Overview of Waldorf First Grade

What is taught in 1st grade?

Typical Main Lesson Block Rotation
Blocks are typically taught in 3-4 week sessions.

  1. Form Drawing – 2 weeks
  2. Language Arts – Uppercase consonants are taught through fairy tales
  3. Math – The Quality of Numbers
  4. Language Arts – Continue teaching letters, introduce vowels
  5. Math – Four Mathematical Processes
  6. Language Arts – finish letters or introduce CVC words
  7. Math – number patterns, continue practice of 4 processes
  8. Language Arts – word families or lower case letters
  9. Nature, also called “home surroundings”. This is sometimes broken up into 1 week seasonal blocks throughout the year.

In addition, the child will learn knitting, wet-on-wet painting, and playing the recorder. Keep in mind that a first-grader still needs lots of time outdoors and unstructured playtime.

When does the child start 1st grade?

In Waldorf education, entry to first grade is determined by the child’s age and development rather than the acquisition of any academic competence, such as reading ability. Your child should be 7-years-old for most of the 1st grade. This can cause confusion for the parent of a child with a late Spring or Summer birthday. In Waldorf schools, teachers will evaluate children with April or May birthdays for “first-grade readiness” by a set of criteria that includes physical development and the change of teeth but the general consensus is that a child must be 6.5 years old before starting first grade. This is especially true for boys.

Links with information about when to start first grade:

Where to buy First Grade Curriculum:

If you have never taught a Waldorf grade, it is strongly recommended that you purchase a curriculum before teaching first grade. If you are a Waldorf homeschooling veteran, skip to the next section for resources on putting first grade together yourself.

Other options for emergency situations:

  • Seasons of Seven “Waldorf-inspired Virtual School” Under normal circumstances, I would never recommend an online class for children this young but sometimes extreme disruptions to our daily lives, such as the Covid pandemic or a long term illness of the parent, make school or homeschooling a very difficult option.
  • Oak Meadow – Custody dispute? The other parent is strongly against Waldorf education and will not compromise? This is not a Waldorf curriculum. Earlier versions of their curriculum were “waldorf inspired”. However, it is a gentle and secular curriculum that includes some Waldorf elements such as main lesson books, handwork, and learning to play the recorder. If you have a spouse or partner that is completely against using Waldorf, this might be your best second choice. It is available as a homeschooling curriculum or as an accredited, teacher-supported distance learning school. There is nothing to stop you from incorporating other elements of Waldorf into your daily life while using this program.
  • First Grade Resources


    Courses (for the parent):