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Wildwood Newsletter Weeks 14-16: 1/13/19

“What is essential is to realize that children learn independently, not in bunches; that they learn out of interest and curiosity, not to please or appease the adults in power; and that they ought to be in control of their own learning, deciding for themselves what they want to learn and how they want to learn it.” – John Holt

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • We have three new Wildwood members starting this month: Eli, Rowan, and Mason…please welcome them and their families when you see them!
  • Will sent out a doodle poll about dates/times for our February and April community meetings (we need to find times when at least one parent from each family will be able to come)…here are links to the February and April polls! Please choose ALL times that are possible for you to attend. Thank you!!
  • Please sign up for a mid-year check-In meeting if your family has not had one already (see below for details)
  • Let us know if you would like to organize a Wildwood social gathering in February or March! (can be held at Wildwood or another location)
  • Here are some notes Corrie took from our community meeting on 12/2…One of the main topics we discussed was needed volunteer support, and some parents signed up for various needed tasks and roles. Thanks so much to everyone who has stepped up in this way to help sustain this community!  Help is still needed with:
    • supporting the fundraising committee
    • marketing/advertising (including help with our new public Facebook page)
    • accounting/bookkeeping
    • ongoing location search
    • planning a Wildwood summer camp for this summer (2019)
    • website support (need to move our site to a new platform asap)
    • coordinating hosts of Wildwood social events/gatherings
    • planning for a Sound to Sea trip to the beach
    • local field trip and service project planning
    • coordinating a parent support group (to talk about homeschooling, parenting self-directed learners, etc.), either online or in person
    • setting up a maker space in the storage room (and woodworking support if possible)

Please contact Rebekah or Nicole if you are able to help in any of these areas! (or if you know of someone we could contact to help!)

  • Fundraising update: Our coffee fundraiser raised $592 (thank you Campbells!!), and end-of-year donations (including our Facebook fundraiser) raised about $1000! Our budget deficit for this year is getting smaller, though we still have work to do to raise the remaining amount. Our new fundraising/marketing committee has been meeting and discussing ideas and starting to plan…if you can join this effort please let us know!

COMING UP

Wednesday, January 16, 1pm-evening: Wildwood Game Day/Potluck!
395 Creek View Lane.  Details and RSVP here!
The Campbells are hosting a family game day/evening at their creek house, starting at 1pm…come by any time that afternoon to play games together, and feel free to bring snacks or dinner dishes to share during a “grazing” potluck.
Thursday, January 17, Thursday January 24, and Friday January 25:
Wildwood Check-In Meetings
If your family has not yet had a mid-year check-in meeting, please sign up here for a time that works best for you! This is a chance for parents, facilitators, and kids to touch base about the year so far and plans for the rest of the year. (Kids can be part of this meeting, or if you prefer to use this time for just parents and facilitators to meet, that is fine too.) Thanks!
Monday, January 30, 4-8pm: Chipotle Fundraiser! Click here for details. Mention Wildwood when you order, and Wildwood will receive a portion of the profit. Please spread the word to all your local friends!
Saturday, February 23, 12 – 6pm:  AERO conference. (Alternative Education Resource Organization) 

 

Hi everyone!

Happy 2019! Hope you’re all having a great start to the new year. I’m excited to see everyone this week after being gone this past week!

We enjoyed getting to know two new Wildwood members last week, Eli and Rowan, and we’re looking forward to welcoming another new member this week, Mason (age 7), who has just moved to Boone from Wilmington. We’re so excited to welcome them and their families to the Wildwood community!

Check out the photos below to see what we’ve been up to this past week and the 2 weeks before winter break…

Hope to see many of you at the Game Day/Potluck on Wednesday!

Rebekah

 

Wildwood 2018-19 Calendar:
Jan. 21        Holiday (MLK Jr. Day) WW closed
March 4-5   Wildwood Closed
April 22-25 Spring Break
May 21        Last Day of Wildwood

Some of the Offerings and Moments that happened the past 3 Wildwood weeks … Click here to see more pictures! 

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Whittling inside on a freezing day.

Image may contain: one or more peopleCreating vision boards for 2019. Manifesting the life we wish to live!
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Balloon rockets. Explored and experimented with concepts related to thrust, friction, mass, action and reaction. We each made our own straw/balloon cars and played with elements to see which would propel the furthest on a string.

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Taking advantage of a warm Tuesday with a trip to Rocky Knob state park. Some of us brought bikes and rode the trails.

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Catching our breath during an epic tag game.

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Whittling with Thomas at Rocky Knob

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Inspiring new skills and helping each other along the way. Empathy, compassion, encouragement!

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Many spent some peaceful time reading at the park.

Image may contain: 2 people, including Dana Baber, people smiling, people sitting and outdoorSharing snuggles, stories and laughter! Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, sitting, child, outdoor and nature

We have made some new friends behind the church.

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Building a fire on a chilly day outside

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Excited to discover that our new friend Rowan loves chess like we do.

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Never ending SPIT challenges

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Leadership, listening, non-verbal communication, bluffing and fun while playing Resistance. I love the games that everyone can play together no matter your age or ability.

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Epic sledding hill!

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Encouraging tolerance & understanding through learning about the different holidays and traditions that happen during the winter season. This was about Hanukkah and we learned the dreidel game.

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So thankful our parking lot was plowed and we were able to sled and play in the snow for the first time at this location. So many laughs…so much fun….so much exercise!

Image may contain: one or more peopleContinued Zoology class learning about sponge parts
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Ray’s ongoing drawing club is a big attraction. We are learning so many new drawing skills!

Image may contain: 1 personHarper completed his goal of teaching us about the mass extinctions that happened in history. (ask your kiddo if you thought the dinosaurs were the only one).
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We had so much fun at our Holiday Gift Lab where we made leather earrings, sugar/salt scrubs, sewing projects, wood burned, melted crayon and paper ornaments, fairies, coupon books, and more!

Image may contain: one or more peopleJoshia getting artistic with his crayon ornament creation.
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Zoology club made a game for us to learn the parts of a cell. Stop by and play it sometime.

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All natural Sugar scrubs

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Craziness and fun at the Holiday Gift Lab

 

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Annabelle sewing something awesome

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Math 2 group exploring the reasoning behind algebraic concepts.
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The start of our relationship with the Hunger and Health Coalition. We worked in the kitchen, washed medicine bottles, and helped out in the market. So much learning and pushing of comfort zones.

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A new friend at the H&H Coalition

Image may contain: 1 person, standing Volunteering in the Food Pantry market
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Prepping hot meals

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Diving deeper into the elements and patterns of good story telling during our writers workshops

 

 

 

Wildwood Newsletter, Week 11: 11/18/2018

“Children pursue life, and in doing so, pursue knowledge. They need adults to trust in the inevitability of this very natural process, and to offer what assistance they can.” ~ Earl Stevens

Hello everyone,

We had a full couple of days last week before the icy weather kept us home on Thursday…scroll down to the photos to see some of the things we were up to!

We’ll continue to make our hula hoops this week, and have rescheduled our Turtle Island field trip to this Tuesday. We are looking forward to Joshia and Rachael showing us around where they lived and worked last year. If you would like to come on this field trip with us, please let us know…parents are welcome!

We are also looking forward to Dawn coming back to continue helping kids learn photography skills…tomorrow (Monday) she will be helping us learn how to make Wildwood portraits.

Thanks so much to everyone who helped with the drinks/snacks fundraiser at the Mast Tent Sale Thursday evening and Friday! We raised close to $250, and the kids had a blast working the cash register and selling to the shoppers (Banyan was a superstar popcorn seller! I have never seen such dedication to a fundraising cause :).

Our Camp Coffee Roasters fundraiser is now underway, and we are really needing families to take the lead with this one to make it successful and help raise the funds we need to sustain Wildwood. What has made this fundraiser successful in the past is when parents bring forms to their workplaces and other local businesses, circulate them to gather orders, and offer to deliver the coffee to these workplaces when it is roasted. If you need help delivering to places you’ve sold to, I’m sure others in the WW community can help deliver…just ask! All forms are due no later than Dec. 3, and coffee will be roasted by Jason and delivered to Wildwood on Dec. 6!

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving break! I am grateful beyond words for each child and family that is part of this community. Please be safe if you are traveling this weekend, and we’ll see you next Monday!

Warmly, Rebekah

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Please consider bringing the Camp Coffee Wildwood fundraiser forms with you to share with family, friends, and coworkers this week! Here is the link to the order forms and all the details. This is seriously delicious coffee. And Harper will be offering an awesome prize for the biggest seller…he’ll share with us tomorrow! If anyone else can offer prizes for 2nd and 3rd biggest sellers, let us know…this is a fun motivator to hep us maximize what we can earn for Wildwood!
  • If you haven’t yet turned in liability forms for Turtle Island, please be sure to turn them in by the end of the day tomorrow (Monday)…thanks!

COMING UP:

Tuesday, November 20: Field Trip to Turtle Island, 10:30am-2pm.  Please let us know if you’d like to join us!

Thursday, November 22: Wildwood closed for Thanksgiving

Sunday, December 2: Community Member Meeting, 3:30-5:30pm 

December 3: Coffee Fundraiser order forms/check due!

Dec 3-13  Parent/Child/Facilitator Meetings: We will be scheduling short (30 minutes) end-of-semester meetings with each child and parent/guardian and a facilitator over the last couple weeks before winter break. This will be a chance to talk together and reflect on each child’s experience over the first few months of Wildwood, as well as ideas for future plans/goals.

Wildwood 2018-19 Calendar:

Nov. 22       Thanksgiving
Dec. 13       Last Day before Winter Break
Jan. 7          First Day back after Winter Break
Jan. 21        Holiday (MLK Jr. Day)
March 4-5   Wildwood Closed
April 22-25 Spring Break
May 22        Last Day of Wildwood

Some of the Offerings and Moments that happened the past week… Click here to see more pictures!  

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Crazy 8’s Toilet Paper Olympics: measuring, estimating, converting measurements, multiplying, dividing, etc…while doing long jumps, throwing TP rolls as far a possible, and a TP unrolling relay…

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Working out the Calculations

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Using squares of toilet paper as units of measurement (and converting to feet/inches)

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How many Squares per “foot”?

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Writing letters of appreciation to our Veterans

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Writing letters of appreciation to our Veterans

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Veteran’s Day Film about the History of the Holiday

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Hilarious Game of “DUDE”

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Math challenge…”4 fours”: use exactly four 4’s with any operations you’d like to get answers from 1-20. Try it, it’s addictive!
Example, to get 18 :
4 x 4 + 4 – square root of 4.

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“Four 4’s” combinations the kids came up with

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Special Visitors! Rachel led a Sign Language offering which was much welcomed!

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Special Visitors! Emily dropped in for a fun filled day of hide and seek with old friends

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Sentence constructions and word play with “Very Silly Sentences”

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Culture Committee lunch meet-up about technology use at Wildwood

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Banyan getting hands-on with the Lego Mindstorm

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Dedicated to furthering her French skills

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Emma Rocked our Morning Meeting this Week

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Making SIgns for the Mast Store Coffee Fundraiser

 

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Ray’s Drawing Club, this week he showed us how to draw different dragons!

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We used boiling water to help squeeze connectors into irrigation tubing for DIY hula hoops

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Playing with newly created Hoops, stay tuned for the decorating process!

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Celebrating our dear friend, Joshia, for his 12th birthday!

 

 

 

Wildwood Newsletter, Week 10 – 11/11/18

“How could youth better learn to live than by at once trying the experiment of living?” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Hello everyone! (be sure to get to the bottom of this where you will see pics of your awesome kids!)

We loved having the energy of visiting grandparents sharing their interests with us (watercolor painting, poker and many other card games, French, and how our government and elections work) at Wildwood this week! If there are any other family members or friends out there who would enjoy spending time with us and sharing an interest or activity, please let us know!

We also explored the math in music (measuring distances and how those lengths relate to pitch and volume), worked on character development in writer’s workshop, and spent a wonderful afternoon at the Humane Society learning many facts about animals and how best to interact with them, as well as choosing special dogs to write a sign for to help them get adopted. Emma is leading the collaboration plans between Wildwood and the Humane Society as part of her personal goals, and she is coordinating a following up visit soon to make stockings for the animals.

Several older kids gathered for a meeting to plan more recurring times to dive into various subject areas (math, history/government, and science)…these times will be geared toward “middle school” ages but open to anyone who is interested in focused learning time in those topic areas. This meetup was scheduled in response to kids expressing interest in group focused learning/skill development in several areas…completely self-motivated, an example of how the natural and inevitable driving force of “planfulness” emerges without coercion in children as they start to get older, and leads to kids wanting to intentionally develop skills and knowledge they perceive to be meaningful and helpful in their own unique path in life.

Please don’t forget to sign up to help any way you can at the Wildwood fundraiser this Friday (and you can shop amazing deals at Mast while you’re at it!)…Details below.

Our planned trip to Turtle Island on Tuesday has to be postponed due to weather, so we will have a regular Wildwood day on Tuesday this week. We are hoping to reschedule for the following Tuesday!

Check out photos and captions below and on the Facebook page to learn about more activities/moments from the week.

Hope you all enjoy your week!

Warmly, Rebekah

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • We need a few more volunteers for the upcoming Wildwood Fundraiser at the Mast Sale on Friday! Please click here to find out how you can help!
  • We would love to have a fun potluck/game night for Wildwood families before winter break! Can anyone arrange a date/time for this? (Either someone can host it or we can use the Wildwood space!)

COMING UP:

Thursday, November 15: Personal Pizza Day at Wildwood! (Kids have created a sign-up for toppings to bring)

Friday, November 16: Coffee/Hot Chocolate Fundraiser at Mast Tent Sale, 8:30am-5pm. We still need several more people to sign up here to help kids sell drinks and to take care of other tasks needed to make this happen! Thank you!!

Tuesday, November 20 (tentative): Rescheduled Field Trip to Turtle Island, 10:30am-2pm.  We are hoping to reschedule our trip to Turtle Island to next week due to bad weather this week. Stay tuned for an update soon about this date!

Sunday, December 2 (late afternoon): Tentative date for our Community Member Meeting – Please respond ASAP to Rebekah about timing for this meeting (if you haven’t already) so we can get it scheduled (2-4pm, 3-5pm, or 4-6pm)…thank you!

Dec 3-13  Parent/Child/Facilitator Meetings: We will be scheduling short (30 minutes) end-of-semester meetings with each child and parent/guardian and a facilitator over the last couple weeks before winter break. This will be a chance to talk together and reflect on each child’s experience over the first few months of Wildwood, as well as ideas for future plans/goals.

Wildwood 2018-19 Calendar:

Nov. 22       Thanksgiving
Dec. 13       Last Day before Winter Break
Jan. 7          First Day back after Winter Break
Jan. 21        Holiday (MLK Jr. Day)
March 4-5   Wildwood Closed
April 22-25 Spring Break
May 22        Last Day of Wildwood

Some of the Offerings and Moments that happened the past week… Click here to see more pictures!  

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Watercolor painting

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Communing with the trees

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Exploring India Inks and watercolors with Gigi

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Poker (and every other card game imaginable) with Pops!

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Measuring different lengths of straws to create a pan flute…exploring the relationship of distance to pitch and volume during Crazy 8’s math club

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Stathem leading our “set the week” meeting

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Testing out the pan flute…we discovered that the shortest and longest ends are an octave apart!

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Change-up breakout discussion group

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Learning about the roles of different branches of our government, and about what’s on the ballot for Election Day

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We discovered that some Wildwood kids can run for mayor in 5-6 years! Harper for mayor!

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Snuggling with kittens at the Humane Society

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Making signs for our canine friends to help them get adopted!

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Learned so much at the Humane Society during our group visit, organized by Emma

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“Middle school” meetup to plan a new schedule of recurring meeting times to dive into math, history/government, and science topics together

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Annabelle leading the preparation of a meal of naan and curry/rice for Wildwood!

 

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Learning about Peru from Alyssa (have you heard of the Nazca lines? What a mystery…aliens??)

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Sharing plans for our pizza day at change-up

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More card games with Pops!

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Consumed with a new spooky story in writing club

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A smattering of the French we learned on Thursday…kids kept practicing and asking for reminders throughout the afternoon

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Lego extravaganza all afternoon…building, trading, story making

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Comic workshop in Writers Group. Discussing elements of character development and designing a character together.

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Sharing things we appreciate about Qynn on her birthday!

 

 

 

Wildwood Newsletter Week 9 – 11/4/18

“Education is a process of living and not a preparation for future living.” ~ John Dewey

Hello everyone! (be sure to get to the bottom of this where you will see pics of your awesome kids!)
It’s been a beautiful fall/winter week…and we’re happy to have many people back with us who have been traveling, including Alyssa who just returned from a trip to Peru! We are excited to see her photos and hear about her trip this week. Last Tuesday was a gorgeous day at Camp Sky Ranch…it started super cold and frosty, so we built a cozy fire, and then the day became warm and sunny! Perfect for football games, a hike up through the woods, an exploring trees activity, taking Wildwood photos, whittling all day, learning sign language, nature sketching, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows by the fire, doing writer’s workshop by the lake, moments of quiet solitude, and so much connection and camaraderie. We enjoyed having Ali with us that day, as well as Thomas and our volunteer Michaela, and Vivian who visited for the morning!

One other highlight from the week was the flying marshmallows math club, where we launched marshmallows from catapults (first with a pencil fulcrum and then with a marker fulcrum to see which made marshmallows travel a longer distance). We calculated and played with the distance measurements, coming up with the minimum, maximum, mean, median, and mode as a group. There was also a LOT of creative catapult and slingshot making (we had a run on pencils and rubber bands!) the rest of the day after this activity.

This week we will start individual check-in/conferences with kids at Wildwood that will last for the next 2 weeks. We will talk about how things are going for them personally and at Wildwood, any progress with their personal goals and plans for the rest of the semester. Check out photos and captions below and on the Facebook page to learn about more activities/moments from the week…and note our upcoming “Hot chocolate/coffee fundraiser at the Mast Sale” on the 16th, please sign up to help if you can come and support our kids while they sell, give change, talk to the public, keep track of our earnings, and make this fundraiser successful!
Warmly, Rebekah

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Tuesday, November 6th: Field Trip to the Watauga Humane Society 12:30- 2pm. We will be be taking all kids to the HS for a service project/ learning experience. Thanks to Emma Lewis who has been working with the HS and holding coherence for this event.
  • We would love to find a Spanish speaker who could come to WW on a regular basis…if you know of anyone who might be interested please let us know!
  • Would anyone like to plan a fun Wildwood game night for kids and adults together? Please contact me if you would and we can reserve the Regeneration space for that night!

COMING UP:

  • Tuesday, November 13: Field Trip to Turtle Island, 10:30am-2pm. Thank you to Rachael and Joshia who are planning to give us a tour of Turtle Island, where they lived and worked last year. We will explore, learn about what goes on there, and have a picnic lunch before we head back to WW.
  • Friday, November 16: Coffee/Hot Chocolate Fundraiser at Mast Tent Sale, 8:30am-5pm. Sign up here for a shift to help kids sell drinks to build funds to support Wildwood and our scholarship/sliding scale program!
  • Sunday, December 2 (late afternoon): Tentative date for our Community Member Meeting – look out for an email asking for times you can atten

Wildwood 2018-19 Calendar:

Nov. 22       Thanksgiving
Dec. 13       Last Day before Winter Break
Jan. 7          First Day back after Winter Break
Jan. 21        Holiday (MLK Jr. Day)
March 4-5   Wildwood Closed
April 22-25 Spring Break
May 22        Last Day of Wildwood

Some of the Offerings and Moments that happened the past week… Click here to see more pictures!  

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Announcing in Change-Up meeting the draft of our new process of getting support for conflicts (decided on by culture committee)

 

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Flying Marshmallows! Learning physics with homemade catapults and measuring distances

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Play by play commentator on the marshmallow catapulting event

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Spending the day at Camp Sky Ranch…Qynn attended a sign language workshop with Rachael, and then taught Finley what she learned

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Visiting, whittling, and eating by the fire…and writing in the sun

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Writer’s workshop on the lake!

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So awesome to have a huge field for football!

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Getting the fire going

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Frosty start!

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Drawing inside at Camp Sky Ranch

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Fall day hike

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Banyan’s self-made game “Fisher” was quite a hit today, and almost everyone playing volunteered to help illustrate “fish” cards for the game

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Improv game, hitchhikers!

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Creating new and improved catapults after the flying marshmallows math club activity

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Learning strategy games

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Crafting in the makers space

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Warm afternoon by the campfire

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Think quick…act fast! Working memory, visual spacial processing, matching and reflexes.

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Sign Language Workshop

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The Meet a Tree blindfold activity where you have to get to know a tree (through feeling it) while blindfolded and then find it later with your sight.

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Tree FOUND!

 

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Writers’ Workshop

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Addi taking Wildwood portraits

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So many spoons whittled in one week!

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It was a week of whittling with Thomas!

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Lunch and Strategy games go well together

Click here to see more pictures!  

Wildwood Newsletter 10/28/18: Weeks 7-8

“Children do not need to be made to learn to be better, told what to do or shown how. If they are given access to enough of the world, they will see clearly enough what things are truly important to themselves and to others, and they will make for themselves a better path into that world then anyone else could make for them.” – John Holt

 

Hello everyone!

We have enjoyed many visitors the past couple of weeks, who really enrich our experience by bringing offerings, skills, and passions to share, and by providing the chance for kids at Wildwood to get to know a group of supportive adults with diverse personalities who have a genuine interest in engaging and connecting with them. As our weekly volunteer Michaela gets to know the kids better, she brings and suggests offerings she thinks they would be interested in (like building catapults and writing/performing a puppet show), and they have responded with lots of engagement and excitement in activities with her. Another volunteer Julie has supported kids with an ongoing sewing project, and our facilitator sub Ingrid shared her skills/passions of music, Spanish, and leatherwork with us. We all loved reconnecting with Thomas who came back to sub on Thursday and supported many kids with whittling projects outside, as well as spending time with Ali who participated throughout the day and worked with kids to organize donated items for the sale.

Child-led offerings, both spontaneous and planned, have also sparked meaningful engagement and curiosity like almost nothing else can…such as Joshia bringing the bike he found and sharing his interest in taking it apart, and the discovery of a couple of fedoras starting an entire afternoon of intense and captivating “detective work”, involving creating and solving mysteries and lots of writing and reading and creative thinking (with kids of all ages joining in to extend the play in various ways).

Our new connection with a group of kids in a democratic school in Barcelona, Spain (facilitated by our friend Pia, who visited Wildwood in the fall of 2016) has sparked a meaningful interest in learning Spanish phrases among many of our kids, so we can film videos of ourselves to exchange with them! Pia says the Spanish kids have been so excited to see what we send them (and same on our end 🙂 ).

Last but not least, some deep gratitudes: thank you SO SO much to Michelle and her entire family for organizing and working hard for our first fundraiser of 2018, and to everyone who helped! This work is so essential to sustaining Wildwood, and we are grateful to Michelle for jumpstarting our fundraising efforts for the year! We made over $650, which is a huge help for meeting our expenses and supporting scholarships so that income is not a barrier to any family who wants to be part of Wildwood. Thanks also to Dana and John who contributed in so many ways (including bringing treats to sell and nourishing us with a delicious soup on sale day), and to Ali, Rachael, Erin, Angela, Jeff, Lance, Will and all the kiddos who helped prep and sell (and get lots of practice with math calculation!) and clear out after the sale! See below for photos of helpers during the sale, including Emma, Finley, Sophia, and Addison our cashier extraordinaire!

Hope you all have a fun week and enjoy any Halloween adventures!

Rebekah

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Sky Ranch Wildwood Day is this Tuesday, October 30 (drop off and pick up there!)
  • Thomas Cooper will be back to facilitate with us Monday and Tuesday, and Alyssa will return on Thursday
  • We would love to find a Spanish speaker who could come to WW on a regular basis, and the leads we’ve pursued haven’t worked out so far…if you know of anyone who might be interested please let us know!
  • We would also love to have parents or other family members/friends bring offerings on Wildwood days or plan a group experience on non-Wildwood days…please let us know if you have any ideas or interests to share!

COMING UP:

Tuesday, October 30: Camp Sky Ranch Day! (please drop off and pick up at Camp Sky Ranch)

Tuesday, November 6th: Field Trip to the Watauga Humane Society 12:30- 2pm. We will be be taking all kids to the HS for a service project/ learning experience. Thanks to Emma Lewis who has been working with the HS and holding coherence for this event.

Wildwood 2018-19 Calendar:

Nov. 22       Thanksgiving

Dec. 13       Last Day before Winter Break

Jan. 7          First Day back after Winter Break

Jan. 21        Holiday (MLK Jr. Day)

March 4-5   Wildwood Closed

April 22-25 Spring Break

May 22        Last Day of Wildwood

Some of the Offerings and Moments that happened the past 2 weeks…

Click here to see more pictures!  

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More wand making!

 

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We are spending as much time as possible outside these days soaking up these last warm days!

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Learning solitaire during Crazy 8’s math club …this took off and kids were honing their solitaire skills throughout the next few days…giving each other encouragement and celebrating together whenever somebody won!

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Creative juices flowing in the “crafty corner”

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Writers Workshop at the Humane Society: reading original stories to the cats!

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Sharing stories with others during writer’s workshop

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Presentation on the science behind the coke/mentos geyser reaction

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Visiting facilitator Ingrid helping kids with piano playing

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Spontaneous collaborative art project

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Sewing pencil cases with volunteer Julie

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Ingrid supporting kids with leatherwork projects, sharing her special tools

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Learning Spanish phrases to share our names, ages, and “what we like” with our Spanish pen pals in Barcelona!

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Learning the pyramid game and triangle numbers in math club

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Culture Committee Meeting: brainstorming conflict resolution process to use at WW, and role playing how to support two people having a conflict

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Werewolves!

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Cooperative strategy board game

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Enjoying some basketball time together

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Balancing and rolling on the hillside on a sunny day is so much fun! 

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Wildwood detectives on the case

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Cutting wood for whittling with Thomas

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Learning knife skills for whittling

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Checking out our new thesaurus and dictionary, and looking up some words

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Taking apart an old bike Joshia brought in for us to tinker with

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Building a catapult with volunteer Michaela

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Lunch prep in the kitchen

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The writers and actors of the puppet show answer questions from the audience

 

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Organizing and pricing items for the yard sale

 

 

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Busy workers at the garage sale fundraiser organized by Michelle!

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Calculating final profits

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Addison the tireless cashier!!

 

Wildwood Weeks 5-6, 10/15/18

ON THE VALUE OF IMMERSION IN A STABLE, SUPPORTIVE, RESPECTFUL COMMUNITY – “Children attending a Self-Directed Education learning center are integral, full members of the community. They learn to care for one another within the community and for the community itself. They are involved, democratically, in making and upholding the community rules. In that process they hear all sides of every disagreement and the moral and logical arguments related to it. Their own views are taken seriously by others and influence the community’s decisions, which motivates them to think more deeply about those views than they otherwise might….In such environments, children learn to be responsible not just for themselves, but also for others, a lesson that may help them become especially valuable citizens in the larger community as they become adults.”

–Alliance for Self-Directed Education (ASDE)

Hello everyone!

This newsletter covers the first 2 weeks of October (we apologize for the lack of a newsletter last week — it has been one of those times when it’s just impossible to fit everything in!).

We had a smaller than normal group the past couple of weeks, while some families have been traveling, but our days have continued to be full of both facilitator-led and kid-led offerings, deepening connections, and improved skill and understanding in the process of co-creating community practices and agreements. I’ve enjoyed watching children newer to Wildwood start to really “get” how they have a real voice and responsibility in shaping our community…and also how to really listen to and value others’ perspectives while coming up with agreements that benefit the whole community. This has happened with topics such as dealing with messes left out, what kinds of language we want to avoid at Wildwood, and how to structure active, physical play in ways that maximize safety and avoid disrupting others. Kids who like physical play have voluntarily participated in several meetings about this as we revisit and clarify/tweak previous agreements to make them clearer and functional for everyone.

One of the highlights of the past couple of weeks has been the emergence of two groups of weekly writers’ workshops — kids are exploring their writer’s “voice” in a space that is comfortable and accepting, and they inspire and encourage each other in the process. I’ve seen some pretty excited kids writing furiously about mysteries and pets!

It has also been fun to notice kids spontaneously diving deeper into activities from morning math workshops throughout the day and week following the workshop, such as making up and deciphering number codes, playing solitaire in groups and supporting each other, etc. And certain activities have spread like crazy in the community as kids teach each other and share their excitement…like wand-making and the bluffing card game. So much connection, group bonding, and cross-age mixing happens during these activities that kids naturally gravitate to. I’m looking forward to finding out what the next Wildwood “craze” is!

Check out some photos of the past two weeks below!

Rebekah

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Wildwood Garage Sale (at Regeneration Church) planned for Saturday, October 27…time to start cleaning out your closets to help raise money for Wildwood! Contact Michelle at mlewis181@gmail.com for details on how to contribute items and/or help with the sale! Thank you Michelle!!
  • Next Sky Ranch Wildwood Day will be Tuesday, October 30!
  • Thanks to Erin Peters for putting together our current Wildwood Directory!!
  • We have only had one volunteer to be on a fundraising committee so far, and we really need several others…please contact us asap if you can contribute a little time to making sure Wildwood is sustainable and continues to operate while being accessible to all families regardless of income! Fundraising is essential for this program to exist, and will not happen unless volunteers step up to help. Thank you!
  • Alyssa will be traveling with her family for the next couple of weeks, returning to Wildwood on Nov. 1…while she is gone we are welcoming Ingrid Forsyth to help us as a facilitator on Thursday 10/18, and Thomas Cooper to help us as a facilitator on October 25, 29, and 30!
  • We are continuing to search for both volunteers and people to train as substitute facilitators…if anyone knows someone who would be interested in either of these opportunities and would be awesome with the kids, please let us know!

COMING UP:

Monday/Tuesday October 22-23: Fall Break, Wildwood is closed 

Tuesday, October 23: Check out the new PBS 4-part series called Native America, a truly incredible looking (and visually stunning) program about the history, cultures, accomplishments, and experiences of Native American people…this will be a wonderful follow-up to discussions we’ve had and will continue to have about Native peoples at Wildwood!

Friday, October 26, 12:30-4:30: Wildwood Rock Climbing Excursion, hosted by Jasyn Klamborowski.  Please RSVP here!

Saturday, October 27: Wildwood Garage Sale

Tuesday, October 30: Camp Sky Ranch Day! (please drop off and pick up at Camp Sky Ranch)

Wildwood 2018-19 Calendar:

Sept. 4        First Day of Wildwood 

Oct. 22-23   Fall Break

Nov. 22       Thanksgiving

Dec. 13       Last Day before Winter Break

Jan. 7          First Day back after Winter Break

Jan. 21        Holiday (MLK Jr. Day)

March 4-5   Wildwood Closed

April 22-25 Spring Break

May 22        Last Day of Wildwood

Some of the Offerings and Moments that happened the past 2 weeks…

Click here to see more pictures!  

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Math Club- exploring increasingly difficult cryptograms that involve mathematical reasoning and problem solving.

 

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We loved solving the cryptograms. Big groups of kids are attending these math workshops with no coercion necessary because they authentically enjoy using their brains in this way. Math is so much more fun and impactful when done with a group….and when it involves meaningful problem solving rather than the typical teaching and performing of formulas.

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Culture Committee meeting. These members are coming up with steps for Wildwood members to follow when they have conflicts, and they are learning how to help others resolve conflicts using circles of support and nonviolent communication (helping people communicate their experiences and feelings, see each others’ perspectives, and come up with agreements that meet everyone’s needs).

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Kiddos came up with this solution to “messes” in the art room and kitchen. This issue came up in Change-Up as people were getting tired of cleaning up others’ messes. We tried this solution out for a week, then checked in to see if we wanted to keep it or try something else. (we decided to keep it and now it is an ongoing “practice” that we revisit each week until it is mastered)

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Writers Workshop: brainstorming all the ways to tell a story.

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Writing a Mystery

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Playing “SET” a challenging brain game that stimulates visual perception and fluid reasoning skills.

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ZOOLOGY class. In response to requests from students, this weekly on-going intensive led by Alyssa is diving deep into the study of animals.

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Zoology activity- exploring how animals are classified

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Looking at photos from Wildwood, to be used for photo blogs

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CHANGE-UP meeting. Owen reviewing new practices

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What do you do on rainy days…..make magic wands of course! This activity sparked so much imagination and creativity over several days!

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An exciting moment in Werewolves, the role-playing game filled with drama and suspense

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Weekly math workshop activity: making a human bar graph of birthday months.

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Spontaneous pretzel making!

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Columbus day discussion: We talked about the real story of Columbus and his actions/ impact on native people, and the movement to establish “Indigenous Peoples Day” instead of Columbus Day…We learned about the Taino people who inhabited the Caribbean islands when Columbus arrived, and we discussed/watched videos about Native American cultures, history, and present day experiences. (And we discovered the next day that Governor Cooper had just established Indigenous People’s Day in NC!)

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Solutions brought by the ASU Chemistry Department as part of an exploration of light and the electromagnetic spectrum…and how the atomic properties of different elements relate to color. We dipped wires in solutions with different elements in them (ex. Strontium, copper, potassium), noted what colors the flames were, then figured out what elements were in unknown solutions based on the colors we had observed with known solutions. 

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Looking through spectroscopes to see light from neon and krypton broken into their component colors/wavelengths.

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Jeff Bates, ASU Chemistry professor, teaching us about light…and later, helping kids light sparklers with different elements on the tips, causing different color flames when lit (kids guessed which element their sparkler had based on their earlier experiments burning solutions inside). Red=Strontium, Purple=potassium, and Green=copper

 

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Writer’s workshop

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Researching an animal of kids’ choice

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Birthday Celebration!

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Writing end of day reflections

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Writer’s Workshop

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Spontaneous snuggle time

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Connecting with the kitties at the Humane Society

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Writing notes from chemistry experiments testing the color of solutions when burned

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Checking out the flame color after dipping wire in a solution

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Using “rainbow” diffraction glasses that let you see all the colors in light

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Math Club: Making a human clock

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Bluffing card game is such a hit these days (I think Emma started the craze!)

 

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And more bluffing!

 

 

 

Week 4 – 9/30/18

“In the end, the secret to learning is so simple: forget about it. Think only about whatever you love. Follow it, do it, dream about it. One day, you will glance up at your collection of Japanese literature, or trip over the solar oven you built, and it will hit you: learning was there all the time, happening by itself.” ~ Grace Llewellyn

What a full week!

We enjoyed our first Camp Sky Ranch day on Tuesday, and are looking forward to future visits to keep exploring the outdoor possibilities at this beautiful location. I noticed a lot of outdoor sketching going on…drawing has really taken off at Wildwood in general!

Back at Regeneration we are gradually creating recurring offerings (Crazy 8’s math club on Mondays, Zoology on Thursdays, Book Clubs and Writing Workshops starting soon, etc.), and are starting to do lots more cooking in the kitchen. We also have a committee of kids working with the staff at the Humane Society on a plan for collaboration with Wildwood…stay tuned for more info soon!

We’re getting better at Change-up (group decision making/problem solving), communicating clearly with each other, seeing things from others’ perspectives, and respecting people’s boundaries. We’re also working together to plan how to use our space in a way that honors people’s needs for both active play and focused activities/calm. And we’re seeing more and more connection and cohesion in this group of kids as each day passes!

We hosted a WONDERFUL regional ALC facilitator retreat on Saturday…we discussed plans to help and support each other in the future, ways to support the unique needs of older kids and teenagers, ideas for many types of offerings (math, mindfulness, etc.), building a positive & community-oriented culture, and much more. All our visitors were extremely grateful to us for hosting them, especially in such a beautiful location (we met at the Valle Crucis Conference Center.) Thanks also to everyone who came out to the potluck Saturday evening!

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • We urgently need several volunteers to be on a finance/fundraising committee! There is really no way to operate or sustain Wildwood without fundraising, and this cannot happen without parent/volunteer support. Please let us know as soon as possible if you can help!
  • We are also still looking for someone who would be willing to put together a new Wildwood Directory. (You can use last year’s directory and add new families/update contact information.)

COMING UP:

Monday/Tuesday October 22-23: Fall Break, Wildwood is closed (two days have been added to the end of the year to make up for this change…the last day is now May 22. See below for the complete 2018-19 calendar. Please let us know if you have any questions about this, or need help with child care those two days!

Sept. 4        First Day of Wildwood 

Oct. 22-23   Fall Break

Nov. 22       Thanksgiving

Dec. 13       Last Day before Winter Break

Jan. 7          First Day back after Winter Break

Jan. 21        Holiday (MLK Jr. Day)

March 4-5   Wildwood Closed

April 22-25 Spring Break

May 22        Last Day of Wildwood

Some of the Offerings and Moments that happened this week…

We made Yeast Pretzels! Everyone made their own. Many asked for the recipe so here it is: https://www.recipeboy.com/2014/01/how-to-make-homemade-soft-pretzels/

Click here to see more pictures!  

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Rorschach Ink Blots with Julie (ASU volunteer)

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Sharing what we see in the ink blots

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First zoology class! Learning about what makes an animal…

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Magazine collages

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Collaborative building of a tiny bunkbed/playset

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Bluffing!

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Very proud of his pretzel creation!

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Wood burning

 

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Qynn leading Pom Pom making workshop

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Change up Meeting- we discussed the use of pillows in our space, a new contained area for active indoor play, and starting a book club

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Lots of cooking in the kitchen (especially eggs!)

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Connor and Ollie visited from Heartwood ALC in Atlanta!
Playing the question game in Den.

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Dice Multiplication War!

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Figuring out which are the most common/likely sums when you roll 3 dice (vs 2 dice)…following up on a question from the human bingo offering (we had to figure it out!)

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Human Bingo! Exploring probability strategies

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We got to play in a river at Camp Sky Ranch!

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Lots of juggling skills practice with Alyssa

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Sketching the firepit

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Playing Headbanz with our volunteer Michaela

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JUMP rope. Lots of teamwork and cheering each other on!

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Playing Capture the Flag at Camp Sky Ranch

 

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Finley helping to figure out how to cut up the pretzel dough to make 20 pretzels. We needed 20/2 so each ball needs to make 10 pieces…to make each piece 1/10th of the ball, first cut the ball into 1/2, then cut each half into 5 pieces (1/5).

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Measuring ingredients for dough. Playing with different measuring cups  is a fun way to learn fractions. If we only have a 1/4 cup….how many of those make 1 and 1/2 cups?

 

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Wildwood Week 3- 9/22/18

“Children are born passionately eager to make as much sense as they can of things around them.
If we attempt to control, manipulate, or divert this process, the independent scientist in the child disappears.”
~ John Holt

Hi everyone!

We ended this past week on such a high from our day at Cascade Falls! It was an amazing day connecting and playing and exploring nature together. And so interesting to visit the historic buildings at Tompkins Knob (a 19th century house with an impressive fireplace,an old springhouse, and shelter where traveling preachers used to come). We hope to go back again soon!

We held our first “Change-Up” meeting of the year on Tuesday, where kids and adults together discussed some issues that had been put up as “awarenesses” (by both kids and facilitators). We came up with new agreements to try out for using language that everyone feels comfortable with, communicating and responding to “stop”, boundaries for personal belongings, and making sure our belongings are picked up at the end of the day.We  also started a discussion about balancing the needs for active play and focus/calm in the indoor space, which we’ll continue tomorrow. A few notes on Change-Up.. For newer members of Wildwood, this is the beginning of learning how to take responsibility for creating our community together…and how taking time for respectful group communication helps us make sure everyone’s needs are considered and everyone’s voice is heard. For many kids this is a very different experience…especially in a community setting. In traditional educational settings, children are often not included in the decision making process. Plans and rules are made by adults and children’s voices and needs are not always heard or really considered.  It can take some time for kids to understand what’s really going on in the Change-Up meetings and it can sometimes feel “hard” or “boring” to have to listen to, and consider others perspectives. But it gets easier (and more empowering) as time goes on as they realize that their words and needs are actually important, heard and respected. Perspective taking, courage to speak up, leadership, conflict resolution, community responsibility, communication, collaboration, creative thinking….all packed into one beautiful meeting. And it’s real life practice…not some adult-contrived lesson-plan designed to “teach” these skills. We see this as a amazing part of our “curriculum” (to put it that way) and if anyone wants to talk more about the psychological and educational value of such practices, we are always up for talking about it!

Last week, a new (returning) member of Wildwood joined us…Owen White! And this week our friends Connor and Oliver Cook will be visiting from one of our sister schools- Heartwood ALC in Atlanta! We also have two ASU students volunteering with us this week, Michaela and Julie, who are working with us as part of a Child Development service learning course. They will be spending time with us and creating offerings for our kids each week for most of this semester.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • This TUESDAY we will be meeting at Camp Sky Ranch for Wildwood! Please drop off and pick up at Camp Sky Ranch Sky Ranch, 634 Sky Ranch Rd. It is off Winklers Creek Road, and Google Maps can take you right there. (Follow the gravel road all the way down, past the office building, through a small shallow water crossing — go slow — to the final parking area. Same drop off and pick up times! There is a creek to play in, hiking trails, big grassy fields…lots of nature to explore and space to play. Please send kids with outdoor gear for whatever the weather and outdoor activities may bring: towel, water shoes, change of clothes…sunscreen/hat/sunglasses if it looks sunny and you’d like them to have these things…rain jacket and an extra layer in case it’s chilly…shoes for running and hiking…any balls or outdoor games they’d like to bring…maybe a book to read and a hammock if they have one… 🙂
  • This Saturday September 29 is our Wildwood Potluck at Valle Crucis Park! We’ll also have several facilitators, parents, and kids from other ALCs visiting, so will be a great chance to connect with them! We’ll arrive with the visitors around 5:30pm, but feel free to arrive earlier for more play time in the park! Please RSVP on the Facebook event page.
  • THANK YOU to Erin for volunteering to take our trash and recycling, and to the Campbells for volunteering to wash our rags/towels!
  • We still need several volunteers to be on a finance/fundraising committee! Please let us know asap if you would like to help out with some ideas/planning for fundraising. This is probably the most essential and needed volunteer task there is for the health and sustainability of Wildwood! This group would lead the planning of fundraising activities, but everyone can share in helping carry them out.
  • We are looking for someone who would be willing to put together a new Wildwood Directory like what we had last year with pics of families. Can you do it? Let us know. You can edit the old directory to include new families and update contact information.

COMING UP:

Tuesday September 25: Camp Sky Ranch Wildwood Day! See details above.

Saturday September 29, 5:30pm: Wildwood Potluck at Valle Crucis Park, with regional ALC visitors (facilitators, parents, and kids)! See details and RSVP on the Facebook event page.

Monday/Tuesday October 22-23: Fall Break, Wildwood is closed (two days have been added to the end of the year to make up for this change…the last day is now May 22. See below for the complete 2018-19 calendar. Please let us know if you have any questions about this, or need help with child care those two days!

Some of the Offerings and Moments that happened this week…

Click here to see more pictures!

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Drawing Club with Ray

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Rebekah led the first weekly Crazy 8’s Math exploration workshop. Talked about so many types of 2D shapes as we created (polygon, parallelogram, trapezoid, rhombus, square, rectangle, equilateral and isosceles triangles, pentagon, hexagon, etc) and explored which shapes could be made into repeating patterns with no gaps…the first of our new series of Crazy 8’s math club activities! The kids added their own twists…coming up with creative ways to figure out how many triangles are in the big triangle and making “houses” with lots of different shapes in them.

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Bullet Journaling in the cave of triangles!

 

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Alyssa’s Birthday Party!

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New child-created watercolor cards for our Werewolves game

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Playing a laser logic game

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Creating and playing a new board game

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The beginning of the Cascade Falls trail

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Inside the 19th century house at Tompkins Knob

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Sophia Weaver’s birthday! Showing us her cool scuba equipment. She was certified the next day!

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1st Change up meeting. Came up with new practices to address use of language (what words are we not ok with using at WW)

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Quick walk on Tuesday while the rest of the crew prepped for Alyssa’s Surprise party!

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Attempting to repair broken clocks.

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She’s always the first in the water….any weather…any temperature

WILDWOOD 2018-19 CALENDAR:

Sept. 4        First Day of Wildwood 

Oct. 22-23   Fall Break

Nov. 22       Thanksgiving

Dec. 13       Last Day before Winter Break

Jan. 7          First Day back after Winter Break

Jan. 21        Holiday (MLK Jr. Day)

March 4-5   Wildwood Closed

April 22-25 Second Spring Break

May 22        Last Day of Wildwood

Wildwood Newsletter Week 1 9/8/18

“Self-education through play and exploration requires enormous amounts of unscheduled time—time to do whatever one wants to do, without pressure, judgment, or intrusion from authority figures. That time is needed to make friends, play with ideas and materials, experience and overcome boredom, learn from one’s own mistakes, and develop passions.”
― Peter O. Gray, Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life


Hi everyone!

Our community is off to a vibrant start! We had a short, very full first week. The main goals of the first weeks of the year include getting to know everyone, setting the foundations for creating a safe and supportive community, and learning the flow and systems at WW. We played a lot of group games, and these first days can feel a bit more adult directed than usual….which is needed at the start to get everyone to a similar baseline of understanding and feeling connected with each other.

This week we got to know new folks, explored the surrounding area (including finding a secret trail to a nice wooded spot), played lots of games, cooked in the kitchen, trained ourselves on how to clean at the end of the day and went over our basic Community Member Agreements. We have had many kids and adults offering activities, plus plenty of unstructured play time and socializing! Below are some pics and short descriptions of some of the happenings.

We will be starting our personal goal setting process this week, so (if you haven’t already) now would be a great time to talk with your kids about what personal interests and goals they may have. We will be talking with them too. Goals can be skill-based, interpersonal, physical, etc. Examples of goals could be: to learn something new, start an artistic creation or project, work up to creating a offering at WW, start a book club, organize a service project, or develop a practice…..the possibilities are endless. We are also planning a field trip to Cascade Falls sometime in the next couple of weeks, so be on the lookout for an email with details soon!

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Please bring your child’s paperwork in if you have not yet.
  • SAVE THE DATE: Saturday September 29 at 5:30pm…Wildwood Potluck at Valle Crucis Park! (We’ll also have several facilitators and their kids from other ALC’s visiting, so will be a great chance to connect with them!)
  • If you have old sheets you are not using we can add them to the fort making kit!

COMING UP THIS MONTH:

Tuesday September 25: Camp Sky Ranch Wildwood Day! Please drop off and pick up at Sky Ranch.

Saturday September 29, 5:30pm: Wildwood Potluck at Valle Crucis Park

Click here to see more pictures!

Some of the Offerings and Moments that happened this week…

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Listening music, journaling, lounging and connecting.

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Alyssa led 2 workshops on Bullet Journaling as a means to plan, organize and set goals. Several kids worked on their journals most of the day on Thursday.

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Nicole brought materials for an up-cycling leather crafting makers space. People made satchels, purses, earrings and phone cases. The leather was salvaged from Carroll Leather goods scraps.

Sophia making a leather purse

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It was a HOT couple days with temps in the 80’s! But we made some time to explore the area around the new space. Beautiful views after an uphill hike!

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Chinese Jumprope

 

Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting and tableFirst drawing club! Image may contain: 1 person, sitting and indoor

Pictionary was a huge hit on Thursday. We will be doing that again. Lots of good communication.

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Start of a weekly Yoga practice

 

Emma’s family donated this awesome blow up couch. So many laughs and connection happened here on day one!

 

Some messing around in the makers lab. All the many uses for hot glue!

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Sophia led a class on Kawaii drawing.

 

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Exploring the apple tree up the hill

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Hiking up the hill to the secret apple tree!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wildwood Newsletter 3/25/18

Our apologies for the delay in the newsletters! So much going on with visitors, meetings, interviews and planning! Here are some happenings since we last wrote:

During the week before spring break, Sophia Weaver brought in a video about hellbenders and the need to preserve their habitat by not moving rocks in rivers…this awareness was brought to our change-up meeting, and the group that discussed this topic decided that we should stop moving any rocks in the river (other than small ones for skipping) until we could gather more information about how this affects the river ecosystem. Several kids who have been enjoying building a dam/bridge in the river were not happy with this new practice, and created signs “protesting” the limit on building with rocks in the river. Other kids then created “counter-protest” signs promoting the need to save the hellbenders, and there was some chanting back and forth as each group (pretty peacefully 🙂 ) paraded with their signs. After some discussion, Silas and Ray decided to gather information from river experts before the next WW day, in hopes that this would bolster their argument to allow building in the river again. Silas called the Department of Natural Resources and the Watauga River Keepers, and came back with a full report that he gave to the group…he was disappointed in what he was told, but shared it anyway: that although hellbenders are not likely to live in our section of the river, moving the rocks can disrupt the ecosystem here by altering the habitat for other river creatures (and could create difficulties for hellbenders downstream)…and that they recommended that we leave alone all rocks in or near the river that are bigger than a child’s palm. The kids all listened attentively to his report, and decided unanimously to follow these limits after hearing all the information. The whole process was fascinating to experience…something that emerged completely from kids’ interests and expressions of opinion evolving from 1) clashing viewpoints to 2) gathering information from reliable sources to 3) sharing this information and coming to a complete consensus…all in the span of a few days!

Over the past few weeks we have also been enjoying learning about a sample of eggs collected from a vernal pond in the bog. We had to first identify what they were…it turns out they are not  salamanders but frogs, and we had to closely observe what characteristics made this distinction. We built a habitat, learned what they ate, and how much oxygen they needed (Thanks Alyssa!). Several kids studied the life cycle of the frogs and how quickly they go through each stage. We found they are going faster through the stages because they are inside in the warm air. They are sprouting legs and we will be transferring them to a new habitat soon!

A group of kids has been working on a child-produced, directed, and led play (turned movie). The working title is “Where’s Hazal”. Sita has worked hard writing 10 scenes, and the whole group has been working on planning and negotiating the storyline, figuring out how a play should work, script-writing, acting, designing costumes and props, how to handle kids quitting and the need for commitment, etc…while getting a great deal of experience with collaboration, leadership, working through challenges/frustrations, listening to each other, speaking up when needed, using clear and honest communication, time management, and so much more. What they end up “producing” or not “producing” in the end is far from the greatest benefit we are seeing here…the process, and all the components and learning that are taking place have taught them so much about themselves and others. It’s also been very rewarding to witness how kind they are to each other throughout this effort, and how much they learn and grow through completely owning such a project!

Some more highlights from recent weeks include: super fun snow play, our first weekly visit from ASU theater student Caleb leading a drama workshop on “How to Be Hilarious” (timing, exaggeration, etc. and trying out our skills in a silly mini-play), chemistry exploration with Emma’s brother Jack, ongoing writing clubs (several unique and inventive stories in the works!), more ASU student visitors who will be helping kids with a project on learning about different cultures/cuisines, making bird feeders, rubik’s cube lessons from Ray, identifying mystery jaw bones found in the bog (Mike discovered through online searching the answer – we think- a white-tailed deer), hosting two students from ALC Mosaic in Charlotte (so fun to learn ideas from their ALC experience!), baking scones, poker tournaments, blog designing/making with Nicole, lots of French learning (and spending the day with French visitors David – who lives in Boone – and his brother Florent who is visiting the US for the first time!), a much anticipated and joyful surprise birthday party for Connor, sorting through photos for the yearbook with Alyssa, lots of games (Ticket to ride, Resistance, Dungeons and Dragons, Farkle, Qwirkle, UNO in French), a long and thoughtful discussion of technology use and media literacy, and reading aloud A Wrinkle in Time and Clementine.

Have a great week!

Rebekah

ANNOUNCEMENTS/REQUESTS:

  • Thank you so much to everyone who came to our community meeting last Sunday! Notes from the meeting will be sent out soon.
  • Next week we will be on break Monday and Tuesday, April 2-3!
  • Parents are welcome at the ALC summer training in Charlotte if anyone is interested! It’s a great way to learn more about the model and philosophy, ask questions of other facilitators who have been doing this for years, and really experience what it’s like to participate in an ALC firsthand. There is a 3-day “Foundations” option (core ideas/theory/practices of ALC and exploring the “deschooling” process) for $225, and a 5-day option that includes 2 more days of offerings to dive deeper into specific areas of interest for $350. Spots are filling up, so if you’re interested please sign up soon!
  • The weather looks like it will warm up later this week..so just a reminder about supplies kids need to bring if they may want to wade in the river: a towel, AT LEAST one change of clothes, a plastic bag (or wet bag) to keep wet items, and shoes to wear in the water.
  • We have decided to postpone the “Adult Day of Play” until late summer or fall…we have been having trouble finding a day everyone can come, as well as having logistical difficulties in location for that many people. Our new location will be much better suited to having a big group of parents with us for a day! 🙂
  • Sita will continue to sell eggs from her family’s hens on Mondays at pick-up time, $4/dozen!
  • Anyone interested in helping to make a 2018 Wildwood Summer Camp happen? Let us know!
THIS WEEK:
Monday, March 26: 
  • Caleb, ASU Theater student, is coming back for another drama workshop!
  • Catherine visiting to talk about women in history
 Tuesday, March 27: ASU Sociology students visiting to plan an exploration of cultures/cuisines with interested kids
Thursday, March 29: 
  • Our French friends, David and Florent, are coming back for another visit!
  • Writing workshop with Mark, 11am
 LOOKING FORWARD:
Monday/Tuesday, April 2-3: Break (Wildwood closed)
Wednesday, April 11, 10am: Barter Theatre “Aesop’s Fables” 
  • Contact Angela Weaver if you’d like to get tickets!

April Potluck, TBA

HOLIDAY SCHEDULE

April 2-3 – Break

May 17 – Last day

Future Community Meetings:
May (TBA)