In the early school years, children learn best when academics are conveyed through artistic media such as painting, drama, music, storytelling, and other direct experiences that stir the emotions. Every detail imaginable contributes consciously to the totality of the Waldorf learning experience: the colors in the classroom, the colored chalk drawings on the blackboard, the rhythms of the lesson and the day, and the way the teacher speaks, moves, and balances humor with seriousness.
Our approach relies upon an interdisciplinary structure within each grade and progressing through the years. Diverse modalities of teaching are integrated to ensure that students encounter a variety of learning styles. As a result, each child is able to comprehend classroom material and find positive areas of self-expression. Long before educational research confirmed the idea of “multiple intelligences,” Steiner understood the need to balance the head, heart, and hands.
- Math: Learning the times tables involves movement and discovering the magic patterns of numbers.
- Ancient history: The fifth graders participate in a Greek Pentathlon – throwing the javelin and the discus, wrestling and running – to complement the study of ancient Greece and enliven history and a dynamic culture.
- Modern history: Sewing on treadle sewing machines accompanies the study of the Industrial Revolution, allowing students to feel history in a new, tangible way.
- La Fontaine