Their school is way out in the country.
But I did pass a local landmark. TeePee Junction, where 24/40 turns east. It has been in various times, a tourist destination, a rentable party place,a clay showroom for serious potters and now occasionally hosts a summer weekend flea market.
It is fairly near the river. The hash marks on the side of the Teepee indicate some memorable flood levels.
Prairie Moon is a private Waldorf school. There is an emphasis on being outside and making green decisions in life. They recycle and garden. Here is a brief but inadequate glimpse.
Much emphasis is put on integrating the lesson to hands on. If it is a garden, measure, then plant it that way, taking account of local seasons. If you are making something knitted count and multiply. If you want to sell something for a fundraiser, figure out what you can spend and how you will price it.
If you are reading or acting out a Greek play, make a wooden sword. Woodworking.
There are no grades. There is plenty of parent interaction. Conferences and participation. There are no computers or spider man illustrations. Although those exist at home, I bet. An emphasis is put on being a part of a community, being helpful and sharing what you know..
In the past years, besides the organic gardening and sale of produce, they made a wood oven for pizzas and bread. They made numerous paintings,beeswax candles, carriers for knitting needles,(Did they make the knitting Needles too?) I think so. They learned some violin and recorder, some Mandarin and some French and written short stories. They sing often. They know more classic Greek and Roman tales than I do.
When I picked up Maya and Anna today, the class recited a poem together. Was it Shakespeare? Then, as they exit, they shake the teacher's had and say goodnight.
This primary education is not for everyone. It promotes joy in learning, beyond just learning a lesson plan on which you will be tested. It promotes being useful and kind and knowing a variety of things.The school goes from age 3-12. Sometimes parents have to do summer tutoring, to make sure kids are up to appropriate math levels for public school.
Then I saw this poster..
Now, if I had learned more about this as a child I probably wouldn't have rented on Netflix for maybe the seventh time, Bill Moyer's interviews with Joseph Campbell. One is here in the house right now. Maybe I would've truly understood "The Hero's Journey."
And maybe when spring comes, I would know how to plant vegetables.