Elementary Grades 1-5

First Grade

The first grade child is surrounded by a loving, artistic environment rich in imagery, art, movement, and work in nature that awakens the wonder of learning. The first grade child’s new capacities of memory, gross and fine motor skills are nurtured in the first grade curriculum through imagery, movement, music, handwork, drawing, writing, and foreign language. First grade is a time to awaken the wonders of numbers, letters, language, color, rhyme, natural phenomena, classroom habits and a healthy social life.

At this phase of the child’s development, the six and early seven year olds are crossing a major developmental threshold that will free their memory (etheric forces) to construct and deconstruct both tangible and imagined experiences in a new and more consistent way. For this reason, it is at this time when we begin formal learning. The child still learns primarily through imitation and imagination so the environment is nurturing, safe, loving, compassionate, respectful, and patient.  Tasks continue to be carried out by calling on the will and feeling forces of the child. As the child’s memory shifts during this time of transition, thinking and memory forces are called upon through new learning techniques such as writing, formal recall, and guided illustrative work.  Socially, this is the time of forming classroom and community habits that will carry forth into the coming school years.

Second Grade

A typical second grader, as he or she begins to show a greater curiosity and awareness of the world. They maintain their natural, magical view of the world as they slowly move toward the nine-year change when they will more completely and decisively realize and impart their individuality. This time of development typically includes a tendency toward the polarities of being human as they seesaw through moods, social engagement, moral questions, and intellectual challenges. The social life of the second grader can be full of deep love, playfulness, hard work, and creative tasks, and it is also typically fraught with disagreements, irritability, moral struggles (such as truth telling vs. tattle telling), and a bit of disenchantment.

Their developing feelings of sympathy and antipathy can create challenges for their peers and the adults in their lives, and require more compassionate, patient and creative responses.

At this time of development, the curriculum brought to the children will aid their soul development toward love, justice, truth, beauty, and confidence. This is done through a multitude of methods, but most objectively through the thought-provoking story content of heroes and fables.

Third Grade

The third grade is often called the turning point of childhood. The eight or nine-year-old is going through a change that is particularly profound where she begins to feel herself growing apart from the world. She begins to ask questions such as, “Where did I come from?” or “Are you really my parents?” She begins to experience herself as an individual part of the world, not an extension of her parents. During this change, she can become sad, cynical, and lonely, feeling separated from others.

The third grade curriculum is designed to empower the child with life skills and practical activities. These skills help the child reconnect to the world and life in a newfound way. Practical skills of farming, cooking, homebuilding, measurement are focal points of the third grade year.

Fourth Grade

Fourth grade marks a shift in the development of the children, as well as how a teacher meets certain aspects of the child through the curriculum. Having passed through the nine-year-change, the child is ready for more concrete tasks and more readily recognizes their place in the world.  This new consciousness is met through the study of local geography and local history, as well as study of the animals. The child at this age tends to be more self aware, and thus is ready to take up greater challenges on the academic front. Fourth grade offers the child the opportunity to engage in their first “research” project through the study of animals. Each of the other parts of the curriculum support the fourth grade child in finding and knowing their place, and in being comfortable in the time in which they find themselves. The stories from Norse Mythology, and often the Kalevala as well, are brought in order to address the ever-changing emotions of the fourth grade child. The stories contain moments of humor, anger, suspense and tragedy and give the students imaginative content through which they can explore their emerging, rich emotional life.

Fifth Grade

Fifth grade is often referred to as the “Golden Age” of the child. Fifth grade also begins a shift to a more time conscious historical and scientific look at the world. The fifth grader examines various processes of transformation including historical transformation through the study of ancient civilizations, botany, world geography and beginning work in geometry.