The adolescent students, ten in all, raised hogs, lambs and goats, to participate in this livestock event. It is the culmination of many months of hard work. Read more
It began with Miss Joya lovingly planting some basil plants over the summer with her children. She tended them regularly, a true testament to exactly how much time she spent in her classroom over the summer months. By the first week of school, they were just exploding.
Since our school mission includes sustainable agriculture and free play in nature, we thought it would be a great idea to involve the students in some way. Here is how it went: Read more
These chickens have enriched our lives so much since they came to our school. To begin with, the children hatched them out in their classrooms, carefully monitoring the temperature and checking the humidity of the incubators. They candled them and got to see through the shell the living, moving embryo contained within – an embryo that is similar to a human’s for a period of time. That was an amazing lesson! They got to witness the tiny chicks’ great effort to get out of the shell, and what happens if they cannot.
The children displayed tremendous empathy when one chick struggled to survive for the first 24 hours. They organized heat lamps, shavings, water, food, and shelter as the chicks grew. They built a small fenced area for them to run around in daily. It was great. Read more
The great things in life never come easily. It is sort of like climbing Mount Everest – imagine the feeling you get when you reach the summit!!!
We are not there yet, of course. But we finally got some traction, and we made it over that part where the rocks under our feet kept shoving us backward instead of forward. (That would be the four different sources of financing that fell through.) But we never lost sight of our goal and were never deterred.
We got busy fundraising and getting the Mountainside name out in the community. Finding the right property to fulfill our vision took almost a year, and I cannot tell you how much property we looked at in Orlean, Hume, Marshall, and Warrenton. But I do remember arriving at 4206 Belvoir Road and instantly feeling that this was going to be the new home of Mountainside Montessori. Read more
We were honored by a visit from Harvey Ussery yesterday, widely known in these parts as the “Chicken Man” for his vast knowledge of and advocacy for the birds.
He spent more than an hour answering the children’s questions. Then he taught them to clip the wings, herd the flock, and the proper maintenance and composting of the litter in their coop. They learned that the covering on a hen’s ear matches the color of her eggs, that hens molt every fall and don’t lay at the time, and that our roosters were not nearly as aggressive as the children thought.
Now our flock is appropriately confined to a large fenced area and roosts in their coop at night. This morning, the children saw the result of their care: The first egg laid in the grass. Believe it or not, it has already been cooked and eaten!