A rich and full learning experience, while par for the course, is not to be taken for granted. At times, I become reflective and take pause to notice what we do from day-to-day, week-to-week at CELC. Yesterday for example, Monday, although typical of the CELC way, was not just any ordinary Monday!
Students arrive and get to the business of a Literature Circle class. Opening their copies of Huck Finn, they read, prepare for the literature circle roles, and quiz each other on the vocabulary for the upcoming test (all 80 words, in context, to be dynamically presented in a written evaluation in a couple of weeks).
One math class pursues understanding decimals and the magnitude of the applications, while another group works on algebraic equations and measures of central tendency. Then, in keeping with our theme of Exploration and Discovery, we engage in a “passion project” presentation on football.
With the idea that any explorer or discoverer began with some seed of inspiration, CELCers take to our study by exploring their passions and then design a way to share with the class in a hands-on way.
Today, Nick uses the white board to enlighten us on the nuances of the game, including offensive and defensive plays, penalties, and other specifics. We then go outside for a practice game!
After that, it’s writing workshop where students work on their mystery-writing pieces, all based on taking a fairy tale and finding a way to solve a puzzle, such as why Humpty fell of the wall, or how did Jack fall.
Some lunch, some outdoor play. Yes – we go outside everyday, no matter the weather! Students toss a football; others build tree forts in the woods.
And now the day really gets cooking. In walks 10-year old Brett Leckey, our guest speaker with us to launch our water science series with the Whitney Water Center to benefit LifeStraw®. About fifteen students also arrive to participate in the series. All join together as Brett shares about the importance of taking care of our water, how LifeStraw® is an affordable way for clean water to be available to people throughout the world, and how he has made a difference.
“6,000 people die a day from water-related diseases, and I want to help,” Brett told his mother, after reading an article about the problem in the 2009 Kids’ Almanac. This one fact made such an impact that he decided he had to do something about it. And so his nonprofit organization Ucan2 was born. In one year he raised over $11,000 to buy Lifestraws to make it easier and safer for more people in the world to drink clean water!
Following Brett’s presentation, Lisa DiFrancesco, educator with the Regional Water Authority’s Whitney Water Center, begins her workshop entitled Wise Water Ways. CELC is offering a series of five different workshops presented by Lisa through the Whitney Water Center. The cost for each of the workshops is a donation toward LifeStraw®
Well, if that were not enough, we then had our final activity of the day – geography bee practice session. In addition to our core group of students, others arrive for the study session in preparation for the National Geography Bee through the National Geographic Society. CELC is this year’s host for all Connecticut homeschoolers. The practice sessions are meant to provide a fun way for students to learn about geography, and while the topic of geography is quite broad, we delve right in – connecting with our own interests as well as pursuing new knowledge.
There you have it – a Monday. And for Tuesday, let’s see … current events, math, a science class (study of rocks and minerals), writing time, and for outdoor education today, another student passion project. This time we will venture onto a hiking trail where Willow will instruct us on the art of nature photography. CELC – oh, the places we go!
For more information and to register for water classes, contact us at [email protected] or call 203-433-4658.