Week 3 at Tsula Adohi – Autumn Semester 2022
We had another wonderful week, and it wasn’t all easy. What you won’t see here in these weekly summaries are the details of interpersonal dynamics. I omit those details out of respect for the safe space we’ve nurtured as we co-create our community. And, while the details of our interpersonal interactions are not crucially important here, the fact that we make room for them absolutely is. It is all about open communication! First and foremost, we are all becoming increasingly comfortable with ourselves, each other and being out in the forest! The growth in some of the kids is truly incredible.
In particular “L” and “R” have become a wonderful team, which has helped “L” become way more comfortable in the forest. And, “B” finished her first draft of her bush-crafted chair which involved learning how to tie a slip knot, a half hitch and a clove hitch and how to lash and use a saw and knife safely along with how to implement a simple design for a bush-crafted chair. “A” spent most of his time at our remote site (the kids call it Strider Creek) working on a fire started with a Ferro rod and then building and extinguishing it. I called the other kids in at various times to talk about the physical science of fire. “R” and “L” continued to mostly work on trapping and releasing minnows and crayfish, ultimately with the aid of a trap crafted from a former snack container. On our way to and from Strider Creek we continued to identify plants based on the pattern of arrangement of their leaves and flowers and to discuss patterns of interaction that we observed.
In addition to our forest time, we also continued to practice our archery techniques. Our new recurve bow for us bigger kids came in and “B” and “A” were both excited to give it a try. The kids are interested in various amounts of feedback and I try to always ask them if they’re interested in receiving said feedback, before I give it. “A” and I continued to practice Taijiquan and Amy kicked off a sewing activity as well. We also continued our ongoing Math class which mostly operates like side-by-side tutorials with me doing the best that I can to carefully match the problems each are working on to their current abilities and feelings. Next week I want to bring in more variety of activity types during math for the 3 kids that are working mostly on arithmetic.
Some other activities from last week: The kids watched the Lorax together, which was very sweet. “A” read the Hobbit to the rest of the kids, which was also super sweet. We also spent some time talking about getting involved in the Save Lick Creek project in connection with starting a local Earth Guardian crew and began reviewing the Earth Guardians core agreements. By Thursday our after check-in meeting evolved into a SCRUM-like (from Agile) meeting with a well-organized schedule for the day as a product.
All in all, figuring out what it means to be our version of a forest middle/high school together with a balance of respect for the children’s freedom and autonomy and our adult wishes that our children be capable guardians and regenerators of the Earth continues to feel regenerative from here!