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~  Grades 1 through 3

    (children are 6 by June 1st of the year they start 1st grade)

Lakeside offers an enriching multi-age elementary classroom for 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades. During these early academic years, children will form good work habits as they explore language arts, mathematics, history and science. They expand their abilities in the practical, visual and performing arts while continuing to engage with our farm and forest at Black Kettle. Subject classes in all grades explore foreign languages, music, eurythmy, watercolor painting, form drawing, beeswax modeling, knitting, movement games, nature walks and farming.


The First Grade offers the children a gentle transition into a new phase of development while providing enlivening lessons that appeal to the student’s vibrant and pictorial imaginations. The First Grade curriculum is engaging and diverse, including reading and writing, arithmetic, music, foreign languages, folk tales, painting, handwork and nature stories.

The Second Grade curriculum reaches deeper into language and literacy, mathematics, natural sciences and world cultures. Fables and hero stories mirror the "tricksters" in the written English language and provide engaging material for early readers to develop independent reading and writing skills. Problem solving expands their understanding of math as a language, while solidifying their arithmetic skills. 


The Third Grade curriculum focuses on processes, in both the natural and built worlds. Practical experiences in shelter-building, farming and textile production allow students to further explore how individuals can satisfy their basic needs of food, shelter, and clothing. Archetypal stories from Western and Native American cultures cater to the important developmental needs of the nine-year old. Throughout these lessons, students apply and expand their skills in mathematics, language arts, and science.

Dates and Times


School Year Program 

September 4, 2024 - June 11, 2025

Monday - Friday from 8:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.

Bits and Bites

Snack- and lunch-time provides a social setting for children to develop abilities to share stories and mindfully eat their food. Throughout the year, children will sprout, plant, tend, harvest, and cook foods to share together as a snack.  Students are expected to bring their own lunch and two snacks to eat during the day.



​We spend a portion of each day outside rain or shine, so it is essential for our children to be comfortable and mobile out in the elements. The children wear rain pants  and boots for recess in our natural play yard and in our Forest Adventures. In winter, they need a warm hat, waterproof mittens, snow boots, wool socks, snow pants, and coat. Children may bring their own ice skates and cross country skis for winter outings, or may borrow them from the school.


Bus service is available for children ages 5 and older from the Willsboro, Westport, and Elizabethtown School Districts.


Elementary Grades Outdoor Classroom  Spaces
Lakeside Outdoor Classroom.jpg

Illustration by Felix Haskins, 10, Lakeside alumnus

Elementary Specialty Classes


Foreign Languages

To introduce a child to foreign languages at a young age is to open their world to vital concepts: new cultures, customs and an entirely new vocabulary and way of pronunciation. The languages taught at Lakeside are introduced through games, songs, and rhymes; students learn greetings, words relevant to their surroundings at school and on the farm, and simple grammatical concepts.


Each child is encouraged to explore their individual interest in the language. Creativity and problem-solving skills are fostered through group participation as well as self-guided activities. Through exposure to a new language, students better understand global connections, which allows for an appreciation of cultural diversity around the world and in their community. 


Handwork strengthens a child's ability to focus and improves their hand-eye coordination. It also allows the child to appreciate and care for materials as he or she goes from the whole to the parts.  Children may visit with sheep during shearing, work with raw wool, clean and card the wool, spin yarn, and knit or crochet the yarn into something useful and beautiful. 


At Lakeside students learn Handwork twice a week. We begin with knitting and introduce crochet by the second or third grade.  Knitting brings a steady rhythmic balance as children use both hands more or less equally.  As students begin to write more, crochet is introduced as the movement of hook through yarn helps develop dexterity for writing.  In both activities, students apply what they have learned in mathematics: counting, measuring, and simple calculations. Through this process they are challenged to identify and solve problems, practice perseverance as they encounter setbacks, and exercise patience needed to complete long-term projects.

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