what happens when kids focus

Amazing things. That’s what happens. If we’re talking about favorite days of school, I might point to this one as one of mine. Technically the last day of Expression (though we’re extending our deadline to the end of the day on Monday), the kids had a full realization of what limited time means. Everyone worked steadily and with an immense amount of focus on their projects. They all helped each other out. They fell into a rhythm and it was more than kind of beautiful.

Coke brought in a piece of the beehive in his yard that the bees abandoned. The heady honey smell floated through the space as the kids explored the empty hive and searched for honey and pockets of pollen. Lola said as she ripped through some comb, “The bees will be mad at us when they turn into zombies.”

focus

focus

Kid City sign-making continued.

focus

focus

focus

Richard the architect arrived with pieces of redwood partway through the morning to plant a tree on the cork floor.

focus

The kids helped hoist the logs into their full upright position.

focus

focus

focus

focus

focus

Beautiful.

focus

Kristie made rice balls, miso soup, and green tea for everyone at snack today. Wow, so good! Thanks, Kristie.

focus

Reading in the privacy of the Kid City room.

focus

New heights.

focus

And a hole in the floor for quick escapes.

focus

Interior designing.

focus

focus

focus

When Connor, Ben, Isaac, and Kaia managed to get the domed roof on top of Kid City, Ben shouted, “It’s Google SketchUp come to life!”

focus

Writing postcards to each other from mysterious places during quiet time.

focus

And of course, no Friday would be complete without a little more fun, this time in the form of a rope swing.

focus

focus

focus

It’s been six weeks of school and we’ve already done so much! I like watching for the little things: the popping eyes in the kids’ faces when Mackenzie tells a thrilling story at lunch, the concentration when drilling a screw in Kid City, the sheer guts it takes to turn a bunch of plywood into a domed roof, the way the kids ask each other for help, and the friendships they’ve already started forming. I feel so lucky to be part of a place that will help kids know so much that’s important about the world and themselves and each other.

not friday!

This morning as I greeted students in their Carhartt coveralls coming into school with a “Happy Friday!”, I received a “What? It’s Friday?”, a “No! I don’t want it to be Friday!”, and a “I’m going to die without school!”

Band meetings in the morning. The Slightly Undead Goats visited Coffee Bar.

no! it's friday!

no! it's friday!

Then it was back to work!

no! it's friday!

And reading.

no! it's friday!

Our first Expression phase is coming to a quick close with only three days of school next week, so there was a big rush to work on unfinished furniture and sectioning out spaces in Kid City.

no! it's friday!

no! it's friday!

no! it's friday!

Audrey wrote, “I played and made a counter.”

no! it's friday!

no! it's friday!

Other projects continued, too.

no! it's friday!

“Today I started building my house/store. I also crocheted,” Zada wrote.

no! it's friday!

no! it's friday!

A view from the second story.

no! it's friday!

A pre-preview of Kid City.

no! it's friday!

no! it's friday!

Quinn wrote about his day, “Today my band group went to a market and got some snacks. Two new kids came to visit for the day. Today I also learned how to use the jig saw, and got better and better.”

When the collaborators told everyone that there was a four-day weekend this weekend, the cries of “NOOOO!!!” vastly overruled the only halfhearted hoorays. What other kind of school gets that kind of response?

read, build, design

The kids planned their own days again today! The bands wrote out their activities for their Tuesdays on white boards so everyone would know what the plan was. They were busy and focused as they worked on their projects, took breaks at the park, and read all day.

Clementine, Zada, and Kaia decided to try their hand at busking and became trobairitzes – the feminine version of a troubadour – performing poetry and songs for passersby.

read, build, design

read, build, design

Construction moved forward.

read, build, design

read, build, design

read, build, design

read, build, design

Designing utili-aprons with fabric and staples.

read, build, design

read, build, design

read, build, design

Our beautiful library! Thank you for the generous donations from our families, as well as a friend to the school who gave us a whole set of YA books.

read, build, design

A half an hour of quiet reading after lunch, a practice we’re beginning to structure into our days.

read, build, design

read, build, design

read, build, design

read, build, design

The Brightworks Book Club – Coke’s idea started today. We read the first two chapters of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

read, build, design

The preciseness of the chop saw.

read, build, design

Trapped!

read, build, design

Furniture for Kid City houses.

read, build, design

Writing at the end of the day.

read, build, design