First Week of School
With my office moved to the upstairs of the farmhouse, I have a sweeping view of the play-yard. I’m graced with a view of all the programs and children engaged in a myriad of activities each day. I wanted to share a peak into the classes and programs from this week:
Elementary – In the elementary classroom the first and second graders have been learning how to sit in their chairs, raise their hand, and wait their turn. They learned how to organize their crayons in “rainbow colors”. With their crayons they studies Form Drawing, geometric drawings which are the foundation of writing. One day they drew dragons together. In their farming class they hoed the garden beds preparing them for planting cover crops, picked apples, made apple sauce and toured the farm. In French class they learned how to say hello, good bye, and introduce themselves all in French. Their beautiful little French accents wafted up to my office windows as they studies colors and numbers. In handwork they cut dowels and began sanding to make their own pair of knitting needles. Throughout the fall the first graders will learn how to knit and the second graders will learn how to pearl. In games/movement class they jumped rope, played “Red light green light”, and clapping games. They painted, sang, danced, recited poetry, modeled appled out of bees wax, learned how to tie their shoes, listened to stories, engaged in math and language arts lessons and enjoyed their time with their new teacher Ms. McQuade. Oh, and they played. Yes, our elementary students are given ample time for outdoor play in order to digest their academic lessons each day.
Kindergarten – The kindergarten classroom is as much an outside classroom as it is an inside classroom. The children met outside each morning, rain or shine and started with a circle where they recited poetry and sang songs. After that they took a walk to the barn to do morning farm chores. Later in the morning they were on the see-saws, digging in the sand box, collecting walnuts and playing a myriad of imaginative games. They picked apples and grapes in the orchard, planted mums in the garden, baked bread to eat, chopped vegetable for soup, made sauerkraut, did the laundry and hung it on the line, drew pictures, set the table, cleaned up the classroom, made camomile tea bags from the camomile flowers in the garden, celebrated birthdays, and went for a long hike.
Sprouts – The Sprouts (1 & 2 year olds) seem to always be around. They are crawling on the grass, laying under the lilac tree, walking on the stone paths, watching the older children, digging in the sand box, running through the forest, and taking naps. During their lunch and snacks they are learning how to pour their own camomile tea (dried from our own garden) into the tinniest glasses and pass the bowls to their friends. They wait together until all the children have been served and eat quietly together. They too went down to the apple orchard to pick apples and visited the vineyards to taste sweet grapes.
Afternoon program – The afternoon program children have lunch together followed by a long rest in the high meadow or in the tree house. They have ample time to play, as play is the work of the young child. In the late afternoon the children sometimes do craft projects and then evening farm chores.
Mountain Tots – The youngest children come once a week to Lakeside. Children birth – age 3 and their parent or caregiver came of Thursday for the first time. They prepared snack together, sang songs, played inside and outside, visited the orchard, and talked about issues pertinent to child development.
Board – The other view this week was into the board meeting with a board meeting on Tuesday evening. While I am not on the board, I support the board work and help to carry out agreements that are made. The board is responsible for the legal and financial workings of the school. This week good progress was made on long term financial sustainability of the Lakeside programs.
That’s just a taste of the treasures and fruit that are being cultivated here at Lakeside School. If you want more of an experiential taste of the work of each classroom, consider coming to our Curriculum Day in the fall, November 19 from 8:30-10:30am or to one of our Community Observation Days in the spring.
We hope that you had as meaningful a week as the children at Lakeside this past week.
Until Next Week,
- Lakeside Back to School (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Mountain Tots at Lakeside School (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Lakeside School Needs Children’s Book Donations (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Lakeside School Seeking Perennials (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- 25 Schools Receive CFES “Schools of Distinction” Honor (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)