gardening hands

Lower School

A creative journey of discovery

A Unique Waldorf School

Lower School Curriculum

Green Meadow’s lower school curriculum engages the imaginative nature of the child, weaving together storytelling, creative inquiry, and meaningful hands-on experiences into every subject.

Every day, students take part in immersive explorations, deepening their understanding while developing their capacities to participate, listen, observe, and think creatively.

The Morning Lesson

Each morning begins with a two hour period in which a given academic subject is studied through a multi-disciplinary lens for three to four weeks. Singing, dancing, playing, drawing, painting, crafting, cooking, reciting, and listening to stories are part of how our students learn math, language arts, and sciences.

This multi-layered exploration of a subject allows students to develop a true and deep connection to the topic at hand, relating it to their own life experience, and anchoring their understanding through doing.


Meaningful Mathematics

Waldorf math education involves movement, music, rhythm, art, form drawing, geometry, language, creativity, curiosity and wonder, creating a truly multi-sensory approach to mathematics. As a result, Waldorf students acquire a deep mathematical understanding that they carry throughout their lives.

Practical math activities such as measuring, understanding the calendar, and furthering fluency with the four mathematical operations continue through fifth grade, including thorough explorations of fractions and decimals in practical life.

Creativity in Language

The first foray into language arts begins with the introduction of the letters and their sounds, accompanied by storytelling drawn from the rich oral tradition of world cultures. The students learn how to write: letters become words, then short sentences; sentences become paragraphs.

Our approach ensures that reading and writing from a deep understanding of the elements of story, creating strong, avid readers and fostering true comprehension.

The Sciences

Our study of science begins with immersive experiences in nature. Nature walks in our forests and streams and visits to our farm and garden, open up a world to discover and understand. Through stories woven together with hands-on experience, teachers unveil scientific truths that children live into daily.

In third grade, students work and learn at our farm each week, working with plants, the animals, and the soil; direct experience leads to accurate observations and conclusions, which come together in meaningful  classroom science lessons. Explorations into the world of animals and plants follow in the fourth and fifth grades, allowing previous experiences to begin to crystallize into a real science of life. 

Geography, Culture, and History

Through diverse literary experiences in storytelling, students in first and second grade live into the lives of people and cultures near and far. In third grade, students broaden their perspectives learning about housing, farming, and clothing of different cultures.

In fourth grade, students study the geography and history of New York and its neighboring states, in fifth grade, the circle expands to include lessons about the First Peoples, the geography of North America, and a thorough study of ancient world cultures. A sense of belonging and appreciation is further developed by experiencing the art, drama, literature, and technological innovations of each culture.

An Artistic Approach to Learning

Within the academic curriculum, students draw, model, paint, sing and memorize poetry, and rehearse and perform plays with their class teacher. Through art, students develop creativity, sharp observation, and problem solving skills, while deepening their understanding of human culture.


The study of music offers an additional window into other cultures, while developing essential listening skills and building community. Students joyfully learn many  songs, dances and tunes starting with simple wooden flutes in the first and second grades, adding string instruments and ensemble music in third through fifth grade, when some students broaden their musical explorations taking up wind instruments.

Practical Arts

The practical arts further engage the children’s will and creativity, as well as strongly developing fine motor and problem solving skills. Knitting, crocheting, embroidering, cross stitch and wood carving are some of the techniques our children develop while creating useful and beautiful objects to share or cherish.

Class Trips

Frequent hikes within our campus bring children to our farm, gardens, streams, meadows, and forest. Apple picking, ice skating, hiking and other day trips are a part of weekly rhythms. Starting in third grade, students go on an overnight farm trip.  In subsequent years they go on camping trips, where they canoe, hike, climb, raft, and use outdoor wilderness skills.

World Languages

Nurturing their knowledge and love for different cultures, our students begin learning Spanish and German in first grade, and continue developing proficiency through high school. 

Athletics and Movement

All students engage in increasingly complex cooperative games, sports, and movement explorations, including a trip to experience a true Greek pentathlon with other Waldorf schools in fifth grade.

Student Voices


I love how we play in harmony and peacefulness.

Student Voices

Vertical Addition

I love this school because people are kind and generous. I also like vertical addition because it’s easier. I love this school.

Student Voices


I love this school because I have so many friends! Everyone here is so kind.

Student Voices

So Many Subjects

My favorite thing about Green Meadow is that you get to do so many subjects. The teachers are so nice and teach you so well. I just love GMWS.

Student Voices

The People

What I love about GMWS are the people that have become my friends!

Student Voices

How They Treat You

My favorite thing about Green Meadow is how they treat you with love and how you get to do so many things and learn new things in such fun ways.

Student Voices

The Best Teachers

My favorite thing about Green Meadow Waldorf School is that we have the best teachers in the world!

Student Voices

Always Something New

My favorite thing about GMWS is that it’s a place where there is always something new to learn.

Student Voices

We Create

My favorite thing about Green Meadow is that we create lots of things and have fun while learning.

Student Voices

What We Do

My favorite thing about GMWS is that we do clay modeling, build, make crafts, and work with wood and cooper.

Student Voices


We get to do more things here than at any other school.

Student Voices

Every Part

Green Meadow Waldorf School is amazing and I love every part of it. People are kind, classes are fun!

Student Voices


I really like Handwork class because we get to talk to each other while working.

Student Voices


I love all the classes, I love when I learn from my teacher, I have so much fun at school!

Student Voices

The Stories

I think the way all the teachers teach is so fun. I also like the stories the teachers tell.

Student Voices


I love to do Math because it is so fun. And crochet too. And I love the stories and going to the forest.

Student Voices


I love my school because the teachers like that all the kids learn with kindness. I like the friendly people. It is also a very fun school because we get to learn with songs.

Student Voices

Like Home

I love this school a lot because it feels like home. I also love it because the teachers are fair.

Student Voices

All the People

I love all the people that work or help out here at school. I love the community and everybody.

Ready to Join Our Community?

Green Meadow is transforming education, and we want your family to join us in our mission.

Hear From Our Alumni Families

Class of '89

Stefan Schaefer


As a Waldorf lifer, I ventured out into 'the real world’ with some trepidation. But I was able to tackle college and graduate work with ease. The breadth of curriculum I’d been exposed to gave me a sense of curiosity and willingness to take risks in my learning that many of my peers lacked.

Class of '89

Dan Feldman

Director at Verizon

In Waldorf Education, we were guided to solve problems creatively vs. memorizing facts. It is this curiosity, creativity, confidence, and awakeness that allows Waldorf students to excel at just about anything they choose to take on.

Class of '95

Agamemnon Otero

CEO, Repowering

I remember painting, drawing, sculpting, book-binding, eurythmy, acting, and poetry with fondness, and math, biology, history, and orchestra with fits of frustration. My teachers supported my development, knowing full well that once a passion for learning is lit, it will burn for a lifetime.

Class of '99

Kirstin Wolfe


Waldorf Education taught me to solve problems. I attribute that to my ability to be both analytical and compassionate. I also am so grateful for the lifelong connections I have with friends and members of the Waldorf community.

Class of '98 & '99

The Chapin Sisters (Abigail and Lily)


One of the most important things that our Waldorf Education gave us is a community of passionate, engaged people. Many of our closest friends are people we met at Green Meadow. They have careers (in the arts, sciences, academia, business, and the military) and a genuine love for their work.

Class of '01

Zaria Forman


I value so much about my Waldorf Education, it's difficult to chose one thing! The enduring friendships I made, how art was woven through every subject, the attention and care given by the teachers. I will be forever thankful for those very formative years of my life.

Class of '05

Phil Constable

Music Producer (DJ Hardwerk)

Our beloved class teacher and friend, David Blair, taught me the value of never giving up on something because it gets difficult, you don’t like it, or it’s an inconvenience. He taught me that seeing your goals come to fruition after you have faced obstacles makes the victory that much sweeter.

Class of '12

Alex Chin

Graduate Student in Physics

Green Meadow fosters great relationships between teachers and students and allows students to participate in so many different activities. I was able to get my first job in college, building sets for the theater department, because of the work we did on high school plays at GMWS.