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!