The Talking Stick Blog

News, Updates, Program Recaps, and Homeschooling Information

New Natural Playground at Talking Stick!

What was, a couple weeks ago, a dumping spot for brush, is now being transformed into a spot for the young people to play in. It’s already a magical spot.

Nature, Writing, Literature: Winter Twigs and Germantown Flora

  Winter Twigs and Germantown Flora January-March 2014 Our winter workshop has included snow, research, snow, speculations, observations, and a little more snow. For the past several weeks, we enjoyed reading True Lies: 18 Tales for You to Judge by George Shannon. In each story, a character communicates something that is interpreted differently from what is literally said. Our group was very savvy in…

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Nature, Writing, Literature: Freewriting and Freewalking

Freewriting and Freewalking December 3, 2013 As we waited for everyone to arrive, we played a word game of creating sentences with each person adding one word at a time.  After the first hilarious and inventive sentence, several young people asked, “Are you writing these down?”  One person commented that we could add them to the blog.  Here are the…

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Nature, Writing, Literature: Words Enough to Capture

Words Enough to Capture November 5 and 12, 2013 Make a list of 30 words you don’t think you can write without (the most fundamental words of any communication: the, and, of, etc.). Now write a response to this question, without using those words: What is the origin of the moon? A participant in our workshop created this prompt and…

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Nature, Writing, Literature: From Leaf to Leaf

From Leaf to Leaf October 22 and 29, 2013 Highlights of the past two weeks in our program included getting to know the trees of Awbury a little better. On October 22, we hiked over to the meadow near the pond and took a few minutes with tree guides to identify as many trees as we could within a defined…

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Nature, Writing, Literature: One Small Square

One Small Square October 15, 2013 Do squirrels remember where they bury their nuts? This seemed like an interesting question to contemplate as naturalists, and we speculated about how squirrels might retrace their steps to survive. We read what scientists have determined so far and what questions still remain in The Where, The Why, and the How. Then, approaching the…

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Day Program: Acorn Gems

Acorn Gems (October 15, 2013) We set out in the beautiful sunshine in search of gems…or acorn caps that would soon become gems. There was much excitement in the air as we began our adventure. We only needed a few acorn caps but as enthusiasm took over, the bin began to fill… Making the gems was pretty cool too…A little…

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Homeschooling, Because Science: Creativity is

Creativity is Messy A recent article in the New York Times, “It’s Not Mess, It’s Creativity” described experiments  that measured creativity differences between subjects in messy and tidy spaces. They found that test subjects in the messy room were inspired to be more creative, more likely to use divergent thinking and more attracted to novelty. The abstract concluded that participants in a…

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Day Program: The Great Outdoors

The Great Outdoors September 26, 2013 What an amazing outdoor space we have at Awbury! Every time I come into work the arboretum seems to appear out of nowhere like an oasis in an urban desert. The Awbury Arboretum continues to do a fantastic job transforming the Garden Classroom into a safe and malleable space for learning and play. With…

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Homeschooling, Because Science: Forest Bathing

Forest Bathing The country that brought the world giant robots, giant moths, and little slices of raw fish on rice is now exporting another brilliant aspect of Japanese culture, Forest Bathing, also known as shinrin-yoku. There is no need to get bare or worry about public indecency charges. Forest Bathing is just the practice of being in nature, with as…

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