Waldorf schools offer a developmentally appropriate, experiential, and academically rigorous approach to education. They integrate the arts in all academic disciplines for children from preschool through twelve grade to enhance and enrich learning. Waldorf education aims to inspire life-long learning in all students and to enable them to fully develop their unique capacities.
In the grades, each day starts with a two-hour main lesson period. Main lesson subjects are taught in blocks of three to four weeks, enabling the students to focus intensively on one subject at a time. Other specialty subjects, such as art, crafts, eurythmy, foreign languages, gardening, music and physical education are taught year-round.
Music, dance and theater, writing, literature, legends and myths are not simply subjects to be read about and tested. They are experienced. Through these experiences, Waldorf students cultivate their intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual capacities to be individuals certain of their paths and to be of service to the world.
Students create their own main lesson books from material the teacher presents in class. As the students move up in the grades, reference books, classic literature and group discussion increasingly supplement the class teacher's oral presentations.
An environment with rhythm and wonder that feels like home.
Current cognitive studies show that play based early education is the most academic program possible for young minds.
Parent - Toddler
A rhythmic Waldorf morning that honors the wisdom in each child and parent on their journey together. The children play nearby as parents join together at the table for tea, conversation and handwork. Discussions include such topics as rhythm and routine, sleep, healthy movement and development, care and protection of the senses, Waldorf education, and nourishing ourselves as parents.
A nurturing environment that is rhythmic in nature ensures a strong sense of consistency, order and security - essential to the healthy development of the young child. Everything that is done in the class has a purpose, instilling a sense of joy and care for every task. The atmosphere is homelike and the focus is on play and cultivating the imagination. Outdoor playtime is scheduled everyday, rain or shine.
Through creative play and purposeful work the children learn to care for the environment and respect the work of others. Practical activities like gardening, cooking, cleaning, polishing, sweeping, tidying up their toys and keeping everything in it's place creates order in their world and gives rise to a capacity for inner discipline and a respectful relationship with the environment.
1st - 4th
At Marin Waldorf School, a child's education in academic subjects includes hands-on learning through music, painting, sculpture, movement and woodworking. Grades 1-4 is a time for children to understand the relationship between themselves and the world around them. Providing space and encouragement through this developmental stage enables the child to become stable, balanced and self-sufficient.
The child has completed the formation of their physical body and is ready to begin work with their mind. Children learn best at this age by entering the world with love, sympathy and wonder.
Curriculum: Imaginative stories, exploring nature, music, foreign language, handwork and painting
The child is like a butterfly who has just emerged from the chrysalis sitting upon a leaf poised for flight. This is the time when they discover their relationship with the world around them. They are eager to participate in everything that comes to their attention.
Curriculum: Drama, poetry, painting, grammar, arithmetic, nature study, handwork, foreign language, flute.
This is the “Crossing Point” for a child. They start to question everything and feel separate from the world. They sometimes suffer from loneliness and fear. At this time it is important for the child to learn self sufficiency.
Curriculum: Practical farming and gardening, building shelters, drama, music, foreign language, long division, measurement and grammar.
The child is “Encountering SELF” This is a time where they are finding stability and strength as an individual yet working harmoniously together.
Curriculum: Human and animal studies (zoology), geography, long division, fractions, geometry, composition writing, violin, foreign language.
5th - 8th
The approach to Waldorf liberal arts education is creative - but it is also rigorous. Entering into the upper grades with a foundation of strength and self-sufficiency, the child can now successfully enter into the next developmental stage where he can flourish. This is a time of awareness and self-discovery which lays the path for a lifelong love of learning.
The Fifth grade child has crossed over into harmonious balance where they can begin to flourish. This is the time to establish foundations for their future.
Curriculum: Ancient Civilizations, botany, research compositions, foreign language, string ensemble, painting, sculpture, geometry, ratios & proportions, class play.
The child takes a firm, intentional step into the outer world and becomes aware of the changes in their body. With increasing awareness of the physical self, the time is right for study of the physical body of the earth.
Curriculum: Roman history, geology, minerals, climate, physics, astronomy, literature, biography speech, drama, history, recitation, pre-algebra, business math, cultural studies, choir, woodworking.
As the seventh grade child enters puberty they are on their way to selfhood. A spirit of inquiry and creativity needs to be fostered to allow for a sweet entry into adulthood.
Curriculum: Age of Exploration, Renaissance and Reformation, creative writing, speech, drama, Euclidean geometry, business math, chamber orchestra, perspective drawing.
The child experiences a birth into intellectual consciousness. They become more aware of themselves and their own organic processes, drives, and rhythms of their body.
Curriculum: Age of Revolutions, Civil Rights, Shakespeare, creative writing, speech, drama, Euclidean geometry, human physiology & anatomy, organic chemistry, physics, aerodynamics, meteorology, chamber orchestra, carpentry, perspective drawing.