Kindergarten at Antioch School is the group with the smallest range of ages. At some point in the year, each student is six. Kindergarten parents and I spend a good amount of time during conferences talking about what it is like to be six. I often refer them to Ames and Ilg’s series of books about child development, which starts with Your One Year Old and goes to Your Twelve Year Old. When I went to the school library shelves to Find Your Six Year Old, there were no copies left, although I know we had re-ordered a couple within the last few years. The books about two-year-olds and four-year-olds were also missing. In case any parent of a two, four, or six-year-old is in need, I re-ordered copies of all the Ames and Ilg titles for those ages. It is hard to be six (and two and four), as the Ames and Ilg books attest to—dusty copies for ages one, three, Five, seven, eight, and on up remain on the shelf year after year.
It’s always been fascinating for me to observe how the children will want to re-experience the bits and pieces of the Nursery they have enjoyed and, in so doing, will pass these bits and pieces along to the next year’s group. It’s really an Antioch School culture they are creating and building on and passing along. As visiting Kindergartners or returning Nurseries, the children often carry their funny routines, jokes, ways of doing things, favorite songs and most loved stories forward into the following year’s Nursery group — and then those children on into the next, and so on, and so on, year after year.
One of their long-running favorites is what they have named the “Kindergarten joke” also known as “Ann, there aren’t any apples. . . .”
Two Kindergarten snack helpers walk over to the Nursery and say: “Ann, there aren’t any apples. . .”
Matt Cline, from Cline Cinematography, put together this wonderful movie about The Antioch School. The movie was first shown at the 2014 Silent Auction. A big thanks goes out to Matt for his hard work at creating this movie as well as many of the photographs used on this site.
NPR recently aired this story about how researchers are discovering that play helps the brains of children develop better skills for learning. One of the takeaways is that countries with schools that have more recess time tend to have higher academic performance.
Considering that many public schools are cutting recess in order to have more instruction time, maybe they are actually doing more harm than good. This also might help explain why many Antioch School graduates do so well in high school and college even though the Antioch School hasn't followed the push for more and more testing. Listen to the story here.
Seth Godin gave the following talk "Art and Science and Making Things" at World Maker Faire in 2012.
Throughout Seth's talk he touches on the importance of failing. Yet in our culture we tend to ostracize people who fail and discourage taking risks that could lead to failure. As Seth shows, we need to embrace failure and recognize the important role it plays in the process of learning and achieving success.
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