The Honolulu Waldorf School offers a broad range of subjects that support the students’ intellectual, artistic, and practical education. Students are taught by a team of teachers who are able to bring the rich diversity of the Waldorf curriculum. Most academic subjects are taught by the main lesson teachers, and students study with a variety of subject teachers who are specialists in their fields. Special subjects include Japanese, Spanish, movement education and games, handwork, music, eurythmy, painting, drawing, clay and beeswax modeling, woodwork, metalwork, and drama.
Applied and Fine Arts
The Waldorf schools are famous for their deep integration of the arts into all aspects ofthe curriculum. A student's progress through various media and artisanal crafts takes them through the course of the entire planet's art history. From watercolors to blacksmithing and graphic design, all Waldorf students receive a strong foundation in art and learn how to apply it to specific problems and situations.
Eurythmy is an art form where music and speech are expressed through movement and gesture. In kindergarten and the early grades, eurythmy is experienced through storytelling and songs. As students progress through the grades, they work with a variety of poetry and music, moving through intricate and complicated patterns individually and as a group. The eurythmy curriculum is closely tied to main lesson curriculum, and the students experience, artistically through eurythmy, aspects of mathematics, geometry, grammar, and history. Eurythmy is offered in early childhood through grade eight.
The handwork curriculum at Honolulu Waldorf School helps students develop skillful hands that can create wonderful objects. Handwork serves to develop fine motor skills, dexterity, focus, and sensory integration, and the finished products give the students the satisfaction that they can create useful and beautiful items. The handwork curriculum includes knitting, crocheting, cross stitching, felting, basket weaving, Hawaiian handcrafts, sewing, and woodworking. Students are encouraged to work artistically and create their own combinations of colors and patterns. Handwork has been shown to support intellectual development and plays an integral role in Waldorf schools.
Students are taught both Spanish & Japanese in alternating blocks as part of the standard World Languages curriculum that starts in first grade and continues through sixth grade. Middle School and High school students then choose either Japanese or Spanish as a language for further dedicated study. Honolulu Waldorf School offers a strong Foreign Exchange Program that provides High School students the option of hosting and staying with a Waldorf student from a European, Latin American, or Asian country and attending their Waldorf school as a means of cultural and social immersion in the student’s chosen study of language and its originating cultures.
Games and Movement Education
The movement education curriculum is designed to meet the specific developmental stages of the students. Games and movement education classes support the students in healthy social interactions and help bring their physical bodies into harmony. In the early grades, students are learning to play and work together as a group and develop physical skills. Traditional games such as tag, circle games, and jumping rope are emphasized. Beginning in third grade, students participate in circus activities, learning to juggle, walk on stilts, and unicycle. In fifth grade, there is a focus on the activities of the Greek pentathlon as the students work on javelin and discus throwing, wrestling, jumping, and racing. As the students progress through the years, they develop specific skills and learn to play individual and team sports. In high school, students have the opportunity to explore a number of different activities including yoga, surfing, and paddling.
Music is an important aspect of the curriculum at Honolulu Waldorf School, and all students, from early childhood to high school participate. Singing permeates the classrooms in early childhood and the younger grades. Starting in first grade, children play pentatonic flutes, and starting in grade three, students begin playing violin, viola, or cello. Starting in sixth grade, students may continue playing their stringed instrument or begin a band instrument. In high school, performing arts choices include band, and Hawaiian Ensemble, which includes hula, ukulele, and guitar. The students perform their music at assemblies, class plays, festivals, and community events.