updated May 2, 2021
Recorded here is my own personal collection of articles, resources, favorite links, teaching ideas, and lesson plans. It encompasses many years, from the very beginning of my experience studying and learning about Waldorf to the present time. People from all around the world visit my site and recommend it to others. Welcome!
This site records my journey. I hope my honesty is encouraging and helps break down some barriers that may prevent people from trying Waldorf methods. Because this is an ongoing site documenting my curriculum planning and ideas, some materials are more Waldorf-y than others. Please feel free to take what you like and leave the rest.
Class One in Waldorf Education
Mission Statement - Consulting Services - Lending Library
First Grade Immersive Experience
cohort limited to 15 people
course opens May 1, 2021
Signs of First Grade Readiness (PDF)
Notes on Schedule of Main Lesson Blocks
Everyone does it differently, and you don't have to think of the main lesson topics as "subjects" because many of them are interdisciplinary.
I labeled them to the left but it is a bit arbitrary.
I find it helpful to give them rough categories so that I can be sure we are balanced in the kinds of thinking we practice throughout the school year.
Each discipline has different habits of mind, and I like to rotate between them. Alan Whitehead suggests this, although he suggests using three-week long blocks. We do a nine month school
year with month-long blocks: two blocks of each subject plus a class play each year.
Form Drawing can be considered a Math topic, a Language Arts topic, or its own subject.
Lowercase Letters can be done using fairy tales in either grade 1 or grade 2. If you want to save it for grade 2, consider the poetry
slant to the Four Seasons block.
We used Native American Legends as a bridge into grade 2. I think it helps to put it in grade 1 since you
have so many topics to fit in grade 2 Language Arts / Cultural (Saints & Virtuous People, Aesop's Fables, Jataka Tales,
and Lowercase Letters if you put it there).
I tried to combine the Four Elements and the Archetypal Professions into one block but I wouldn't suggest doing that. They
are connected, but they
both need their own unique time to be explored.
Perhaps you might consider an order like this...
Form Drawing; Quality of Numbers; Capital Letters; Four Elements; Archetypal Professions; Math Gnomes; Lowercase Letters;
Four Seasons; Native American Legends
Eight Books for the First Grade Year
my April 2021 list of recommended titles
A Peek into the Classroom
Morning Verse for Lower Grades
Waldorf Today Gallery of Main Lesson Book Pages - Elementary School
Beautiful and inspiring
Gallery of Chalkboard Drawings in the Waldorf Classroom grades 1 - 8
Waldorf/Steiner Main Lessons and Main Lesson Blocks VERY helpful article
from the Sophia Institute Online Waldorf Teacher Training program
- The Main Lesson - Principles and Features
- The Main Lesson - Structure
- The Main Lesson - Rhythm
- The Main Lesson - Planning a Main Lesson Block
- Sample Template for Waldorf/Steiner Main Lesson Block
Samples from the First Grade Curriculum by Live Education!
General Waldorf Resources
The Education of the Child in the Light of
article by Rudolf Steiner
How To Create, Tell, and Recall a Story
Four Ways to Connect with Storytelling
blog post - Simplicity Parenting
Overview of Childhood Characteristics - includes the four temperaments
article by David Mitchell
Blackboard Sketching book
Frederick Whitney (1908)
available online for free - with step by step directions and illustrations
How to Bind a Main Lesson Book
Main Lesson Book
pages shared by Christopherus Homeschool Resources
browse through my collection of Pinterest Boards
with chalkboard drawings and main lesson book pages for many main lesson blocks
Movement for Childhood - wonderful site!
Waldorf Today Newsletter
very interesting & free weekly newsletter sent via email each Monday
Block Rotations Grades 1 - 8 (PDF)
by Jamie York
Summary of Math Skills for Grades 1 through 8 (PDF)
by Jamie York
A Grades 1 through 8 Math Curriculum Overview (PDF)
by Jamie York
Word Problems in Grades 1 through 8 (PDF)
by Jamie York
Jamie York has a BUNCH of free resources on his site including sample math MLB pages for grades 1-11,
and lesson plans and assessments for grades 1-5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12.
Waldorf Science Newsletter - issues available in PDF format
page 13 of Vol.1 has a Science Curriculum in the Waldorf School Grades 1-8 overview / one page handout, and
page 14 has
the same for the Waldorf High School Grades 9-12
World Geography and Waldorf Education
blog post - Switzerite
When Should My Child Begin Music Lessons?
article by Sarah Baldwin
The Spiritual Gifts of Handwork
blog post - Knitting with Children
"Foundations of Waldorf Education" Series Notes
FREE links to all 25 volumes in this series of educational writings by Rudolf Steiner
DO NOT MISS The Online Waldorf Library's tremendous selection of Waldorf education books
converted into PDFs and available for FREE download! You can literally save $1000's of dollars!
- Waldorf Teacher Resources grade 1
An unbelievable resource with FREE main lesson pages and lesson plans (called "gems")
- The AWSNA Curriculum Chart is an INVALUABLE resource
Highly recommended, inexpensive, concise format, yet detailed and thorough -- and it's only $8.00! If you plan on homeschooling with Waldorf, you need to get this.
- Read My Blog - to follow our homeschool journey day by day...
Visit the Links to the Left - for my notes about each main lesson block I've taught...
Check out Additional Lesson Planning Notes below:
- Color Coding - how we organize our daily record keeping / plan books
- Hands, Heart, Head - how we organize our daily school schedule
- Plan Book Pictures - pictures of my planner and my daughters' plan book pages
A picture is worth a thousand words!
Little Bluestem Homeschool Co-op
This was the main lesson block plan for our first grade class:
September - Form Drawing
October - Capital Letters
November - Quality of Numbers
December - Class Play with 3rd/4th graders (Hawaiian Mythology)
January - 4 Elements (Archetypal Professions)
February - 4 Seasons (Nature Study)
March - Fairy Tales (Lowercase Letters)
April - 4 Operations (Math Gnomes)
May - Native American Legends
Resources & Recommendations Specific to First Grade
- The Online Curriculum Project: Grade One
- From Kindergarten into the Grades
- First Grade Readiness - Resources, Insights and Tools for Waldorf Educators
edited by Nancy Blanning
- Novalis Press blog post
I highly recommend
using Exploring Nature with Children ($18)
either standing alone as a Bridge year curriculum or as your 1st/2nd grade Nature Study. It goes along with Anna Botsford Comstock's
Handbook of Nature Study. It can be
used for multiple years and with multiple ages.
Handbook of Nature Study
by Anna Botsford Comstock
- Misc. Additional Resources
- Extending Indigenous Cultures Throughout The American Waldorf Curriculum
- How to Make Acorn Cap Knitting Needles
- Grade 1 posts - Schooling from the Heart
- String Games by Arvind Gupta (PDF)
- *NEW* "The Four Seasons" Story, "Gingerbread Man" Song,
"Where Have All the Colors Gone?" Song, plus Autumn Crafts (PDF)
from Waldorf Publications
- Great Fairy Tales for First Grade - includes alphabet and quality of numbers
- Waiting Until the Change of Teeth - my personal experience
with my daughter, Leah
- Signs of First Grade Readiness
blog post from Switzerite, Rhoda's blog
*NEW* Signs of First Grade Readiness handout (PDF)
*NEW* First Grade Readiness - Resources, Insights and Tools for Waldorf Educators
edited by Nancy Blanning
available as a free download from the Online Waldorf Library website!
- Teaching Our Children to Write, Read, and Spell: A Developmental Approach Looking at the Relationship of Children's Foundational Neurological Pathways to their Higher Capacities for Learning article
- Fairy Tale Notes - a list of fairy tales to tell plus songs and puppetries to accompany them
- The Four Processes: Waldorf Math - article by Waldorf Essentials
- First Grade: Capital Letters
- FREE Resources - Arts & Handwork
Switzerite, Rhoda's blog
- how to clean block beeswax crayons blog post from Celebrate the Rhythm of Life
I use Sweet Orange essential oil and a soft cloth -- and children love this job!
Stockmar Beeswax Block Crayons - 8 Assorted Waldorf Colors in Tin
Aura Cacia Essential Oil, Brightening Sweet Orange - 2 fl. oz.
- Discover Waldorf Education: Writing and Reading, part 1 video by Eugene Schwartz
- Discover Waldorf Education: Writing and Reading, part 2 video by Eugene Schwartz
- Tongue Twisters!
My family is always finding little phrases that work as tongue twisters. It would be great to collect
these with your first grader and make a Family Book of Tongue Twisters.
"She sells seashells and says shall by the seashore."
"Six sick straight snakes."
Try this one: "Thai Chai Tea." Reverse it: "Chai Thai Tea." Which way is harder?
Of course, a great book for tongue twisters (and early readers) is Dr. Seuss's Fox in Socks.
- First Grade story notes from The Parenting Passageway
- The Four Temperaments
blog post - Switzerite
- There's also a wonderful -- and LONG -- description of each of the four temperaments and how to deal with them
in times of conflict in the Introduction to Games Children Play: How Games and Sport Help Children Develop
- Learning to Knit - journaling page by Waldorf Curriculum
- *NEW Picture Books featuring Knitting, Spinning, Weaving, Yarn
- Suggested Course of Study for First Grade by Waldorf Curriculum
- Books for First Grade from the Baldwin Project
- Find authentic fairy tales in the nonfiction section of your library -- check 398 in the Dewey Decimal System
- Rainbow Bridge ceremony for
homeschool families with children beginning First Grade
- ECOlogical Calendar - a wonderful resource for the Four Seasons block and/or for the schoolroom wall!
- Storytelling Resources from Suzanne Down
see seasonal stories from The Online Curriculum Project: Early Childhood, plus
to introduce the flute, read The Greatest Treasure by Demi
the Choroi pentatonic flute is available at A Child's Dream Come True, along
with many pentatonic songbooks
submitted by Rhoda
The Red Bird by Astrid Lindgren
submitted by Rhoda
The Baldwin Project has the entire text of many classics in children's literature available online
for free including The Blue Fairy Book and The Red Fairy Book by Andrew Lang.
submitted by Tonya
Teaching the Alphabet:
P - parrot
The Horrendous Hullabaloo by Margaret Mahy
W - web (spider web)
Spiders Spin Webs by Yvonne Winer
The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle
Be Nice to Spiders by Margaret Bloy Graham
Charlotte's Web by E.B White
- School Materials for First Grade:
Slate Board Set - from Rosie Hippo's
- Form Drawing:
Form Drawing in the Waldorf School - article by Rosemary Gebert
form drawing mirror examples from Raphael House
sample pages from Form Drawing for Beginners by Donna Simmons
- Learning to Knit:Knitting is More Important than Homework article from Waldorf Today
The following is exclusive content:
- First Grade Lesson Notes:
First Grade Curriculum Overview
with 138 pages of notes and
background information on what and how to teach in first grade (my own personal compilation of notes and ideas).
- I also offer my thoughts on a First Grade Booklist: essential books which, combined with the Kindergarten Booklist, will give you everything you need to teach First Grade with confidence.
Is there a subject you're having a hard time finding resources for? Please
contact the Yahoo Group for suggestions from our members or consider
hiring a consultant.