Friday, August 27, 2010

The Start of the Commonwealth School

This year we decided to join a Commonwealth school. It is sort of like a formal mom's school. While originally designed for Scholar Aged children, this school likes to invest in its Core and Love of Learning stage children as a means of teaching new families what a TJED home and community looks like, thus creating a stellar TJED Scholar program in the future. At least, that is the intention. Keep in mind that I am quite a novice when it comes to Scholar aged activities as my oldest is only 9.
So for a half day a week (Scholars do a full day) the kids are brought together in a TJED style.
I am not really in the know as to what the Core children are doing. Seems like Church nursery to me and my littlest is participating in that (he's 3).
Then there is the Love of Learners (generally ages 6-10) though my third is almost 6 and I elected to have him to the LOL classes (otherwise known as Juniors). Then there is a "Introduction to Scholars"Class group (Transition Stage) and finally Scholars.
Basically I don't really know what is going on in anything but Love of Learners. We start off our days in Love of Learners as follows.

9:15 am- School morning devotional- Prayer, songs, saying our School Mission statements, announcements, Pledge of Allegiance (though not necessarily in that order!).
9:30ish- Juniors- I WONDER time- We wonder about things, write it down and the kids are encouraged during the next week to go and seek out some answers and return and report.

Then for about 40 minutes we break into two 20 minute classes and do some science. The mom's take turns and give what they feel inspired to give. All the while the activities should be stimulating and fun. I would say it should feel like the kids are having too much fun to feel like they are learning. Thus accomplishing both the mom's and the kids objectives, in a way.

The the real mom's school begins- Some of the moms have signed up to share "what is their's." For me, I have taken on the role of hadworking instructor. I wanted to implement some Waldorf Handworking into my classes, because I am really into it. Thus, by sharing what is ours, we can not only share our wisdom and knowledge but also our excitement about the subject. That is not something that comes easily when you aren't as into something.
Classes being offered this semester are:
Westward Ho- A pioneer themed
Backyard Adventures- Bugs, Scat and Animal tracks, Kick ball, Track and Field, and a Bicycle Rodeo.
Drawing Dragons and Castles
Handwork- A mini album (Scrapbooking)
What's on your plate (nutrition)
Kitchen Science- Experiments with vinegar and other baking and kitchen science.

Some future classes include but are not limited to-
Beginning Knitting
Working with wool- washing, carding,beginning spinning and naturally dying wool
Role playing adventures
Introduction to sewing

Many of these also include field trips and are full of hands on activities.
We also have two field trips planned. One to the Berry Patch Farm in Brighton, CO for Pumpkin Adventures and also the Hiwan Homestead, in Evergreen, CO for some pioneering activities. We plan to finish up the year doing a world wide Christmas Celebration.

So we finished our first two weeks and so far we really like it. The school has a couples colloquium that is run by the men and our first book is Uncle Tom's Cabin. SWEET!!! That was on my list for this year if you remember. Anyhow, I just thought I would share what we were up to at the commonwealth school. I hope you are doing well in your new/old adventures this new "school year."


LibertyMom said...

does this commonwealth school have a website. An idea like this has been running around in my head. I'd love to see how others are doing it. Thanks. Sounds like so much fun!

kindredmamma said...

No... they don't. Just and informational yahoo group for members only. Sorry. The last two weeks have been very fun.

Ranee said...

Thank you for explaining how the Commonwealth school looks! I am a big dummy when it comes to that stuff! I LOVED reading it all, and seeing that we aren't too far off, in some of the things we are learning about at home! (Ours are all 7 and under. We have 5 sweet kiddo's!) It sounds like you are in for a great year! :0)

Anonymous said...

Lucky for you that you were able to join one. I have had a Mommy School with 17 families in SW Florida for four years, homeschool co-ops before that. I have been trying to transitioning it to a Commonwealth School in time for my 14 year olds scholar phase, but it hasn't been that easy to do. We live in a very diverse community and TJEd was never heard of here. But this year I am seeing hope! You can read about my experience on Facebook at Patti's Homeschool Mentoring or on my new blog