There are many examples of how Waldorf education introduces learning material in an age-appropriate manner. Most parents are concerned about how and at what age academics are introduced, but “age-appropriateness” in learning also encompasses considerations of when young minds are ready for formal music training, when children are socially able to grasp and relate to world history, or when Socratic inquiry in science can resonate within a curious adolescent.
Rich Edwards, father of two Spring Garden Waldorf alumni, says the age-appropriate curriculum was one of the most important factors in the decision to give his daughters a Waldorf education.
The question of age-appropriateness applies to foreign language, physical education training, even recess time. Here are some examples of age appropriate curriculum at SGWS:
- No standardized testing for young students (SGWS begins standardized testing in Grade Four)
- No homework for young students (homework typically begins, in small amounts, in Grade Three)
- Lots of outdoor and active time, in both learning and free play, for all students
- Teaching of reading and math concepts begins in Grade One (not Pre-K)
- Foreign language begins when children are young (Grade One)
- Music begins in Pre-K; Music training (pentatonic flute and choral) in Grade One
- Cooperative games begin in Grade One / Competitive sports begin in Grade Five
- Nature studies for science in Grade One / Science lab work in Grade Seven
See these resources for more information on age-appropriate curriculum:
Moving Through the Grades Curriculum Articles: