Our children attend what can only be described as a small country school. We house grades Pre-K through 8 in one building, with combined grade classrooms (Pre-K/K, 1/2, 3/4/5, 6/7/8). Earlier this week, our little school combined with the school in the next town (we are a School Union) to present the annual Education Night–a sort of Open House event. This year, the theme was “STEAM”–Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math. The boys and I arrived early for the free community supper featuring chicken soup, whole wheat rolls, and apple crisp, and spent some time catching up with friends before the event kicked into high gear.
When Daddy arrived, we ventured to the small boy’s classroom, where we checked out their “Handwriting Without Tears” curriculum and materials, and took a sneak peek at the incubator and supplies for the 24 chicken eggs the Pre-K/K class will be hatching soon. We stopped by the big boy’s classroom, and saw the “brain caps” some classmates had worked on in science, and the spaghetti tower building exhibit.
The big boy’s science classroom was humming with students eager to demonstrate their Lego robotics to anyone who would stop and listen. Silas and his partner Reid showed us their building components, and talked to us about gears and programming. Daddy and the small boy were immediately engrossed. Science teacher Mr. Easter explained some of the trials they challenge their robots with. This class has been the big boy’s favorite this year, and apparently he has become quite the programmer. He’s lucky enough to work with a partner who is a talented robot builder, and their robot has performed best in several trials.
Walking back through the halls, we enjoyed the artwork on the walls, including some of the big boy’s work from his once-a-week afterschool art class.
The evening ended with a rousing performance of the mini-musical Annie by the 5th-8th grade Show Choir. I did musical theater for years and years, and when I say these kids did a terrific job, I mean what I say. I was surprised by the quality of singing, choreography, and the preparation of the group. (And I’m so kicking myself for not taking any pictures!)
We’ve gone back and forth on education issues over the years (and I imagine we will continue to do so, because anything that matters requires constant evaluation), but I’m so proud of and satisfied with this little country school. They’re doing some really good (HARD!) work right now, and I’m thankful we’re a part of it.