This week has really had some highs and lows. But, as the saying goes: when life gives you lemons, make lemonade! I am so glad I have wonderful parents and understanding students who have joined me on this adventure. So let me tell you a little about some amazing highs and some of the disappointing lows.
Monday and Highs…
One of my biggest projects this school year has been going on behind the scenes. It has been met with frustration and worry, but this week I had some great news. This is one amazing high point!
I have been working tirelessly to find a permanent home for A One-Room Schoolhouse. Operating out of my basement was very much a first-year solution. As the calls kept coming in from interested parents, I realized very quickly this fall that we were going to need a bigger space, and soon.
But I had a very long list of must-have items and my budget is pretty small. I am 100% dedicated to making A One-Room Schoolhouse an affordable educational option for parents. Location is also key as we draw families from all over the Pittsburgh region.
Here is a little peak into what I have been looking for….
- 2 or 3 or more classroom spaces that can hold 10 to 20 students
- An area to meet as a group (fellowship hall, gym, just a larger open space, even if it is just the classrooms opening up into this space.)
- Bonus points would be an office area and reception area.
- At least two bathrooms
- A kitchen area would be very nice. (Very helpful for science experiments!)
- Must have green space for the children to play.
- We would love to contribute (if not already available) a large play structure and/or a covered picnic area.
- Must have a parking area that will hold at least 6 cars and that will be suitable for drop-off.
Most people thought I was crazy for trying to get all these things… BUT…
I have a lead on a great space. The location is perfect, the green space is amazing. The square footage is on point. The kitchen is just what our little scientists and artists need! Parking is plentiful. It has FIVE, yes, five bathrooms! I might even be able to have office space!
And the price…. well it is spot on!
We are negotiating the details right now and I am not going to tell you the LOCATION or NAME yet… but I am so excited.
I must say: PRAYERS ARE ANSWERED. Trust me when I say this is a miracle. I will write more about this miracle when we announce the full details, but I will be forever grateful for this blessing.
But it seems that with some highs, also comes some lows.
Tuesday and Lows…
After an amazing Monday meeting with the leadership group at our potential location, Tuesday was a bit of a train wreck. Yep, here comes the lows. Sometimes I feel like when God sends down an amazing blessing, next up, we get a little test of our faith just to keep us humble.
Well, that was Tuesday. I had made arrangements to have a private tour of a locate geology store on Tuesday morning. All of our families drove downtown, bundled up, and waited.
Nothing. The shop was dark. I called, emailed, texted, instant messaged. Silence.
I was mortified. The parents were so understanding. But, the kids were so disappointed.
We could see into the windows at all the cool rocks. My son was literally clutching the money that he had saved for this day. I wanted to sit down on the sidewalk and cry right along with him.
So, we tried our best to make lemonade…
(Trying to roll with our highs and lows!)
I could do nothing. Short of breaking and entering (yeah, no!); nothing could be done. The owner had forgotten. Mistakes happen. I needed to forgive and move on. Later, I will take my son down another time. I am sure the other kids will find some time to visit.
So, I told the kids that we were going to go out for a treat. It was a bit hard to find something open for indoor dining in the middle of a pandemic at 11 am on a Tuesday. But, blessings were had!
We found a cute little crepe shop that delighted our taste buds! I want to give a serious shout out to Geppetto Cafe! This place is a diamond in the rough.
The service was amazing, even with our larger, complicated group with many young children and a bazillion separate checks. The menu offered so many yummy choices and the warm drinks were just what our tummies needed!
So, memories were made. Rocks were not seen, but fellowship and good food turned out to be the order of the day. Thank you Geppetto Cafe for making our hard day so much better!
(Seriously, if you are in the Pittsburgh area, check out this café, you will not be sad! Go here to make your low days a little better!)
The Rest of the Week
(Thankfully no more crazy highs or lows!)
The rest of the week went along very nicely. We are wrapping up our second unit of History from The Good and the Beautiful. The second unit takes a deep dive into the Medival Times and we are now transitioning into the colonial area by way of a brief stop in the Renaiansse.
This week we talked about the Scientific Revolution and the immigration of the Huguenots. One thing that we have really gotten into during this unit is the History game from The Good and the Beautiful.
I would highly recommend this game as a way to review all the history you have learned in the year. Of course, I don’t tell the kids, but this game is their “final” exam for the course. I do believe material should be reviewed and tested, but I don’t believe it needs to be a painful process.
This game is just the ticket! As we play, the spiral review is completed, the students refresh their knowledge in a fun atmosphere, and the students are prepared for further study. Win, win, win!
In science this week, we only had one lesson due to the field trip debacle. But, the soil lesson from the Geology unit from The Good and the Beautiful is a good one. After learning about the composition of soil and the different layers, we were able to make a yummy snack demonstrating the layers of soil.
It was such a good lesson that a student raised their hand after the lesson and said, “Thank you for that lesson!”
Well, that never happens. My teacher heart nearly burst! I am so blessed to be a teacher guide to these wonderful little humans!
Art, Music, and Nature Study
We rounded out our week on Friday with some art, music, and nature study. In art, I think the kids enjoyed making paper fidgets the most, but they also worked on abstract line drawings. The line drawings were super fun, as each child rolled a die to determine what kind of line and from what direction the line would come!
Nature study is the best way to wrap up the week and is really just an extension of our recess time… just with a little more structure. If you know me at all, you know that I am a champion of time in nature!
Guess what happened this week in nature here in southwest Pennsylvania?
The lake froze!
Super fun, huh! The kids have had so much fun throwing rocks on the ice, breaking the ice, testing the ice, and throwing ice on the ice. Oh, what joy! I am so glad I can walk beside these kids as they discover the joy in nature during every season.
(Hopefully to a week with more highs than lows!)
Next week is the last week of our first semester. Wow! Time has flown by! Next week, we will wrap up our current science and history units, get ready for parent-teacher conferences on Friday, and study our last Habit of Friendship: Obedience.