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K-8 Home School Curriculum Overview

Spring River offers flexible programming and support to the growing homeschool community in Northeast Florida seeking a holistic education.  We welcome those parents interested in an education inspired by Waldorf methods and a "whole child" view of human development, or those seeking a more part-time experience to enrich and supplement their other homeschool choices.

 

We provide support and a social network for those families that can join us for five days of classes or who are only interested in three or two day options. We also welcome all families from the greater community to our events, parent education, playdates, and festivals. All are welcome!

A Developmental Approach

Spring River’s Waldorf-inspired homeschool program stands out with its unique Horizontal and Vertical Curriculum, deeply rooted in Rudolf Steiner’s profound insights into human development.   The curriculum offered at Spring River spans kindergarten through the middle school years, and at each developmental stage addresses the student's growing capacity for thinking, willing, and feeling (doing), also sometimes referred to as "head, heart, and hands."  

Our program recognizes the natural eagerness of students between the ages of seven and nine to learn. We foster this learning through memory, movement, and imaginative stories, creating a nurturing environment where the child feels at one with the world under the guidance of a loving authority figure—the teacher. We approach these students artistically, using visual and verbal imagery, drama, music, and movement. Our teachers incorporate a multidisciplinary teaching style to enliven the students' “thinking, feeling, and willingness” by approaching one subject from these three learning elements.

 

At “the nine-year change,” the student feels a disruption in this unity with the world and becomes aware of a separation between themselves and others. The student begins to question authority (their teacher)—outwardly or through behavior—and truly encounter the physical world. Once having crossed this “Rubicon,” the student embarks on a journey that lasts until about age 12 while the intellect is awakened, self-assertion grows, and peer groups begin to have more influence.  The student moves out of the lovely golden world of early childhood into what has been called the “full technicolor” physical world.  

 

The students' will is activated from the age of 12 to 14. They are keen to explore new horizons and may develop a hyper-critical view of the world around them.  This is a transition period to adolescence, and the Spring River curriculum is intended to meet this developmental stage by helping the students awaken their powers of articulation from within their inner lives.  Assignments during this time challenge the students physically and socially to discover their own strengths.  At this phase, we hope the students begin to see that they are needed in the world, which is accentuated through the physical activities of woodworking, handwork, focused movement and games, and other creative hands-on projects.

We now offer High School Programing, to learn more go HERE.

The Class Teacher (Grades 1-8)

At Spring River, each class has a core teacher that stays with them for multiple years.  This continuity enhances the children's learning in both academic and social aspects and allows the teacher to develop a deep understanding of the child as a whole and of the class as a community.

Early Years & Kindergarten

Lower School (1-5)

Upper School (6-8)

Note: Spring River’s 7th/8th Grade Class is a blended group for school year 2024-25 which will cover both curriculums in a way that meets the needs of each student. 

Homeschool Enrichment Classes

High School (9-11)

Waldorf outdoor education teacher and class

The Main Lesson

At Spring River, the “Main Lesson” is fundamental which is a two-hour period of concentrated study for grades 1-8 that begins each school day, following circle time, when students are most prepared for sustained effort. In Main Lesson, we study a core academic theme for a “Main Lesson Block” of three to four weeks, inviting in-depth exploration and learning into one of the core subjects -  language arts, science, mathematics, geography, and history.  This allows the class teacher time to explore each subject in-depth and to approach it in a "whole child" fashion, bringing in poetry, movement, drama, modeling, painting, and the potential for field trips or other exploration.  In this way, the students' intellectual learning is combined with artistic and practical work.

Main Lesson Books Waldorf Homeschool Program

Main Lesson Books

During Main Lesson blocks, the students each create their own Main Lesson Book. These beautiful books are organized, ongoing records of the students' work and are filled with observations, illustrations, diagrams, stories, and essays. This act of generating one's own artistic "textbook" is one of the unique parts of the Spring River Experience. 

Watercolor painting Waldorf

Special Subject Classes

In addition to Main Lesson, we offer special subjects such as handwork, nature immersion, medieval nature quests, music, Spanish, form drawing, painting, modeling, drama, woodworking (7-8), and (for grades 3-8) curriculum-related field trips.

For more details see our Special Subject page or visit the individual grade description. 

Outdoor Education Florida

Forest School and Nature Hikes and Immersion:

From our earliest days, Spring River has honored the relationship between growing children and nature,  and ensured that outdoor time was an essential component of our school day.  Now, as an outdoor school, our students are immersed in nature every day and engage in forest trail and beach walks in all weather.  First-hand experiences and observations of nature are at the heart of all of our programs.  We also offer a unique and more in-depth one day Forest School Enrichment Class for families seeking that experience to complement their homeschool studies.

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