Nearly 20 years ago,
I started having dreams about
opening a school in an old,
renovated barn.
These weren’t asleep,
at-night kind of dreams.
They were eyes-wide open,
full-color visions in real time.
In my mind’s eye, I could see
the school open and thriving.

Think: modern Little House on the Prairie
meets a Waldorf School,
set at a Nature Center,
and you’d get the picture.
Laughter and joy.
Discovery and creativity.
Outside-the-box thinking
and questioning.
These are the subjects
alongside science and math,
reading and writing,
social studies and technology.

The school has three
multi-age classes
on the main floor:
second-third and
each with an amazing teacher.
Multi-age classes allow students
the freedom to work at their own pace
and develop empathy
for younger students.
Each classroom has big windows
to let in the sunshine,
wooden floors so it can get messy
and lots of space for
authentic learning.
There’s a loft in the barn for a
library and art studio.
No need for a gym.
Life at the Barn School
will be PE.

The barn is set on
acres and acres of land,
where students can learn
about farming and
farm animals first-hand,
learning how to ride horses,
milk cows, shear sheep.
There will be cats wandering around.
And goats.
You’ve got to have goats.
There are hills and trails
where students can sled and hike.
There’s a river that runs through the land,
where we’ll wade, fish and swim
when the winter run-off is high.

The old farmhouse on the property
is where my family and I will live.
The kitchen will have a
huge table and chairs,
where all are welcome.
Beside the house is a lake.
Twice a year, pelicans land
on their journey through,
to spread joy to all who see.
They’re the ugliest birds around,
which for some reason
make them my favorite.
We’ll swim and canoe on our lake,
fish in its waters,
and be rejuvenated on its shores.
There is a silo as well.
To be remodeled as a
unique guest house for all who visit.
Silos are also a thing of mine.
Not sure why, they just are.

As I drive the many backroads
on my journeys,
I’m always on the lookout for
my barn and my farmhouse.
It’s there, patiently waiting.
To become The Barn School.