Eighth Grade

The culmination of their time at Madrone Trail, eighth grade is rich and dramatic.  A class trip cements and deepens these friendships as the children prepare to launch into their high school years.  The year culminates in a wonderful graduation ceremony, looking back and celebrating all they have experienced and achieved.

“A basic tenet underlying the teaching of History in the Waldorf curriculum is that the period studied should serve as an “objective correlative” to the developmental changes occurring in the body and the soul of the student.  With the advent of adolescence, eighth graders are undergoing a re-formation of the bodies and a transformation of their souls.  As they experience the sometimes tumultuous clash of forces within and without, it is appropriate for us to study the periods of European history demarcated as “the Reformation” and the “Age of Revolution.” ~Eugene Schwartz

Topics will include:

  • composition and speech including book and scientific reports
  • practical mathematics
  • algebra
  • geometry
  • Shakespeare
  • epic and dramatic poetry
  • folklore
  • foreign language- vocabulary building and dialogues
  • choir
  • orchestra
  • painting
  • using a sewing machine
  • modeling the human head
  • 3 dimensional drawing
  • wood carving
  • history of 1700 to present including Unites States history
  • geography of Asia, Australia and Antarctica as well as global contrasts
  • art history
  • chemistry
  • physiology
  • gymnastics, with equipment
  • team games and sports


Luke Barbee

As a Southern Oregon Native, Luke spent his childhood exploring the forests, rivers, and parks throughout the Rogue Valley. When he wasn’t climbing trees and getting dirty he was playing sports with his friends and brothers. This love of nature and the outdoors eventually turned into a personal and professional passion. He has spent nearly 2 decades educating youth both as a classroom teacher and an outdoor educator.

As far as formal education goes, Luke received a BS in Environmental Science from Oregon State University and a Masters in Teaching from Southern Oregon University, though he would tell you that most of his education came from the many places he has traveled and lived, and his deep interest in science and the human experience. After leading international teen service trips to places like East Africa and the Galapagos islands, and working as a wilderness leadership instructor, fate seemed to bring Luke to the San Francisco Waldorf School where he spent five years teaching science and outdoor education…and fell in love with the Waldorf way.

Now, with a wife and a 2 year old son, Luke felt the call to come home to the beauty of Southern Oregon, and to continue his work and growth as an educator at Madrone Trail.