We have several opportunities for families to learn more about our school and philosophy of education by helping out with the biweekly feast and/or attending large room meetings. The feast is a banquet of ideas drawn from the “riches” of the curriculum — art, handwork, nature study, music, citizenship, and service. This “break” from the rigor of academics is a multi-sensory way to practice the habits of attention, listening and seeing, remembering, neatness, and service. Large room meetings are designed to help parents learn about our unique style of education and support parents who volunteer for the feast. If you would like to volunteer, please call the school or email Tammy.
Tuesday Feast - We encourage parents to arrive at 1250 in case students in elementary and above finish our study of Shakespeare early.
* Picture Study - We start off with picture study which connects students to three artists every year. Picture study requires the careful observation of a great work of art, usually a painting, done so carefully that a student can describe it vividly from memory when put away. Three artists are studied each year, beginning in first grade, so that a student who spends their entire school career at Harvest will know the work of thirty-six artists. We are studying the seventeenth-century Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer this term.
* Handwork - We transition to handwork, the neat and careful use of hands, materials, and tools to make some beautiful thing. The aim is for a student to develop a skill through slow, careful instruction. We are learning the Japanese art of origami (the transformation of a piece of paper into a sculpture) this term.
Thursday Feast - We encourage parents to arrive at 1150 to have time to read the plan for the afternoon.
* Composer Study - We begin with composer study, the careful listening to a great musical composition done so carefully that a student can describe details noticed about the music (instruments, pace, volume, dynamics, mood, pitch, etc.) Three composers are studied each year, beginning in first grade, so that a student who spends their entire school career at Harvest will know the work of thirty-six composers. We are studying the eighteenth-century German composer Georg Telemann this term.
* Citizenship - We then focus on citizenship, where we study great characters who are a blend of strengths and weaknesses, virtues and failings. We learn what to avoid and how to avoid it as well as what is good and how to do what is right. Primary classes read Claire Dillingham Pierson’s lively animal tales with morals woven into the plot. Elementary classes study Stories from the History of Rome by Emily Beesley which prepares them for Plutarch’s Parallel Lives in middle school and above. Students in the upper grades also read Charlotte Mason’s Ourselves, a basic diagram of human nature that helps them overcome obstacles and avoid pitfalls on the path of life.
* Service - Half of the school applies citizenship in the local community. One group visits our friends at Lake Marion Nursing Home with our service dog Maci. Another group does a variety of service projects at Harvest. These groups go on the nature walk the next week.
* Nature Walk - The other half of the school goes on a nature walk somewhere in the county for nature study, the careful observation of nature done so carefully that students can sketch, draw, or paint what was seen later in the week. Nature study lays the foundation of science because observation is the key habit of the scientific method. Before they reach high school, students have firsthand knowledge of living things, processes of nature, and nonliving things. This group does service the next week.
Large Room Meetings - Once a month, on the first Tuesday of the month, we invite parents, guardians, volunteers, and homeschooling adults interested in learning more about Charlotte Mason’s philosophy of education. The first few meetings will focus on immersing into the riches of the curriculum that we enjoy during the feast (picture study, handwork, composer study, citizenship, and nature study). After that, we will explore other principles of how we guide children at Harvest. Since we learn best by reading, narrating, discussing, and experiencing, those who come to the large room meetings get to understand what their child’s day is like by being immersed in an hour of it.