense the inevitable developmental moment and face it with (relatively) mature resolve. Others are eager to get on with the adventure of life and to reach for the glittering treasures it promises. The teacher’s goal is to hold the promise and potential of the world before the minds of the students, let their hearts encompass its dreams and hopes, and help their hands reach out to its needs.
The eighth-grade year concludes with two large events. The first is a play performed by the eighth-grade class for the entire community. In earlier grades the plays have been performed for the other students and for the class parents. In eighth grade the play is an evening event with three or four performances for the extended community. In this way it takes on greater importance and includes more work on staging, props, costuming and lighting. The final event of the eighth grade year is usually the eighth-grade trip. This opportunity allows the students to build their relationships to a new level by travel and exploration of the real world together.
Eighth Grade Curriculum
Rhythm of the Day
Each day begins with Main Lesson. The main subjects, such as history, language arts, science and mathematics are taught in blocks of 2 hours per day, with each block lasting from 3 to 6 or even 8 weeks long.
Depending on the teacher, the eighth grade mornings continue to include movement and speech work: handclap, beanbag, drama and movement games.
After Main Lesson the children have a hearty snack (brought from home) and time to play outdoors.
The afternoon consists of subject classes including handwork, movement, french, music and art, as well as lunch (brought from home) and more time to play outdoors.