Today is the first day of school. We’re so excited for many reasons.
We had a wonderful response from volunteers who have upgraded our playground, cleaned up the yard, provided mulch and spread it, made a brick path to protect the mulch near the crepe myrtle tree, potted plants, replaced a chunk of the porch, spruced up the boys’ and the girls’ bathrooms, and tacked down the carpet in that part of the building. So much can be done when a community comes together!
We had a fantastic turn out for Open House! The teachers were excited to see their students and, in some cases, meet families for the first time. We answered a lot of questions and sent home paperwork to make our first day of school as smooth as possible. Seeing so many families gathered together is a good sign of forging new bonds in our community.
The first few days of school serve many purposes. We want each class to become a little community and the teachers have icebreakers and team-building activities planned. They will be issuing school books and have the class set up their notebooks. Because we do not rely on worksheets for the majority of their work, knowing how to manage notebooks is a big transition. If you would like to see your child’s notebook during the school year, let the teacher know. Since we encourage students to start on the next blank page, the notebook becomes a record of the child’s progress during the year.
Another thing we do in the first few days is the laying down the rails of habits. They learn how to do their daily chore which is rotated so that, by the end of the school, your child will have a variety of skills and they can help around the house. They learn how to conduct themselves in the hallway, in the big room for morning meeting (or in their classroom during home room), in the classroom, and on the playground. They are assigned their memory work and due dates. Students in elementary and above begin to use their agendas which you must initial every day. They start their home reading. The teachers introduce Harvest unique habits: group singing, Swedish drill, Spanish, daily devotion, oral narration, copywork, studied dictation, written narration, and notebooking. They will also begin talking about important habits: the habit of attention, remembering, obedience, and self-control. You may have seen them listed on the walls of classrooms when you came to Open House.
Once your child becomes comfortable at narrating, you should be able to ask how their day was and get an answer. Sometimes, a very long answer! Have them tell you their favorite book or what they drew or what songs they are learning. If they are new to Harvest, you might want to help them practice their memory work. If they did their home reading and tell you, “I’m done,” have them tell you what they read. If they are able to string together sentences that make sense, they probably did read the book.
Here are a couple of housekeeping notes. The family handbook and high school addendum are posted. Please read them with your child before signing the form sent home. Please log into MySchoolWorx which is our new tool for improving communication between school and home. You should have received a flyer in the mail but, if you have not, contact the office (803) 574-1004. Have a wonderful week!
A community called to offer another way to learn for students in Clarendon County