May your holidays be filled with love.
Bravo to Lark Books & Writing Studio! I enrolled my daughter in the Fairy Workshop class this fall and she absolutely loved it. The facilitator, Elizabeth Treadwell, introduces children to a magical realm abundant with fairytales, arts and crafts, and plenty of freedom for self expression. After a tedious day at public school, my daughter would run and/or hop to her class at Lark Books and not want to go home afterward.
This is a loving, warm and enriching environment where children can use their imaginative and creative minds and also make awesome crafts with their hands. My daughter can’t wait for her next class at Lark Books!
--J. Kelley Wheeler
I am delighted to pass on the word that my daughter has absolutely adored participating in two classes this session with Elizabeth at Lark Studios. Elizabeth’s strength lies in meeting the kids right where they are in terms of what excites them, and then running with it. Since the best writing comes out of focused enthusiasm and motivation, Elizabeth’s method of creating a fun, motivating environment through lots of hands-on activities is a great way for children to move into writing without it seeming forced or arbitrary. Elizabeth is clearly in touch with her inner child that enjoys making fairy houses and dioramas out of scenes from books, and the children’s parallel enthusiasms are supported and legitimized in a beautiful way. She weaves drawing very artfully into her work, which naturally pulls in kids who have a strong visual orientation.
I have a masters in education from UC Berkeley with a focus on ‘out of school’ literacy development. In our graduate program, we learned how literacy experiences out of school with topics and activities where kids are highly motivated provide excellent bridges to other kinds of literacy efforts down the line. Elizabeth does this in spades, providing a motivated bridge to empowered literacy that simultaneously supports her students in their personal interests and passions.
It should also be noted that her classes take an early, organic approach to beginning comparative literature. By reading many different versions of fairy tales and comparing the versions, the students are able to understand on a really intuitive level what a genre is and identify variations between different tellings of a tale.
My daughter also took Elizabeth’s class on fashion, which combined a historical review of key female fashion designers with personal exploration of fashion and regular drawing sessions. My daughter is very proud of the final ‘zine’ the class made, which put the girls in the powerful position of being the models and creating their own definitions of fashion. In an area where the definitions of what is legitimate or acceptable so often lie outside or beyond an individual woman, it is a powerful early experience to model one’s own clothes for a magazine. Since I myself am not as much of an enthusiast in this area, I am glad that Elizabeth was able to support my daughter’s enthusiasm so fully.
It’s also worth adding that now that Elizabeth has created such a good rapport with my daughter around her areas of common enthusiasm, they can now strike out into studying areas or people which my daughter wouldn’t necessarily have embraced before, like Frida Kahlo or Agnes de Mille. I look forward to seeing where this ship sails!
Finally, I’d like to emphasize that Elizabeth’s classes are equally effective for homeschoolers and kids engaged with more traditional schooling. Since her classes are so basically delightful, kids will not feel like going to her class is ever a chore. You’ve gotta try them! The only problem might be getting your kids to come home.
-- Laura Nicodermus