After the age of seven, the child moves to a new stage and the education turns towards the development of the heart and soul of the child.
A Waldorf class teacher is an artist and brings the education ‘on the wings of imagination’. Learning through the arts activates the child inwardly and develops their relationship to the subject and to oneself. The close community relationship established between a class and the teacher as Waldorf teachers move with the class through the years.
Each day begins with Main Lesson.
A three dimensional approach infuses the main lesson. The children begin with movement, followed by stories and oral lessons by the teacher and then the children are creative in rendering the lesson in their books.
The lesson in the early grades begins with 20 – 30 minutes of outside time, a time of movement filled with games, songs, rhymes, recitation, mental math and other exercises to prepare the child for lesson work. The children come to their seats, ready for the learning in the classroom.
During Main Lesson, the children enter into one subject intensively.
The main subjects, such as language arts, science and mathematics are taught by the teacher through stories. This imaginative approach engages the whole child while they learn.
Following the oral presentation by the teacher the children work with the lesson in their books with coloured wax crayons in Grades One and later with coloured pencils. The books include compositions and illustrations that the student creates from the lesson as a means for feeling into the lesson and deepening their learning.
Main lessons are one and a half hours per day, with each main lesson subject area lasting from three to four weeks. After one month when one subject has been fully explored, a new Main Lesson is introduced. Main lesson is followed with a shared snack and then have a half hour recess.
After recess the children take up handwork such as knitting and crocheting and artwork such as painting and modelling. The main lesson teacher then leaves for the day and the afternoon teacher is with them for lunch followed by outside play time. The afternoon consists of music, French and sign language taught through verse, stories and games.
Two great rhythms work concurrently in the Waldorf grade school: the daily rhythm of lessons and the rhythm of the seasonal activities and festivals throughout the year.