Nature Centered, Waldorf Inspired Learning for Grades 1 - 6
School of Living Arts offers seasonally thematic, Waldorf inspired academics for grades 1-6, in a pristine environment of fields, farm and forest. Learning is enriched, embodied, and ensouled through mythology, arts & handicrafts, forest exploration, farm immersion, free play, movement, theater, and quiet self reflection.
When children are welcomed into School of Living Arts, they enter into an enduring relationship with a class teacher, who will guide their learning through grade 6. In this way, student and teacher develop deep understanding of one another through their shared experience of our thematic curriculum, circle activities, and daily rhythm of life in the SOLA learning community.
Through thematic academics, handicrafts, animal arts, movement, free play, and nature immersion, SOLA engages the native wisdom, curiosity, and brilliance within each child. SOLA offers a rare treasure of truly holistic learning- education as a sacred encounter.
Through the 1.5-2 hour morning Thematic Lesson period, SOLA students are invited into a meaningful learning journey with the thematic topic. Thematic Lesson presentations are not derived from a textbook, but are instead presented using primary sources, mythology, stories, poetry, songs, & experiential or rhythmic activities, all shared through the teacher’s unique, authentic voice, and ensouled understanding of the subject matter. These extended morning sessions offer an opportunity for holistic, hands-heart-head integration. Each student records their learning journey in a Thematic Lesson book where they create artwork, compositions, illustrations, diagrams, timelines and maps that uniquely reflect their comprehension & academic growth. These beautiful, archival hand-made 'textbooks' are unique to Waldorf education.
Arts, Handicrafts, music & theater
Students in every grade at SOLA are offered an experience of music, theater, fine arts and handicrafts. Art, music, theater, and handicrafts are an integral part of the day’s learning- whether singing in morning circle, watching their teacher tell a story with drama and excitement, or crafting handmade items, or carefully illustrating their thematic lesson book. Learners at SOLA experience the richness and vitality of learning through artistic endeavor. Educators recognize that creative engagement deepens students’ involvement in their learning, enhances their cognitive and academic capacities, and sustains student and family engagement in the learning journey.
Animal connection & Nature immersion
At SOLA learning is participation in Earth's diverse community of life. Our campus is a Sanctuary for abundant, diverse plant and animal life. In keeping with the SMS mission to provide Sanctuary for all life, SOLA students honor the natural world through a collective agreement to care for, and do no harm to life in our Sanctuary. Nature and animals are part of each day's rhythm, through nature walks, eco-contemplative practices, animal care and feeding, and much more.
Free & imaginative play
Unstructured, free play is so often undervalued in our current educational culture, even when multiple studies and direct experience tell us that childrens' imaginative capacities, empathic intelligence and development of self-regularity skills depend on it. Our daily rhythm includes ample, unstructured time for free play, and our environment provides a pristine natural landscape within which imagination can inspire and guide free play.