First full week of school at LSUHS!
Our first full week…
Monday was a holiday, so another short week for students! They had to wait until Tuesday to meet our newest farm member, Ember. Tuesday was also the beginning of our two 10 week LSUHS/homeschool partner classes with extra student participation. We are offering our “Express yourself through writing” and “Intro to graphic design” classes to the homeschooling community.
We started our writing class with a warmup game of “ABC Dice.” Students played a few rounds of this antique word building game before moving on to a bit bigger writing challenge. Our next warmup also served as an icebreaker for our new students. We had two columns on the chalkboard. In one column students listed things they had issues with or typcial teen problems (driver’s license testing, crippling depression, etc). In the other column, students listed their favorite TV/Movie character. Then, they chose a topic and character and wrote a couple of sentences about the topic from the perspective and voice of the TV Character. For instance, one student chose the character of Castiel from the TV show “Supernatural” to write an opinion on getting a driver’s license.
I don’t understand why I need a drivers license. I’m an angel of the lord. This is pointless. I have have been around for thousands of years. I watched you create cars. I can drive one. Completely pointless. Humanity is lucky I love them.
This exercise proved to be quite amusing!
After lunch, LSUHS students not interested in the graphic design class (an elective for our students), worked on farm projects. They made some headway in getting the seasonal porch closed in so we can keep it warm enough for the fodder which needs 65º or higher to grow.
Meanwhile, others began the graphic design journey! We showed a video about copyright and discussed what can and can’t be done with artwork you did not create or own as well as what is needed to copyright your own work. Then we launched Photoshop and covered the differences between bitmapped vs vector art, color correction over different devices and started learning about the program iteself!
Wedensday Field Trip
Wednesday started normally – on the farm with chores. But we headed out immediately afterward, picked up two exchange students (from Italy and Estonia) and headed up to visit the historic Mainstreet shopping district of Culpeper, VA. Students explored the beautifully revitalized area of Davis Street, visited several of the businesses and talked to business owners. We had a brief discussion about the growth and revitalization that occurred after Walmart and other big box stores located in the town a short distance from where we were. We all enjoyed some real coffee and beverages at the Raven’s Nest Coffee shop before heading to our next stop – the Minuteman Minimall. The Minuteman Minimall is a large warehouse filled with small vendors who sell a varitey of old, distinctly American items. It is a fun way to see a bit of our history. Wednesday ended with a late dropoff to student’s homes in Richmond.
Thursday Field Trip
Like Wednesday this week, Thursday also started out normally at the farm with chores. Our typical morning routine consists of some quick farm chores and 15 minute walk about the property. Then, we collect in the main classroom and have a brief morning meeting to get the day rolling. We record the weather, share something with the class, look up the word of the day, discuss the projects for the day and any problems from the day before. After the meeting, the students have some independent study time before we get into our regular academics.
After lunch, we loaded up the LSUHS and exchange students again and headed over to Richmond’s Holocaust museum. Students spent a few hours reading and digesting the information and visuals presented. This museum is a very well executed story from the perspective of Holocaust survivers who have settled in the Richmond area.
Links to things and places referred to in this article:
- ABC Dice game. We orginially purchased this on a National Park visit.
- Supernatural TV Show. Mentioned by one of the students. Castiel, a character in the show is also the LSUHS Mascot dog’s name.
- Adobe’s Creative suite includes Photoshop – the first software application we are covering in our graphic design class. This is available to students at a very low rate!
- Culpeper, VA is a rural community nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains with a thriving revitalized mainstreet shopping district. Raven’s Nest Coffee House, Reigning Cats & Dogs, and the Camaleer, were some of the shops we visited.
- Minuteman Minimall is an antique warehouse chock full of vintage American items at very reasonable prices.
- Holocaust Museum in Richmond, VA tells the story of local holocaust survivors.
Richmond Times Dispatch - "When a Farm is Your Classroom"
Goochland Gazette - "Local Farm School Making Move to Charles City"
Cheryl Tan Media Podcast 49: [Strategy] Re-engage Your Tribe
Richmond Magazine – Private School Report 2017
NBC12 – Farm-based high school offers alternative for students
Goochland Gazette - "A new view of school"
Educators Challenged to Increase Interest in Agriculture