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We believe that education during this period should align with the natural stages of child development, fostering a balanced and holistic growth. Here are some key aspects of our philosophy for grades 1 to 5:

  • Holistic Development: We nurture all aspects of a child's being, including their intellectual, artistic, physical, and emotional capacities. Education should not solely focus on academic learning but also cultivate creativity, imagination, and social skills.
  • Developmental Readiness: Children go through distinct developmental stages. The curriculum is designed to meet the child's developmental needs and readiness at each grade level. It aims to provide age-appropriate content and activities that stimulate their curiosity and engage their emerging cognitive abilities.
  • Main Lesson Approach: We focus on a single subject and intensively study for a few weeks, called "Main Lesson". This approach allows for immersion in a particular topic, providing a deep and thorough understanding. Main lessons often integrate different subjects, enabling students to see the interconnectedness of knowledge.
  • Arts and Imagination: Artistic activities are essential for intellectual and emotional development. In grades 1 to 5, there is a continued emphasis on engaging children in artistic expression, including drawing, painting, music, drama, and handwork. These activities not only cultivate creativity but also support cognitive abilities and foster a sense of beauty and aesthetic appreciation.
  • Experiential Learning: We believe learning through direct experience is extremely important. Practical, hands-on activities are incorporated into the curriculum to deepen understanding and engage multiple senses. Students are encouraged to actively participate in projects, experiments, and group activities that promote problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
  • Movement & Physical Education: Movement and physical activity is essential for healthy development. Physical education and structured movement exercises are integrated into the curriculum to promote coordination, spatial awareness, and physical well-being. These activities are seen as essential for balancing intellectual work with active engagement.
  • Integration of Academic Subjects: Waldorf education emphasizes the interconnectedness of academic subjects. Lessons are often interwoven, allowing students to make connections between different disciplines. This interdisciplinary approach fosters a holistic understanding of the world and encourages students to think in a comprehensive manner.
  • Emotional & Social Development: We create a supportive social environment that nurtures emotional well-being and social skills. Group activities, collaborative projects, and a strong emphasis on empathy and respect are incorporated into the curriculum to foster positive relationships, social responsibility, and self-awareness.
  • Individualized Instruction: While emphasizing a holistic approach, we respect the individuality of each child. Teachers strive to understand and meet the unique needs and strengths of each student, providing appropriate support and challenges to facilitate their growth.

Lower Grades - Grades 1-5

Grade 1

A loving, artistic environment rich in imagery, art, movement, and nature surrounds the first grade child. It is the beginning of the formal path designed to evoke a lifelong love of learning.

Grade 2

Second grade bridges the imaginative dreaminess of first grade and the dramatic birth of the individual in Third Grade.

Grade 3

The eight or nine-year-old child is going through a change that is particularly profound, where they begin to feel themselves growing apart from the world.

Grade 4

Having passed through the nine-year-change, the child is ready for more concrete tasks and more readily recognizes their place in the world.

Grade 5

The fifth-grade year is often spoken of as “the golden year.” This title has been given it because of the wonderful place that fifth-grade children, eleven-year-olds, mature to.

Admissions Inquiry

Running River School uses an open enrollment model whereby a student may enroll at any point in the year (up through April 15). Please inquire about openings or to be placed on a waitlist.