11576 Lee Highway
  P.O. Box 247
  Sperryville,  Virginia 22740
pre-K through 12th grade  
thanks to Vicki Valentine for designing our logo
“Heart, Head and Hands”
Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.

 W. B. Yeats


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Hearthstone's curriculum is designed to nurture and educate the whole child, "head, heart, and hands." Children are encouraged to see meaning and purpose, not simple facts. Small classes provide quality, individualized instruction. Learning takes place in an environment of compassion and safety.  Hearthstone deepens a child's natural love of learning. The curriculum is a unique blend of traditional and innovative elements, emphasizing:
  • In-depth treatment of mathematics, natural science, languages, and social sciences.
  • The arts as a foundation for success in math and science.

  • Study of the natural world, including environmental science, organic gardening and animal care, and field trips to the neighboring Shenandoah National Park.

  • Practical life skills such as nutrition, handcrafts, and carpentry.

  • Physical movement including dance, skiing and snowboarding, camping and hiking, non-competitive games and ultimate frisbee.

  • Hearthstone is inspired by Waldorf, and draws heavily from this method of education, which has been used successfully throughout the world for over 80 years. Our curriculum fosters imagination and creativity as keys to academic success.

The Hearthstone Band— Research has shown that students who are well-grounded in the arts achieve greater success in mathematics and science.


Click here to see Nursery/Kindergarten daily activities.

First Grade

In the First Grade, students rotate between Mathematics and Language Arts as their main lesson throughout the year. Each subject is taught as a block in 4 to 5 week time periods before being rotated.

During Language Arts the letters and sounds of the alphabet are brought to the child through fairy tales to engage their imagination. Much of their work also involves retelling the stories they hear and drawing letters from the stories. The students write words and practice tongue twisters that illuminate the sounds they are learning. Language Arts is taught through fairy tales, fables and riddles, consonants, vowels, spelling, reading and drawing.

During mathematics the four processes are introduced through a wizard who takes the child on a journey to meet King Plus, Queen Minus, Princess Divide and Prince Multiply. Even the colors of these processes are important. Much of the math work is verbal math with reinforcement in rhythmical motions of stomping, skipping, jumping and hopping during circle to the count of the times tables.

Additional first grade classes include Spanish, knitting, cooking, watercolor, form drawing, cooperative games and practical activities.

Second Grade

The Second Grade curriculum revolves around Saints, legends and fables. Reading, writing and grammar are taught through creation of the main lesson books, books in the classroom, poems and songs. Lower case, letter formation and cursive writing are introduced and practiced.

The Second Grade mathematics curriculum lessons address addition / subtraction facts, times tables, number patterns, time, and money. Fact families and skip counting are discussed throughout the year.

Holidays are celebrated with play performances, music, poetry and art projects.

Third Grade

The Third Grade curriculum follows the rhythm of the year:

Farming: The Harvest- Examine the importance of farming as the basis of human existence. Overview of grains; visits to local farms. Study farm animals and their relationships and interdependence between elements of farm life. Class activities: clear, prepare and plant in our garden beds.

Shelters/House building: A look at how humans protect themselves from the elements. A survey of indigenous forms of housing including geographic factors. The class will visit construction sites to observe and learn current construction practices and will build a structure on school grounds using hand tools.

Arithmetic: Continue practice of the four operations along with word problems and number patterns. Linear, liquid and dry weights and measurements will be explored through experiential lessons and class work. We will study the origins, use and significance of money. A classroom store/market will introduce record keeping, computation and estimating.

Language Arts: The Old Testament including Genesis, The Patriarchs, Exodus, Rise of Israel including Sampson, Ruth, David and Goliath. Class work will include cursive writing, grammar, vocabulary, drawing and composition.

Other third grade classes include Spanish, music, water color, form drawing, recorder, cooperative games, cooking, and hand crafts.

Fourth Grade

Fourth Grade curriculum in brief: {to come}

Middle School

Middle School Curriculum in Brief:

Math: Algebra I topics including integers, algebraic expressions, solving basic equations. Problems include working with variable equations, formulas; graphing linear equations. Factoring and multiplying polynomials.

Chemistry - Atoms, elements, acids, bases. The history of atoms. The Periodic Table.

Nutrition- The basic needs of the human body. What does the body need nutritionally?

Geology- Study of the Earth's crust. Class trips include study of river erosion and cave observations of Skyline Caverns.

Machines and Hydraulics--a hands-on experience of taking apart a motor and discussing how it works.

History: Monarchs and kings are explored through a play written and performed by the class. The Industrial Revolution and how it changed the world, including inventions and the true stories behind them.

Current Events: “the class becomes a newsroom”as students read newspapers and magazines and watch television to learn about and discuss current world events.

Geography: The class will choose a country to report on including the history, government, culture, education, religion and current events. They will draw a map, flag, native plant and an historical site of that country.

Crafts: Chip carving and the use of the sewing machine.

Life skills: We will learn about ourselves. Respect for ourselves and others; personal Responsibilities, health, strengths and weaknesses. Values. Finances. Mediation.

Middle School classes also include Spanish, music, physical education, pottery, form drawing, art, cooking and crafts.

High School

As teenagers become aware of the many contrasts in life, they begin to seek lawfulness in all things. They are interested in their origins and why the world is the way it is. They begin to envision concept of balance—in nature and in human actions—and in the process, transformation and interdependence are observed in opposing forces. History and physics are the main lessons. In physics, the studies of the properties of the universe are explored. In history, we will learn about the social conditions and events that shape our understanding of these properties.

History:   Students study the origins and evolution of the universe, life, mankind, human thought and scientific and technological development. Other topics include the formation of the solar system; theories of the origin of life on Earth, the fossil record; early human settlements and migration in Mesopotamia and North and South, the European explorers and native inhabitants, the social and political structures of colonial America slavery, immigration, colonization. Also included are the revolutionary ideas of the Enlightenment to the birth of modern democracy.

Physics: The evolution of human understanding of the universe from Aristotle to String Theory including relativity, quantum mechanics, vectors, scalar quantities and the search for the Unified Theory. Newton’ s laws; force, energy and motion. Sound and light waves.

English: Creative writing, vocabulary, current events, public speaking and debate. Focus on Steven Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time” and Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience”; on local journalism/politics using local newspaper articles on county issues. Examine critical thinking; science fiction writing, poetry.

Latin: First year structure and grammar.

High School classes also include Spanish, music, photography, physical education, pottery, form drawing, art, cooking and crafts.

About Our Curriculum

Hearthstone School is inspired by the Waldorf education method, and many of the teachings of Rudolf Steiner; however, a wealth of other resources and traditions are drawn on as well. The school flexibly responds to the needs, interests and resources of its member families.

Hearthstone balances artistic, academic and practical work, educating the whole child, hand and heart as well as mind. Its innovative methodology and developmentally-oriented curriculum, permeated with the arts, address the child's changing consciousness as it unfolds, stage by stage. Imagination and creativity are cultivated, as well as cognitive growth and a sense of responsibility for the Earth and its inhabitants. Hearthstone is inspired by Steiner's detailed psychology of child development, which has been supported by modern research in education and neuropsychology. Hearthstone’s curriculum and practices strive towards Steiner’s goals: that young people would develop the capacities of soul and intellect and the strength of will that would prepare them to meet the challenges of their own time and the future.


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