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16245 Westside Hwy SW
Vashon, WA, 98070

206-466-7398

Homestead is a place-based multi-age learning community located on 7 acres of farm and woodlands, on Vashon’s Westside. We offer a hands-on, hearts-on embodied curriculum rooted in practices that promote social intelligence and connection to the natural world. Our curriculum seeks to provide children with tools and support for living a full, balanced and creative life by giving equal value to each of the four windows of knowing: feeling, imagining, sensing and thinking. Mentors honor each child’s unique gifts and learning styles, supported by our small mentor-student ratio. Homestead children, mentors and families journey together to create a learning community rooted in compassion,  connection and gratitude.

2013-14 weekly snapshots

week five: "Soul Food"

Britt Freda

Week five's focus was creating an ancestors garden. I told a story about an old man who lived in a forest named Josiah.  He was well connected with fairies and gnomes, plants and animals.  Many years ago Josiah had a companion named Chauncey, who died when they were quite young.  To honor Chauncey's life and the joy they shared together, one fall not long after Chauncey's death, Josiah planted a garden of bulbs, under an old apple tree, knowing that each spring colorful, delicate blooms would emerge from the soil and he would be reminded of Chauncey with something that brought him happiness and beauty (not just by the absence of his friend). 

Once again the cycles of life and death and renewal through our connection to the seasonal cycles really sparked the children's passion for creating our own  ancestor's garden under our old apple tree, near the yurt.  Building on the foundation of the story I told, the children continued the story with their own visions of Josiah and Chauncey while they planted.

Quote of the week:  at the end of the day after planing bulbs
Dana: "Okay time for closing circle.  Let's put the gloves and tools away."
 "I don't want to leave."
 "I want to keep working."
 "Yeah we could stay all night and you would come out in the morning and we'd still be working in Josiah's garden."
Dana: "But your families would miss you."
 "They can sleep here."

Also this week: we completed our first block of form drawing.  Check out their amazing work books next time you have a few minutes at pick-up.   

We learned a new Spanish spider song la arana pequenita.  If you haven't heard it yet...

In gratitude for how delightful your children are I offer you a sweet window into things your children were grateful for on 10.22.13:  "rain, leaves, trees, the sky, the bat I made (from a Big Leaf Maple leaf), hugs, dreams, the fog."
 
The lesson of this week laid a great foundation for our Samhain celebration (Wednesday, October 30) in which we dress in costume, journey through an enchanted forest and make our own offerings at the Homestead ancestors garden in acknowledgement of pets, friends and family who are no longer in our lives.