One of my greatest joys at Awakening Seed for over 35 years was the chance to have all five of my grandchildren at the school during a twelve year span. There was even one year when all five were present at the same time. Zoë, the oldest, was the first second-generation Seed who started at age 3 in the summer of 2000. Her sister Emily followed soon after as a member of our first toddler class. They grew up at the school and still maintain friendships with children they played with on the Seed playground. Both were 5th grade Seed graduates. Emily tied a record with her Aunt Astraea that no other child will match, attending the Seed for 10 years. Now that we no longer have 5th grade, it’s a mathematical impossibility.
My other grandchildren, Grace, Tre and Faith have their own Seed legacy. Their Awakening Seed years were as toddlers and preschoolers, all starting out with Aunt Sarah in the Toddler 1s. As they moved up through the toddler and preschool classes, they all eventually landed in Ms. Deb’s Preschool 4s class. Due to enrollment and scheduling circumstances, Grace and Tre were in Deb and Billie’s class two consecutive years each and Faith had one. The spacing of their birthdays created a five-year sibling run in the Preschool 4s.
Each year Deb’s class spends nearly an entire semester exploring the details of a broad topic. Generally, the children pick topics as a homework assignment and then they vote on their chosen study, During Grace’s first year they ended up with the Alphabet of Experts because their were too many varied topics. Her second year the Ice Age was the selected study. I remember during their open house walking up to a table where Grace was sitting and she explained to me the difference between a dinosaur and a mammal. It was always so impressive what those kids learned.
When Tre entered the class the next year, their big study was the Medieval Ages. The classroom had a large cardboard castle and there was always a surplus of princesses and knights in plastic armor. On the day of their open house, Tre exclaimed to me, “Hey, Mamie. Today’s our evil day!” Thinking he may have missed the point, I asked him what the knights did in the medieval ages and he said something like, “They protect the queens and princesses.” His second year with Ms. Deb took his class on a trip through the Amazon rainforest. Their classroom was transformed into a magical place that held creatures and plants of one of our planet’s most precious environments.
This year Faith was a part of the Preschool 4s’ World Food and Culture study. An airplane shape was taped to the carpeting, in which they all gathered for take-off to each new country. Children would take turns at the controls, flying to the next destination. One day I was in the classroom and noticed that Faith and a friend were at the controls for quite awhile. When I commented about it, they said, “It’s a long trip.” Throughout the study they tasted an array of foods from all over the world, made posters and gave reports about their assigned country, and created a flag from each country. Parents were involved in all aspects of the study, which kept enthusiasm high.
The Preschool 4s’ plane has landed, the school year is over and soon my youngest granddaughter will join her siblings at the public school were their father is the principal. It is the end of an era in the Preschool 4s and at the Seed as well. I thank all the teachers who have given my grandchildren so much. The gift of Seed time with them will remain a precious memory for the rest of my days.