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


Michelle Schmeling

Michelle Schmeling grew up in the Rogue Valley, graduating as Artist-of-the-Year from North Medford High School. She then went on to study at SOU, earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Fine Arts and then a Masters of Arts in Teaching.  She has found her purpose and joy in trying to return the gift of a creative and inspiring education.

She worked as a high school art teacher for a few years and then took time away from teaching to parent her three daughters.  In 2014 she moved to Egypt with her family and had an amazing year living and teaching in Cairo.  Living in a Muslim society gave her a greater appreciation for diversity and an understanding for the challenges of being a minority. She returned to Southern Oregon with a new sense of gratitude for the place she came from and is delighted to be incorporating more lessons from world cultures into her curriculum.

After teaching 4th, 5th and 6th grades at a traditional elementary in Medford for three years, she excited to be working in a school community where students are taught more holistically. From her experience as a student and a teacher, she believes that the best education honors individual development and growth in a caring and inspiring environment.