An exceptional curriculum provides our older students with a well-rounded, classical education and a strong foundation for creative, conceptual and abstract thinking. Experiential learning is still key in these years as we continue to integrate the arts, humanities and sciences to nurture the growing strengths of each child. We set high standards for ourselves and our students. They learn to think critically, create and work hard. Though we engage our students rigorously, it is done within a warm and respectful community which provides a safe place for the transformative experience of early adolescence.
Waldorf teachers emphasize internal motivation and multiple types of intelligence over test results. Our students learn to think creatively, feel empathetically and work actively. They develop resilience and gain respect for themselves and others. As the class grows as a community, students learn how to collaborate, communicate and work with diverse individuals—crucial skills for the future.
Fifth through Eighth Grades
“Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives.” -Rudolf Steiner
A Middle School Day
The main lesson begins with subject material that meets the child’s developmental needs in an engaging manner. For example, our seventh graders are immersed in the world of the Renaissance. This time in a student’s life is a great awakening; just as the era was a great awakening for Western civilization. Students will spend their mornings inspired by the likes of Joan of Arc, Leonardo da Vinci, Dante and Newton as they learn chemistry, physiology, linear equations, the Pythagorean theorem, perspective drawing and more.
Sciences in all grades are taught using the Socratic method—calling upon the students to observe, ponder, discuss, and then draw conclusions—all before the law or formula is presented. Music permeates and harmonizes the life of the school through choral music, recorders and orchestral instruments. Spanish and practical arts such as woodwork and handwork continue. Projects become more complex and challenging.
By the end of eighth grade, Eugene Waldorf School graduates are resilient, well-rounded adolescents who are actively interested in the world around them. They are freethinking, compassionate and curious. And they love to learn. Years of problem solving, working with classmates and building self confidence have created a strong foundation for life.