The third grade is often called the turning point of childhood—a time when the age of dream is passing and a new age of realism is beginning to dawn.
The nine- to ten-year-old threshold represents a very significant step in self-awareness. Children realize they are separate from their surroundings and meet the world as individuals, often resulting in increased questions, self-doubt and wonder.
In this period the child empathizes with stories of the Old Testament, the fall from Eden and man’s first struggles to live in social groups on the earth. At this age, children are very interested in the origin of things. They want to discover new ways of doing things in the world and imagine themselves in very primitive conditions. The practical life is taken up in studies of house building, farming, gardening, cooking and finding out about the jobs people do.
Third 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.
For the third grader, the Main Lesson begins with rhythmic movement including rhythmic reciting of song and verse, rhythmic mental math (counting out the times tables) and the rhythmic “mental gymnastics” used in solving puzzles such as “take six, add twelve, subtract nine.”
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.