“i can’t believe i can get muddy at school.”

we made the decision to move micah to another school 3 days into the school year.  he started today at his “farm school.”  the same school that daddy went to through 6th grade (where there is still a cracked window in the gym from a ball that got away from him).  the same school that nana taught at until last year.

we’ve heard of the unique setting.  the greenhouse, the barn, the pet goat, the all-school exercise walks around the school yard, the collecting of eggs, the making of salsa, the native prairie, the walk to the town center’s christmas tree, the greeting by name every morning.

we experienced it today.  we were greeted by name, along with every child that walked in the door.  micah didn’t cry.  he smiled at his teacher.  he asked questions.  he wondered what the bags of seed were, what kind of lizard was in the tank, where the bull skull came from, when the chickens will arrive, why there is a melon plant growing in the native grasses…

we also found out that he’ll be with the master gardner twice a week, there is a door to the outside in his classroom because they have to (get to!!!) walk to the next building every day for either library, music or art, the kids are encouraged to visit with each other during lunch time (rather than eat in silence), his new class had a discussion on the best place for him to sit so he’d feel at home, he’ll have the same teachers for p.e., music and library, there will be pigs and chickens joining the goat, there is a dog that roams the halls, and parents are welcome.

mud walking by you. cooking by you.

i was suddenly afraid that micah would be disappointed.  this is still public school. there will be state assessments like every other school.  there are desks and worksheets.  so when i told him it might feel like “regular school” most of the time he said, “well, i will feel better just knowing there is a goat outside.”

we accidently left his mud boots in the car.  when i told his teacher, she said, “oh, why don’t you go get them.  he might want them today.”

we are grateful.

:: :: :: :: ::

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p.s.  and more grateful that naomi is falling into middle school with ease.  and more grateful still to have had my parents and grandparents here for the last day and a half.  goodness, goodness.

22 thoughts on “muddy

  1. oh that looks glorious – what I would give to have something like that here. I’m so glad that Naomi is doing well in middle school. That hasn’t gone so easy for us thus far. I’m happy for all of you.


  2. I’m touched – awesome post. I appreciate our small town school….you’ve inspired me to write the new principal and ask him to let the children be noisier at lunch!


  3. Wow!!! Public School… what my boys would give to go to a school like that!! What I would give to send them to a school like that!! Heck… what I would give to open a school like that!!!! It really sounds wonderful and so much more enriching than the standard public school… I am so happy you have it!!!


  4. My kids went to the farm school before it was a farm school. We all loved it. Truly, I was sad when Newton closed the small neighborhood schools (Washington, McKinley, Lincoln, Cooper). I voted against that particular bond, not because I don’t want our money to go to the schools, but because I didn’t want those small schools replaced by big schools. Erin went to Cooper for Kindergarten and we loved that too. There’s nothing like every teacher and every parent involved in the school knowing EVERY CHILD.


  5. P.S. are the kids at the school he was at before really quiet at lunch????? I worked in the lunchroom when I first started at our school and there was nothing close to quiet :)


  6. PSS. It’s not that I don’t believe you about the quiet. It’s just shocking and I wonder what they do to get them quiet. Not something I want to replicate, just curious! Also, I’m glad Naomi is adjusting well to middle school. I found with our girls that it was a much harder adjustment for me than for them!! I promise I’ll stop commenting now!


  7. Okay, first!….

    …that school sounds so amazing!!! Such a different perspective than what I’ve heard before. It sounds like Micah’s kind of environment.

    Second,….the kids in Newton have to eat in silence??!!???!! What’s the deal? That’s creepy! I’m picturing a room full of mixed aged children staring down at their food. And an old grumpy lady walking around w/ a whistle at the ready, in case she hears even the slightest sound. Like something out of an old movie about an orphanage….



  8. thank you all for your encouragement.

    after two days, i am sure we’ve made the right decision. he is a different kid.

    we remain grateful and mindful of what all children deserve.


  9. I worked for Micah’s principal (back in the early 90s when she was a teacher and I was a para). It doesn’t surprise me at all that she’s got such a creative vision. I’m guessing Micah will also embrace the technology focus of the school!

    Thanks too for the delightful muddy-buddy baby pics!


  10. Oh, that sounds like absolute HEAVEN!!
    Would he mind if I hid in his backpack every once in a while just to be in all that farmy, muddy, glory??
    Loving those shots, especially the one of Naomi and Micah all muddy long ago and LOVING that happy, happy toothy close-up. It made me smile from ear to ear because his happiness is absolutely palpable!


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