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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 fourteen: Making Dreams Come True

Britt Freda

     Our story for the week was about a little girl named Mahalia who grew up in Alabama when segregation, specifically Jim Crow laws, were being challenged and the Civil Rights Movement was changing the face of America.  The story begins with Mahalia, a six year old African American girl, wondering why she and her brothers go to the old one room school house and the new school with new books and a new playground is only for the white children of her town.  And why are there separate water fountains right next to each other with signs, ”White only” and ”Colored only?”  She learns about the Civil Rights movement by listening to the radio at her neighbors’ house.  The lunch counter sit ins and the bus boycott in Montgomery, initiated by Rosa Parks refusal to give up her seat to a white person fascinate her as a child.  As a teenager she works hard to buy a bus ticket to attend the Civil Rights March in Washington D.C. where she hears Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. give his famous, “I Have a Dream “ speech.  That day, she sat on the edge of the great reflection pool with her feet in the water, cooling off in the sweltering August heat, alongside white, black, and brown people.  She felt equal to everyone else with their feet in the water.  She was inspired to work for change.  Now Mahalia is a grandmother and her dream, set in motion by King’s dream, for her children to be judged by the content of their character instead of the color of their skin, came true. It was her dream that all of her children would receive a college education.  And that is exactly what happened. In fact her grandchildren have also all gone to college.

     The week began with our guest instructor Aimee Van Roekel leading the kids through a sleuth of theatre / acting warm ups and games.

     For Math most of the children began basic subtraction equations using pictures and numbers “sentences.”  Older kids are making calculators and multiplication flash cards.

     Our new song for the Dreamtime theme is This Land is Your Land by Woody Guthrie.

     We practiced our plant identification skills with some rousing games of “You’re Only Safe If…” I encourage parents to try this one at home.  Lots of teaching moments were offered up by the goats this week thanks to a visiting buck, by the name of Bindweed.  Sygny was in heat and the goat yard was full of activity.  The prospect of Sygny becoming pregnant made for many apples at closing circle.

     Afternoon activities this week focused on poetry as we begin to prepare for Imbolc.  Homesteaders dispersed around the land with sketch paper, clip boards and charcoal and the task of observing “moments “ in nature and capturing “snapshots” of the season.  They recorded field notes through their sketches.  We came together and shared our observations then in collaboration created five and seven syllable sentences.  From there we began to pick and choose which images seemed to go together using the ancient Japanese form of Haiku for structure.   

 

HOMESTEAD HAIKU
___________________

Some people talking

Sirens alarming dogs bark

Goats running away
 

Grey squirrel scurries

Children sketching with charcoal

Closing circle time

 

Much chicken chaos

The goats eating blackberries

Bird flying to a big tree

 

A bird in a tree

The sun against the grey sky

Stumps in a circle

 

Ducks waddle around

Midnight sticking nose through fence

 Fly lands on paper

 

Sunflower drooping

A ripple in the water

Empty duck box

 

Stumps in a circle

Rough brown dock seed

A Nelson footprint