Overview of Curriculum


“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

— William Butler Yeats, poet and playwright


For the 2016-2017 school year, our grade school spans first through eighth grade, and comprises single classes and combined classes: a first grade, a combined second/third grade, a combined fourth/fifth grade, a combined sixth/seventh grade  and an eighth grade classs.


 

Sunfield’s innovative curriculum, integrating classroom activities with practical experiences on the farm, ensures balanced and joyful learning.

First/Second Grade

Main Lesson Subjects

  • Social Science & Literature
    • Fairy tales from around the world enlivened with observations on the farm; animal tales and fables from around the world inspired by farm animals and wild animals on the property
  • Mathematics
    • Qualities of numbers; numerical patterns & sequences; rhythmic patterns; four processes: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division; multiplication tables; place value
  • Language Arts
    • Letter forms and sounds; phonics; beginning writing and reading; grammar; poetry; speech and recitation
  • Natural Science
    • Imaginative nature stories and nature studies through explorations on the farm

Special Subjects

  • Farm Activities
    • Simple feeding and watering of animals; preparing and tending small garden plots; planting and caring for two to three apple trees; participating in seasonal projects such as harvesting squash
  • Visual Arts
    • Watercolor painting; block crayon drawing; straight and curved line and symmetrical form drawing; beeswax modeling
  • Foreign Language
    • Spanish
  • Handwork
    • Knitting and wool crafts
  • Music
    • Two-tone flutes
  • Drama
    • Plays and presentations to complement Main Lesson subjects and to perform at festivals
  • Physical Education
    • Games

Second/Third Grade

Main Lesson Subjects

  • Social Science & Literature
    • Study of house building around the world and how it relates to climate and natural resources; animal fables; legends of the saints; Hebrew stories
  • Geography
    • Introduction to geography through house building studies
  • Mathematics
    • Multiplication tables; borrowing and carrying; place value; time; continued work with the four processes
  • Language Arts
    • Reading; writing; cursive writing; grammar; poetry; speech and recitation
  • Natural Science
    • Human activity in nature; practical studies in farming and gardening; hands-on experience with building (e.g., construction of cob oven)

Special Subjects

  • Farm Activities
    • Taking responsibility for a flock of chicks; tending rabbits and sheep; planting grain plot; developing and cultivating school gardens
  • Visual Arts
    • Watercolor painting; block and stick crayon drawing; colored pencil drawing; radial symmetry form drawing; beeswax modeling
  • Foreign Language
    • Spanish
  • Handwork
    • Knitting and crocheting
  • Music
    • Recorders or Choroi flutes
  • Drama
    • Plays and presentations to complement Main Lesson subjects and to perform at festivals
  • Physical Education
    • Games

Third/Fourth Grade

Main Lesson Subjects

  • Social Science & Literature
    • Old Testament stories and celebration of Jewish festivals; multi-cultural studies observing food and clothing; beginning Norse Mythology; early settlers; local natural resources, including familiarity with edible wild plants on the farm
  • Geography
    • Geography of local surroundings; mapping of Sunfield Farm
  • Mathematics
    • Multiplication tables; long division; weights and measures; borrowing and carrying; fractions; factoring; continued drill work
  • Language Arts
    • Reading; writing; cursive handwriting; composition; spelling; grammar; poetry; speech and recitation
  • Natural Science
    • Human activity in nature: practical studies in farming, gardening, grains, clothing; human and animal studies enlivened by practical experience working with farm animals; Washington State Waldorf Schools’ Plough Day Jamboree

Special Subjects

  • Farm Activities
    • Chicken project with class flock continues; tending sheep and rabbits; grain plot taken through stages of planting, cultivating, harvesting, threshing, grinding, and baking; cultivating school gardens
  • Visual Arts
    • Watercolor painting; colored pencil drawing; braided design form drawing; beeswax modeling
  • Foreign Language
    • Spanish
  • Handwork
    • Cross-stitch weaving
  • Music
    • Recorders
  • Drama
    • Plays and presentations to complement Main Lesson subjects and to perform at festivals
  • Physical Education
    • Games

Fourth/Fifth Grade

Main Lesson Subjects

  • Social Science & Literature
    • Norse mythology; Native American culture, myths, and legends; local natural resources, including familiarity with edible wild plants growing on Sunfield Farm; class trip to Washington State Waldorf Schools’ Potlatch
  • Geography
    • Study of local surroundings, Washington State, and North America; field trips to local sites of geographic interest through N.O.S.C. Dragon Tracking Project relating to local watersheds
  • Mathematics
    • Fractions; factoring; decimals; averages; introduction to geometry; continued drill work
  • Language Arts
    • Reading; writing; composition; letter writing; creative writing; spelling; grammar; poetry; speech and recitation
  • Natural Science
    • Botany: studies enhanced by studying ecosystems on Sunfield Farm and examining plant life throughout the property; utilizing plants grown on the farm for making crafts

Special Subjects

  • Farm Activities
    • Accounting and caring for class flock; milking and tending goat herd; tending sheep; working with Sunfield farmer to tend to compost and crops
  • Visual Arts
    • Watercolor painting; colored pencil drawing; freehand and measured geometric designs; clay modeling
  • Foreign Language
    • Spanish
  • Handwork
    • Cross-stitch embroidery; Native American crafts; spinning and wool crafts
  • Music
    • Recorder harmonies and rounds, music notation
  • Drama
    • Plays and presentations to complement Main Lesson subjects and to perform at festivals
  • Physical Education
    • Games

Fifth/Sixth Grade

Main Lesson Subjects

  • Social Science & Literature
    • Ancient mythologies and histories: India and Hinduism, Persia and Zoroastrianism, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece; class trip to Washington State Waldorf Schools’ Olympiad
  • Geography
    • Mediterranean area and South American geography; mapmaking
  • Mathematics
    • Decimals continued; ratio and proportion; profit & loss; percentages; interest and discounts; estimation; metric system; geometry; continued drill work
  • Language Arts
    • Reading; composition; spelling; grammar; poetry; speech and recitation
  • Natural Science
    • Geology: including geology of area and examining soils on the property; physical science: sound, heat, light, magnetism, and static electricity enhanced with practical experiences on the farm

Special Subjects

  • Farm Activities
    • Accounting and caring for class flock; milking and tending goat herd; animal husbandry projects: tending of fruit-bearing trees; developing and cultivating flower plot and dye garden; three-year crop rotation/soil development; compost making; cultivating crops with Sunfield farmer
  • Visual Arts
    • Watercolor painting; colored pencil drawing; geometric drawing with compasses; clay modeling; woodcarving
  • Foreign Language
    • Spanish
  • Handwork
    • Four-needle knitting; weaving and wool crafts
  • Music
    • Three-part harmony; music notation and theory; optional after-school strings program
  • Drama
    • Plays and presentations to complement Main Lesson subjects and to perform at festivals
  • Physical Education
    • Greek games: running, jumping, wrestling, discus and javelin throwing

Sixth/Seventh Grade

Main Lesson Subjects

  • Social Science & Literature
    • The Romans, history and mythology; the Middle Ages, Mohammed, Buddha, and Christ; visits to Buddhist and Christian monasteries and Islamic Mosque; class trip to Washington State Waldorf Schools’ Medieval Gathering
  • Geography
    • European and Asian geography
  • Mathematics
    • Introduction to algebra; graphs; geometry; continued drill work
  • Language Arts
    • Reading; composition; spelling; grammar; poetry; speech and recitation
  • Natural Science
    • Astronomy; physical science; human physiology; health and nutrition enhanced with growing, harvesting, and cooking nutritious meals

Special Subjects

  • Farm Activities
    • Large animal project continues; utilization of farm-grown products; practicing crop rotation; tending fruit trees; creating value-added products; cultivating medicinal herbs
  • Visual Arts
    • Watercolor painting; charcoal drawing; form drawing; pastel drawing; detailed compass drawings; clay modeling; woodcarving
  • Foreign Language
    • Spanish
  • Handwork
    • Hand sewing stuffed animals for service project; hand sewed garment; wool craft
  • Music
    • Recorder harmonies; optional after-school strings program
  • Drama
    • Plays and presentations to complement Main Lesson subjects and to perform at festivals
  • Physical Education
    • Track; games

Seventh/Eighth Grade

Main Lesson Subjects

  • Social Science & Literature
    • The Age of Exploration, the Renaissance, and the Reformation; class trip to Washington State Waldorf Schools’ Renaissance Fair
  • Geography
    • World geography
  • Language Arts
    • Reading; composition; spelling; grammar; poetry; speech and recitation; debate
  • Mathematics
    • Algebra; geometry; graphs; practical applications; continued drill work
  • Natural Science
    • Physical science continued: astronomy; human anatomy and physiology; chemistry

Special Subjects

  • Farm Activities
    • Large animal project continues; working in the greenhouse; saving seed; pruning fruit trees; marketing; cultivating dye garden
  • Visual Arts
    • Watercolor painting; perspective drawing; pen, pencil, and pastel drawing; woodcarving; sculpture
  • Foreign Language
    • Spanish
  • Handwork
    • Machine stitched garment; weaving and wool craft
  • Music
    • Recorder quartets and harmonies; music theory; optional after-school strings program
  • Drama
    • Plays and presentations to complement Main Lesson subjects and to perform at festivals
  • Physical Education
    • Track; sports; games

Eighth/Ninth Grade

Main Lesson Subjects

  • Social Science & Literature
    • The Age of Revolutions; American History, including Pacific Northwest History; Modern World History: 18th–20th centuries; History of Art
  • Geography
    • Eco-geography
  • Mathematics
    • Algebra I (grade eight); Geometry I (grade nine); continued drill work; computer memory and ASCII code; preparation for high school transfer
  • Language Arts
    • Reading; composition; grammar; poetry; short story; speech and recitation; debate
  • Natural Science
    • Human anatomy and physiology continued; physical science; meteorology; organic chemistry: studies include chemical analysis of food crops and products, and testing and amending the soil (acids/bases)

Special Subjects

  • Farm Activities
    • Large animal project continues in conjunction with studies of animal physiology and nutrition; utilizing animal products such as milk paint and egg tempera; making cheese and yogurt; service projects; working in the greenhouse; saving seed; marketing; cultivating and marketing farm products; developing value-added products; cultivating dye garden; working with beehives
  • Visual Arts
    • Painting in a variety of media; charcoal drawing; perspective drawing; pen and ink sketching; pastel drawing; woodcarving; sculpture
  • Foreign Language
    • Latin
  • Handwork
    • Machine stitched garment; weaving and wool craft
  • Music
    • Recorder harmonies; guitar; modern and folk music; rock band; music theory; optional after-school strings program
  • Drama
    • Plays and presentations to complement Main Lesson subjects and to perform at festivals
  • Physical Education
    • Track; sports; games
  • Vocational
    • Community boat project and woodwork

In addition to all of the activities listed above, students are also involved in some aspect of processing wool each year, beginning in the early childhood program and continuing through eighth grade. Age-appropriate activities include shearing, washing, carding, and spinning. Projects with wool include dyeing, knitting, and felting.