Fourth-graders are still in the midst of what Waldorf education identifies as a nine-year-old change. They are becoming more self-confident as their perception of the world sharpens. At the same time, however, their experience of separation from their surroundings can be quite painful and disconcerting. These developmental steps are supported by a curriculum focusing on broadening perspectives, allowing students to expand their horizons both metaphorically and literally.
Norse mythology is studied through the year, giving students many stories centering on strength of character, courage, selflessness, perseverance and the ability to choose consciously. As children become more aware of the world, these Norse stories strengthen their abilities to face the many challenges of life.
Fourth-graders also continue their exploration of the world around them through the study of local geography. They learn how to find the four points of the compass by observing the sun and stars. They study and make maps of their classroom, the school, the neighborhood, the city, and the state of New York.