Education is not a question of what knowledge children need to acquire
to enter society, but what capacities in human beings can be developed
to bring new forces into society.
Hearthstone School is inspired by the Waldorf education method and many of the teachings of Rudolf Steiner; however, a wealth of other resources and traditions are drawn on as well. We balance academic, artistic, and practical work, educating the whole child: heart, head, and hands. Our teachers are dedicated to creating a genuine love of learning within each child. By freely using arts and activities in the service of teaching academics, an internal motivation to learn is developed in the students, doing away with the need for competitive testing and grading.
Supported by modern research in education and neuropsychology, the Waldorf curriculum is based on Rudolf Steiner's detailed psychology of child development. At its core, the Waldorf curriculum is designed to be responsive to the various phases of a child's development. The total Waldorf curriculum has been likened to an ascending spiral: subjects are revisited several times, but each new exposure affords greater depth and new insights into the subject at hand. Core subjects (history, language arts, science, and mathematics) are taught in Main Lesson blocks in the mornings. Adjunct classes are taught in the afternoon.
The Waldorf classroom also emphasizes direct experience and application of learning. And so, alongside a traditional classroom experience, our students once built a geodesic dome in Math class, hatched chickens in Biology, and flew real airplanes in Physics. They plant organic vegetable gardens and put on plays in English. In Wildlife Ecology, the students found a Least Brook Lamprey and a Fence Post Lizard never before documented in this region. Field trips to art collections, plays at the Kennedy Center, museums in Washington D.C. and Richmond, and hikes in Shenandoah National Park complement the curriculum. Guest lecturers are invited in to speak on topics ranging from ceramics to waste management. It is a practical and exciting curriculum for the students and faculty.
The Waldorf system and Hearthstone pay close attention to the rhythms of the changing seasons. We find in these forces of natural growth, blossom, decay, death, and regeneration an "outer" complement to the "inner" processes of the child. We recognize the changes in the natural world with various festivals and holidays.
Imagination and creativity are cultivated, as well as cognitive growth and a sense of responsibility for the Earth and its inhabitants.
Hearthstone’s curriculum and practices strive towards Steiner’s goals: that young people would develop the capacities of soul and intellect and the strength of will that would prepare them to meet the challenges of their own time and the future.
For Children 18 Months to 6 Years
Experience the wonder of the Nursery/Kindergarten class with your child. Learn about the Waldorf Method, meet other children, and introduce your child to developmentally-appropriate activities such as storytelling, watercolor painting, beeswax molding, hand crafts, rhythmic movement, and bread making.
Classes for Homeschoolers
Part-time enrollment in selected classes and activities is available for home schooling and road schooling families. Classes include core subjects, Spanish, calligraphy, environmental science, drama, weaving, and bread baking. This type of enrollment is arranged on a case by case basis. Please inquire for more information.