In the early grades, the child is an artist at heart and learns from everything that speaks to his or her imagination in picture, story, color, tone rhythm, and movement. The way the teacher sets the stage in first grade influences the child’s intellectual, emotional, and physical development.
The second grader has a particular need to meet human ideals. The curriculum addresses this through song, poetry, and story. While gradually moving from the magical consciousness of early childhood into the practical world, the second grade child learns about the wisdom and foibles of the animal kingdom and, in contrast, the legends of heroes and saints that depict high human ideals. At the same time, math and language skills are strengthened, along with physical dexterity, through movement and crafts that also help foster cognitive development.
The third grader’s inner experience of the nine-year change of consciousness is reflected in the story of the fall from Paradise. With practical, supportive classroom and home experiences, the child can gain self-confidence for future work in our world. In this course, language development and math skills are woven around these themes, and nature studies focus on the practical relationship that human beings have with their environment. Topics include: Math, Music, Language Arts, Old Testament Stories, Painting, Form Drawing, Speech, Games and Movement.
The fourth grader is often strongly motivated by his or her will, which awakens after the nine-year change. Norse mythology, with its powerfully dramatic stories and strongly alliterative and rhythmic epics, speaks directly to the child at this stage of development. The animal kingdom is studied in its relation to the human being, and geography is introduced to develop awareness of the living environment. The world of fractions leads the child from the whole to its parts and back to the whole again.
Fifth grade can be a year of wonderful balance and harmony. The youngsters can experience life as the Greeks did with a focus on art and movement, including the Pentathlon. The glories of ancient civilizations lead the children out into the world, expanding their view to a wider understanding of others, and of themselves. Study of the plant world supports this expansion of the mind in a complementary way by guiding the children to see how the earth is blanketed with plant life from pole to equator. A study of fractions and decimals focuses on the relationship of part to whole.