Third graders experience what Waldorf educators refer to as the “nine year change”. Many experience for the first time that they belong to something greater than their birth family. The story curriculum introduces students at this time to the family of human civilization. They often experience alienation, loss, and a sense of being cast adrift. This significant transition in their consciousness is supported through hearing stories of the expulsion from Paradise as well as the wanderings of the Hebrew people after their flight from slavery in Egypt. It is important to conclude the school year with the people of Israel finding a new homeland, establishing farms and an independent cultural life. These stories can be very healing for the troubling and sometimes turbulent feelings many children experience.
The Grade 3 curriculum awakens the students to their surroundings and environment by presenting them with a rich array of farm activities and practical arts. The children sow, harvest, can, cook, bake, and dry the bounty of garden and field. The students learn many of the basic skills of farming, working with textiles, cooking, basketry, and house building through story, writing, drawing, and a wide range of activities which include tending a garden and carrying out an age-appropriate building project.
Students continue to have subject classes in Foreign Languages, Games and P.E., Handwork, Painting, Modeling, Form Drawing, Woodworking, and Instrumental and Choral Music. They now begin to learn to play violin or cello in a Strings class.