gardening hands

Lower School

A hands-on approach to knowing the world.

Exploration, Creativity, and Meaningful Learning

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 Waldorf Difference

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.

The Waldorf Difference

A Vibrant Child-Centered Curriculum

At Green Meadow, we understand children’s need for movement, their innate curiosity for everything around them, and their need for active engagement in life.

Weaving artistic work, literature, and multiple cultural expressions, learning becomes meaningful and helps children make sense of the world around them.

Students are invested in their learning, creating lesson books with compositions, observations, illustrations, musings, poetry, diagrams, and exercises in every topic.

Green Meadow Lower School Curriculum

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.

Green Meadow Lower School Curriculum

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 grows from a deep understanding of the elements of story, creating strong, avid readers and fostering true comprehension.

Green Meadow Lower School Curriculum

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. 

Green Meadow Lower School Curriculum

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.

Green Meadow Lower School Curriculum

An Artistic Approach to Learning

Within the academic curriculum, students draw, model and 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.

Green Meadow Lower School Curriculum


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.

Green Meadow Lower School Curriculum

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.

Green Meadow Lower School Curriculum

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.

Green Meadow Lower School Curriculum

A Well-rounded Cultural Experience

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. 

Green Meadow Lower School Curriculum

Healthy Bodies and Minds

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.

Beyond the Classroom

Soccer ball.


Green Meadow has a full and thriving athletic program consisting of basketball, track, tennis, cross-country, volleyball, soccer, and baseball.

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Hands full of coins.

Community Service

Students regularly participate in our community service program by helping marginalized families in Rockland County and homeless people in New York City.

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Senior Projects

Alongside regular class and extracurricular commitments, each senior selects a personal project for the year.

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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.

Ready to Join Our Community?

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