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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 eighteen: Dream of Home

Britt Freda

Dreams of Home

Our week began with a rainy day hike in the Skeeter Creek ravine.  The nettle stings, wipe outs in mud and tiny leaf buds on the Indian Plumb and Alder ….all signs reassuring us that the sun was indeed strengthening, despite the patches of snow still hanging around the shady forest floor. As we traversed the steep slopes and creek bottom the glory of familiar snags, shelf mushrooms and debris shelters was sung with gusto.  When a hippo head was spotted emerging out of a muddy leaf bed, looking very much at home, we were inspired to create a spontaneous ceremony honoring the importance of home.  We gathered stones from the creek and as each child placed a stone to encircle the hippopotamus’s head they said the name of an animal that they knew or thought to be endangered of losing its home.  We ran out of stones as the children named specific species ranging from whales and frogs to elephants and owls.

The next day, riding on the back of the hippo in the forest, I told the children a story about a young hippopotamus who becomes an ambassador traveling the world in a dreamtime journey creating “installations of home” to remind humans that every being needs a home.  The story describes the evolution of hippopotami from their whale cousins 55 million years ago into semi-aquatic beasts of sub-Sahara Africa making them ideal advocates for both water and land creatures.

The toughest lesson of the week presented itself with respect to Homestead’s beloved goats, in particular how we interact with them and their home. In essence the teaching moment was about “speaking up” as opposed to ”joining in” or remaining silent in the face of community agreements being broken. 

Children were in “the zone” with basket weaving . Their baskets and trivets are beautiful examples of many hours of focus, effort and fun.

On Wednesday afternoon Aimee’ Van Roekel came in to wrap up the theatre workshop and the kids shared some of the exercises and Shakespeare quotes learned over the past 5 weeks with family at the end of the day.

In math the “the chipmunks” are continuing to build their understanding of tens and unit values through adding and subtracting double digit numerals, without carrying or borrowing.  “The squirrels” are adding and subtracting with carrying and borrowing with three digit numerals.