Happy New Year everyone!!
I have just returned from holiday travels, settling into Boone again, trying to warm up this cold house, and am feeling very grateful for the moments of peace and reflection and connection that I’ve had over the past couple of weeks. I hope you’ve all enjoyed the break, and I’m looking forward to seeing all my Wildwood friends again!
A brief recap of our last week and a half at Wildwood before break… It was amazing to have Sierra back with us for a visit, and the kids enjoyed participating in and helping with the video she made about our program! We had a blast playing and sledding in the snow, did a ton of crafting and making holiday gifts (joy jars, earrings, wood burning, painted ornaments, wreath-making, and more), learned whittling skills with Thomas, shared many thoughtful gifts with each other, celebrated with some holiday treats (including an incredibly decorated cake from Sita that was quite a hit!), watched ourselves on the big screen with a slide show of photos from the beginning of Wildwood up to now, and also fit in writing club with Mark, Spanish practice with Alyssa, a little French pretend bakery, poker, big group games, Werewolves, sanctuary tag, and visiting with Addison and Finley’s pet rats! Thanks SO much to Amy and Elaine (Vivian’s mom and grandma) who organized and supported kids with wreath making, to Erin (Ezra’s mom) for the awesome ornament paint activity, and again to Jason and Amanda for roasting up so much delicious coffee for us!
We also had some heartfelt and productive discussions during our last Change-Up meeting (some snippets of which were in the video!), as we worked through issues of pretend gun play at Wildwood (including ways to adjust the play so everyone at Wildwood feels comfortable), the use of technology, and ideas for creating plays in ways that are more inclusive. All of these topics came from kids sharing their own awarenesses, and each discussion group (which are completely optional to participate in) was full of very motivated and engaged kids.
Sierra worked many, many hours creating a new Wildwood video for us, and we are so very grateful to her. I have already heard from people from all over, as far away as Egypt, saying how inspired they are by our program after seeing the video…and wishing their kids could come to Wildwood! I am realizing that the positive effects of Wildwood extend far beyond our little community…we are showing the world what is possible, and may be affecting many more lives than we realize!
We were also featured in the Watauga Democrat just before Christmas (here’s the link to the article), and I have several extra paper copies in case anyone would like one!
Our first Wildwood community meeting of 2018 is coming up soon, Monday January 22, from 5:45-7:15. I’m looking forward to touching base with everyone! I’d also like to include a short discussion during our meeting about our ideas, questions, struggles, etc. about the path of self-directed education/partnership paradigm of working with kids, and how things are going for us with our kids at home. We could probably talk for hours about this :), so this will just be a start, which we could continue during an optional meeting next month. Here’s an article I’d love if everyone could read before the Jan. 22 meeting…I’m really interested in hearing your reactions to it, and I think it could stimulate a helpful discussion for us. It’s called “A Thousand Rivers: What the Modern World Has Forgotten About Children and Learning”.
Stay tuned for an announcement later today (by email and text) about our plans for tomorrow, given the morning winter weather and possible dangerous road conditions for some people.
See you all soon, and stay warm!
- We may try and move the Jan. 22 community meeting to an in-town location if that is more convenient for people…however this depends on how many children will need child care. **Please let me know as soon as possible (by this Friday, Jan. 12) if you will need child care for this meeting, so I can plan accordingly…thanks!
- We will be resuming our search for a new location for next year…will keep you posted if we find any possibilities! If you’d like to be on a location search committee, please let me know and I’ll put you all on a group email list focusing on the search.
Jan 15 – closed for MLK Jr. Day
March 5-9 – Break
April 2-3 – Break
May 17 – Last day