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Autopoiesis

What makes the human experience, and the Natural world we’re part of, so miraculous? It may, perhaps, be illuminated by this one lyrical word: autopoiesis. Meaning, in effect, self creating. Our cells have intrinsic gnosis of what to do, how to do it, and when. We are life aware of ourselves; cognizant.

Amazing.

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Every Child….

Greetings,

My name is Ananda Wilson and I am honored and excited to be stepping into the role of Homeschool Program Coordinator at Great Hollow in New Fairfield, CT.

Many of you already know me from Great Hollow as either the botany teacher for Friday’s programming or as part of the Homeschool Learning Cooperative (aka homeschooling Mom). A few of you may know me as a dance teacher and performing artist. Otherwise, let me introduce myself and invite you to join a conversation about the future of this unique and valuable program.

I have two children: a son of 9 years and a daughter of 11 years. My own children, coupled with my deep passion for plants and nature, are my motivation to help make the Whole Earth programs dynamic. We have been able to bond with respectful, authentic friends and mentors. We have been given the room to be ourselves and to grow. Great Hollow has been an anchor for my family.

Therefore, I come to you in service and in the spirit of community. I am picking up reins that are already in a gallop. I know full well that I cannot do this alone and so I reach out to all of you and the collaborative effort that will make us a whole greater than the sum of its parts.

There are many levels of attention that the programs require in order to keep them running – and running well. There have been some growth spurts and some growing pains, as the beauty emerges and the kinks erupt for revision. Overall, the program has seen tremendous fruition; an expression of our intrinsic need to deepen our relationship with and learn about nature as well as a reflection of our power as homeschoolers.

My intention for Great Hollow, if it may be put into a nutshell, is to maintain this sanctuary as our HeartBeat — where we come week after week, month after month, year after year, to build our layers of knowledge, self and community. Where we can build long term ecological projects, learn about the Earth, build lasting friendships and make meaningful memories. Where we are able to examine and absorb information in the most supportive and natural way imaginable.

There are traditions at Great Hollow. There are many things that students and parents count on to remain secure and yet there is much room for us to grow and renew. I look forward with great joy to this coming year of Whole Earth Homeschooling fun and learning. I look forward to working with you all and to hearing from you!

Sincerely,
Ananda Wilson

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.
Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.
The winds will blow their own freshness into you…
while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”       
~John Muir~

Although we usually think of January first as our ‘new year’ start, it often feels to me like August marks this moment with more enthusiasm and a more visceral effect, as the mornings turn cool and the midday sun shines high and deeply warm. In fact, looking at the ancient Celtic Holiday of Lammas, August first marks the first day of Autumn. This time is the clasp of our year in terms of gaining and losing; like the wheat that dies the moment it’s swiped by the sickle, yet simultaneously creates abundance, nourishment and plenty for it’s recipient. As the turning of our year leans toward autumn, we learn how to best use our newly garnered skills in order to face the next threshold of challenge.

The Whole Earth Home-school Program this past year has undergone some needed processes as well as growing pains. After an unsustainable growth the previous year, we are all trying to gain our footing in order to solidify the Home-school program for the future. This is the new threshold we face right now. The programs are ready to molt and grow new feathers, hopefully preened by both the staff at Great Hollow as well as the families that are the essential body of the programs. Each of the courses are ready to be fortified by student ideas, some new parent suggestions, and a collaborative means of creating a sequence of educational bullet points which can be standardized in a way that gives the programs a good strong backbone. Along with this, experiential time and sensory exploration will always remain and integral part of what we do.

As the newly appointed Home-school Program Coordinator, I have my workbook chock full of both necessary tasks and new ideas that I will be pursuing whole heartidly throughout this year. Most importantly, I am reminded of the deep value and importance of giving our children the time to learn from, and with, Nature.