Classes are about to begin! Here’s what you need to know…

We are so excited about this fall! Our teachers are ready; we found church spaces that are going to be absolutely perfect; all that is left is meeting our beautiful students!

Our first day will be September 7, 2018 at Living Faith Baptist Church. We will start promptly at 9:30, with gathering time for hymns, poetry, and announcements. Then we will break into two groups and soak in the riches of a Charlotte Mason-styled feast!

Lunch will be at 12 noon. Please pack something relatively less messy than you might choose to eat at home, as All Saints has just been built and is new and beautiful and clean! Whenever possible, we will eat outdoors. ūüôā

Pickup is at 2:30 pm unless your child is staying for a la carte classes.

If you could please comment below with your email address or message me privately, it would really help us to have a list of parents we can contact in one email for  announcements about teacher training and orientation. We hope to have a parent meeting prior to day 1, but that will depend on the availability of the church space.

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Sincerely,

Megan Hoyt

Our Classes

Restful Days at Reedy Creek: Cultivating a Life of Beauty in Majestic Surroundings

8600 Hood Rd.
Charlotte, NC

The Feast will cover all the subjects below in a variety of ways:

Nature Study and journaling
Simple Drybrush Painting
Composer Study
Picture Study
Shakespeare
Hymns and Folk Songs
Paper Sloyd
Handicrafts
and more…

Fridays 9:30 am to 2:30 pm
$250 per semester

(Monday and/or Wednesday Feasts are in the works. Please check back soon for more information about our Matthews location.)

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A La Carte  Course Offerings 2018-2019

Little Opera Company of Charlotte’s Opera for Beginners!

Welcome, Hannah Hoyt and Tim Laurio to Reedy Creek Community School! Fall 2018 is going to be a banner year for us all with the addition of a ten-week course in musical theater and operettas! If you’re child is theatrically inclined or just loves to sing, you won’t want to miss out on this valuable training that will culminate in a Christmas production of “Songs from Hansel and Gretel.” It’s a beautiful opera by Englebert Humperdinck — I may be biased, but I think¬†you will love it!

Opera for Beginners 
Learn basic theater technique, choral work, dance, and a whole lot more.
Teachers: Hannah Hoyt, Tim Laurio

Dates: Friday September 7 through Friday November 9

Time: 4-5 pm
Cost: $150 per semester (may be paid in two installments)
Location: Living Faith Baptist Church, 8600 Hood Rd.

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Studies in English Grammar and Composition 
(for the proper keeping of sustaining knowledge)

From a Charlotte Mason perspective, essays flow naturally from the mind that has been engaged with living books for several years already. The transition can be tricky, however. In this course, we will begin with detailed narration and from there transition into analyzing short texts. We will write poems and stories, dialogue, and description.

Weekly lessons will include Studied Dictation, Copywork, learning to keep a Commonplace Book, a Book of Centuries, a Nature Study Notebook, and an Enquire Within. This class will require some work at home: daily copywork, daily study of one single passage for weekly dictation, and work on biweekly short essays/narration.

This class will include: Grammar, Spelling, Composition, Critical Thinking, Creative Writing, Literature, Poetry, Handwriting, Punctuation, and Capitalization.
For ages 8 and up with exceptions on a case by case basis

Level I: Beginning Written Narration and flowing into writing paragraphs and poems

Taught by¬†Megan Hoyt, children’s book author and certified teacher with 24 years teaching/writing experience.
$85 per 10-week semester

Fridays 2:30-3:30 pm (level I)

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Beginning Violin I and II

Fridays 2:30-3:30 pm

Cost: $150 per 10-week semester
Hannah Hoyt¬†is a graduate of Berklee College of Music with a degree in vocal performance and film scoring, but she is also an alumni of the Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestra and has played¬†violin for many years. Her teaching style blends celtic and classical styles. She can’t wait to meet your young fiddlers!

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Our Mission

“And so we are going to establish a school for the service of the Lord. In founding it, we hope to introduce nothing harsh or burdensome. … For as we advance in the religious life and in faith, our hearts expand and we run the way of God’s commandments with unspeakable sweetness of love.”

Prologue, The Rule of St. Benedict

The Charm of Nature Study


¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† The strange part is that although we are surrounded by Nature in some form at all times-though more so in the country than in the town-we see and know nothing unless we ourselves make the effort. This inertia on the part of so many people is the reason of so much ignorance of the Natural World. Nature herself is retiring and unobtrusive, but not secretive. There is nothing she hides from those who really want to learn and want to see. She is the greatest of all teachers, for once our senses are on the alert, she draws us on, revealing treasure after treasure, and broadening and deepening our experience. If we who are old enough to understand and appreciate this fact, know the joy and interest it brings, how much more ought we not to pass it on to the children from the very beginning, that they may miss nothing of the wonder of it all?”

Dowton, G., House of Education, “The Charm of Nature Study,” Parents’ Review, Volume 41, 1930.

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At Reedy Creek Community School, we hope to urge our students toward environmental awareness through collaborative garden projects and nature walks, regular relationships with certain natural habitats, and nature notebooks, using watercolor painting and handwritten entries.

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Another facet of a Charlotte Mason education is drybrush painting. Our students will become intimately acquainted with the principles of drawing and painting found in John Ruskin’s Laws of Fesole. Remembering that learning at Reedy Creek Community School is a long distance journey rather than a short sprint, we will reach ever higher for the skills needed to draw and paint in our nature notebooks what we have formed attachments to in the natural world.

        Our excursions to Reedy Creek Nature Preserve and UNCC Botanical Garden will bring life and fruit to the journey.

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Here are a few other places we want to be intentional about forming relationship with during our students’ time with us:

Reedy Creek Community Garden

https://communitygarden.org/find-a-garden/gardens/reedy-creek-park-community-garden/

Reedy Creek Nature Center and Preserve

http://charmeck.org/mecklenburg/county/ParkandRec/StewardshipServices/NatureCenters/Pages/Reedy.aspx

Dr. James F Matthews Center for Biodiversity Studies

http://meckflora.mecklenburgcountync.gov/

University of North Carolina Botanical Gardens

https://gardens.uncc.edu/visiting-the-gardens/

NC Herbarium’s Mission:

        To inspire understanding, appreciation, and conservation of plants in gardens and natural areas and to advance a sustainable relationship between people and nature.

The Schiele Museum of Natural History

http://www.schielemuseum.org/schiele-education/educational-outreach.html

The Unconscious Study of Science

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At Reedy Creek Community School, we don’t wrap learning into neat packages of information and drop it into your child’s brain. We draw it out of the mind of the child as connections are being made. Here’s an example: We were studying sound waves one afternoon after one little girl chose not to participate in the folk song study earlier in the day. We allowed her to decline and sit and draw while everyone else was singing joyfully. Later, she was feverishly drawing sound waves in science class and came racing over to tell us she had written down the song we were singing earlier. She not only sang the song, she sang it alone in front of everyone else while pointing to the sound waves on her drawing!

 

 

Mary Everest Boole wrote some wonderful books about incorporating math and science into the school day rather than (or in addition to) giving them their own time slot. When establishing relations with a wide variety of living ideas, your child will undoubtedly begin drawing conclusions and tying these ideas to one another the way this young student did. This type of learning is all around us. Mrs. Boole shares:

(Excerpted from “The Preparation of the Unconscious Mind for Science” by Mary Everest Boole, Parents’ Review, Volume 10, p 435.)

Also consider reading The Preparation of the Child for Science, available as a free ebook here.

“Many parents seem to think that all the time is wasted for their children which is not spent in taking in consciously some special idea which some adult already understands. We must get rid of this notion entirely. Miss Mason said at last year’s Conference that a human being comes into the world not chiefly to acquire knowledge or to develop his faculties, but to establish relations; and I would add that a child comes into science, not only to learn facts and to develop the faculty for doing things, but primarily to establish relations with the laws of nature, by which we mean–if we truly mean anything–the laws according to which God governs the world. And in order that relations may be properly established, the grown-ups who are directing the child must, at proper times, do as Miss Mason said, “Stand aside and take a back seat,” and keep silence even from good words.

I fear we are in some danger of forgetting, in the rush of modern education, that conscious mental effort rather interferes with the work of establishing relations. The time for establishing relations is the Sabbath of the I Am, the Jubilee when the land is lying fallow. Sabbath does not mean any sort of conscious exertion. But on the other hand it does not mean useless idleness. A mathematical writer on logic [Gratry.] of this century wrote, that to listen to the voice of the Eternal Teacher we must make silence from conscious learning or even thinking; and adds, ‘In these days we need repose far more than we lack work. Repose is the brother of silence. We are sterile for lack of repose far more than for lack of work. The wise man acquires wisdom during the time of his repose.” A mathematician of the last century said that Sabbath and Jubilee mean, not mere cessation from work, but renewal. Sabbath, Jubilee, Holy Days, Holidays, mean, in fact, time to renew our force for future work by getting our relations with God, with nature, with man, and even with tools, more true, more perfectly harmonious, more elastic and easy than is possible while the conscious brain is acting on the relation. Begin therefore as early as you can to set up in the child’s mind what one may call a Sabbatical rhythm in science; a clear distinction between the time when he is being taught by man and the time when he is free to investigate or experiment as he pleases. Give him limits of time and place, lay down certain necessary negative conditions for safety and health, and to avoid annoying other people; and let the child realize that during that time, in the allotted place, provided he conforms to the prescribed conditions, no one will interfere with his experimenting exactly as he pleases.

It is curious and painful to observe how many things have been proposed by true educationalists, simply for the purpose of ministering to the action of the unconscious mind, and afterwards perverted by persons possessed with the teaching mania to the purpose of stuffing into children’s minds some idea which is in the teacher’s mind. This is especially the case in regard to early kindergarten work. Each object is catalogued as intended to teach this, or to prove that, or to illustrate so-and-so; many parents seem to have no idea that it may be well to let a child have things and handle them, without anyone talking, and find out what the things have to say.”

The Importance of Beauty

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The Trevi Fountain

“I feel that in the present day, with all the attention bestowed upon the training for the practical purposes of life or for the University examiner, the training of the taste–of the sense of beauty, is apt to be overlooked, or at least underrated, as an influence in the formation of character and in the conduct and brightening of life.”

E H Farnell

Charlotte Mason believed children needed the beauty of fine arts like they needed the oxygen in the air we breathe — not because she wanted them to become snobby adults with aesthetic sensibilities but because humans crave beauty. We encounter so much tragedy and dismay on a daily basis that it’s important to drink in the beautiful whenever we can. At Reedy Creek Community School, we encounter beauty primarily in nature but also in a sweet melody or a lovely painting. And it occurs organically, with little intervention from the teacher. We put them in touch with the great masters, and their souls take in the beauty. Delight twinkles in their eyes when they slow down and appreciate beauty in art. And lesson by lesson, over the course of time, they are able to improve their own artistic skills.

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Caravaggio’s The Calling of Matthew

“…everybody can be brought to a high degree of perfection in the technique of painting. And of course there is no royal road to success. Is it not certain that the best method of conveying an impression to others is to follow the method by which Nature has conveyed it to us? That, stated briefly, is to put the right tone, the right colour, the right size, the right shape in the right place upon the canvas. Adhere to this, and it does not matter much about the instrument we do it with. A pencil or a brush, a broom or the broom-handle, let us take whichever we find most convenient to accomplish the mechanical end of accuracy. And remember! Will you let me repeat it once again? The mere handling of the instrument is a comparatively little thing to learn, indeed the hand may be almost left to take care of itself. It will very soon prove itself quite capable of registering whatever the brain may dictate; that which the fingers may utter will be but idle nonsense if it has not first entered in at the brain. We must learn to see and understand the appearance of things.

If we have not learned to do this we have neglected talents entrusted to us. If we have somewhat learned to do it we have but done our duty to the gift of sense, yet we have the reward of a new medium of communication with our fellows. Even more, for we shall have found a means sensitive to express some part of that beauty, the comtemplation of which awakens unspeakable emotions and indefinable idealities, vague sensations of a rarer spirituality, which is at once an encouragement and a consolation for the efforts of this life.

Francis Bate, Fine Arts in Education

Charlotte Mason principles include the careful practices and disciplines needful to improve skills, both mental and physical. Putting children in touch with rules that govern painting, sculpture, writing, music, and more helps them grow in their ability to express themselves through these mediums.

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Students attempting to paint as Michelangelo painted the Sistene Chapel

“Fortunately the young will readily drink in the beauty of nature without our intervention; but though tender fancy, poetic instinct, and strong emotions all help them to understand the language of their mother nature, they require the revelations of science and of art to interpret her deeper meaning to their ripening intelligence.”

E H Farnell, On the Study of the Beautiful