Conducting responsible tasks and class/group dialogues
Experiencing stories and texts (via songs, poems, and plays) that envision themes, situations and outcomes
Accepting responsibility for clean-up duties and regular chores. Offering assistance with weekly classroom tasks
Children are living beings - more living than grown-up people who have built shells of habit around themselves. Therefore it is absolutely necessary for their mental health and development that they should not have mere schools for their lessons, but a world whose guiding spirit is personal love.
- Rabindranath Tagore
A typical second grader begins to show a greater curiosity and awareness of the world, including the differing strengths and abilities in themselves and others. Second grade bridges the imaginative dreaminess of first grade and the dramatic birth of the individual in Third Grade. The social life of the second grader can be full of deep love, playfulness, hard work, and creativity. This stage of life also typically includes a tendency toward the polarities of being human as they seesaw through moods, social engagement, moral questions, and intellectual challenges. The 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, the curriculum should support their development toward love, justice, truth, beauty, and self-confidence. This is done through a multitude of methods, but most objectively through the thought-provoking story content of heroes and fables. Age-old legends are told to highlight a human's ability to overcome adversity. Children start to experience and explore both the positive and challenging aspects of personality.
Grade two storytelling focuses on traditional fables that satisfy children's deep interest in the animal kingdom, and legends that emphasize the noblest of human qualities, highlight positive and negative human traits and demonstrate a person's ability to choose a higher path. These stories speak directly to the inner-life and experience of the second grader.
The children's understanding of number quality is broadened through the study of place value (1-1000), and the children learn to add and subtract large numbers by carrying and borrowing. They continue to work with all four arithmetical operations and the multiplication tables. Mathematical concepts continue to be shared with imaginative stories forming the basis of problems.
Daily exploratory walks reveal the natural world and serve as a simple introduction to environmental science providing the basis for later studies in both science and geography.
Celtic and native stories are told to highlight moral and life lessons bringing an awareness of cultural diversity and other key values.
Drawing enhances motor skills, awakens powers of observation, and provides a foundation for the introduction to handwriting, and the later study of geometry.
To support fine motor skills and assist in mathematical learning, knitting, crocheting and sewing are exceptional tools that support quiet study and concentration.
Songs, rhythm activities and the further study of the pentatonic flute are all a part of the elementary years. The children learn to play their flutes by ear, carefully listening and watching their teachers, and growing accustomed to the sound of music, which supports their capacity for concentration. In the 4th grade, students are introduced to stringed instruments.
Physical activity is a key component in Waldorf education. Seen as a necessity for all children, movement throughout the day supports learning and physical development. A continued introduction to Eurythmy, provides the foundation for future in depth study.