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Cedar Springs Waldorf Grade School


The Grades curriculum is based on the understanding that the key to developing a critical thinking mind is to encourage the active and creative imagination as the child develops over time. Each grade’s curriculum is crafted to support the healthy growth of the whole child – intellectually, physically, emotionally and spiritually. As the curriculum reflects the developmental needs of the child, it fosters an excitement for learning that will remain with the child into adulthood.

Our Faculty delivers the curriculum in a thematic way, with each subject interwoven and complemented by the others. For example, when a class studies California History, they are completely immersed in it through reading, writing, math, science, drama, music, art, physical activity, and a field trip.

The Waldorf curriculum also offers a broad variety of subjects that are woven throughout the weekly schedule. These subjects, taught by the Class Teacher or a specialist beginning in First Grade (unless otherwise specified), enrich the student experience with offerings that include:

  • Foreign Language (Spanish)
  • Gardening
  • Handwork
  • Games/Movement
  • Instrumental Music
  • Singing
  • Drama
  • Watercolor Painting
  • Beeswax Modeling
  • Woodworking – (Fifth through Eighth Grade)

As the students enter their middle school years, they also develop skills and values in team sports, musical ensembles and community service.

The Class Teacher

In Waldorf schools the Class Teacher remains with their class from grade to grade, sometimes all the way from First to Eighth Grade. In this way, parents and teachers can work together over time, orchestrating their efforts to best meet the changing needs of the child and the class as a whole. Additionally, the relationship between teacher and child is constantly evolving and deepening, providing a continuity often lacking in education today.
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The Main Lesson and Main Lesson Book

In the Grades, each day begins with a two-hour period devoted to a single academic subject (when the children’s concentration is at its peak). One topic is studied for three or four weeks, allowing the teacher to cover a subject in-depth, using a variety of approaches.
 
Movement, games, singing and other hands-on activities enrich this main lesson time, especially in the younger grades, providing an engaging, interactive learning environment.

Rather than using standardized textbooks, Waldorf Grades students create their own main lesson books – writing text and illustrations from their classroom learning and sometimes outside research. These main lesson and other subject books are practical and treasured references.
Age Requirements

Due to the age-appropriate developmental approach of our curriculum, students begin First Grade later than in non-Waldorf schools. We believe this provides the child with greater readiness for learning, both academically and socially throughout their education.

The minimum age cutoffs for each grade are listed below:
First
Second
Third
Fourth – Eighth
6 years old by May 31
7 years old by May 31
8 years old by May 31
9-13 year olds, respectively, though other variables may be taken into account to best serve each child
Schedule

All grades classes begin promptly at 8:15 am each school day. Regular dismissal times Monday – Thursday are:
First:
Second:
Third – Eighth:

All Grades:
1:30 pm
2:30 pm
3:00 pm

1:30 pm dismissal on Fridays