hosting…

we hosted our first waldorf third grade farm trip in 2002, the spring my oldest son turned 3. i can remember it like it was yesterday, those children, now into college and beyond, gifted my family with so much.  despite a total lack of infrastructure, those kids had the time of their life. they stayed in tents behind the barn, milked goats, and dined al fresco. they shared with us hand knit toys and ideas for felting wool. we shared with them our farm in her infancy.  together we tried every possible farm task that the season and weather would allow and from that moment on, we were thoroughly enamored with the annual farm trip. DSCN0510 when the years passed and i attended that class’s 8th grade graduation, i cried and cried as the children reflected on their elementary years. one child in particular described in detail his 3rd grade trip to hill and hollow farm as a pivotal moment in his education. it was then i realized truly the significance of these few days in the lives of those children, and in our roles as farmers, educators and parents. DSCN0487 alas, here we are 12 years later. we have refined the curriculum. we long ago built a cabin in the woods to accommodate such groups. i have streamlined the kitchen and the menu to do our best to feed. despite these changes, one might call improvements, one fact remains unchanged, the pure awe of the farm trip. these days are the culmination of the 3rd year curriculum in waldorf schools across the globe. i spoke more in depth about it here but words can not describe the preparation, the anticipation and the fruition of everyone’s hard work to make these days special time and again. DSCN0501waldorf education is unique for countless reasons, i dare not try to outline them here. there is one amazing aspect that truly resonates with me in the wake of this year’s visit from the waldorf school of louisville. in these schools, the teacher stays with his or her class from first through eighth grade. whew. commitment friends. to truly educate, there must be an environment of trust. trust between student and teacher. trust between parents and faculty. trust between school administration, faculty, parents. now that is a whole lot of trust. one then asks, or at least steiner asked, how can that trust be established and reestablished each and every year? from my perspective from these tiny glimpses into my region’s waldorf schools, these classes and these relationships, i see a true treasure. DSCN0490 we spent much of last week enthralled with a tremendous 3rd grade class, their phenomenal lead teacher and a handful of wonderful parent chaperones.  we sowed and hoed and planted and worked together.  in the wake of some fairly intense days on the farm, we have spent countless hours reflecting. to summarize would be impossible, but once again i am so delighted with the outcome: for the 3rd graders and for us. there is nothing better than the joy of sharing our life and offering others a glimpse into our reality.

2 thoughts on “hosting…

  1. Wow, that is wonderful that you open your farm up to all of those children. I wouldn’t be able to handle that many kids on “my” space. I am sure it is a fantastic learning experience for them and they’ll have so many fun memories.

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