Our seventh year starts in eleven days!
We’re excited because we have so many wonderful things planned for your children. We’re grateful for generous friends of Harvest. The playground has a new sandbox with fresh sand. We rebuilt some building foundation and replaced a section of the porch floor. Donors helped us buy three laptops for Spanish and keyboarding in high school. A few more will put us over the top! If you prefer offering a labor of love, we’re inviting everyone to bring yard tools to spruce of the yard next Saturday morning. More details are in the family letter sent by snail mail.
This week we’d like to talk about common experiences students share every morning.
All classes have a morning gathering time to start the day right. At 815, middle and high school have homeroom where announcements are made and where, more importantly, students recite the pledge of allegiance and pray. They start class at 830, and that is when elementary and below classes file into the big room for the morning meeting. This group begins by singing a patriotic song, folk song, or hymn. They pray, recite the pledge, and hear a psalm. Then they do some attention building exercises followed by Spanish songs and stories. We keep each element short and it takes only a half hour.
We are formed by daily practices like the ones we do during the morning meeting. Singing in English and Spanish unleashes the benefits of being in a choir. It builds a sense of togetherness, reduces stress, and fosters a sense of well-being. Community singing regulates heart rate and improves lungs. The exercises train habits of attention and physical movement. We read from the psalms because a third of the Bible is poetry. We’ve found that God’s poetry builds a bridge to awe, wonder, thoughtful questions, and grand conversations. Praying points us to a Helper to be with us during the day. The pledge reminds us of the blessings of our country and fosters gratitude. Getting ourselves and our students into a set of regular practices is what Charlotte Mason described in her eighth principle.
"Education is a life" means that education should apply to body, soul and spirit. The mind needs ideas of all kinds, so the child's curriculum should be varied and generous with many subjects included.
Habits like these are powerful because they form habits of how we love. The morning meeting orients us toward God: how we worship, how we pray, how we see God, and how we move. These daily practices lets the good news sink into our whole being. They shape our soul and spirit, renew our minds, and prepare our bodies. Then we are ready for the good God has planned for our day. A wonderful book on practices is You Are What You Love by James K. A. Smith. This link gives you a sneak peek of our music.
A community called to offer another way to learn for students in Clarendon County