From the myths of the ancient Egyptians, Indians and Persians to the written history of the ancient Greeks, fifth graders move from the stories of ancient peoples to the formal study of history. At the same time, fifth graders attain a certain ease and grace of physical movement intrinsic to their age. An awareness of self strengthens. The celebration of these unique abilities culminates in the fifth grade's participation in the Greek Olympiad, a glorious pentathlon event with other regional Waldorf schools.
Tim Smith was born in Kentucky (in the Daniel Boone National Forest) and raised in rural Illinois and Iowa. After graduating as valedictorian of his high school class, he went on to attend Goshen College in Indiana as a religion major. Later, he earned his Waldorf teacher training certificate at the Rudolf Steiner Centre, Toronto. Tim has lived in Venezuela, Germany, and Switzerland, and spent three years working as a caregiver in a Camphill community for disabled children in eastern Pennsylvania. For ten years, Tim has taught at WSA in various roles including class teaching, music and practical arts. Tim started the basketball program at WSA, and coached for several years. Tim and his wife MJ, also a Waldorf educator, have three children; their two daughters graduated from WSA and their son is a current WSA student. Tim has a love of music, and plays the guitar and sings. He also enjoys carpentry.Grade Five Pedagogical Overview
In the first four years of school there is a strong emphasis on form, both of the class as a whole, and of each child's habits. In the next four years, there is a subtle and gradual shift in emphasis toward content, in lessons and in the world at large. This shift in emphasis, of course, follows the child's own lead, responding to his or her changing consciousness. By age eleven, children reach a kind of balance and regular alternation between their awareness of the world and of their own inner lives. There is balance, too, in their mental, emotional, and physical growth.
The fifth grade curriculum seeks to extend the children both outwardly and inwardly. Outwardly, in terms of space, they expand their horizons of the earth and the plants that cover it. In terms of time, they experience five civilizations spanning thousands of years. Inwardly, they extend their awareness of the math processes they perform, and also of the words they speak and the sentences they write. As their intellectual faculties become stronger, students are able to approach their cognitive work in a more realistic and reasoning manner.
By the fifth grade, students have generally attained a certain ease and grace of physical movement intrinsic to their age. The celebration of their unique abilities at this time culminates in their participation in a Greek Olympiad, a pentathlon event with other regional Waldorf schools.