Academic work begins in first grade, when the child is developmentally ready to begin the journey out of the magical realm of early childhood. The grades program is comprehensive and covers a classical curriculum in an imaginative and personal way that seeks to meet the child’s growing capacities physically, emotionally, spiritually, and academically. Cedarwood’s grade school includes the full Waldorf curriculum of traditional academic subjects as well as music, eurythmy, handwork, games, and two foreign languages – Spanish and Japanese.
The start time for Grades 1-8 is 8:15am and release is 3:15pm, with the exception of early release Thursdays at 12:45pm. The first grade will be released at 1:15pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Second grade will be released at 1:15pm on Fridays.
Curriculum by Grade
The following is an abbreviated curriculum outline by grade.
- Fairy tales, folk tales, nature stories
- Pictorial and phonetic introduction to letters, form drawing, reading approached through writing
- Qualities of numbers, introduction of the four processes in arithmetic, lower multiplication tables
- Legends and animal fables
- Reading, spelling, writing, elements of grammar
- Arithmetic, multiplication tables, further work with the processes
- Old Testament stories that introduce history and creation
- Study of practical life, farming, house building and clothing
- Reading, writing, original composition, grammar, punctuation and parts of speech, cursive writing
- Higher multiplication tables, weights and measures, time and money
- Grammar, letter writing, spelling, composition
- Arithmetic, fractions
- Local geography and history
- Study of humans and animals
- Telling of Norse myths and sagas
- Composition, grammar, spelling
- Decimals, ratio and proportion
- History of ancient civilization through Greek myths
- American geography related to vegetation, agriculture and economics
- Grammar, composition, spelling, biography, literature
- Introduction to algebra, geometry
- Business math
- Physics: acoustics, magnetism, optics and heat
- European and African geography Roman and Medieval history
- Arthurian legends
- Composition, spelling, grammar, literature and poetry
- Inorganic chemistry
- Physics: electricity, mechanics
- World geography
- Age of discovery and exploration
- Literature, Shakespeare, short stories, plays
- Algebra, geometry
- World economic geography
- Meteorology and climatology
- American history
- Industrial revolution
- Physics: hydraulics, organic chemistry
Spanish, Japanese, world music, choir, eurythmy, practical arts, movement education.
A Note on Variation
In Waldorf education, teaching is regarded as an art as well as a science. This means that there must be freedom for the teacher to adapt both the form and the content of instruction to time and place in general, to the capacity of the particular children involved and to the qualitative needs of each moment. In this sense, the Waldorf curriculum is created freshly all the time to meet the appropriate developmental stages in a child’s life. The curriculum is designed to teach all the academic skills while strengthening the child’s moral purpose and artistic sense.
First Grade Readiness and Assessment
Cedarwood Waldorf School has selected June 1 as its cut-off birth date to be considered for a Grade 1 class entry. For children in our school, the kindergarten teachers will prepare the child for first grade and will conduct ongoing observation and informal assessment of the child’s readiness to enter Grade 1. Throughout the year, the kindergarten teachers will assess the child’s development in the physical, cognitive, social and emotional areas.
In late spring, a team of teachers from the kindergartens and grades will conduct an assessment. This is an evaluation of the child as a whole, based both on the teachers’ observations of the child’s developmental changes throughout the year, and on a series of exercises. Children enjoy this assessment time with the teacher team, seeing it as a grand series of games to play.
All parents will be interviewed to discuss their child and the process of entering the Grade 1 class. Children and their parents interested in the first grade who are from outside of Cedarwood School, will be asked to visit for an assessment by the teacher team, and to have an interview with the teacher team to discuss Waldorf education. School records may be requested for review prior to acceptance.
After the teacher team has interviewed and assessed all the potential children for the new Grade 1 class, a meeting to examine all the records will be held and the new class announced. A small but important ceremony is held at the end of the school year for the new Grade 1 class, and again on the first day of the new school year, to recognize the new members of the grade school.
Each child in every class at Cedarwood School is a valued member of our community and is fully supported in the individual development of skills, talents, needs, strengths, and challenges. Each first grade class is a unique community within the school organization, and we recognize their important role in our healthy social body as they begin their important eight-year journey at our school.
A Note on Grades and Student Evaluations
Cedarwood does not issue grades or administer standardized tests. Children’s progress, however, is constantly monitored. Parent-teacher conferences are scheduled several times throughout the year. Teachers write lengthy reports about each student at year-end.