At the Rose Ceremony that welcomes the class into
the Grade School, each First Grader receives a buddy from the lead
class, with whom s/he will interact often during the year. The First
Grader is gently led into the joyous world of formalized learning—a big
change from the familiar Early Childhood setting. The rich, beautiful
curriculum stimulates the imagination, feeds the soul, and lays the
foundation for the capacity to understand ideas.
The archetypal Fairy Tales speak deeply to the students’ souls and help
develop basic human capacities. The Alphabet is discovered, letter by
letter, through images of the world around us; the basic units of
writing are experienced as the curve and the straight line. The writing
down of poems that the children know by heart begins their journey to
reading and spelling. Arithmetic, including the four processes, is
introduced by the exciting discovery of the qualities of numbers and
This year’s important discoveries also include learning to stand in
line, raise hands, wait patiently for a turn, work quietly and
independently at a desk, listen to and follow instructions, and treat
classmates, teachers, and materials with care and respect. Social and
cognitive skills are fostered through play, singing, reciting poetry,
playing pentatonic flutes, and performing in the class play.
Throughout the day, the children move. This builds spatial awareness,
integrates the senses, forms the foundation for memory, and strengthens
the body for future learning. Celebrating the seasons, festivals, and
holidays builds the child’s reverent relationship to the earth and the
spirit. Striving to create beauty in everything stimulates a lifelong
enthusiasm for learning and creativity.
Field Trips may include parks, nature preserves, orchards.
First Graders go home before lunch on Thursdays so they can rest from their newly learning-intensive lifestyle.