Started the day off in the shady back yard, after a couple of puppet shows, of course, and some tic-tac-toe on the dry erase board. I painted their faces, and arms too, in honor of Eli’s birthday and island adventures.
Then Laurie arrived and whisked us down to the Festival Beach put in, where a couple of police officers were using multi-modal transportation. It was observed that they arrived in a truck, one left on a boat and another left on a bike. I asked if they were patroling for ACL but was informed that no, it was for another purpose. Ah hah.
We had a brief paddle school, parts one two and three, to learn the parts of the boat, basic paddle strokes, and how to move so you don’t tip your boat.
Rio collected firewood and Andrew got the blaze to life. We heated up our burritos on a skillet over the coals, which gave the meal a super special taste.
|Our feast in the forest!|
|Icing was the best part.|
We had to head back to the mainland eventually. Everyone got a ride in Andrew’s amazingly beautiful hand built wooden canoe, although not everyone wanted to paddle the whole time. Good thing they’re light.
It truly was a magical day, a perfect celebration, and we thank Andrew and Laurie for making it possible!
|glitter leaf adorns a water fairy|
Today we read “Another Way To Listen” by Bird Baylor, to inspire our exploration of and attention to our neighborhood. In Bird’s poetic prose, a girl learns to listen to earth and creatures from her grandfather, who can hear seeds burst open and corn singing. We each made a picture map of what we saw or felt on our way to the school park at 11th and Salina. (We also had a blast with fantasy play: took Ghost Train rides to Mexico, ran a currency exchange / bank, and bought or sold milkshakes and burgers and snow cones and pancakes from the walk-up window run by yours truly.)
Next we returned to the schoolhouse for lunch and reading time. We enjoyed some more of Peter Pan, and also acted out a nonfiction book about storms.
|Rio and Eli tackle the circuit board with Rio’s Very Sharp Very Good scissors.|
|Eli and Bruno work on using a socket wrench to remove the busted tube.|
|Rio snaps one through the TV screen.|
Posin’ for photographer Rio.
We spent our morning hours in the Neighborhood Garden today, starting out with weeding our plots, quickly moving to mulching the paths from the mountain of mulch, and then built the beginnings of a fort. Although at times it was a plane and a rocket too. Here’s what the kids said about it:
Rio: Today I built a seat, a bench with a foot board at the bottom. And I found some treasures. [I put them] under a board. There was a trap door. There are some more treasures… [you’ll have to get the juicy details from him!]
Bruno: Today I played batman in the garden. I used the white batman watch that [Caitlin] painted. And a stick for the batman sword and I’m wearing a batman sock. I didn’t build anything today.
Eli: I built part of the plane. A thin log that was straight, and a fat one. It was round, but not as round as a ball.
Then we discussed what makes “real” building. Bruno and Eli were of the opinion that it takes using hammer and nails, but Rio and I brought up the fact that we created a new structure just by putting logs together. So we’ll be doing some “real” building soon, to compare. Our hypothesis was that if you use hammer and nails it will last longer, but we agreed that we still built things today.
|Whoooo Are You?|
Today we took a try at some of the materials in the Study; went on a rainy Wander and checked out the Neighborhood Garden; created collage posters sharing a bit about Whoooo We Are (because the owl keeps asking us questions…); made black beans and rice for lunch; and ready so many stories we were at it for a whole hour. All in all it was a wonderful beginning!
It was so satisfying to see the kids checking it out in its new incarnation; that’s what we’ve been working towards. Hopefully some anxieties were soothed and some curiosity sparked. I’m thrilled for Tuesday, to begin this learning adventure and see where these kids want to go.
Our first day of school will be Tuesday 9/7/10.
We’ll have family appointments to come get acquainted with the space, materials, and each other on Friday 9/3/10.
School supplies list will be emailed to you soon.
It was lovely to gather folks at Rosewood Park on perhaps one of our last chilly mornings. I shared my vision for next year, and then we went around the picnic table and heard what parents are looking for in an alternative to public school. Several kids came and romped too. I’m looking forward to building this community and to the possibilities ahead. Next steps: contact me with any further thoughts / questions, and we’ll set something up at my place to envision the space at the end of May. Here’s to new beginnings!