Here are words from our current staff at the conclusion of our monthly staff meeting this week...I thank them for sharing!
Farm School isn't perfect, but as I've heard LifeWays North America founder Cynthia Aldinger say on several occasions, "it's in the striving".
What I Like About Working at Farm School...
"Helping kids enjoy being kids. Seeing children improve in learning to use their words to solve problems. Being outdoors with the bugs and trees. Smelling good food in the kitchen."
"I like that Farm School is such a safe place to work for me. It's family-oriented,...
We have invested heavily in staffing, and are proud to offer outstanding ratios!
Licensing Age Range
(Max # of Children One Caregiver May Supervise)
Good Earth Classroom Ratio
18 months-3 years
18 months-2 years
We can certainly employ a higher state ratio as needed if we have several...
I would love to be a kid at Farm School...
You can take your shoes off inside.
People know your parents and grandparents and nanny and so on.
Your teachers make food for you.
You smell food simmering or toasting or baking before a meal.
You get to eat Farm School bread. And even if you are gluten-free, the smell of fresh bread baking is imprinted on your soul.
You use real cutlery and dishes.
You use flannel cloth napkins made by a real grandma.
You learn to cook and wash dishes and use a real knife.
You learn to wash tables and toys. You learn to use a broom.
The magic of Farm School occurs when you come and stay.
The first phase of childhood can't be rushed--it is a unique and magical time unto itself. There is no way to become five or six years old early. Early childhood can't be a race to stuff knowledge or experiences into a child.
If we slow down, childhood is an unfolding of a little Being right before our eyes. Children relaxed and at peace can get down to the work of childhood, which, I share with parents, can be likened to cups waiting to be filled by the child--fine and gross motor skills, communication skills, social skills, emotional...
Celebrate Screen Free Week
Here at GEFS, we'll be radio silent all week in observance of Screen Free Week. We hope you take the time to unplug and connect in meaningful ways as a family!
On May 4-10, children, families, and communities around the world will rediscover the joys of life beyond the screen. Unplug from digital entertainment and spend your free time playing, reading, daydreaming, creating, exploring, and connecting with family and friends.
-courtesy of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood
One of the things we focus on at the farm is being outside in nature and exploring...
Each month, we have a fire drill. It is important for the children and staff to practice exiting the building safely. Some children don't like the fire drill initially because of the volume of the smoke alarms. Practicing helps eliminate fear of what to do in case of a fire. I am very proud of our children as they are calm, follow their teachers and exit in a quick, safe manor.
Today was especially exciting as every three months we practice a severe weather drill. In the words of one kinder friend, it was a "severe wedding drill". The children practice exiting their classrooms and move...
Meal time is an important part of our day. I always make a point to sit with the children as they eat, whether it be snack or lunch. Things can get pretty messy with toddlers. Self feeding, with our without utensils, proves for an interesting meal. What is important, however, is the fact that they get to help clean up. They scrape their dishes clean into the slop bucket, they help wash the table, sweep the floor. For them, it's important work. Sure, we may have to go behind and actually "clean" the space, but it is the act of doing that is so important to them.
At our last Parent Society meeting, Andrea shared a bit with us on the difference between using block crayons and stick crayons. I thought I would share this blog post from Sarah Baldwin, a former Waldorf Kindergarten teacher and owner of Bella L una Toys.
We use both block and stick crayons with the older children. For our Saplings, the block crayons work well for their little hands.
There are some afternoons when a little one awakes earlier than his or her classmates and they come out to the kitchen to visit. Since I am in and out of classrooms, preparing food and afternoon administrative tasks in my office, also known as the kitchen at farm school, it's nice to have a break in my work to visit.
This little guy helped me package up snack. He was actually quality control. Those little cherub-like feet dangling from the chair and that little smile is something to cherish. In the hustle and bustle of our day, it was nice to have a few minutes of conversation, a smile and hug from...
Bread baking day is always a popular day at the farm! Being a part of the production of a meal is important work for the children. Yes, they love to eat the warm bread with butter, but it means more when they have had a hand [literally] in making it! I love watching these small hands work the dough.
Kneading the dough requires hand strength and this is good exercise for small hands. We are always working on activities that strengthen a child's hands and pincher grasp. It's not a realistic expectation for a child to hold a pencil or crayon to write and draw if they don't have hand...