Children move into the second phase of childhood at the age of six or seven. This change is marked by a new readiness for formal learning. New intellectual abilities are nurtured, continuing to empower the imagination and creativity in the early grades.

At this age every child is an artist. The teacher’s task is to inform intellectual knowledge through aesthetic experience. Mathematics, science and social studies, woodwork and knitting, and world languages (both German and Spanish) are taught integrating intellect, imagination, and art. The teachers address each child’s learning with pictures and stories, in color, rhythm, and music. What is learned becomes a living part of the child.

Grade 3 culminates with a weeklong trip to the Hawthorne Valley Farm in upstate New York.

Rudolf Steiner’s study of developmental psychology elaborates on a significant change toward the end of a child’s tenth year. There is an awakening to a new sense of self and a concurrent change in the relationship with the environment.

Our curriculum therefore calls for the introduction of natural science and history. As these subjects are introduced, the students also gain an even greater degree of autonomy in their work. Emphasis is placed on developing good habits with regard to homework and music practice.

This “second phase” of the elementary school grows organically out of the first three years.

Grade 1

Formal academic subjects are introduced through storytelling, games, movement, and art.

Grade 2

Students develop a greater sense of confidence in every subject and further awaken their intellectual capacities.

Grade 3

Students grow in academic proficiency and start to better understand their relationship to the world around them. Homework is introduced in a gentle manner to develop healthy habits.

Grade 4

Students are introduced to more complex projects and subjects, adding geography, science, woodwork, and private musical instruction to their weekly studies.

Grade 5

Studies are increasingly integrated, geometry connects with woodworking and history is reenacted through drama and physical education.

A Typical Day at Steiner

*Schedule varies per grade 1-5

Deep study of an academic subject such as math, language arts, botany, science, history, or geography. The lesson comes alive through artistic, descriptive, and dramatic presentations, in three to four week blocks. Each student creates their own handwritten and illustrated Main Lesson book.
Rain or shine, students go to Central Park for free play or organized games.
Mathematics is explicitly taught each day in morning warm-up activities, in main lesson blocks throughout the grades and, after first grade, in two or three additional periods each week. Mathematics also happens throughout each child’s day as he or she reflects a cross-stitch pattern in handwork or takes up a rhythmical clapping exercise in eurythmy. Throughout the grades, students can be led through mathematics to the joy of clear, rigorous certainty in their thinking.
Every main lesson throughout the elementary school begins with music. The children might sing or play the recorder. Often they work on songs that relate to the material they will be studying in the main lesson itself. In addition, there are two or three weekly music lessons taught by the music teacher.
Locally sourced, organic ingredients are used to prepare lunches in our newly renovated Dining Hall.
Handwork has been taught in Waldorf Education since the first school in 1919. It is a practical art that involves the senses of sight and touch as well as balance and movement. In doing handwork, fine motor skills are refined. The woodwork curriculum begins in fourth grade. Woodwork is taught in such a way as to train the student’s senses and help them develop good work habits. Students learn respect for the process of making something and gaining confidence in their ability to complete a task.
Eurythmy, developed by Rudolf Steiner and Marie von Sivers, is an art of human movement set to music, poetry, or speech. It is also called “speech made visible”. By studying eurythmy, students learn dexterity of movement, grace, poise, balance, and concentration. They also develop a sense for sound and space, with a feeling for social harmony. Whether playing games organized by the class teacher, or engaging in activities with their Games teacher, the students run, skip, climb, jump, throw, and catch in an imaginative, non-competitive atmosphere. Students play with bean bags, jump rope, hula hoops, and balls, and play varieties of tag games which are often based on seasonal or animal stories.
All students at Rudolf Steiner School take two languages, Spanish and German, from first through eighth grades. Each language is taught in two 40-minute periods a week. The study of these two languages, from two different language groups, Romance and Germanic, allow students to absorb knowledge of language and etymology from two different points of view and to develop an understanding and appreciation for other cultures.
This program provides care for students after school. Our teachers look forward to greeting your children each day, enjoying snack and leading activities, games in the park and crafts in the First Grade classroom. The program will meet Monday through Friday from 3:00 – 5:30 PM, except for half days, school holidays, and unplanned school closings (e.g., snow days).

Rudolf Steiner School is delighted to provide students in grades 1 – 6 with an opportunity to participate in various extracurricular offerings before and after school. These programs are open to all Rudolf Steiner School students currently enrolled in the indicated grades listed for each course. These offerings are an extension of our regular school day programs and are designed to enhance the overall school and curricular experiences of every child.


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