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. The school flexibly responds to the needs, interests, and resources of its member families.
We balance academic, artistic, and practical work, educating the whole child: heart, head, and hands. Our developmentally-appropriate curriculum addresses the child's changing consciousness as it unfolds, stage by stage. Imagination and creativity are cultivated, as well as cognitive growth and a sense of responsibility for the Earth and its inhabitants. Hearthstone is inspired by Steiner's detailed psychology of child development, which has been supported by modern research in education and neuropsychology. 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.
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 class, and flew real airplanes in physics class. They plant organic vegetable gardens and put on plays in English class. In Wildlife Ecology class, 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 the Holocaust. It is a practical and exciting curriculum for the students and faculty.
Also, 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.
Download our Handbook
For Children 12 to 24 Months
Join our weekly Google Meet group to learn more about the Waldorf method, connect with other parents, and give your child the opportunity to socialize from a distance. Led by our Nursery/Kindergarten teacher, this class includes developmentally-appropriate activities such as verses, songs, stories, and rhythmic movement.
Classes for Homeschoolers
Part-time enrollment in selected classes and activities is available for home schooling and road schooling families. Classes include core subjects, languages, art, knitting, and even archery. This type of enrollment is arranged on a case by case basis. Please inquire for more information.