September 23, 2012
I often wonder how much information you receive from your children about what goes on at school. I know that there are certain events and occasions that get star billing, (you know the ones I mean ) but as to the daily routine and planned activities your news source ,if he/she is like many children, is probably selective, at best, of information passed on. My letters each week are a way of filling you in on what we did that I feel is noteworthy.
Last week we spent a good portion of time making aprons which we will use for cooking at the new school. The skills we needed were new to most of the children. Fine motor control was showcased. The activity was not easy as some people wanted it to be so there was some frustration at different points and some moments of expressing defeat. That’s okay. I expected that and looked forward to it, because those are teachable moments. All of us do sometimes come across stumbling blocks and hurdles in life whether we are in school, at home, in the work place or anywhere else in the world. Obstacles don’t mean that we quit. Sometimes we stop, re-evaluate and move forward on a new tack. Sometimes a friend steps in to help out. Sometimes we just need a little encouragement from someone we know and trust. All these experiences were a part of our apron project and vocally noted and expounded upon when they came up. Friday we began the final step making the coconut shell buttons, and we expect to finish sanding them, drill the holes and sew them on at our new school Monday. Then Voila! We will be ready to cook. This apron stands for a process and skill developing techniques and in the end the children have a meaningful finished product that has relevance to their lives. That is what we are looking for. To find success and meaning in a process the children can relate to.
We will be working on a similar project this week going back to the clay we experimented with earlier this year. We will be looking for success as we revisit techniques and properties of the clay we experienced earlier. The final product will be, once again, something meaningful and useful to each child. With these child-oriented successes we are setting a foundation for the learning process. Once each child has this track record in meaningful processes and goals, we will begin focusing on developing an interest in and a desire for pre-literacy skills. It is very exciting, and the joy and engagement our class has been exhibiting bodes well for a wonderfully full and creative year.
I have been enjoying watching the interactions between the ages as we move through each day. I watched a 5 year old negotiating with a 2 year old for a toy she was using and he wanted. He had to give up in the end …she really knew what she wanted and she had it! I also watched a 5 year old girl consoling a sad 2 year old. She had a desire to nurture and an ability to get through to the wee one. It was a win/win deal. Compassion, negotiating, understanding the people with whom we are dealing…..these are extremely important skills which our children need to have to move forward in the world in a kind and meaningful way. More and more we are hearing that workplaces are looking for people with job skills beyond the academic. They need people who know how to work well with others and can assess, and have the necessary skills to, handle different situations with creative solutions. YAY Stonehouse School! We have it all right here and are committed to preparing your children for a compassionate and meaningful future.
I am looking forward to another great week ,Cat