Julia's Garden Newsletter ?: Fall Weather Chills, Fundraiser Reminder, Thanksgiving Celebrations, Last Day to Order Photos this Week and More!
In the Garden 🍁
The holiday season has arrived, with wintery weather to complete the experience. As formative-year educators, we always welcome this time of year and the learning opportunities it provides: let’s talk about what we are wearing, how the air makes our noses feel, how we can learn to zip a zipper, flip a coat, or help a friend do these tasks inside of our learning environment. And, who can forget the stories, treats and buzz of the holiday season as we work to harvest and make holiday snacks together!
Our fall garden is growing bigger everyday! We are now able to harvest sprouting greens for washing and cooking. Kale, collards, mustard and broccoli are all ripe for the trimming and Ms. Natalie as been hosting our children in small groups to experience the bounty of salad greens we have now: lettuce, kale, bok choy, Asian mustard greens, spinach, herbs, chives, oregano, rosemary and parsley were all harvested this past week for preparation to use during snack menus for our thanksgiving-themed week ahead!
In the Classroom 🥣
Each class is finding a way to celebrate the upcoming holiday. In the Hay House, the children are celebrating autumn by making delicious fall-inspired snacks like apple cider muffins, pumpkin bread and pecan and pumpkin scones. Pecan collecting and cracking has been a popular activity in all of the communities this month. The nutcracker used is a lever mechanism that encourages the children to use maximum effort to crack the pecan, then their fine motor skills to remove the nut from the shell. The result is a tasty treat after a lot of hard, yet very rewarding, work.
Artwork in both of our ICs pulls many fall elements together: gluing leaf, acorn, and pumpkin shaped paper onto pumpkin cut outs, as well as working with orange watercoloring and crayoning, help fill our mornings with creativity. This week, Hay House children will make bird feeders as gesture of kindness towards all living creatures. YCC children have also been enjoying observing and talking about the lettuces coming up in the garden and are looking forward to preparing a Thanksgiving-themed community snack on Thursday: with the help of many hands, there will be potato mashing, sage snipping, salad green washing, squash chopping, and bread-baking. What a feast of plenty!
Casa will be sharing what they are thankful for and discussing the gift of abundance all around during Circle Time this week. Along with discussing, it will be illustrated for the children by harvesting ingredients for a garden salad and baking a pecan pie from pecans collected and shelled earlier this month. Staff and children will eat together family-style on Thursday, adding the salad and allergen-free “pie” to lunch plates. The Main House has plans for a community-contributed feast, read below for a fall update from Mrs. Meagan and how you can participate:
"All at once the holidays are upon us. In the classroom festive rituals and celebrations have begun. Meaningful cultural experiences of the seasons give children a touchstone to understand the cycle of one year. Sensory experiences of music, food, and storytelling make the abstract meanings of holidays relevant to the young child. The children relished participating in the spooky story of the witches brew and eating skull shaped (diary-free and gluten-free - thank you Liz!) cookies along with orange fruits and vegetables as a special snack on Halloween Day. We are thrilled to be invited by the casa class to celebrate Dia de los Muertos this year! Thank you to the parents who created the beautiful ofrenda on display in the Casetta. The children loved participating in this deep and meaningful experience. November brings more celebrations of harvest and gratitude. On Thursday November 15th the children will set up and serve each other a Thanksgiving feast. Click here if you are interested in contributing an item to our Thanksgiving on our special day. Our celebration will not preclude lunch, but may diminish appetites so please back your child's lunch accordingly. Thanks again for helping us create meaningful cultural experiences for the children!” - Mrs. Meagan, Main House Community
This month, we celebrate Felix’s 3rd birthday on the 3rd (magic birthday!), Findlay’s on the 7th, Zahra will be 3 on the 20th and Dylan turns 4 on the 27th. A special happy birthday and 3rd year work anniversary celebration to Ms. Phoebe on the 21st!
Reminders and Dates 📆
We are in full swing of our Fall Fund Drive that ends in just 3 weeks, please don’t forget to donate. This is your last chance for a tax free donation from our fiscal sponsors; we need 100% participation from the parent community! GIVE THE GIFT OF EDUCATION to your child this holiday season, and give a tax break gift to yourself!
Farm to Fork tickets are still available online, don’t miss this amazing event our staff and parents are working so hard to put together. If you missed the early bird sale, you can still buy tickets at early bird prices this Thursday at pick up. Awesome House Mamas will be standing by to take your orders in person!
As a reminder, we will be closed for the week of Thanksgiving next week starting November 19th, class resumes November 26th. Have a great Thanksgiving break!
November 15th - Last Day to Order School Pictures!
November 18th - Alt Ed Festival of Learning, 12:00 - 5:00 PM at Fiesta Gardens. Come and see us at our booth and enter for a chance to win 2 unlimited wristbands to Farm to Fork!
November 19 - 22nd - School Closed for Thanksgiving Holiday
November 27th - Basket-Making Party at Katherine’s House for Farm to Fork 6:00 - 8:30 PM
November 29th - Farm to Fork Fundraiser, 6:00 - 10:00 PM @ VUKA Collective
December 5th - Taller Lower Elementary Program Information Session in Casetta, 10:30 - NOON
January 30th - Toileting and Your Toddler Talk with Ms. Katherine, 10:15 - 11:30 AM
January 23rd - February 27th - How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids will Talk Series with Natalie Atwater 6:00 - 7:30 PM weekly
February 28th - Wine & Wisdom Talk with Meagan Welch.
I hope everyone stays warm during this chilly fall week!
Julia's Garden Montessori 🌸
“I did not invent a method of education. I simply gave some little children a chance to live.” - Maria Montessori
Skylar reads to a very engaged Boze and Henry while Lyla explores the Doctor Work; later, Ms. Carissa leads a pre-snack song about what the children will be eating and Aldo works on seed germination during Outside Time.
In the Hay House the children are busy working and making friends! Senna makes sure that cutting board is greased and ready for action and Stefano arranges seasonal zinnias for the table. Varenna puts the finishing touches on banana muffins for Snack Time and Vivian shows her appreciation for good friend, Harvey, before the meal.
Informal Hay House group photo opp above! Later, Varenna and friends explore the sensorial experience of what the inside of a pumpkin feels like then enjoy the jack-o-lantern results 🎃
During Gardening Class with Ms. Natalie, the children plants seeds and water and wash veggies with the YCC children.
Max works with “h” and spells words with the moveable alphabet while Zahra works with the trinomial cube. Gracy explores the Farm Work and Dylan and Hudson happily engage in the thousands board. Jakson proudly crumbs the table after spice grinding, and Junali cracks lawn pecans for pie.
The number rods are complete! A proud Andres shows off his work while OIiver lines up the knobbed cylinders. Later, we see the class honoring Felix’s 3rd year in a traditional Montessori birthday circle. A big thank you to Felix’s mom, Wency, for her Day of the Dead presentation! Both primary classes enjoyed the experience of their first “Ofrenda" and many children had special stories about loved ones to share with the group.
The Main House work period is a beautiful thing to witness: Ms. Meagan gives individual lessons, Ellis works with yarn cutting for collage, Juno cracks pecans, Ella reads and Orion visit his soon-to-be classroom for the first time with wide eyes and smiles.
Our Day of the Dead Feast started the week out right!! Above, we see Violet working with the Golden Beads and Anders counts out tens with found objects in the classroom. Ashley assists Aiden and Ellis with spelling sounds and Lion works on language cards with Ms. Lindsay.
Outside games like Chess and Chinese Checkers have been a great learning and collaboration opportunity for Main House children while Aiden’s arm is on the mend. We see Lana helping with clean up - ha! - and Ruairidh makes a winged friend during a Garden Lesson. The girls enjoyed jacket weather today and are now prepped and ready for the rest of the week’s chilliness to come ❄️
M-Th 9AM -4PM
Bouldin Creek, ATX 78704