Montessori Erdkinder with Appleton Farms: February Experience Week
Several Harborlight students participated in a February Experience week in colaboration with Appleton Farms. Erdkinder translates to "children of the earth". Dr. Montessori used this term to describe the value of 'schooling' on a working farm. Working together with the educators at Appleton Farms, Harborlight students learned the history of the oldest, continuously operating farm in the United States. Here at the Harborlight campus, the students focused on the ultimate STEAM experiences that are naturally "Farm-to-Fork": baking bread, churning butter, making 'quick' picks, foraging for pine needles to make tea, and tapping the sugar maples on the greenhouse lawn. At Appleton, students learned about life and work on the farm, the importance of natural spaces, and the quiet beauty of the world in winter. This curriculum aims to empower students to protect the environment, eat well, and advocate for sustainable farming practices. The immersion experience allows upper school students to feel capable of succeeding in life through their own efforts and merits. Dr. Montessori's Erdkinder intention was to provide a balance of manual and intellectual work, leaving students prepared to take an active role in society. Much thanks to Appleton Farms for helping us bring this beautiful hands-on experience to our students.