chilling building benches in woodworking class at charlottesville waldorf school

The heart of a Waldorf school curriculum is the view of child development articulated and promoted by Rudolf Steiner that is embodied in all Waldorf schools. For example, the arithmetic curriculum focuses on whole numbers in Grades 1-3 because we see a sense of wholeness as supportive of the young child’s need to understand the world as a cohesive, secure environment. As the child moves into the Fourth Grade, this understanding changes; now the child becomes aware of many aspects of her own personality and is thus affirmed by the study of fractions—the multiple parts of any whole.

Daily and weekly rhythms are significant in the Waldorf curriculum. Main Lesson work begins inside the classroom at 8:10 a.m. It includes movement, art, music, as well as academic work. Students break for snack and recess after Main Lesson and finish out their school day with specialty subjects. The specialty program varies from year to year and can include nature study, Spanish, handwork, games and sports, woodworking, choir, art, language arts, math, orchestra, form drawing, newspaper, and yearbook.