THE SIXTH GRADE studies the Roman Empire: its greatness, its vanity, and its collapse. Children of this age can begin to empathize with this time of struggle and growth in human history and can begin to experience a kinship with people from other times. Thus, they can begin to feel that they are not alone in their inward struggles.
Physics is introduced to study the natural world. As with all subjects, the approach is first through art. Acoustics and optical studies are begun. World geography is studied, and astronomy may be introduced.
As children approach twelve, changes begin in their physical bodies. One of the most subtle is the hardening of the bones, and at this time children become more aware of gravity and weight. With the increasing awareness of their physical bodies, the time is right for the study of the physical body of the earth. Geology turns to the structure of the earth and proceeds from the study of the flora and fauna of the geological ages to minerals, metals, and finally gems and crystals, leading to the functions of mineral and metallic substances in the human organism.
Mathematics continues to exercise the disciplines learned in previous classes and then moves on to the study of percentage and ratio. All the years of circle movement, eurythmy, and form drawing are brought into exact constructions using compass, rulers, and right angles in geometry. Whereas geometric shapes have in the prior grades been drawn freehand as artistic exercises, now families of geometric figures are constructed and studied for the numerical laws they embody. These designs are now done with the utmost accuracy.