Listado de la etiqueta: waldorf curriculum

Harvest Festival

Text from the book Celebrating Festivals with Children, by Freya Jaffke

Creating the mood ourselves

Once the sun has reached its highest point at St John’s, ripening and fruiting begin to come into their own. We gratefully receive the first gifts of nature, which follow in abundance through the autumn. However, we don’t only offer thanks for what we receive but also for everything that has contributed to the growth and flourishing. Our thanks are directed also to the life of the soil, the light and warmth of the sun, the wind and life-giving rain, the animal world in all its diversity, and the energy and activity of human beings. Thus gratitude can accompany us throughout the year and, when we think about it, is really owed to all realms of life. This is one of the most important virtues to nurture in children during the first seven years, but solely through imitation.

This deep-rooted gratitude, kindled in the kindergarten, transforms in the schoolchild into the capacity for love; and later, in the adolescent, is enhanced and extended into love of action and a sense of duty.

In autumn we connect gratitude with the harvest festival, which celebrates the moment when all the corn for our daily bread has ripened and been harvested.

We decorate the seasonal nature table with a golden-yellow cloth, with fruits from the garden, woods and fields, and bright autumn flowers. If you wish to add an art image, suitable pictures can be found by Van Gogh, who painted typical harvest scenes and gestures, or by Millet – to name two examples.

After the summer holidays, when the new school year begins, autumn is fast approaching, and the first harvesting starts. Fruits from our gardens or those brought by children can be made into preserves, jellies, or dried, accompanied by delicious aromas. With wonder, we find a star in every apple that we slice open crossways. And unconsciously children experience how heaven with its stars works itself into the form of fruits. While cutting up apples, we meet a little worm from time to time. Yes indeed, that little fellow knew which the tastiest apples were – and so we leave him a little piece of apple and put him with it on the compost heap. There’s no question of disgust, and children sense without any instruction that everything in the world has its rightful place. The carrots and radishes that we pull out of the vegetable patch in the garden taste especially good. And the slices of carrot, compared with the apple, reveal more of a solar quality – for in every slice we can find a little sun. We smell lovely aromas while gathering leaves of lemon balm, thyme, and sage, which we will later make into tea or use when cooking.

The time of gathering and harvesting has begun, and so we take little baskets with us when we go on walks, to collect rosehips, beechnuts, conkers, acorns, and colorful leaves. We also spend a lot of time with the different sheaves of grain, from which we can weave a large harvest wreath. For days the children sit amidst a mountain of straw, helping to cut the stems to length or making themselves straws for playing with. Most of the straw is bundled up again and kept for late autumn when the rose bushes must be protected for the winter, or for making a new roof for the bird table. We will also need a little for the crib in Advent. The remaining straw is burned in the small fireplace outside, to the children’s excitement.

Now we start threshing the ears of wheat, an activity which continues for several days. To do this we lay a large cloth on the floor, and around it thick, folded cloths as knee cushions. In the middle stands a basket with ears of corn, another for the threshed as and a bowl for the grain. Children each have a small branch with which they hammer on an ear until all the grains have come out. They can be heard saying the verse which they know from ring game: “We’re threshing, were threshing, we’re threshing the corn.» After this, they collect their grain in their little wooden bowls. Of course many grains and husks remain behind on the doth. These will later be carefully poured into a large wooden bowl. Next the teacher lifts some grain up in her hand and, as she lets them pour back slowly into the bowl, we blow the husks away on the wind. We don’t want to lose a single grain.

Next the grain is milled with a hand-mill. Even the three-year-olds want to be the miller for a moment or two. Apart from a hand-mill one can also give the children old coffee grinders for milling, with the screws set not too tight. Milling like this is hard work, and the grinders must be held firmly between the knees.

For some of the bigger children, this is a welcome challenge. The resulting coarse meal then has to be milled a second time, which is easier.

We use the meal to bake the big harvest loaf. While one group may, as a blessing, engrave the sign of the cross on the round loaf, another group may draw sun rays on it. On the day before the festival we decorate the corn wreath with nuts and fruits.

The Harvest Festival

We invite parents to attend our harvest festival. For parents new to the kindergarten this is a wonderful opportunity to become better acquainted with kindergarten life and the parent community. On the morning of the festival, the children bring baskets that they have carefully arranged with a grown-up at home, containing washed fruit, vegetables and flowers from the garden; or, if they don’t have a garden, things they have found in a walk. Mostly these little baskets are beautifully decorated with flowers and colorful leaves. All the baskets are placed on the harvest table in the middle of the room. The great round loaf occupies the centre of the table, surrounded by flowers, ears of corn and candles.

We begin the festival altogether, parents and children, with the harvest ring game which we have been playing almost every day in preceding wecks. After this we sit down in a big circle around the harvest table and light the candles. We say the grace by Christian Morgenstern, which we all know well, and which encompasses the whole of Creation in simple words:

Earth who gave to us this food, 

sun who made it ripe and good: 

dear earth, dear sun by you we live, 

our loving thanks to you we give.

Then everyone forms a little receiving bowl with their hands and is given a piece of bread. As we share this we sing a song about where the bread has come from. Without prompting, everyone waits until the last person has received their bread and the song has fallen quiet. Honey-salt bread has to be chewed really well, so we sit quietly together and enjoy the taste. Afterward the children offer the teacher a little fruit from their basket (apples, pears, or plums). With the help of two adults, we cut this into pieces, place them on plates, and the children pass these to everyone in the big circle. We end the meal as we do every day, by holding hands and saying:

For food and drinks 

we give our thanks.

After the candles have been extinguished, everyone goes outside into the garden, where the parents light a little fire and wrap potatoes, which have been partially pre-cooked, in silver foil. While the potatoes are cooking in the fire, the children watch the flames or play in the sand or in the meadow, or help arrange wooden stumps around the fire for sitting on. Then at last the first potatoes are taken out of the fire with long tongs or gods, the follis removed and they are eaten. To end the festival, each child receives a little bunch of corn with a strawflower, which was made in the preceding days from different types of corn, in the presence and with the help of the children.

Looking back we can say that this festival is a culmination of a long harvesting period. Our thanks – this time for once actually expressed in words – lives in an unconscious and less articulated form in every gesture through the weeks of preparation. For many days after the harvest festival we continue to have a special morning snack with the fruit and nuts from the children’s baskets. Again, there will be plenty of opportunities for the children to help. Especially popular, for instance, are potato men» accompanied by grated carrots and apple, honey-salt bread with butter and herbs, or a vegetable soup.

And so the festival echoes on a little, in a lovely fashion.

The harvest wreath, which now hangs without fruits under the overhanging roof outside, is visited by a flock of sparrows who each day leave behind a scattering of husks and chaff.

The Crucial Role of Discipline in Teenagehood

by Stuardo Monroy, High School Main Educator

Teenagehood, often referred to as the «adolescent years,» is a period of profound transformation and self-discovery. It is a phase characterized by rapid physical, emotional, and intellectual growth, as adolescents navigate their way from childhood to adulthood, as well as facing the challenges of an evolving Waldorf education within Trinus, growing up, and adapting to new demands from teachers, parents and the school as a whole. 

During this time, the importance of discipline cannot be overstated. While some may view discipline as restrictive or harsh, it is, in fact, a cornerstone for teenagers in establishing a foundation for success and personal development. In this article, we will explore the significance of discipline in teenagehood and how it plays a vital role in shaping young individuals into responsible, well-rounded adults.

Discipline is a fundamental attribute that underpins personal growth and development. Self-discipline, in particular, is the ability to control one’s behavior, emotions, and desires to achieve specific goals. It is a skill that teenagers must cultivate during their formative years as it forms the basis for achieving long-term success and happiness. Self-discipline enables adolescents to resist temptations and distractions, manage their time effectively, and make responsible decisions.

In teenagehood, self-discipline is especially crucial as it helps young individuals establish a strong work ethic, develop a sense of responsibility, and maintain a healthy balance between their academic, social, and extracurricular activities. It is this inner strength that empowers them to persevere through challenging times and make choices that lead to personal growth.

One of the key aspects of discipline in teenagehood is effective time management. Adolescents are faced with an ever-increasing load of academic assignments, extracurricular activities, and social commitments. Learning to prioritize tasks and manage time efficiently can alleviate stress and prevent feelings of being overwhelmed.

When teenagers develop the discipline to create schedules, set priorities, and stick to them, they are better equipped to handle their academic responsibilities while still having time for hobbies, relaxation, and social interactions. This balance is essential for maintaining both mental and emotional well-being.

Discipline is closely linked to academic success. To excel in school, teenagers must develop the discipline to study regularly, complete assignments on time, and seek help when needed. A disciplined approach to academics fosters a growth mindset and a sense of responsibility for one’s learning. Furthermore, discipline helps teenagers set and work toward long-term academic goals. Whether they aspire to attend a prestigious college, pursue a specific career, or achieve high grades, discipline is the driving force behind their ability to make consistent progress and overcome academic challenges.

Teenagers often face complex and life-altering decisions during their adolescent years. These decisions can range from choosing their academic path and making ethical choices to forming relationships and dealing with peer pressure. Discipline plays a significant role in helping adolescents make responsible decisions.

Disciplined individuals are more likely to think critically, consider the consequences of their actions, and resist impulsive choices. Whether it’s saying no to drugs or alcohol, making choices about sexual activity, or handling conflicts maturely, discipline equips teenagers with the necessary skills to navigate the challenges of adolescence while maintaining their integrity and self-respect.

Discipline also extends to the way teenagers interact with their peers and family members. It involves understanding the importance of respect, empathy, and communication in maintaining healthy relationships. When teenagers cultivate the discipline to treat others with kindness and consideration, they form lasting bonds that are built on trust and mutual respect. Additionally, discipline helps teenagers constructively manage conflicts and disagreements, reducing the likelihood of strained relationships. The ability to listen actively, express themselves clearly, and work through differences is a product of disciplined emotional intelligence.

One of the most critical aspects of discipline in teenagehood is its role in preventing destructive behaviors. A disciplined approach to life acts as a protective barrier against these harmful activities. Teens who have developed self-discipline are better equipped to resist peer pressure and make choices that prioritize their long-term well-being. They are more likely to seek positive influences and engage in activities that promote their physical and emotional health.

The discipline cultivated during teenagehood sets the stage for adulthood. Adolescents who have developed self-discipline are more likely to carry these skills into their adult lives, leading to greater success and personal fulfillment. They are better prepared to handle the responsibilities that come with independence, such as managing finances, pursuing a career, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  Additionally, disciplined teenagers tend to have a strong sense of self, allowing them to make informed decisions about their future, such as choosing a college, career path, or life partner. They are more likely to set and work towards meaningful life goals, resulting in a higher likelihood of achieving their aspirations.

The importance of discipline in teenagehood cannot be overstated. It is the foundation upon which teenagers build the skills and habits necessary for success, happiness, and personal growth. Through self-discipline, adolescents develop time management abilities, academic success, responsible decision-making, healthy relationships, and resistance to destructive behaviors. Moreover, discipline serves as a bridge to adulthood, equipping teenagers with the tools they need to navigate life’s challenges and make meaningful choices. As educators and parents, we play a pivotal role in fostering discipline in our young adults, helping them develop into responsible, well-rounded individuals ready to face the world with confidence and purpose.

Teacher Accreditation Experience

by Sheny Figueroa Tarot, Class 3 Main Educator

Cuernavaca, México, is the place where I have spent half of my Summer vacation during the last two years. The reason is that I have been studying to obtain my International Waldorf Teacher’s Certification.  And I have had a great experience each time I’ve been to the International Center of Anthroposophical  Development.

Each time I begin my classes, I am surprised by the curriculum proposed by the teachers. These are the classes that I received: Arts and  Science, where teachers train us students to see the world through the Goetheanum observation and Rudolf Steiner´s teachings.  And what is that, you may ask. Honestly, I´m still learning, but I will adventure to give you my own personal definition of this way of understanding the human experience: it means feeling, thinking, and doing before you reach your own definition of life. Feeling, thinking, and doing is a threefold process, and it is the basis of my School Trinus. Finally, I said after I finished this year, I am beginning to understand how to approach the understanding of the human being. I remember when my teacher heard me expressing my enthusiasm for my new discovery. He said, “Well done, Sheny! Twenty or thirty years more of anthroposophical studies, and you will be in the middle of understanding Rudolf Steiner´s lectures!”

By studying Arts and Science, I am referring to classes like watercolor painting and the study of the theory of color according to Wolfgang von Goethe, Form Drawing, and the meaning of the line (straight and curved) for the child’s soul and spirit´s development. Eurythmy as healing movement for the human being. How to teach Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Geography, Botany, and History from the anthroposophical point of view.

I´ve had a couple of experiences that seemed funny when I told them to my students. During the second year, I had my first Eurythmy class. The teacher, a very strict and experienced one, asked us to bring dancing shoes, which I forgot at home. She said, “To dance Eurythmy means feeling, coordinating, and moving with grace and rhythm!” And without the proper shoes, the only thing I was paying attention to was not to slip and fall down. Grace and rhythm? Please! Wait for me next year!

And this year’s experience with Botany made my students laugh for a week. As I wanted to represent my school properly, before leaving for Cuernavaca, I did my nails to look nice and elegant. On the first day of class, the teacher told us that for several days we had to work with compost and handle horse pup. Oh, my beautiful nice hands, I said. Kneeled on the floor, gathering horse pups, and learning how to teach children how to grow a plant, as part of a natural process. Goodbye, beautiful pink nails!

What will happen after I obtain my International Waldorf Teachers´s Certification? It means that I will be certified as a teacher who knows the Waldorf Curriculum by heart, that I have the complete knowledge of how to guide children from Grade 1 through Grade 8, according to Rudolf Steiner´s teachings and vision. I, through my hard and conscious learning, have become a member of the international community of teachers that shares values, knowledge, and vision to guide our students to understand their new and changing world.

Ideas on appropriate behavior rewards

by Carrie Riley

There comes a time in every parent or educator´s day experience and routine where we have a golden opportunity to encourage the right kind of behavior we strive for in our homes or classes. There are many daily examples. Your child eats their meal. They use the bathroom. They clean up their toys. They follow your instructions. And when they decide to insert their own will, wants, and desires it is often the very opposite of what we wanted them to do in the first place. Now what?!

I’ve seen parents reward with cookies, candy, ice cream, donuts, cake, soda pop, fast food, money, toys, and the list goes on. You know. We’ve all been there at one time or another.

Sadly the things our children may respond to the most are sugar rewards. Do you want to know why? It’s not just the obvious answer, sugar is yummy, but more complex. Sugar is addictive. It is so addictive that it is considered more addictive than drugs! And once we lovingly introduce this into their system, it is a hard addiction to break. It seems so innocent. I mean we all grew up with sweet treats and we turned out okay for the most part, right? Here’s the thing. Sugar was not the same 30 years ago as it is now and was not as big of a problem as it is now. It is highly processed in some foods and full of chemicals as well. Not only is there sugar in the treats we give, but hidden sugar is everywhere! Did you know one yogurt has the same amount of sugar as a candy bar? Or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich have as much sugar as a slice of iced chocolate cake? The food you buy at the store has many ways to sneak sugar into your diet and your child’s. Most kids’ cereals are packed with sugar too. “Sugar fuels every cell in the brain. Your brain also sees sugar as a reward, which makes you keep wanting more of it. If you often eat a lot of sugar, you’re reinforcing that reward, which can make it tough to break the habit.” (The truth about sugar addiction,  And that is one reason food companies add sugar to unnecessary products they know how addictive it is! It is comparable to a cocaine addiction.

Rewarding behavior with food is also linked to eating disorders, weight issues, dental decay, and behavior issues. Studies have found that when parents use food as a reward or punishment, kids are more likely to prefer high-fat, high-sugar foods (like the ones often used as rewards). The bottom line is rewarding wanted behaviors with food will most likely backfire in the long run.

So what is a good incentive to get our children to do what we want?

What our goal should be is to get our children to want to do the right thing! We want them to feel a part of our family, classroom, and ultimately a good citizen of the earth. We can do that at any age but starting off with helping our children to develop healthy habits from the beginning is the best way to ensure a child will want to do what is expected of them.

Start off by not over-praising your child. The more you praise, the more they seek approval from outside forces. Not from themselves. Just notice them. Let them know you see them doing something from coloring “ Oh! I see you really like to color green today!” Or “Wow Mary! You really cleaned up your blocks and that makes your room look so nice!” 

Make “I”  statements when you can “ I see you tried your beans!” or “Mary, I like when you help your brother clean up!” this helps the child know they are seen and will make them feel proud to do the right things. They will know by your tone and the fact you’re not following them around smothering them with praise.

If you must do something as a reward, try these ideas:

  • Sticker
  • A new book ( not toys)
  • New crayons and paper
  • Extra time with you
  • An extra book/ story at bedtime
  • Time outdoors together
  • Craft project with you
  • Helping you make a meal

Now all of these ideas work well if you have implemented a family daily schedule ( daily rhythm). Children’s behaviors are greatly improved if they know what to expect and the consistency of their boundaries.

Another aspect of nurturing our children’s good behavior is getting enough sleep. This is huge! Children under age 6 need 12 hours a day. 

Good nutrition is also key! Instead of all the sugary sweets we give our children, how about frozen fruits? Sliced bananas with cinnamon on top? Make your own frozen ( unsweetened) yogurt with natural sweeteners like fruit and mix and freeze.

To summarize this article let me highlight the points.

In order to get our children in our care to cooperate we can try the following:

  • Create and maintain a daily rhythm
  • Be consistent
  • Proper sleep
  • No screen time for children under age 5 or very little
  • Never allow screen time during meals and snacks!
  • Healthy eating practices 
  • Try a new food at least once a week

Remember, reinforce the good behavior in a neutral way and consistently.

The unwanted behavior must have a consistent consequence. That can be a favorite toy to be taken away for the day, no books at bedtime, no screen time, No sticker if using a chart. Keep exploring for a way to reach your child. Not all children react the same to these ideas. You have to find what works for your family.

Being a parent is a challenge. So is being a brand new human on this earth! Let’s help guide our children into courteous, helpful, and happy children. They want us to be happy with them. But here’s the thing. It is up to the adults in your child’s life to make sure they learn how to do this. Giving into your child’s every want is setting up your child and your family up for disappointment and frustration. They crave rhythm, love, consistency,  positive attention and our time. Let’s set our children up for success!

Here is a visual example of a chart to track healthy new foods they try:

Try new Foods Chart

Photo in by Sally Kuzemchak

Try these tips and you will see the change in your children.

Learning to Write Using the Waldorf Approach

Waldorf schools encompass the whole human experience in literacy when teaching reading and writing to students in Class One.  Social, emotional, and communication skills are developed in Waldorf Kindergartens, as well as healthy habits for a child’s physical well-being. Academics are left entirely for Class One.  It is in Class One that Rudolf Steiner, founder of Waldorf Education, indicates students are developmentally ready and able to turn their attention to academics and learning to read and write.

According to Rudolf Steiner, children’s eyes, before the age of 6 or 7, are not sufficiently developed to focus on printed text in a healthy way. confirms that our eyes are constantly growing and are not fully developed until age 19 or 20(1). First Grade therefore becomes the best time to start training our eyes in a healthy way to track text and assign meaning to that text.

In Waldorf schools, children in Class One are introduced to text in a pictorial way.  A story is told with strong imagery, from which a capital letter can be developed. Therefore, children have an emotional experience with an image from the story. Their emotional attachment is transferred to their recreating that picture with the guidance of a teacher.  These first pictures are akin to symbolic drawings from early human cultures which can now be found in caves or other rock surfaces of ancient places. The pictures are a symbol with special meaning.

Over a few days or a week, the teacher guides students to find the Roman capital letter contained in the image and the letter itself is practiced. Rather than doing this by having children make a large number of repetitions of the letter on lined paper, children are guided in the form of the letter and method of drawing.  A single letter takes up a whole page in children’s main lesson books, which is a sort of textbook students create themselves over the years and which documents their progress.

Through modeling, demonstration, practicing the letter in the air, on the floor, in small sandboxes, and then finally on a sheet of paper, children can move the letter from the image they held in their minds, to a whole-body, gross motor skills, motion, and then finally to a fine-motor skills activity putting it on paper.  Though it may seem slow to outsiders to take up to a week to introduce the first consonant to children in this way, it is building skills that will transfer and improve student handwriting and future literacy.

Having taught in both Waldorf schools and public schools in the United States I can affirm that students who have letters introduced slowly, artistically, and as a whole body experience, have greater mastery of spelling, reading, and penmanship than students who are not given guidance and time to build this strong foundation. Experiencing the history of imagery and symbolism in text and engendering meaning into these symbols at the appropriate time for children’s development is a crucial foundation presented in Waldorf schools worldwide.


Dyslexia can be overcome with nursery rhymes and music

In Trinus, our children learn the multiplication tables by moving and clapping, by stepping in a rhythmical way. We integrate music in all the subjects, it is not treated as a separate subject. This benefits all children but particularly children with dyslexia. In the following article written by Sarah Knapton, she mentions how rhymes and music can help overcome dyslexia.

Children can overcome dyslexia by learning nursery rhymes, dancing, and singing because the condition is caused by a lack of rhythm in the brain, a leading neuroscientist has suggested.

Usha Goswami, professor of Cognitive Developmental Neuroscience at Cambridge has spent the last 10 years testing the brains of youngsters to find out what was driving the learning problem.

She found that dyslexia is not caused by children reading words incorrectly, but instead by their inability to hear the rhythm of words when they are being spoken.

Brain scans showed that the meter of words was out of phase with internal rhythms in the brain, meaning that youngsters struggled to encode the patterns, and therefore memorize speech.

However, keeping up rhythmic practice will eventually allow children to read properly.

“Children who are dyslexic struggle with speech rhythm,” Prof Goswami told The Hay Festival.

“We realised that children are struggling in tasks which are not related to learning or reading but are related to rhythm. So we began to think that rhythm and these problems found in children with dyslexia might be related.”

Dyslexia is thought to be one of the most common learning difficulties. It’s estimated that up to 1 in every 10 people in the UK has a certain degree of dyslexia and Britain has one of the worst rates because the language is so difficult to learn.

Prof Goswami recommended clapping games, music, nursery rhymes, and marching to The Grand Old Duke of York. “All kinds of rhythmic experiences can be helpful, nursery rhymes, dancing, and music as long as the beat is matched to language,” she said. “Playground clapping and games may be very important to stopping dyslexia. You could start to remediate it before children even start school.

“If children keep it up they will learn to read. It will definitely happen. The brain just needs more training. These children need to know that their brain just works a bit differently and reading is going to be harder for them.”

Usha Goswami is a researcher and professor of Cognitive Developmental Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge and the director of the Centre for Neuroscience in Education at St. John’s College, Cambridge. She obtained her Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of Oxford before becoming a professor of cognitive developmental psychology at the University College London. Goswami’s work is primarily in educational neuroscience with major focuses on reading development and developmental dyslexia. Some of her current research projects include the neural basis of developmental dyslexia, the neural basis of speech and language impairments, and the neural basis of rhythmic motor behavior.

Dr. Goswami’s research is concerned with focusing on dyslexia as a language disorder rather than a visual disorder as she has found that the way that children with dyslexia hear language is slightly different than others. When sound waves approach the brain, they vary in pressure depending on the syllables within the words being spoken creating a rhythm. When these signals reach the brain they are lined up with speech rhythms and this process doesn’t work properly in those with dyslexia. 

How To Teach to Add Fractions?

If you teach your child the math concepts with things they are familiar with it will be easier for them to understand it. We want to provide you with a story to tell your child and to make it live together. All you will need is two empty jars, a Sharpe, and beans. Ready?

Martin and Carolina went to the store and they both took an empty jar.

(Measure the jar, divide it into three, and place two marks with a Sharpe in the jar to make the three parts visual for your child) 

Adding fractions with stories

They each filled one-third of their jar with beans.

(Fill the jars up to the first mark)


Martin had a great idea to put his beans in Carolina´s jar so they could share what they had.

How many thirds do they have together?

fractions with beans

Be creative! And find moments in your child´s day-to-day activities where he/she makes use of fractions. The more children live what they are learning, the easier it becomes for them to learn it.

Let´s make their learning meaningful! 

Reading Recommendations

This is a great list of stories to tell your children! 

You may think that some stories in this list can be scary for your children, but remember, as Miss Marcie says in her article about the importance of storytelling, «What is important to know is that a child will only imagine a picture in his mind that’s as scary as he can handle. For example: if we tell the story of The Three Billy Goats Gruff a three-year-old might imagine a troll that’s not much more than a blob, whereas a six-year-old might imagine a hairy, ugly troll with big teeth and ears. A Waldorf teacher will tell a fairy tale to young children with a gentle, pleasant voice, without over-dramatization. Again this leaves the child’s imagination free to picture the story to be as scary or as benign as he can handle.»

The following list has been compiled by Megan Young from Carnegie Rudolf Steiner Pre-School Centre Inc. and they appear in You Are Your Child`s First Teacher by Rahima Baldwin. Her section on Fairy tales and the Young Child is well worth reading (pp. 172-181) Most of the stories are from the Grimm Brothers.

Fairy Tales 

Key to age suitability

  • Kinder (4 to 7 years old)
  • Class (7-8 years old)

Simple or sequential stories


  • Sweet Porridge  (Grimm)
  • Goldilocks and the Three Bears
  • Little Tuppen.
  • Little Louse and Little Flee
  • The Turnip 
  • The Mitten
  • Little Madam
  • Gingerbread Man
  • The Jonny Cake
  • The Hungry Cat

Slightly more complex stories


  • Billy Goats Gruff
  • Three Little Pigs
  • The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids (Grimm)
  • Masenka and the Bear
  • The Shoemaker and the Elves (Grimm)

More Challenge and More Detail


  • Star Money (Grimm)
  • The Frog Prince (Grimm)
  • Mother Holle (Grimm)
  • Little Red Cap (Grimm)
  • The Bremen Town Musicians (Grimm)
  • Little- Briar Rose (Sleeping Beauty) (Grimm)
  • The Donkey (Grimm)
  • The Queen Bee (Grimm)
  • The Snow Maiden 
  • The Seven Ravens (Grimm)
  • Rumpelstiltskin (Grimm)
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (Grimm)

Class 1

  • The Golden Goose (Grimm)
  • Spindle, Shuttle, and Needle (Grimm)
  • The Hut in the Forest (Grimm)
  • Snow White and Rose Red (Grimm)

Classes 1 and 2 

  • Hansel and Gretel (Grimm)

Tales that have a personal experience of suffering or sorrow

Six years old in Kindergarten or Class 1- to match their sense of departure from the heart of early childhood

Kinder and Class 1


Class 1

  • Jordina and Joringa (Grimm)    
  • Brother and Sister (Grimm)   

Class 1 and 2

  • Cinderella

Waldorf School Project in Year Four

By Miss Charity Muli

One unique rite of passage in a student’s experience is working on a project at the end of at least one block. This usually starts in grade 4 depending on the culture of the school. The students can work on this kind of assignment during any of the breaks, especially during the summer or spring break. Independent projects are very special, in that each student has the chance to study more or deepen their knowledge on any topic. They have a chance to experience something of his/her own choosing. This stretches the students to plan ahead, follow individual due dates, and sharpen their executive functioning—all skills that are only just beginning to bloom in the middle grades. In fact, many aspects of the project are challenging and call upon the students’ developing faculties. The result of this work is growth and achievement in many areas.

Throughout the project, the requirement provides a beautiful opportunity for students to begin reaching out to other adults in the world. This could be other students or family members or even other special people such as artists. One of my students approached his extra curriculum Teacher to help out in painting a red panda which was his choice of animal in zoology studies.

While much of the research work takes place during school hours and during school breaks, the culmination of the student’s accomplishments are shared with the wider community during a celebratory event, at which each student displays his or her work and does a short formal presentation for a large audience. Therefore, students learn about presentation skills and how to create a display to showcase the highlights of their project experience. Students are asked to present the project as a learning experience for the audience.

While these projects are sometimes challenging to most students in many ways, the experience allows students to draw upon and further develop many skills and talents, such as aesthetic sense, creativity, organizational skills, interpersonal skills, and public speaking, to name only a few. They are proud of their accomplishments, as are we—the adults and members of the school community surrounding them. These projects are proof of the creativity, skills, enthusiasm, and care that our students bring to their work. Through the process of completing their tasks, the students learned much about themselves, gained confidence, and are now ready to move on to new challenges that await them in the next grade.

¿Cómo funciona una escuela Waldorf de Primaria?

Muchas personas, por lo general padres de familia que conocen la pedagogía Waldorf y tienen a sus hijos en un colegio inspirado en esta pedagogía, como el nuestro, se preguntan sobre el paso que dan los niños cuando llegan a la primaria. ¿Los niños siguen teniendo juego libre tanto como en preescolar? ¿Cómo aprenderán a leer y escribir? ¿Cómo es el currículo cuando los alumnos pasan a Grado Uno?

Nos hemos basado en un artículo de aguamarina, psicóloga y terapeuta del habla, ya que lo expresa de una forma idónea y bastante acertiva.

El currículum en las escuelas Waldorf

Si la pedagogía Waldorf parte de la premisa que la forma de entender, sentir y vivir el mundo de las personas va evolucionando a lo largo de la vida, y muy especialmente durante la infancia, el currículum de las escuelas Waldorf trata entonces de dar respuesta a las necesidades que presentan los niños en todos los niveles (su cuerpo físico, sus facultades psíquicas, su individualidad).

Para los maestros/as Waldorf lo más importante no es lo que se enseña, sino cómo se enseña. Por tanto el programa educativo Waldorf se basa en el niño, en ejercitar las capacidades del ser humano: pensar, sentir y actuar. Así el maestro a través de la observación de las necesidades de los niños les va introduciendo en los contenidos, pero en el momento oportuno y de la forma adecuada a su etapa evolutiva.

Por eso se dice que el método Waldorf es un método integral, porque implica el conocimiento de la naturaleza individual de cada niño, y utiliza una metodología y contenidos adecuados a cada momento, logrando de esa manera un equilibrio de las aptitudes intelectuales, artísticas y manuales. Se trata de seguir un proceso, un camino de experiencia que llene de sentido todo lo que encontrará el niño una vez que sea adulto.

Esto implica que después de haber experimentado con el movimiento y el juego libre en la época de infantil, en el primer curso de primaria conozcan las letras y las palabras, los números y las operaciones básicas, así como los dibujos de formas, que permiten estructurar el dominio del tiempo y del espacio de una manera progresiva y asequible para los pequeños, teniendo como hilo conductor las narraciones de los cuentos de hadas. (Lee más información sobre los cuentos de hadas aquí).

El paso de Infantil a Primaria

El hecho de poder iniciar una nueva etapa vital es tan importante como cerrar bien la anterior.

Es por eso que el primer día de escuela para los niños de primero de primaria se realiza una celebración en la cual, simbólicamente, dejan atrás el mundo de los pequeños para entrar en otro mundo de niños más mayores, mostrando que ya están preparados para realizar otro tipo de actividades en la escuela. Cada niño pasa por un bonito arco hecho de flores, entregando al maestro que le llama una flor que confeccionará el ramo de la nueva clase.

Tras este primer día, el niño entra en un ritmo de actividad que le permite desarrollar una respiración entre concentración y relajación, trabajo mental y práctico, movimiento y reposo, escucha y participación, observar y hacer.

La clase principal y los periodos

Durante las dos primeras horas del día aparece muy claramente esta respiración en la clase. Se desarrolla una parte rítmica, con una serie de actividades en las que aparece el movimiento ordenado, el arte de la palabra y la poesía, la música, el juego…muchas veces combinados. Este espacio permite sincronizar los ritmos individuales en uno colectivo, haciendo que niños y niñas estén dispuestos a un trabajo más vinculado a la concentración.

Después de este momento, hay un tiempo para los aprendizajes más académicos, siempre presentados de una manera asequible para los niños, es lo que se denomina la clase principal. Estos aprendizajes también están asociados a un ritmo, así, durante un tiempo de unas cuatro semanas, se desarrolla una misma área, es lo que se conoce como un período.

Al  final de la clase principal se destina a escuchar la narración, un momento en el que aparece un gesto de relajación, pero al mismo tiempo de una cierta concentración al seguir el hilo de la historia.

Los periodos en la clase de primero

Durante los tres trimestres del primer curso se mantiene una estructura similar, en la cual se empieza con un periodo (unas cuatro semanas) de dibujo de formas, después uno de letras, y se acaba con el de números.


El dibujo de formas trabaja con el movimiento del cuerpo, organizando el espacio en líneas rectas y curvas.

Poco a poco los niños van llevando este movimiento desde el cuerpo a las manos, llegando a convertir un dibujo sobre el cual se ha caminado en el suelo en una línea sobre el papel. De esta manera se hace que la experiencia del dibujo sea no sólo mental sino también vivida en el hacer con el cuerpo. Es gracias al dibujo de formas que los niños y niñas se preparan para el trazado de letras y números.


El periodo llamado de las “letras” acerca a los niños al proceso de lectoescritura realizando un recorrido por todo el alfabeto mediante una historia narrada por el maestro/a. Así, cada letra tiene un sentido de ser en la palabra, y la palabra se torna viva en la conciencia del niño.

Las letras y las palabras se escuchan, se dibujan y se escriben y finalmente, se leen.


Las matemáticas tienen, en la pedagogía Waldorf, un tratamiento muy especial. Los primeros aprendizajes, los números, son mostrados como elementos no sólo cuantitativos sino también cualitativos. Cada número representa una cualidad: el uno representa la unidad, lo que forma un todo; el dos, la dualidad, los opuestos; el tres, la trinidad, el elemento neutralizante, etc. siempre mostrando estos conceptos en forma de imagen, en un lenguaje poético.

El movimiento en el espacio es indispensable para desarrollar un buen pensamiento matemático, de esta manera se realizan una gran cantidad de ejercicios que impliquen el movimiento de todo el cuerpo. Las matemáticas dejan de ser de dominio exclusivo de la cabeza, llegando a formar parte de todo el cuerpo, hasta la punta de los dedos de los pies.

El resto de materias: las especialidades

Las actividades artísticas así como la lengua extranjera o los trabajos manuales son los otros elementos que completan el día a día en la primera clase.

La música facilita al niño el ordenar su mundo interior. En primero todavía se usan melodías pentatónicas que ayudan al niño a mantener un estado de calma y armonía. Los instrumentos utilizados en este curso son la lira pentatónica y, desde el segundo trimestre, la flauta pentatónica. (Si te interesa saber más sobre la música pentatónica lee este artículo de Tamara Chubarovsky: Música que calma a los niños, música pentatónica).

La pintura con acuarela aporta unos elementos que favorecen la salud anímica de los niños. El trabajo con el color, usando el papel mojado, sigue un largo camino durante toda la primaria.  (Puedes descubrir un cuento vivenciado para utilizar las acuarelas con niños aquí)

Al principio se trata más de jugar con las cualidades del color que buscar hacer representaciones pictóricas y, poco a poco, este jugar se convierte en un dominio del agua y la pintura en las clases superiores.

La Euritmia es otra de las artes trabajadas en la escuela Waldorf. A través del movimiento, se despierta y se fortalece la capacidad expresiva de los niños, y no solamente en el aspecto puramente físico.

Mediante los sonidos de las palabras y la música se busca agilidad, movilidad, plasticidad y actividad en su mundo interior.

Las lenguas extranjeras empiezan a formar parte de la vida de los niños mediante juegos, canciones y poesías.

Se busca acercar al niño a la musicalidad del lenguaje, a adentrarse de forma natural en ella, de la misma manera que se hace con la lengua materna.

Los trabajos manuales son muy importantes para el desarrollo intelectual del niño. Una cita de Rudolf Steiner dice “Dedos ágiles nos llevarán más adelante a un pensamiento ágil”. Y cada vez más neurólogos están descubriendo y mostrando de qué manera el movimiento físico se convierte en un desarrollo de las conexiones neuronales.

Así, se realizan actividades como seguir todo el proceso de la lana: desde que está sucia, recién esquilada, hasta poder tejer con ella, pasando por el lavado, cardado, hilado y ovillado, lo que acerca al niño a una manera viva de entender el mundo.

Creo que con todo esto has podido hacerte una idea de cómo funciona una escuela Waldorf de primaria, faltaría añadir que no hay exámenes, ni tampoco libros de texto convencionales, sino que cada alumno va trabajando y elaborando sus propios cuadernos.

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