By Guest Blogger Caroline Cochrane, Redeemer School Parent
We have been a Redeemer School family since 2003, when we moved to Winston-Salem from Virginia. Soon after we enrolled our first born, a kindergartner at the time, we started to hear about these mysterious things called Enrichment Days, or E-days as they are known in the school lexicon. Thirteen years later and 3 more children enrolled, we will teach our 35th and last E-day this year. Yes, you read that correctly, #35!
I have been feeling sentimental about this anniversary, reflective and actually a little sad that this is the last time I’ll prepare for an E-day. It’s been quite a journey and I’ve learned lessons that I otherwise wouldn’t have learned if it wasn’t for E-days. We have taught on Dr. Seuss, Mark Twain, Carl Sandburg, Colonial times, the War of 1812, the Civil War, Michelangelo, a Day in the life of a Monk, and many others. I have baked mini-pumpkin pies with kindergartners, made goat milk fudge with 4th graders, made green eggs and ham with 1st graders, rented a costume from Twin City Theatre and searched the city for red lucky money envelopes. My husband has dressed up as Mark Twain, donned a monk’s costume, buried “gold” in a plastic wading pool filled with sand and wrapped yards and yards of duct tape around orange juice cartons to make models of an ironclad ship.
Enrichment days are a part of the fabric of our family. Because of an E-day on Carl Sandburg, hobo is a regularly used word in my family. Because of an E-day, we have a family story about taking our third born to urgent care for stitches on Good Friday after our E-day craft was misused by another child in my family. E-days have encouraged me to be a lifelong learner, as I’ve prepared for topics that I didn’t know much about. They have also tied and bonded me to other Redeemer families, past and present, as we carry our basket and bags of supplies into the school on Fridays. I have shared E-day successes with other moms and also encouraged others when an E-day hasn’t gone as planned. I share with them my story about how three kindergartners cried one time because I had too many stimulating activities planned. I caution parents to show great care if they dare to give brown clay to a boy-heavy 5th grade class. I have also learned that many times there is beauty in simplicity.
My favorite E-days have been the simple ones. I have cherished memories of laying under desks pretending to be Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel, reading a Dr. Seuss book, making St. Lucia wreaths from paper plates and green tissue, and making gargoyles out of a fist of clay. Praying with the class before we start, watching students grow and mature through the years, having older students say to me, “Mrs. Cochrane, remember when we made…?” are all sweet memories of E-days that are such an encouragement to me. Yes, E-days can sometimes feel overwhelming,but the tangible and intangible rewards are priceless!
Further notes from Redeemer School Director of Communications, Valerie Barclay
Enrichment Days are one of several distinctives of Redeemer School, located in the Ardmore neighborhood of Winston-Salem. E-days provide parents the opportunity to teach in their children’s class two times each year (usually for just an hour or two), by sharing either a topic from their own passions and interest or a topic from the class curriculum. Parents and teachers work together to determine topics, collaborate on a lesson plan, and schedule the time. The participation of parents in the classroom models the life-long learning process!
Redeemer School is a private Christian school utilizing the hands-on, childhood-honoring educational philosophy of Charlotte Mason. For more information about E-days and other distinctives, please visit the school’s website at www.redeemerschool.org and consider joining us at one of these upcoming Open House events, designed for prospective parents to learn more and see our classes in action:
Wed 11.2.16 | Wed 12.7.16 | Sat 1.7.17 | Wed 1.11.17
All Open House events are held 10 – 11:30am.
RSVP at redeemerschool.org/admissions/openhousetours
Online enrollment opens November 1st for TK – 8th grades.
Online applications are due by January 31st for Round 1 of new student enrollment.
*Sponsored by Redeemer School