Handwork is critical to the intellectual and emotional development of the child. In the first grade the children learn knitting, and in the course of their schooling will learn to crochet, sew by hand, knit with five needles, cross-stitch, do wood carving, and make clothing using a sewing machine.
Students learn to make things they love and to work skillfully, always increasing their artistry. Handwork should be relaxing and fun, and at the same time productive.
Working to transform the materials of the earth fosters inner growth and a sense of well-being in the children. These lessons support and complement other subjects in the school, helping to bring balance and wholeness to the education.
Grades 2-8 participate in a twice-weekly class emphasizing fitness, cooperative games and activities that develop coordination, social skills, and physical abilities.
Foreign language acquisition
Grades 1st-6th have weekly Spanish classes, and Spanish will be added to 7th and 8th in the next 2 years.
The foreign language approach is a carefully designed access to foreign language instruction and acquisition. The approach is based on the idea that the primary purpose of foreign language acquisition is to develop the ability to communicate. Foreign language study also raises one’s social conscience and cultivates an interest in and respect for others. In fact, the School sees foreign language study as a window into the soul of another culture. Because the manner in which we think is expressed through the languages that we speak, we nurture a cultural understanding of other peoples through acquiring their languages.
A useful final product
Woodworking students in grades 6th-8th use traditional hand woodworking tools to start with raw wood and transform it into a useful final product.
Their first product is a simple three legged stool. The students start by using a crosscut saw to cut a round of wood from a trunk. They then split the wood, and use hatchets and draw knives to shape it. They then use foot powered lathes to turn each leg, and then finally assemble their project into their stool.
Awakening and nurturing
Music is an important element of the curriculum. According to Rudolf Steiner, the human being is a musical being, and the making of music is essential in experiencing what it is to be fully human. Music in the curriculum awakens and nurtures the deep inner life of the child.
All students enjoy music as part of their daily life at school. Singing and playing both wind and string instruments are established aspects of our music program. First grade students learn to play a Pentatonic recorder and the recorder is played throughout the grades. The class teacher as well as the school’s music teacher work with students in group singing.
In 4th grade, students are taught to play the violin by a trained music teacher. in 5th grade they can choose viola, violin, bass, or cello. In grades 6th-8th students participate in orchestra and choir, and after school they can elect to participate in advanced orchestra.
The creativity within
Through our Fine Arts Elective program, the middle school students are asked to observe, connect, reflect, and awaken the creativity within themselves. They will explore new medium, acquire skills and knowledge to share who they are through their art. Some of the mediums we will be using include graphite, marker, charcoal, ink, dry/oil pastel, wires, clay, block print, soap carving, beading, cut out art, watercolor, acrylic, colored papers, mosaic.
Artistic endeavors sharpen two very important human skills: the ability to shape, or see, and the ability to perceive, or distinguish. When practiced over time using diverse techniques across a variety of subjects, something very special emerges: the ability to shape and perceive new ways of looking at the world.
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