How We Teach
Waldorf School at Moraine Farm, serving students from pre-K through grade eight, offers a learning environment that is a thoughtful and progressive alternative. With a supportive community of faculty, staff and parents, we’re able to meet students where they are developmentally, intellectually and emotionally. While what we teach is critical to our goals, it is how we teach that truly sets us apart.
Our educational approach is founded on the time-tested insights into learning that are applied by Waldorf schools around the world. Much current thinking in the education field supports what Waldorf schools have been doing for nearly a century — experiential learning, place-based learning and kinesthetic learning, to name just a few techniques. We apply these insights, making every lesson active and engaging. The successful results are seen in our highly imaginative, self-motivated students, who approach learning with curiosity, discipline and enthusiasm.
“Waldorf schools provide a program that not only fosters conventional forms of academic achievement, but also puts a premium on the development of imagination...”- Elliot Eisner, Ph.D., Professor of Education and Art, Stanford University -
In our Early Childhood classrooms, we foster active, imaginative play — the real work of childhood. We ensure a consistent rhythm of everyday life, songs, poems and circle games to strengthen the children’s natural creativity and provide the content for high quality of play. Stories are told, not read, and come to life through the imagination that the children bring to them. Fairy tales and puppet shows allow the children to feel secure in a world where good triumphs over bad. Seasonal festivals and activities in nature foster a meaningful connection with the natural world.
The Class Teacher
The class teacher accompanies a class for multiple years, ideally through all eight grades. He or she is the primary teacher for math, language arts, social studies and science. Class teachers are role models for lifelong learning, researching the curriculum each year and designing lessons for a small group of children they know well and fully understand how to best engage.
The Main Lesson
Each day begins with a two-hour lesson that typically opens with speech work and music, math practice and movement, followed by the main academic work of the day. Subjects are taught in three- or four-week blocks so that the students can explore the subject in depth. Rather than using textbooks, the class teachers create lessons based on their research and their knowledge of the students. Students record and illustrate the subject matter in a main lesson book — one way they are active and responsible for their learning.
Handwork, gym, Spanish, German, movement and games, strings, orchestra and chorus are taught by special subject teachers after the Main Lesson. Class teachers and special subject teachers meet together weekly to discuss their teaching and learn from each other.