The First Grade experience is a time of gentle transition. It follows a process of nourishment through bringing the right thing at the right time. The Kindergarten can no longer hold the child. He is ready for something more. The limbs and mind must now begin to work together. The child begins to take notice of the world around him in a heightened way. Because the child is living primarily in the realm of feeling, each academic process for which he is ready is brought to him clothed in an artistic activity.
We begin the year with form drawing, which is the preparation for our writing skills. In these beginning stages, even learning to sit at the desk is quite an accomplishment. The child’s imagination is captured through the many stories that are brought to him and out of which arise the letters of the alphabet. In a living way these stories and letters will then become the basis for our writing and eventual reading. The children will become familiar with the four processes in arithmetic.
They will begin with the learning of numbers and through the story learn how numbers live in the world around us, going on to multiplication tables, division, addition and subtraction.
Singing in the classroom and in music class is a big part of the children’s day. In the Waldorf First Grade, students learn knitting and other handcrafts. This work with the fingers helps the dexterity and coordination in the hands as well as in the thinking process. This and much more will be discovered through beeswax modeling, foreign languages, verses and poems of substance, which the children love to recite over and over again.
In the First Grade, a strong foundation is carefully built. In this way harmony lives within the child and allows him to blossom and bring forth fruit in due time.