I hope that this email finds you all well and secure. I don’t know how you all are feeling, but the incredible changes that the last month has brought are sinking in more deeply with me. I imagine that so many of us find ourselves trying to settle into a rhythm of work and homeschool/childcare as we simultaneously balance our emotional states and try to make good decisions for ourselves and our families while adapting to new information and rapidly changing circumstances. I wish you all peace and comfort and the ability to find happiness and joy during these challenging times. Anchoring myself to the turning of the seasons and focusing on the new bird calls and the new buds and shoots and blooms and the incremental advancement of the solar year is providing me with some balance. I hope that you are finding good things to lean on as well.
At school we are finishing up our flower unit. If you’ve been looking through the online lessons you’ve seen that we have been learning about color, texture, shapes, symmetry and also about the purpose and life cycle of a flower. This week we focused some on pollen and nectar, and next week we will begin talking about pollination and pollinators. Studying what we can immediately see and experience outside and placing our experiences within the larger natural cycles of the year is one of our main educational goals at Fiddleheads. We believe in the power of an ecological education to help lend perspective and add meaning to all of our lives, and it is very sweet to be able to be delivering our lessons on a family level right now. Thank you all for joining us.
A note about how young children learn:
Early childhood is a time for for broad, physical, sensory and emotional learning. When we provide these at home lessons, we are not expecting that there will be any child that is interested in doing all pieces of it, and in fact I am sure there are some children not interested in much of it at all, and that is ok. It will vary day by day. Taking care of our own and our children's emotional and physical needs as best we can is the priority work that we are all doing right now. We offer many different aspects to an activity in hopes that something that we offer from school will be interesting and engaging throughout the week, and that is great, but we don't recommend keeping a high bar for it. Do what is fun and interesting. Be happy. The lessons and activities that we are creating are just a resource that we are working hard to offer, and we hope that you all will take it as such. There is no need to "keep up" with our lessons or what we are doing, there is no need to do anything except enjoy what we offer daily if it works, and don't worry about it if it doesn't.
I’m grateful that Fiddleheads has been able to pivot quickly to online learning, as that is the model going forward for the US right now. You have all probably heard that school in Oregon will not open again this school year. My 8 year old just received his first online communications from his teacher this week, as the public schools try and figure out how to move forward with online learning too. Fiddleheads is willing to offer online learning to new families too. We are no longer bound by enrollment numbers, and having new families involved would help to support the school, so pass the word to anyone you think might be interested. We have several levels for enrollment, you can check it out on our new web page.
I want to thank you all so much for your participation in our survey. Your suggestions and insights were very helpful. I look forward to going through the results in more detail and having that inform our program as we go ahead to make it as helpful to you all as possible.
I want to thank you all so much for your continued support of the school. I am so grateful to see that so many families are still willing to support us and participate. I teared up a little bit to see that a couple people still paid at normal tuition rates. I'm grateful to have been able to pay Ginger and Arielle for their work this month, and to keep myself employed in this work as well. I thank you all and look forward to moving ahead studying pollinators next week!
Thanks so much and may you all be happy, healthy, peaceful and filled with joy!
Some scenes from home based flower study