It all happened so fast. On Friday, March 13, Camellia made the difficult but necessary decision to move all school activities from our campus to teaching at home to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Over the weekend, Camellia faculty and staff worked tirelessly to identify distance learning tools and began the previously unimaginable process of transitioning Waldorf curriculum to a distance learning program.
By Tuesday, March 17, parents were receiving information about how Camellia’s distance learning program would work and by Wednesday, March 18, first through eighth grade students were receiving assignments. During the same week, kindergarten students received baskets full of crafts and activities so the Waldorf method of experiential learning for early childhood could continue at home.
Since that first week, Camellia’s distance learning program has grown in complexity and interactivity. It embodies the wonderful elements of Waldorf education as students learn at home.
Teachers post videos and activities for their students on math, language arts, the humanities, science, Spanish, physical education, art, knitting, and playing instruments like flute, violin and cello. They’ve recorded themselves reading stories aloud for the children to listen to. They meet with their students via Google Classroom and teach, go over assignments and give the children time to socialize as a class. Above all, Camellia’s teachers have developed creative ways to teach their students from home and Camellia students continue to be engaged and interested in their classwork. For example, as part of their gardening curriculum, second and third graders received sunflower seeds in the mail, planted them, and are now documenting their sunflowers' growth at home.
In this time of upheaval and uncertainty, Camellia teachers are holding their classes with wisdom and grace. They are sticking to the school’s yearly schedule, teaching the curriculum as planned, and are confident their students will finish the school year strong and prepared for the next academic year.
Third grader Wesley Grant works on a fractions assignment: Cut a piece of fruit into halves, fourths, eighths, and 16ths