We just finished our first week of school at Harvest, easing the classes back into daily and weekly rhythms and good habits. Every year we choose one life of Plutarch and one Shakespeare play. This year, the elementary class and high schoolers are studying Alexander the Great and Macbeth. Every term we choose an artist, a composer, and a handwork. Yesterday we kick-started the Friday Feast by watching Fantasia 2000's take on George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, reading our first bit of Plutarch's Alexander the Great, getting a peek at the Leonardo da Vinci exhibit that our curriculum coordinator visited over the summer, and building some of the geometrical designs that da Vinci drew for a friend's book. After Labor Day, we will kick-off Shakespeare.
Each class has a particular focus in history. Primary A is doing tales from different times to introduce them to stories of various people. Primary B is working their way through the Middle Ages with tales of knights, vikings, kings and queens, and Robin Hood. Elementary is studying the middle and southern colonies of our country and the Revolutionary War. High School is also studying that timeframe through higher level books. You can learn more details about each class by going to their individual pages on the website. Regardless on their focus in science, the entire school will have their eyes turned upwards in the third term in anticipation of an exciting astronomical event that has not occurred in this part of the world since I was a child in grade school -- a total solar eclipse. Since August 21, 2017 is just at the dawn of a new school year, we want them to end this school year anticipating the big day!
How did we ease the classes back into a groove?
We worked on developing the habit of attention. For the little ones it means alternating working hard on tasks that require intense concentration and then doing something active or hands-on before going back to another challenge.
When they weren't setting up their notebooks and practicing the habits they had by the end of last year, the elementary class did team building activities like the paper chain challenge and building and testing a beam bridge. They started reading books including their at home book.
High school got into the routine of home room and 45-minute classes with different teachers in different rooms and a different mix of friends for each. They started reading and narrating several books including the Bible, began their second language lessons (German or Spanish), worked on math lessons, and launched several threads in chemistry (took an inventory of supplies, made periodic table study cards, and learned about lab safety and notebooks).
Our Harvesters also had time to build community at recess, on nature walks, for a birthday celebration (with a special visit from one of our alumna), a visit to Lake Marion Nursing Home with our therapy puppy Maci, and lessons in dry brush.
We know that our Harvesters were excited this week and experienced moments of joy, wonder, and delight. We are very thankful that God has seen fit to bring in new friends and new families so that we can learn more about Him, the world, and the people who live in it.