What is a typical day like at the Elementary school?
For all Monadnock Waldorf School students, the heart of the school day is the Main Lesson; an intensive morning block of activities, devoted to a single core subject over a three- to four-week period. Each day, the Main Lesson is followed by special subjects including handwork, language study, music, chorus, physical education, math, woodworking and more, dependent on grade level. Our unique approach is designed to prepare students for the challenges and experiences of life. We foster a lifelong love of learning, the will to work hard, the courage to question and an active concern for others. We work to inspire our students to lead purposeful and satisfying lives.
THE CORE CORRICULUM:
ENGLISH: Based on world literature, biography, myths and legends
HISTORY: Focusing on a chronological exploration of the worlds’ great civilizations
SCIENCE: Surveying geography, geology, botany, animal studies, astronomy, meteorology, physics, chemistry and life science
MATHEMATICS: Developing competence in arithmetic, algebra and geometry
Primary Grades 1-3
Middle Grades 4-6
Upper Grades 7 & 8
Monadnock Waldorf School has long had a commitment to connecting students to the natural world around them. Indeed, fostering that connection is an essential element of Waldorf education. This commitment can be seen in many aspects of the children’s experience at MWS, including our observance of seasonal festivals, our commitment to field trips that connect the curriculum to the natural world in age appropriate ways, and even our annual all-school hike day.
In recent years, we have been able to offer our students another opportunity to embrace the natural world through the day and overnight trips with Kroka Expeditions, a wilderness living program dedicated to conscious living and compassionate service, located here in southwestern New Hampshire. While many other Waldorf schools are only able to take advantage of Kroka’s expertise for occasional class trips because of distance, we are fortunate to be able to take students on regular day trips to Kroka’s beautiful base camp in Marlow, NH. There, students have a chance to participate together in traditional farm chores, prepare simple meals over a wood fire, and follow lightly used trails through the New England forest. In the early grades, day trips to Kroka’s base camp are easily planned to complement classroom studies. Second grade nature studies come to life in the woodland environment. The third grade shelter block is enriched by visits to see a variety of traditional shelters at Kroka. Fourth grade geography finds a natural place along trails of base camp and beyond. As older students are ready for adventures further afield, teachers are able to take advantage of Kroka’s leadership to explore the wonders of nearby waterways, hiking trails and climbing rocks. Practice in orienteering and fire-making give students uncommon confidence in their ability to care for themselves and others. Teachers have repeatedly remarked on the quality of these trips, observing ways in which the trips have contributed to the personal growth of their students while fostering the social cohesiveness of the class. We have a great respect for the collective years of experience and expertise that the Kroka staff has to offer our students.
"Over the course of four and a half years, my students and I have enjoyed more than thirty days outside with Kroka. These outings serve my students by having them spend time in nature, do meaningful physical work, come to know their own strengths, and experience the passing discomforts that come with being outside and away from school and home. For some, it might be during our outdoor excursions when they can truly shine. As one parent put it, education does not begin or end at the school’s doors. All of our trips relate in some way to the curriculum and bring many areas of classroom study to life. Whether having lunch in a sod house while studying shelters, climbing onto a beaver lodge in the winter during animal study, walking barefoot on thick carpets of moss when studying the lower plants, or rock climbing on an exposed granite face after learning about how granite is formed deep within the earth, these first-hand experiences directly support each child's experience of the curriculum. Nothing brings a class together like experiencing what they can accomplish together, and our trips with Kroka provide opportunities that I could never create in the classroom." -Tim Price, MWS teacher