Dear Friends of MEC!
Just a friendly update on what is happening with us.
We have been having so much fun in Club MEC, making good foods, and planting seeds to sell at our May Fundraiser. We are joining forces with the Redline Grill, and the Cinco De Wino event on May 4th from 11-4PM. We will be occupying the downtown store & front porch to sell our plant starts.
Did you see us on the news!?! You can find that clip here: http://krcrtv.com/news/shasta-county/manton-residents-fight-for-new-charter-school-after-only-school-gets-shut-down
This week we will be making homemade pasta, and planting more seeds. We have started a unit on housing, different types of housing, and structures that people live in around the world. We will eventually (when the sun comes back) have our own little town outside called "Roxaboxen" (see book here: ) complete with its own currency. :)
Mark your calendars, April 11th @6PM, the Antelope Elementary School District will be voting on whether to lease the school campus to our community or sell it. Once we hear the decision then we can move forward with our plans. We have been ruminating on having community potlucks and kick ball tournaments on the baseball field, bike races on the track, Manton AGventure Field Days for Public Schools, Farm to Fork dinners under the pines, etc....
We have submitted a grant to the Shasta Regional Community Foundation for an art & music enrichment program we plan to roll out in August. It will feature Meet the Masters art curriculum and Cajun Box Drum rhythm class.
Do you have a good idea?
Do you want to teach our kiddos some skill?
Please don't hesitate to contact us! We have started planning the 19/20 Club MEC year. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
PS: Feel free to print this out and share it with neighbors
Manton Education Council is a 501c3 non-profit, dedicated to keeping education in Manton and rural areas of Northern California.
On Monday, August 20th the Manton Education Council started their afterschool program. The program, CLUB MEC, can be utilized by all the children of Manton, toddlers, preschoolers, homeschoolers and public school kids of Manton.
We received a grant from Rolling Hills Foundation to help keep education local. With the increased push by BIG EDUCATION, to save money at the expense of our children's quality of life, the people of Manton Education Council are dedicated to keeping education and our children local.
Club MEC is a club that meets twice a week and is filled with activity. Our first meeting was Monday, August 20th. We went on a nature scavenger hunt and then paired up and put our collection into scientific categories. Then, once we had our boards done, the children gathered around each teams work and the teammates spoke about how they came to organize their charts. The children offered excellent feedback.
The children dined on organic peaches & cream. The little children played with play silks, puzzles, building blocks, paints and the older children met to start developing the Manton Apple student run newsletter. They decided the Manton Apple will be published every other month and will include categories such as History Corner, Nature Notes, Interviews with Locals, Animal Insight, and Current Events.
The children thrived in a free-form education setting, excited to look into topics, engaged when discussing water-ways with Mr. Matt.
We are honored and thrilled to offer this program to our community's children.
Book mark this page, more blogging to come.
It was nice to be back together again after our holiday break. Breathing the cool fresh air, with sunlit paths, made for perfect conditions for our Science Friday Adventure hike. Jack & Maddy, headed out with a compass and notepad to create a map of the Pistachio Heart Trail, and the rest of us headed straight up to the pond to see what has been happening since we last visited.
On the way, we decided to stop and create a heart on the side of the path with fallen pine cones. While gathering pine cones, Willa notice a nice flush of tiny mushrooms, and Scout was delighted to find a stash of pine nuts! “Look," she shouted, "lets crackem’ with a stone and eat’em”. Further up the trail at the base of a grey pine, was a large mound of squirrel pinecone litter. Willa dove in, noticing the heat of the mound as she scratched her hands over the litter. Which launched Grace into a talk about decomposition.
We continued our walk noticing signs that winter was on its way. We sung our phonics song along the way, which is very fun to sing. It goes like this, “The A says, aaa, the A says, aaa, every letter makes a sound, the A says aaaa. The B says, bah, the B says bah" etc. Once we arrived at the pond, we talked about the many creates that use the pond as their habitat; frogs, tadpoles, fish, birds, dear, rabbits, squirrels.
We came back from our walk to fresh hot pomegranate scones and nettle tea and talked about our favorite parts of the adventure. Jack said he loved using the compass to track all the different directions the path took, Maddy said her favorite part was sitting by the Buddah Watering hole, Maisie said she loved finding pinecones with moss on them, and Grace said she loved teaching the kids about decomposition. We finished up the day with the next chapter in our story book, The Wise Enchanter.
Science Friday was a great big adventure! We hiked up to the watering hole, and found that many things had changed since we last were there. Black eyed susans had sprung up, the horsetail was shooting up new tendrils down the edge of the water, and some baby dill plants began pushing their heads up, thinking it was spring.
We brought mason jars up to the watering hole, and layered them with rocks, then soil, then moss. Maisie found dock seeds dried to the end of a long stock. We picked some off and gently put them into our jars, and tapped soil over them. We sealed them up to wait for magic to happen.
After making our jar habitats, we put on our Owl Eyes, and Deer Ears and hiked up to the pond. We were looking for signs of fall. Jack, our cartographer, ran up ahead. He yelled out, "signs of fall", as he kicked through layers of oak leaves. The littles came running up to join in the fun of kicking the leaves. Willa, called out "more signs of fall!" as she grabbed, plucking off the pink, red, and yellow round redbud leaves. "Let's sail boats", Grace said, and the children ran to the pond edge to glide their boats onto the water's surface.
On the bank of the pond, Scout noticed the wild grasses had seeds on their tips, and began sliding her fingers across the stem and flinging the grass seed into the breeze, watching them flutter across the pond. "The air is spreading the seeds for the grass, the water will carrying the seed to another part of the pond, to root and grow. What other ways can seeds spread?" I said.
Jack, quickly called out, by animals, on their fur, Maisie chimed in, by humans on their shoes, and Willa said, in bird poop! Giggles rose up from the group. Yes! you are all correct.
Children in nature, attuned to the beauty that surrounds them, no better learning environment.
On Friday, October 13th the Manton Education Council started the Manton Valley Homeschool Co-Op Science Fridays! Our classes will take place on Meyerhof Farm and our focus is on preschool, Kindergarten & 1st grade science curriculum, however, we have older homeschoolers joining us as well.
Our first day was filled with excitement!
Class started at 9AM, where we hiked up the path to Buddha's Watering hole.
On the farm, we have created a wetlands for animals to get drinks and bathe. Turns out it's a great learning space for children to observe habitat in action. We have many visitors, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, finches, jays, deer, butterflies, dragonflies, and much more. We will be coming to our sit spot weekly to draw and talk about the changes in nature.
This week we talked about using our Owl Eyes, and Deer Ears (Coyote's Guide to connecting with Nature) to observe what is happening all around us. When we closed our eyes to listen with our large deer ears, we heard hummingbirds working the giant eucalyptus tree, and a scrub jay flutter by. The children were so excited! We talked about things that make up a good home for the birds. All the things that make up a habitat.
Our personal homeschool vision on the farm is that learning can be exciting and fun at any age. We believe in multigenerational learning and we welcome to our group, Grace, an 8th grader, she acts as class aide and blogger. Maddy a 6th grader, will also be a class aide, and a 4th grader, Jack. Jack will be the class cartographer, charting all we experience on our adventures & microbiology teacher. Jack will be learning microbiology as a part of his homeschool curriculum and will share what he learns with our group.
We closed our science friday with a reading from Sybil Von Olfers' book, "The Story of the Root Children". Next week, we are gearing up to make shoebox habitats!
--Blog update by Marlo