Celebrating 20 Years of Developing Fearless Learners

Elementary School, Grades 1-5

Our Elementary School program meets children’s curiosity and interest in the world with a broad range of subjects that are presented imaginatively and through direct experience.

The Elementary School day begins with the Main Lesson—a block of time devoted to a particular subject for three to four weeks. Academic subjects engage the students intellectually, emotionally, and physically, and they incorporate drawing, painting, and modeling, movement, music, and drama, in order to enhance the students’ experience and self-expression.

The Main Lesson is led by the class teacher, who accompanies the students through a series of grades, building on past lessons and laying the foundation for future studies.

1st Grade

rws_1st-gradeFirst grade introduces students to the subjects they will be studying for the rest of their schooling. The fairy tales they hear explore the archetypes of the human experience; the letters they learn lay the basis for writing and reading; and the numbers and operations they explore initiate them into the world of mathematics. Through stories and walks, students encounter the seasonal changes in nature and forge a connection to the world.

Language & Literature
    •    Introduction to letters & writing
    •    Introduction to reading & phonetics
    •    Fairy tales & folk tales
Mathematics
    •    Introduction to addition, subtraction, multiplication, division
    •    Form drawing
Science
    •    Nature stories
Specialty Subjects
    •    Foreign Language: introduction to Spanish & Russian language and culture
    •    Handwork: knitting
    •    Visual Arts: drawing, free-hand geometric drawing, painting, beeswax modeling
    •    Music: singing, pentatonic flute
    •    Physical Education: eurythmy (movement), traditional games, collaborative games

2nd Grade

rws_2nd-gradeSecond graders are ready for greater variety and complexity. Through legends they encounter people who developed their noblest qualities, and through animal fables they experience human foibles. Working with number facts and tables and with the four operations engenders confidence in their thinking, and nature walks and stories prepare them for the formal science studies of later grades.

Language & Literature:
    •    Reading, writing, spelling
    •    Introduction to grammar & punctuation
    •    Legends, fables, & folk tales
Mathematics:
    •    Four operations in vertical form with regrouping
    •    Multiplication tables
    •    Numerical patterns
    •    Form drawing
Science:
    •    Nature stories
Specialty Subjects:
    •    Foreign Language: Spanish & Russian
    •    Handwork: crocheting
    •    Visual Arts: drawing, free-hand geometric drawing, painting, beeswax modeling
    •    Music: singing, pentatonic flute
    •    Physical Education: eurythmy (movement), traditional games, collaborative games

3rd Grade

rws_3rd-gradeThird graders experience a growing sense of themselves and their place in the world. These changes are supported by Old Testament stories that depict the great deeds of the Hebrew people and their relationship with their God. Measurement in all its forms helps students apply their knowledge, and subjects such as farming, house-building, and other crafts connect them with practical life. A week-long trip to a farm and a class carpentry project round out a year of active learning.

Language & Literature
    •    Independent writing & reading
    •    Grammar, punctuation, spelling
    •    Cursive writing
History
    •    Stories from the Old Testament
Mathematics
    •    Four operations, cont’d
    •    Measurement: linear, weight, volume, etc.
    •    Time & money
    •    Form drawing
Science
    •    Study of practical life: farming, housing, clothing, etc.
Specialty Subjects:
    •    Foreign Language: Spanish & Russian
    •    Handwork: crocheting and knitting
    •    Visual Arts: drawing, free-hand geometric drawing, painting, beeswax modeling
    •    Music: singing, recorder, violin/cello
    •    Physical Education: eurythmy (movement), traditional games, collaborative games

4th Grade

rws_4th-gradeFourth graders are becoming stronger, more confident, and more expressive. These qualities are mirrored by the Norse myths, which depict dramatic deeds of loyalty, courage, and treachery. By re-telling, writing, and acting out these stories, students make them their own. The study of fractions and of the animal kingdom in relation to the human being help students recognize the relationship between a whole and its parts, and explorations of local and Virginia history and geography engender appreciation and understanding of their home state.

Language & Literature:
    •    Independent writing & reading, cont’d
    •    Grammar, punctuation, spelling, cont’d
Mathematics:
    •    Four operations, cont’d
    •    Introduction to fractions
    •    Measurement, cont’d
    •    Form drawing & geometric drawing
History:
    •    Richmond & Virginia history
    •    Scandinavian mythology
Geography:
    •    Richmond & Virginia geography
    •    Mapmaking, cont’d
Science:
    •    Introduction to the animal world
Specialty Subjects:
    •    Foreign Language: Spanish & Russian
    •    Handwork: cross-stitching
    •    Visual Arts: drawing, free-hand geometric drawing, painting, clay sculpture
    •    Music: singing, recorder, violin/cello
    •    Physical Education: eurythmy (movement), traditional games, collaborative games

5th Grade

rws_5th-gradeFifth grade is the heart of childhood, a time of balance and harmony. These qualities are expressed through the myths and cultures of ancient India, Persia, Egypt, Babylonia, and Greece. To bring the study of Greece to life, students participate in a multi-school reenactment of the ancient Greek Olympics. In Language Arts, 5th graders develop their expository and creative writing, and in math, they take up complex calculations with fractions and are introduced to decimals and the metric system. Fifth grade students explore our country’s heritage in their history and geography classes, and they discover the magic and mystery of the plant kingdom and of less-familiar animals in science classes.

Language & Literature:
    •    Narrative & expository writing; letter writing
    •    Independent reading & literature discussions
    •    Grammar & punctuation, cont’d
    •    Vocabulary & spelling
Mathematics:
    •    Arithmetic, fractions, decimals, cont’d
    •    Metric measurement
    •    Geometric drawing
History:
    •    Mythology & cultural history of ancient India, Persia, Egypt, Babylonia
    •    Greek mythology & history
Geography:
    •    Physical and economic geography of North America
    •    Mapmaking, cont’d
Science:
    •    Introduction to the plant world; further studies of animals
Specialty Subjects:
    •    Foreign Language: Spanish & Russian; Greek
    •    Handwork: advanced knitting
    •    Woodwork: carved spoons and shallow bowls
    •    Visual arts: drawing, free-hand geometric drawing, painting, clay sculpture
    •    Music: singing, recorder, violin/cello
    •    Physical Education: eurythmy (movement), Olympic pentathalon; competitive games


 

Learn more about our Admissions Process.

Richmond Waldorf School