Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sewing and Planning

In 10 days my new homeschooling initiative is starting!  The Huckleberry Hill Project involves 8 families who will be initially coming to my home to work on the children's individual projects and then join together in the afternoon to make a documentary as a group.  I have been busy organizing all manner of details to get this project off to a good start.

To start with I want the children to have their own "offices", where they will set up a work station.  We will have 17 children and they all need their own space to spread out.  Obviously we can't all be in the same room so people will be scattered all around the house.

To make this possible I bought a bunch of small portable tables that can be set up anywhere.  For each table I sewed a tablecloth.  I also bought 17 stools that are lightweight and easy to move around.  On a table like this 1-2 children could set up comfortably anywhere in the house.   I also have larger 6ft tables so we can all eat lunch together.

 To make it manageable, people are bringing their own cups and mugs and a mess kit.  I made 4 mess kits for our family with the left over fabric from the tablecloths.

We also want environmentally friendly products and a protocol to minimize our environmental footprint.  Tristan has been busy tweaking his dishwashing recipe as he will be supplying the HHP with cleaning supplies.  He has decided that making soap is not really his passion and is trying to come up with another idea for his HHP project....maybe growing hydroponic vegetables or starting an acting guild for kids....

We have a wireless network and a printer set up so everyone will be able to print wirelessly.  We have a supplies station and a coffee machine.

Midway through the morning work session we are going to hold presentations.  Each child will give a 5 minute presentation of his or her project idea over the course of the first 10 weeks.  They will be using keynote or powerpoint to project their idea onto the wall.  We have our projector set up and ready to go.

In the afternoon we will be starting our first session of documentary making.  We will be brainstorming how we are going to be going about this project and putting our ideas on hundreds of post it notes.  We have a dedicated wall to organize them on.

I have been gathering equipment including a dedicated laptop, audio equipment, lighting and software.  All the children will learn how to use it.  I have been forming a collection of online links, "how to" videos and a few books.  We also have experts in the field who can come and advise us.

We will form into teams that can specialize in different areas of production.  I am starting my first class of Final Cut Pro on Saturday at Jacob Burns Media Lab and hope to be useful in the editing team.  We have a group of extraordinary parents who have a vast array of skills.  I am so grateful and fortunate that I can relay on them to fill in the many gaps in my skill set.  So while it is all a little daunting, as is any new unfamiliar project, I am confident we will hit the finish line with a documentary!  It is going to put all of our creative problem solving skills to the test and I am sure we will all learn so much.

....and then of course there is the paperwork.  We need insurance to work at the farm.  We need to be an entity.  We need tax ID's, filing cabinets, forms to be filled out, accounting software and the list goes on.

There is a lot to do and time is of the essence, but that is always the case!


  1. We are excited to begin this! Hope I can talk my kids into trying to make a power point but we'll see. Maybe Marlin will! Kaya not so much...

  2. I love looking at your beautiful new table linens. Soon we will be sitting at tables covered in these linenes, sipping steaming cups of tea while little fingers type and little hands dial phone numbers and little people make some really big dreams come true. We will figure out the details as we go. There are no limits except the ones we place on ourselves!

  3. I really can't wait to start now. Thank you so much for your help in setting it all up. I am bringing mess kits to the product swap. I ordered fabric today. I will see how many I can make before then...otherwise I will have to bring granola to make up the difference! I am excited to see how it all evolves.