What the Farm Offers
Dear Lower School Families,
The month of October represents a season of change. The natural world is shifting to prepare for the coming winter months. In the lower school, October also marks an important moment of transition for third and fourth graders- the season of farm visits.
Since its founding, LREI, then Little Red Schoolhouse, has included the farm trip as an essential component of the curriculum. In its earliest iteration, the children spent the month of June, beginning in the Sixes and Sevens, at "June Camp." Elisabeth Irwin envisioned a community of learners who understood that in order to make a connection to the world, one must actually leave the building. In doing so, these trips offered students the opportunity to bring their developing skills of analysis and problem solving to new situations, within a community of learners with a shared purpose and a desire to deepen the relationships within the group.
In her book, The Little Red Schoolhouse, Agnes De Lima writes of the June Camp trip, "As the days passed, the children became more confident and anticipated new experiments and new freedoms instead of shrinking from them.” As I shared with the third and fourth grade families this year, the farm offers each student the gift of experimenting with the ability to take risks and learn the limits of their capacity to persevere in the face of a challenge- be it cooking a meal for a group for the first time or spending the first night away from parents. The lessons learned at the farm have a far-reaching impact on the lives of LREI students and will help to shape their approach to learning for years to come.
De Lima, Agnes (1942). The Little Red School House, New York, NY: Macmillan Company