Hard to believe my first year is winding down...

Sometimes it's hard to believe that this was all a dream 2 years ago.  I'd always hoped for the opportunity to work with groups of homeschooled students, but never thought it could happen on my own small farm. Moving here opened up possibilities that I guess I'd dreamed of but couldn't actually envision. Now, after 3 successful sessions of classes (last Spring's Poetry & Art, Summer Fairy Tales & a full year of A Way with Words) I'm able to reflect, take a few deep breaths and express my gratitude. I am grateful to the parents who took a chance on me and trusted me with their children. I am grateful to the children who, each in their own special way, made my day a better one. I am grateful to my family who consistently support my efforts and listen to my ideas, plans, worries & triumphs more than they probably like to at times:)  You have all brightened my days, made me work hard, play hard and push myself to be deserving of the faith you have in me. Thank you <3

 

Fall is already behind us?

It's unbelievable to me that 12 weeks of classes are already behind us and Christmas is around the corner! Someday I may get better at updating more frequently but for now I'm happy to post that the first fall session of classes here was a blast. A Way with Words couldn't be more fun - and writing is a breeze with this crew! They have written biographies on one another, collected a useful "toolbox" for idea generation & elaboration, brainstormed several short stories and a Trilogy is underway!

 

Finished with Fairy Tales for the summer:(

What a fun class! Most children in this group didn't know one another when we started back in June so I wasn't sure how it would all work out...Any doubts I had were needless - it was awesome! They became comfortable with each other very quickly and had a blast reading, writing and performing their skits.  Yesterdays show was a huge success and the audience was thoroughly entertained with their clever stories and confidence in performing them!  I couldn't be happier for this wonderful group of kids:) 

 

Fun with Fairy Tales:)

It's difficult to believe that this class is coming to an end on Wednesday:( We've had a ton of fun fracturing, twisting & basically making old familiar favorites our very own.  What started as a version of Hansel & Gretel has morphed into A Leafy Green Situation and will be presented to family & friends this Wednesday. Starting with well known tales really gave the kids the comfort & confidence to change "just a bit of this and a bit of that" and ultimately produce unique stories that they then used as material for skits. Taking the time to write detailed character descriptions (by using questions we came up with together) got them really thinking about how to create strong characters.  Considering the interactions their character had with others in the story helped them develop personalities & invent a strong & unique character who contributed to the story in a very specific way. What a fun way to strengthen creative writing skills!

 

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I'm liking the storybook reference our farms name has given me...

After a FUN Open House last Friday (I was lucky enough to meet many new families:) I'm looking forward to Fairy Tales tomorrow.  This group should be interesting - there are only 6 and it will be new faces for all.  I am a little nervous about how it will flow - night & day from the Poetry/Art group where just about all knew each other WELL! And the few who didn't jumped right in and everyone become the best of friends in no time! No shy personalities there...  So a  smaller group w/no past connections will be unchartered territory - it'll be fun to see how it all plays out.

Tomorrows activities include reading some silly rewrites of familiar fairytales together, rewriting others using randomly picked characters, settings and plots AND FINALLY doing fairytale based Improv games and skits with Olivia and Anna.  Between all of that and spending time with the animals our day will be full - and FUN!

Poetry!

More to come - but this represents some of the writings done in our 8 weeks.  Sadly some details are lost to the format of the blog - spacing isn't showing you the stanza separations as they were written.  But they're still beautiful - enjoy!

The Beach

The soft sunset

lights up the water 

illuminating the waves

and making rocks glow.

The fire crackles

sparks flying

disappearing in the night.

The waves are like a song

singing me to sleep

crashing down on the beach. 

- Ray L

My Nightly Routine

I crawl in

turn around

flip my pillow 

upside down.

drink some water

adjust my door

pick my sheets 

up from the floor.

i yawn and yawn 

and hear no peep

and then finally

 i fall asleep.

                     Jillian R.

Stars

Stars twinkle and shine 

and sparkle in the night sky.

Beautiful stars

I wish I had a star of my own.

But I can not have a star of my own

The star would miss its home.

                -Laura I.

Friends

Friends are beautiful.

Friends are sweet.

Friends are caring.

And friends will be with you

until the very end.

                    -Rebecca Moore

 

 

Poetry Cafe/Art Gallery

So more than a week has passed since our event.  What a blast it was!  Each of the 8 participants shared at least one original work in front of parents, grandparents, siblings & friends.  They did a remarkable job!  Some naturally enjoy public presentations - while many others find it challenging.  Every child spoke loud and clear and made eye contact with their audience.  They even kept their cool when the goats wandered by our presentation area:) All in all - they rocked!

My daughters took plenty of pictures - but with their phones and they're out and about today.  I'll post pics later on - I just didn't want more time to go by before sharing the day. While I'm still learning the ins and outs of this site/blog, some sharing may be spread out over a few posts - please bear with me!  I'm sharing some of the students writings next:)

 

 

Wow!

It's finally time:) Here we go!

Tomorrow - ok at this point, later today - our flagship classes culminate with the Poetry Cafe/Art Gallery!  I can't say enough about how much FUN these 8 Thursdays have been.  I've always loved poetry, but reading, writing & sharing it with this group has been amazing.  If this experience is any indication of what's to come, I can't wait to get started with summer & fall classes.  

Once Upon A Farm is truly a family affair.  I can't go to sleep tonight without thanking my daughters for their enthusiasm & help with getting our site posted.  I am looking forward to Wednesdays this summer - watching them bring Fairy Tales Gone Wild! to our Once Upon A Farm. stage will be something to see:)

Kristen Lofstrom     508 246-8616

  krislofstrom@yahoo.com  Halifax, MA