The Middle School student is ready to take the next step — into more responsibility and a deeper level of complexity, understanding, and artistry. They are on the journey to becoming independent, resourceful and self-sufficient individuals. Their growing sense of themselves is leavened by a natural desire for order and clarity.
I am a middle schooler.
Your Sixth Grader is a compassion-worthy pilgrim in a whirlpool of change — no longer a child, but not yet a confirmed teenager. Sometimes argumentative, emotional and acerbic, they are always tender, as they navigate new forces in their bodies and thought. Sixth graders feel heavy and awkward, yet simultaneously begin to think logically and causally.
Because 6th graders can be egotistical, we offset these tendencies by exploring the cultural geography of unfamiliar regions and learning about the lifestyles of others. We shift our inner perspectives by learning about the Celestial Sphere in astronomy. The lawfulness of the Cosmos reflects the 6th grader’s growing sense of order. Students learn about strong individuals through the biographies and virtuous deeds of active members of society. We present a curriculum with a focus on cause and effect, asking students to use careful observations to reach logical conclusions. In history, we move from the grace of the ancient empires to the stories behind their demise and the rise of two world religions: Christianity and Islam. We’ll explore the causality in history and the beginning of the dialectical principle.
While teachers tailor the Waldorf curriculum to the needs of each class, your Sixth Grader will typically learn:
History: Roman history through monarchy, republic and empire. The Crusades, the Life of Mohammed and the study of Islam. Medieval society, including the cloister, castle and city.
Literature: Tales of chivalry, ballads, medieval history, historical novels.
English/Grammar: Review eight parts of speech, possessive nouns, adjectives, phrase and clauses, comparative adverbs, transitive and intransitive verbs, moods. Composition with emphasis on exposition, outlining and spelling.
Spanish: Basic reading tests begin, as well as humorous stories and cultural humor.
Geography: Geography of Central and South America, world geography, the Earth’s configuration and contrasts.
Science: Physics: sound, heat, light, magnetism, static electricity. Geology: minerals and crystals of the Earth and their individual qualities. Astronomy: celestial observation, phases of the moon, seasons.
Mathematics: Rates and ratios, rational numbers, expressions and equations. Develop an understanding of statistical thinking, graphing and geometry. With Math Specialist.
Drawing: Exact geometric drawings, geometric string designs, mosaic pictures, black and white drawings, chiaroscuro.
Painting: Landscapes, colors, contrasts, triads and spectrums.
Handwork: Design and make patterns for creation of a hand-sewn stuffed animal.
Gardening: Nourishment and nutrition through cooking, carving wooden spoons, willow bed tending and basketry.
Woodworking/Modeling: Use saws rasps and gouges to make a spoon. Study of concave shapes.
Music: String orchestra continues, along with soprano and alto flute, choir in 2-4 parts, formal music theory program, medieval and renaissance choral music, experience live, local music events.
Eurythmy: Gestures for musical intervals, geometric forms, copper rod exercises.
Games/Movement: Greek sports, team games and sports, field games, archery, gymnastics, and circus arts, including juggling, unicycle and balance exercises.
Support me in my desire to discover the world.
Seventh graders sense unconsciously the firm ground of childhood they trod has somehow shifted but are filled with genuine uncertainty about the new place they now stand. This presents itself in the form of questions about boundaries and rules. As cognitive powers strengthen, we witness a new love of argument. The sciences provide a place for argument and demand new levels of rigor, ability, and stamina in their thinking. To mirror the developmental activity within the 7th grader we explore the Renaissance, a historical explosion of creativity and knowledge. 7th grade students experience blooming curiosity. An intense physical and mental growth has them stretching for experience. They’re yearning for independence but still need guidance and structure.
Students are ready to reflect on the way that working within a society, as a citizen or a crew member on a boat, a person can make a difference in the flow of destiny. Our studies bring out the importance of idealism, authenticity, and standing up for your beliefs.
While teachers tailor the Waldorf curriculum to the needs of each class, your Seventh Grader will typically learn:
History: 1400-1700. Age of Exploration, Age of Discovery, The Reformation, The Renaissance.
Literature: Arthurian legends, historical novels, Biographies, humorous stories, Tales of adventure and discovery, Ballads and other poetry, Scenes from the Renaissance, Stories about tribal life.
English/Grammar: Review of all grammar concepts. Develop a plasticity of the language based on the theme of Wish, Wonder and Surprise. Original writing and summaries, longer essays and comparisons, research papers.
Spanish: Reading of fiction/non-fiction works and biographies. Discourse, conversation and debate. Continuation of explicit grammar instruction. Paper writing.
Geography: Geography of Africa, Europe and Asia. Map reading.
Science: Chemistry: combustion, chemical transformation, acids, bases, salts, lime cycle. Biology: the nine systems, nutrition. Physics: light, magnetism, static and current electricity, mechanics.
Mathematics: Proportional relationships, operations with rational numbers, linear equations, scale drawing, graphing, profit and loss. With Math Specialist.
Drawing: Exact geometrical forms: 2-D to Pythagorean theorem, area of squares, triangles, perspective drawing, black and white drawing.
Painting: Wet and dry paper, transparent colors, layering techniques.
Handwork: Marionette play production: puppet creation (hand sewing), story/script editing, set production, puppeteering in front of a live audience.
Gardening: Nourishment and nutrition through cooking, broom craft, fire by friction, carving wooden bowls.
Woodworking/Modeling: Make a bowl and spoon, further study of convex shapes.
Music: Soprano, alto, tenor and bass recorders, String orchestra or band, choir, music theory, chamber music, composer biographies, experience live, local performances.
Eurythmy: Dramatic gestures, ballad and narrative poetry, complex choreography.
Games/Movement: Gymnastics, team games and sports, track and field, rhythmic exercise, skill practice games, exercises concerned with contrasting heaviness and lightness.
I am prepared and preparing.
Your Eighth Grader is experiencing the end of childhood. This is a threshold year, culminating the grade school years, but with high school beckoning. Necessary preparations take place. Teachers intensify the development of those skills necessary for further independence. The students begin to look for their own heroes and mentors and the curriculum responds with role models from history and the present. Throughout the year, eighth graders are recognized as responsible and active citizens of our school community, serving as first grade buddies and volunteering within the school. A highlight of the year is the eighth-grade project, where students propose a subject for exploration, source and work with an independent mentor, and present the results to the school community. To celebrate the eighth grader’s maturity and self-reliance, the school year ends with an extended trip for reflection and celebration.
Our students graduate with a well-rounded education that leaves them ready for high school, and with the intellectual maturity, creativity and confidence to forge their own path.
While teachers tailor the Waldorf curriculum to the needs of each class, your Eighth Grader will typically learn:
History: 1700-present: Industrial Revolution through present day, the American civil rights movement.
Literature: Shakespearean poetry, epic and dramatic stories from around the world, global folklore and poetry.
English/Grammar: Newspaper reporting, short stories, biographies and professional, practical and expository writing. Culminating research project includes research paper and presentation.
Spanish: Reading of fiction/non-fiction works and biographies. Study of history and famous individuals, grammar and syntax, vocabulary building.
Geography: World geography, contrasts and comparisons.
Science: Chemistry: metals, gases and solids. Biology: bones and muscles, the eye, body chemistry, etc. Physics: sound, heat, current electricity, hydraulics, aerodynamics and meteorology.
Mathematics: Formulating and reasoning, linear equations, functions and quantitative relationships, Pythagorean theorem. With Math Specialist.
Drawing: Geometric drawing, 2-D Pythagorean theorem, perspective drawing, platonic solids, chiaroscuro, charcoal techniques.
Painting: Discover space in color.
Handwork: Pattern making, machine sewing, quilting, creation of garment, alterations.
Gardening: Nourishment and nutrition through cooking, Wildcat Garden flower stand management, fire by friction.
Woodworking/Modeling: Three-legged stool project.
Music: Soprano, alto, tenor and bass recorders, String orchestra or Concert band, choir in four parts, African-American spirituals, American music, Chamber music, music theory, composer biographies, experience live, local performances.
Eurythmy: Review elements of eurythmy, humorous poetry, contemporary poetry.
Games/Movement: Wrestling, gymnastics games, track and field events, field games, team sports.
8th Grade Trip: The students’ amazing journey through the grades concludes with one final, bonding travel experience. As they travel to a US destination and work together to give back to a different local community, they will be tested by challenges that require companionship and trust. They will work together one last time as a class before they move forward on to high school and their individual futures.