Then you can build a rocket-ship...
"If you've had the experience of binding a book, knitting a sock, playing a recorder, then you feel that you can build a rocket ship-or learn a software program you've never touched. It's not bravado, just a quiet confidence. There is nothing you can't do. Why couldn't you? Why couldn't anybody?"
Peter Nitze, Waldorf and Harvard graduate, and
Director of an aerospace company
My children are in class 3 at Kufunda Village school. The third year is a particular hands-on year, as the children at this age are in the middle of a particular significant life crossing. The 9/10 year transition is one where they leave young childhood behind, and realise perhaps for the first time that they are in fact on this life journey alone. Mom and dad are there (hopefully), friends are there, but fundamentally they are on a solo journey. The feeling of oneness that is such a blessed part of early childhood begins to fall away. And so at this time we offer the children learning and experiences that connect them more strongly back into the web of life.
In class three they put their hands in the soil with their farming and gardening main lessons.
At Kufunda they also get to help with the pigs, and horses and other animals; they learn that they can build their own shelter out of materials from the earth. (Our children built a simple shelter and a teepee). They experience how to make crafts much like the earliest people did (pottery and weaving were our simple yet profound experiences). They also enter the realm of money to learn how this medium helps them connect with their fellow human beings. Ours created their own money and made their own shop. They learnt, that if everyone had valuable offerings in their shop, then even painted paper strips could serve very well as their medium of exchange :).
We have a young Waldorf assistant teacher Dorothee with us accompanying our children on their way. She grew up in the Waldorf school system, and I see in her this incredible quality of being able to do anything. Her creativity is alive. During the money main lesson, she realised that it would be complicated for the children to manage all their paper money and paper coins they had made. So she got some felt, and swiftly sewed them each a small wallet for their funds. There and then! I would have wondered where to buy what they needed, rather than simply create it myself.
And so my children, and the children of Kufunda are learning right now the ways in which they fundamentally belong to this place, to this earth. They are learning the ways how they can work with what they have to make what they need. They are learning it in the spirit of respect and love for nature. They receive the gift of embodied learning, in connection with the natural world all around them. And yes: they are also learning Maths and English - and whatever else the world deems to be most important. It is integrated so beautifully. It is a part of a connected whole.
Our dream is to grow this school. To be a school for children from all walks of life! We are only 30 minutes out of Harare. A little school bus could easily bring the city kids to an education that is natural, nourishing and affirming the creative spark in each child.
Will you help us build this school?
Will you participate to manifest this dream?
This school is here already! NOW: It just needs a little nourishment to grow further and invite more children and their parents!.