Mood of the Third Grade
The Fall to Earth
Up to now the child lived in a feeling of trust that she and the world were connected – this always was and always would be. Suddenly, as the ninth birthday approaches, she feels herself separated from her world, her family, teacher and fellow students. There grows a doubt within the child: is this really my true family, my true parents? Nightmares may suddenly come and just as suddenly disappear. There may be weeks of some inexplicable sadness that then overnight cease. While for some children, these changes may show even in the late second grade, and for others, the fourth, for the class as a whole, this miraculous (and tragic) awakening to the Self, the “I” happens during this year.
Taking up the work of Earth: Trades and Crafts
The child is journeying from Paradise to Earth, from a timelessness All-Is-Unity to the Self-in-the-World in a moment of time. In the Waldorf curriculum this is met by bring to the child the stories of the Old Testament, where a people have awaken from a timeless mythical consciousness to a self-aware place in time (history) and place (The Promised Land). The third grade curriculum offers the nine-year-old a consciousness of the skills he will need to live in the earthly realm. There are the practical skills of farming and gardening, house building, measurement and time. They will also learn about clothing and fibers, cooking and weaving. These kinds of activities will help the child gain confidence that they have the ability, even if only at a beginning stage, to practically come to grips with life in the real world.
Academically, the children begin to write full sentences from stories and activities, become aware of the parts of speech (of their own speaking): nouns, verbs, adjectives and punctuation. They move on to descriptive and creative writing. In maths, practice of all 12 tables continues; long multiplication and long division are introduced, as is money handling and change, and various forms of measurement – linear, liquids, solids and temporal.
Jonah and the Whale
Adam and Eve
To see what the children will be learning this year, please click
Third Grade 2013-14