Thursday, June 18, 2015

Cheers to a Wonderful 2014-15 School Year!

Happy Summer!

Thank you for sharing such a joyful and connected school year.  What an honor to offer exploration space for such a dynamic group of children!  They truly developed a meaningful group connection.  Looking forward to running into Klahanie School families around the island this summer and wish you all a joyful summer.



Monday, June 1, 2015

June 2015 Newsletter: End to a Fantastic Year!

Paper-mache solar system 
Klahanie School
June 2015 Newsletter

Whether we're a preschooler or a young teen, a graduating college senior or a retired person, we human beings all want to know that we're acceptable, that our being alive somehow makes a difference in the lives of others.

May 2015 Reflection
What a delightful school year full of so much laughter and connection, this has been a significant year and so much fun!   Thank you to all of your families for being a huge part of that.   And thank you to Patsy for offering so much fun and warmth in the classroom as well as the talents of our Specialists Jordan Beck and Maria Metler.

Wishing you all a joyful summer! 

Mahalo, Muchas Gracias, Merci beaucoup

June Curriculum Topics

It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor.
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?...

It's a neighborly day in this beauty wood,
A neighborly day for a beauty.
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?...

I've always wanted to have a neighbor just like you.
I've always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.

So, let's make the most of this beautiful day.
Since we're together we might as well say:
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won't you be my neighbor?

There are three ways to ultimate success:
The first way is to be kind.
The second way is to be kind.
The third way is to be kind.
·      Please drop-off a white new or old tee shirt for your child for Tie Dying by Tuesday June 9th we will Tie Dye Thursday the 11th!
·      Baby Animals and Frogs (life cycle)
·      Marine life: Puget Sound beaches and grace and courtesy behavior with beaches and marine animals
·      Papas:  Father’s Day love!
·      Summer and Solstice

This is going to be a busy next couple of weeks of wrapping up the school year so hold onto your hats!   

Reminders/Thank You
·      The last day of school is Wednesday June 17th:
o   Classroom Sing-along/Graduation at Noon Early dismissal
o   Please contact me if you would like to come at 11am to help set up the tea and healthy snack that will be served after the sing-a-long. 
o   Parents thank you for arriving at 11:45am; if sunny we will meet in the garden.  If rain, we will meet in the classroom.  Thank you!

o   Family end-year potluck 5pm-7pm Dockton Park 2015-16 new families and Friday returning families welcome!

·      Thank you Jordan for a wonderful morning of felting!

·      Thank you for putting sunscreen on your child as well as supplying them with a water bottle.  We will continue to do our walks to Klahanie beach and having water available is very helpful.  Thank you!

·      Patsy’s surgery is this Tuesday the 2nd.  If you would like to send a card or flowers her way please let me know and I can forward her address. 

And congratulations to Teacher Lauren Johnson and family on the birth of their baby girl Camille!   She is gorgeous and can’t wait to meet her!
2014-15 Class Made


Acting as a bee hive

Fairy seeking


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Mouse Who Lives In A House The Color of Sky: First Draft series of Peace books

The Mouse Who Lived in a House with Walls the Color of Sky
By Emily L Kellow-Graham

There once was a Mouse Who Lived in a House with Walls the Color of Sky: warm oranges, rose pinks, yellows, purples and blues, all the color of the sky.

One day that Mouse decided to visit her Grandmother to gather some lavender for her morning tea.  Her favorite treat was a warmed corn kernel biscuit soaked in neighbor Bumble Berry Bee’s honey and a thimble cup of lavender tea from Grandma’s garden.  

She woke that day and stretcher her arms and yawned, “ah.”   Mouse went to the kitchen and she ate her breakfast.   She went to the bathroom and brushed her teeny-tiny teeth and combed her downy fir.  She went to the door, wrapped her body in a comfy sweater, slipped on her tiny-tiny boots (for she did not want to muddy her paws or get a chill) and opened the door to enter the outside world. 

Many smells were carried to her with a swaying wind and she took a deep breath in, for this was her favorite part of the day.  Mouse would wrap her arms and hug her heart feeling gratitude for this moment of calm and clarity.  

“Thank you gravity that holds me to this beautiful earth, I feel rooted like a plant today!” Mouse sang out-loud.   Today and she found pride in singing instead of whispering her thanks yesterday or thinking her thanks last Monday.  Although she did not mind those quiet moments, she loved when she felt like singing and not caring who heard or how she sounded.  It felt good to say her thanks.  

Mouse Who Lived in a House with Walls the Color of Sky began her walk and squeaked and squealed with joy when she came across and mud puddle to stop in, for those were harder to find this time of year.

She gathered momentum as she approached her Grandma’s house.  Mouse loved her Grandma and her younger Aunties and Uncles.  Her family worked hard together to gather food and water to prepare for the winter months and when her Mama and Papa Mouse needed to work extra hours, Mouse was able to spend time with her Grandma and younger Aunties and Uncles who lived with Grandma.  They always told her stories and asked her fun questions and made her laugh a lot. 

“Grandma, Grandma I am here and where are you?” sing-sang called Mouse into her Grandma’s house.  No answer. 

“Aunties come chase me and nuzzle my neck!  Uncles I’m ready for adventure and to laugh!  Where are you?” again no answer. 

Up the stairs and down the stairs, up the stairs and down the stairs Mouse searched but did not find her family. 

Again she called, “Family, family where are you and cannot find you my family?” 

At first this seemed like a fun hide and seek game and then the cold fearful feeling crept in and she felt her heart pound a little faster, her paws shake and her sight seeing her Grandma’s house larger than usual and too quiet, way too quiet. 

Where were the smells of her family? 

Mouse Who Lived in a House with Walls the Color of Sky walked out in the garden, so much larger than yesterday, sat down under her favorite apple tree and closed her eyes. 

“My heart will tell me how to listen and I will hear what to do,” thought Mouse. 

“I am rooted in the ground like a plant today” Mouse said out-loud. 

Her heart did not feel that yet, the chill of fear was still there.  Again and again she repeated those words and breathed in patience to listen. 

Finally, Mouse was able to hear it.  She rushed to her feet and swiftly ran to her trusting neighbors. 

Bumble-Berry lived with hundreds of family and friends.  Their neighborhood honeycomb hive was a bounty of layers as thick as the honey and just as loving.  Duncan Dog had played with Mouse’s Grandma since they were little and he had always been a trusting friend to all of Grandma’s family. 

Mouse remembered as she ran what her Mama and Papa told her since they worked so much,

“Little Mouse Who Lived in a House with Walls the Color of Sky, be like the sky and reflect the colors of life you see.  If you are ever afraid, ground your feet and ask your heart that you seek an answer to find safety.  You will be calm as the evening twilight purple and just as clear and bright as blue-hued Noon.  If ever you cannot find family, go to Duncan Dog.  He is as old as our apple tree and sweet as a pie.  Or run to Bumble-Berry Bee, the Queen of her neighboring hive and a loyal, compassionate and safe space. “

Mouse ran until her heart beat faster than her feet against the gravel.  She arrived at Duncan’s house out of breath and yet her body immediately started to relax to gravity again when she saw her old friend bent over a garden bed about to trim lettuce leaves. 

“Mouse, darling one what brings you over on such a nice day?” When Duncan spoke his voice sounded like molasses warming over a winter-warmed stove. 

Mouse ran to him and hugged his twitching hind leg and squeezed.  “Duncan, Duncan here you are, here you are my friend.”

Duncan Dog hugged Mouse warmly and offered her a thimble of warmed milk from Cassie Cow’s farm.  “You looked a little worried when you entered the garden, are Mama and Papa at work? “

Mouse nodded silently.

“Did Grandma tell you she was headed to pick up pickling supplies from Cassie Cow’s farm today and that all your Aunties and Uncles needed to join your parents to clear a new area for the harvest? “

“No” Mouse weakly squeaked. 

“Come on then love, lets put on our imagination and think of some fun ways to pass this generous day until your family comes looking for you.  You are a smart-hearted lass to remember how I’m always here for you whenever you need.”  Duncan’s voice bumped a bit when he finished his thought, like a pebble connecting with pond water.

And although her squeak was weak, she felt much stronger holding onto Duncan’s warm paw.  She felt the soft cracks in the well-worn pad.  That felt safe and warm and she knew her family would be home soon, ready to embrace her and ask how her day was spent.  And while she waited, she’d surely enjoy the bounties of food and fun that Duncan was offering to provide.

Dear readers: this story is intended to be the first of a series on Peace development from the inside out.  Using a variety of inner and outer world peace methods, this series will begin with the self and move to the outer connection making with the world to nurture children and family ability to seek empathy, compassion and greater awareness of earth, self and other living forms we share this space with. 

Inspirations of these stories are from Beatrix Potter, Fred Rogers and a family of diverse, amazing love and compassion capacity individuals the author was and continues to be afforded generously. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

May 2015 Newsletter

Klahanie School
May 2015 Newsletter

Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force.  The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward.  When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.
- Karl Menninger
April 2015 Reflection
Thank you for such wonderful conferences!  As always, the joy of sharing how your child is moving, feeling, exploring in class is a fantastically fun experience! 

We had a month full of amazing growths and connection as a group.  Being inspired by the Compassionate Listening work I am thankfully afforded to practice and experience trainings in; our circle times have been sprinkled with compassionate listening exercises tailored for our young multi-age group.  We have been playing a “listening game” each day (the children have begun requesting) where a child holds the talking rock to share a story or thought.  We listeners then have the fun job of listening to the facts and take turns repeating them back.   We also ask the person what they felt, or will some times guess if enough leading words are given during the story and ask if that was the feeling, the emotion?  The last step, if enough is shared in the facts and feelings, I help frame it with “it sounds like you really enjoy or value having quiet, independent time” or “…. time spent with family,” etc. to help highlight the idea of an internal value which are always positive, imbedded truths in all humans and what connects us to one another.  This story/listening exchange along with greeting each and every person around our circle silently, only with present and loving eye contact, are pillar foundations to the work of Compassionate Listening peace development work.  And the Klahanie School children are soaking it up!

This month we also have experienced a class of all boys more frequently than not because the girls have been out of class for varying reasons.  This is a new experience for both Patsy and I in the classroom, to have a classroom with only boys present, and the rewards of such an experience have been plenty.  This has also inspired me to re-look at The Wonder of Boys: What Parents, Mentors and Educators Can Do To Shape Boys Into Exceptional Men by Michael Gurian, PH.D. a wonderful and practical book framed to help support boys becoming sensitive and strong men.  I share this because I am floored by the level of empathy, connection and compassion brought forth by this dynamic group of very young nine males.  I feel deeply honored to be an educator of such a loving group of Teamwork! And when the girls are here with us, it is all the more rewarding!

Earth Day week we celebrated with many earth songs, planting seeds, discussions of edible and non-edible and invasive and non-invasive plants in our garden as well as releasing our Painted Lady butterflies.   We also began more introductions to our solar system. 

March Curriculum Topics
Niche In Nature
I’ve got a Niche in nature, no matter what you say.
I’ve got a niche in nature and it’s going to stay that way.
We’ve each got a niche in nature, whether we’re big or small.
If niches are protected then there’s room enough for us all!

Butterfly Song
Ten little eggs all in a mound, out come the caterpillars crawling around.
Then they will sleep and we know why, out they immerge as butterflies.
Butterfly, butterfly what lovely wings.
Flutter by, flutter by how my heart sings.
Butterfly, butterfly I’d like to know, when it rains, when it rains where do you go?

Bend and Stretch, reach for the sky.
There goes Jupiter, there goes Mars.
Bend and stretch, reach for the sky
Stand on tippy toes oh so high.

·      Our Solar System! 
·      Teamwork: All groups that create teamwork
·      Bees:  bee hives and teamwork, bee life cycle and why they are so important
·      Cinco De Mayo:  More Spanish language introduction, music/dance and foods (please feel free to share what you like from Mexican culture and knowledge!)
·      Mamas!  Mother’s Day love!

Reminders/Thank You
·      The last day of school is moved to Wednesday June 17th:
o   Classroom sing-along at Noon
o   Family end-year party potluck 5pm-7pm Dockton Park

·      Please remember to put sunscreen on your child as well as supply them with a water bottle.  We will continue to do our walks to Klahanie beach and having water available is very helpful.  Thank you!

·      Thank you Meaghan Goliday for organizing our Scholarship fundraiser!  And to all those who sold, bought and supported!   This always goes a long way!

·      Please check out our Parent Reference on our school blog for some amazing children and family book references we visited this month