We've been blessed to have each of our five children transition
(all at their own choosing) from homeschool to 7th and 8th grades (except for Isaac who started 2nd grade this year) at a wonderful and very small (K-8, 20 kids per class) community school, or charter school. Some of you may not be familiar with these types of schools. Publicly funded institutions, (there is no tuition) they have the feel of and are operated similarly to private schools, but with much more flexibility and specialization as far as curriculum and vision go than your typical, neighborhood public school. Parents play a very active roll as board members and are essential in helping the school succeed and function optimally.
Dedicated to excellence, the combined efforts of students, parents, teachers, and administers make for such a feeling of unity, almost like family, with a common goal and mission. This is one of the things I love most about this school.
One of the favorite traditions we all love and look forward to every year is the annual Renaissance Feast held a couple of days before Thanksgiving. The older students in grades 5th, 6th, and 8th grades study this time period intensely and are invited to participate by sharing some of the things they've been studying in their classes. Things like music on their recorders and other percussion instruments of the era, as well as Madrigal singing and dancing. Grade 6 even performs a challenging theatrical performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream that they diligently work on and memorize since school began in August.
Our wonderful director, along with a troupe of parent volunteers, puts on this over the top, memorable feast. The lunchroom is beautifully transformed into a Great Hall with a parent couple taking their places as King and Queen at the Royal table. (They really get into the part! So much fun.) All the special details, including the food- nuts, crackers, cheeses, apple slices, cut up raw vegetables, breads, roast chicken, and little pies or tarts (eaten with only the hands, of course!), time in the stocks for the naughties, the student jester entertainment, the creative costumes worn by everyone (including the "servants" like me)- all of it certainly makes the learning come alive in such an unforgettable, meaningful way.