This time last year, we only had a whisper from God telling us to start a school. It wasn't until June 6 that we met at Yummy's to have a chat. We had a name and a motto by the end of lunch. We filed articles of incorporation five days later.
Friday was our last day of school. Before walking over to a nearby pool, we sang "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" — how we started the year. All year long, all that we needed, God provided. Some shed a few tears, and one middle schooler is already counting down to the first day of school. Harvest is family!
We thank all of our families for entrusting your children to us for a part of their education. We thank our volunteers who gave of their time, talents, and/or treasure. We thank our staff and students for making Harvest a place where we can all thrive.
We sent home summer reading program packets. We'd like students to practice mental habits like reading and retelling. We chose three books for each class to read during the summer. These books will introduce them to the historical times to be covered next year. If you're considering registering any children for third through eighth grade, please contact Angie for a reading program journal.
The primary class (rising first through third graders) will study the age of exploration and beginnings of the United States. Their books are Pocahontas by Ingri and Paul d'Aulaire (paperback), Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder (paperback and audio book), and Among the Meadow People by Clara Dillingham Pierson (free online book, paperback, and free audio file). We hope you will find these books perfect for cozy bedtime reading. Below is a PDF with a letter for parents and schedule for reading for children joining us for the weekly walk and book discussion.
The elementary class (rising fourth through sixth graders) will study the Industrial Revolution and westward expansion. Their books are Tarantula in My Purse by Jean Craighead George (paperback), Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder (paperback and audio book), and Justin Morgan Had a Horse by Marguerite Henry (paperback and audio file). Below is a PDF with a letter for parents, historical timeline, and schedule for reading for children joining us for the weekly walk and book discussion. If you haven't received a reading program journal, please contact Angie.
The middle school class (rising seventh through eighth graders) will study the fall of the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages. Their books are The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien (paperback and audio book), the first fifty chapters of An/Our Island Story by H. E. Marshall (free online book, paperback, and free audio file), and The Life of the Spider by Jean Henri Fabre (free online book, paperback, and free audio file). Below is a PDF with a letter for parents and schedule for reading for children joining us for the weekly walk and book discussion. If you haven't received a reading program journal, please contact Angie.
From Cocoon forth a Butterfly
As Lady from her Door
Emerged—a Summer Afternoon--
~ Emily Dickinson
One more day until Harvest Community School emerges!
Already, we have enjoyed hearing your stories of why you long for something different for your children and grandchildren. We are delighted to let them figure out how to set up the pond and what sorts of life to put in it. We are eager to see where they will hang bird feeders and bird houses. We are looking forward to seeing the budding photographer share photos taken during nature study and to hearing the Emily Dickinson fan recite poems. What will the artist draw in her notebooks and the historian soak up to share with his family? What stories will enchant the bookworm and which animal tales will warm the heart of the nature lover? What sorts of birds and bugs will the naturalist find for us? What discoveries will the mathematician make? What ever will they grow in the garden this year?
We have stored sweet memories of seeing students, parents, teachers, and members of the community clean, paint, move furniture, tidy up the yard, and set up classrooms. We loved meeting your families at the Drop In and Tour. Tomorrow is our first day of school, and we are delighted!
We will be pouring the foundation of engaged learning the first week. Foremost is the habit of attention: learning to retell a story after a single reading without looking at the book, noticing new features of creation during nature study, learning the background information needed to delve into their historical periods, and connecting what they read to timelines and maps. Students will set up their notebooks and practice the habits of memorizing and reciting Bible verses or poetry, copying a sentence in their best handwriting, writing a dictated sentence with correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar, and writing about or drawing something they learned. They will learn what sorts of things go in their math, science, nature, and drawing notebooks. We will also introduce them to this month's hymn and folk songs as well as this term's composer, artist, and poet.
The teachers and staff will assess where the students are in their abilities. Who needs a refresher in printing and who is ready to learn cursive, italics, or calligraphy? Who draws well and who needs some guidance? What books can students read silently and what books require reading aloud? Where are they in mathematics so they will be neither bored nor frustrated when studying the language of science? How long is their attention span in one subject versus another?
On Friday, we will kick off what we call The Feast, a time for homeschoolers to join us! We will walk Wright's Bluff Nature Trail at Santee National Wildlife Refuge and begin our study of van Gogh, Egypt, citizenship, wool felt, Shakespeare's Henry V, and flight.
We are ready for the adventure to begin!
The three of us (Shea, Angie, and Tammy) are thrilled about the turn-out of our ice cream social. We met with some wonderful families who are planning to enroll their children at Harvest. One might have to wait five years until her little man grows a bit. We gave away all five copies of For the Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay to thank them for coming.
We were excited to learn that they are committed to being a vital part of our community and are quite willing to help us do the hard work in the next five weeks to make the school a reality. They asked a lot of really great questions, which we will answer here and add to the website!
We will close with a hymn we will sing with our students starting in August. It is quickly becoming an anthem for Harvest Community School--"Great Is Thy Faithfulness".
Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.
Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided--
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
A community called to offer another way to learn for students in Clarendon County