The Curriculum of the Steiner School - High School

Notes and Lesson Plans

High School
updated September 10, 2020

What About High School?

This common question is also raised in Towards Creative Teaching: Working with the Curriculum of Classes 1 to 8 in Steiner Waldorf Schools, edited by Martyn Rawson & Brien Masters.

They write on page 49 of my copy, which is the first edition,

    "The assumption that Steiner's curriculum clearly shows a caesura after Class 8 (in Class 9 a good deal of the same material being repeated from other perspectives) is countered by the possibility that this happened purely for pragmatic reasons because in 1919 most of the pupils left after Class 8 to enter apprenticeships.

    This question is likely to remain unresolved."

Some Thoughts

There are several links regarding high school on "The Waldorf Method" page of this site, and -- since I'm currently deliberating whether to homeschool past middle school -- here I am simply collecting a list of books which cover this age group.

If you have any curriculum resources to share, or book titles you particularly recommend, please email me and I will add them.

Other well-known and easy *packaged curriculum options* for homeschooling for high school include Oak Meadow, which begins as Waldorf-inspired when your child is little but gradually becomes more and more traditional (you can opt to teach your child yourself or enroll in their accredited distance learning school and receive a diploma upon graduation), and Sonlight, which focuses on teaching history through great literature a la Charlotte Mason. Start with choosing a core history/geography/ literature package and then add on other subjects (such as math and science) as needed. You can also simply buy a grade year bundle.

Sonlight has the advantage of being less expensive than Oak Meadow, but this is because it will not provide your child with a diploma or transcript or the support of outside teachers for the more difficult subjects. You will remain your child's teacher.

If you want to Waldorf-it-up and not go traditional quite yet, there is also support for that.

If you don't already follow her blog, Carrie at The Parenting Passageway: Peaceful Parenting for a Hectic World is a wonderful resource. I recommend her work! She shares her homeschool planning ideas freely and has several teenagers, one who is looking at colleges and one who is starting 9th.

Jean Miller, of Waldorf-Inspired Learning: Homeschooling with the Lively Arts, is a Waldorf homeschool consultant who HAS ALREADY taken three of her own children all the way through high school. She is knowledgeable, organized, and friendly and she is an excellent person to talk with if you'd like a consultant who has actually walked this path! (I have not... although I've tried to share some resource links here that would be helpful.)

Getting Ready for College

    UnCollege - the benefits of taking a Gap Year

    My favorite idea for this age & time in a students's life is WWOOFing, and I'm thrilled that my 17 year old college-unsure daughter is looking into it!

    "WWOOF organisations connect people who want to live and learn on organic farms and smallholdings with people who want to share their lifestyles, teach new skills and welcome volunteer help. There are places in Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe, Middle East and Oceania.

    "WWOOF hosts offer food, accommodation and opportunities to stay and learn about organic/biological growing and farming.

    "WWOOF Volunteers give hands on help and have an interest in learning about organic farming and gaining skills in sustainable ways of living."

    maybe even better than a Gap Year...
    this webinar (for Smith College Executive Education) outlines a model of Experiential & Cooperative Education at Northeastern University which would be great for high school and, I think, pretty close to what Steiner would have wanted for this age group

    10 ACT Practice Tests (PDF)

    Best Scholarship Search Platforms
    article by for a super-quick comparison of colleges

General Curriculum Resources for High School

Literature & Composition

Speech & Recitation




History & Geography

Drawing, Painting, Modeling

Music & Eurythmy

Curriculum Packages

High School Curriculum by Alan Whitehead / Spiritual Syllabus -- these books are currently out of print but Angela Guzzo at Waldorf Books is working with the author to try to bring them back.

    The Pierian Spring
    Spiritual Syllabus Language Arts Curriculum Guide for Grades 9 & 10

    Australian Poetry, Creative Writing, Renaissance Literature, The Epic, Australian Film, Radio & TV, Public Speaking, Age of Reason Literature, Asian Literature, 7 World Literatures - Hebrew, Arabic, Ural-Altaic, Celtic, Akkadian, Mongolian, The Indies

    Of Pine and Palm
    Spiritual Syllabus Mathematics Curriculum Guide for Grades 9 & 10

    Trigonometry, Small Business, Probability, Time and Motion, Astronomy and Navigation, Australian Economics, Surveying, Computers

    On Butterfly Wings
    Spiritual Syllabus Social Studies Curriculum Guide for Grades 9 & 10

    Australian History 1888 to 1945, Psychology, Sociology, Renaissance - Age of Reason History, Pediatrics, State & Federal Government, Legal Studies, Fashion, Birth of Lorien Novalis, Troubled Teenagers, Egalitarian Education

    A Spiritual Science
    Spiritual Syllabus Science Curriculum Guide for Grades 9 & 10

    Sound Physics, Organic Chemistry, Zoological Classification, Light Physics, Nutritional Chemistry, Physiology, The Hydrosphere (Water World), The Atmosphere (World Weather), Marine Biology, Ornithology

    I Am Because I Write, Speak and Read
    Spiritual Syllabus Language Arts Curriculum Guide for Grades 11 & 12

    Australian Theater, Speech and Poetry, 19th Century European Literature, American Literature, Australian Novel, Communications, 20th Century World Literature, Russian Literature, 7 Indo-European Languages: Persian, Greek, Anatolian, Germanic, Latin, Russian

    Wheels of Fire - Math 11-12
    Spiritual Syllabus Mathematics Curriculum Guide for Grades 11 & 12

    Projective Geometry, Accounting, Mechanics, Aviation, Sacred Geometry, Investment, Calculus, Architecture

    The Tree of Time
    Spiritual Syllabus Social Science Curriculum Guide for Grades 11 & 12

    Australian History 1946-present, Theology, 19th & 20th Century World History, Health Care, International Service, Marketing, Philosophy, Economic Geography, Education, Community Service

    Age of the Pale Horse
    Spiritual Syllabus Science Curriculum Guide for Grades 11 & 12

    Heat Physics, Industrial Chemistry, Microbiology, Regional Geography, Veterinary Science, Maritime Science, Atomic Physics, Pharmacology, Genetics, Conservation, Energy Resources

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