The initial experiences of the 1st grade are deepened and enhanced in the 2nd grade. This time is used primarily for practicing and developing all the new skills from the previous year. To assist the children with their growing polarity, the second graders explore the landscape of personality traits through fables and stories of noble historic figures: the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. This is a transformative year and the students should feel that they have experienced a rite of passage when graduating, having solid academic skills and a well-rounded general picture of human life and the universe.

The Child

Much of who the child is in first grade continues on in second grade, but now with more form and ability. The events and experiences of the outside world are filtered through the child’s imagination and rearranged in accord with a child’s perception of the world. The second grader is still connected with the world as a whole and sees themself as part of their community. As the year progresses, however, this wholeness gives way to a growing polarity. The child begins to vacillate between being saintly and “naughty” or courageous and “whiny”. The second grader explores one’s own inner life and how it relates to the greater world.

The Class

Our second grade curriculum builds on all basic academic skills including independent writing and reading. In language arts and history studies, children explore traditional fables, stories of people striving to be their highest selves, grammar, punctuation, handwriting and introduction to cursive.

Mathematics lessons include the sequence and patterns in numbers, continued work with the processes and the introduction of place value as an antecedent to carrying and borrowing.

In science, students will continue their experiential exploration of the world of nature through observation and stories. Spanish, pentatonic flute playing, crocheting and knitting, watercolor painting, crayon drawing, eurythmy (movement) and Cooperative Games (physical education) are offered in the second grade Waldorf curriculum.

Second grade is a time when a child’s sensory-motor system, a foundation for all higher learning, culminates its most intense growth period. As such, students receive a 2nd grade assessment in Spring to provide a better understanding of each child’s strengths and challenges in the areas of fine and gross motor development, balance, bilateral integration, body geography, spatial orientation, dominance, visual and auditory processing, reading, writing and arithmetic. By observing these, we are better able to assess a child’s readiness to take on more complex and challenging academic work and further support the student in the classroom and at home.


Eloise Gelber
Grade 2 – Manzanita Trees

Eloise Gelber is a graduate of the Pasadena Waldorf School and Highland Hall High School. She recently completed her teacher training…

…at the Waldorf Institute of Southern California, is finishing her Waldorf Practical Arts Training and has a B.A. in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College. A part of the Waldorf community for more than 25 years, she is excited to make the best use of the opportunity our teachers have- to be part of forming the kind, fulfilling, creative, supportive learning environment that every child deserves. 
Between high school and entering teacher training Eloise spent most of her time working in a used book store. It was a little like being inside a novel and every day was an adventure in humanity. It was also a fabulous education in itself- from the daughters of Genghis Khan to the libraries of Timbuktu, the world is an endlessly fascinating place. Because there are few careers that allow one to explore so many interests- folktales and history, geometry and poetry, physics and gardening, painting and writing- she has never really doubted she would end up teaching.
In her spare time, Eloise enjoys reading, painting, travel, photography, and gardening. A Los Angeles native, she loves our seasons (which are real, even though without ice scrapers and antifreeze), and looks forward to sharing that love of place with her students.