Heartwood’s creative soul also takes impromptu field trips. The students drive the program, and while some field trips are planned, sometimes they’ll just hop in the car and go.
While waiting for Lit Club, I heard about trips to Home Depot and Ikea. Students were looking at furniture to figure out what might work for their needs and gathering supplies for projects.
Real life application of math and science happens daily, but sometimes getting out on a trip makes a big difference too.
The afternoon I was there, some of the students went for an outing to look at an on location site of “Raising Dion,” a movie being filmed nearby. This was not a planned trip, and not all students could go because of space available in a personal vehicle, but the one’s left behind didn’t seem to worry about it; they were excited to hear the adventures of those who went. As far as I could tell, there’s no favoritism, so everyone eventually gets a chance to go on an interesting trip.
Heartwood’s students created a soap club and are now bringing in revenue to help fund their activities and trips.
Exposure to how to make soap came to Heartwood students through an “offering.” Offerings are classes or group opportunities that can be created by adults or children.
About 1 1/2 years ago, they watched soap being made. The kids really liked the idea of making soap and wanted to make some too. Now, they have a revenue generating school based business that generates some money for their trips and supplies. Making soap, “for people that wash,” is one of the many activities that grew from a self-directed adventure.
They also have bake sales, and a portion of the monthly budget goes toward funding student chosen activities.
With all the complaints about current student populations not understanding basic financials, this seems like an excellent way to teach the students how money works.
Heartwood is raising the money for a van so they can make more trips as a large group. As for now, they use their personal vehicles and ask parents to help drive when they can.
Lack of money doesn’t seem to bother the staff though, they use what they have to help the children learn and grow every day.