Collaborative Art: Large paper, four kids, and three moms. I love family art.
Not all the moms wanted their own paper, but we all drew. And as we drew, the artwork built on itself, progressing according to what came before. The papers circled around more than once, getting better, goofier, and more colorful each time. They all came out beautifully.
Some days, being indoors is unbearable, especially for my homeschooled kids, especially in fall, especially when the fire pit is in sight through the window…
We recently took a trip to the Churchville Nature Center for their Lenni Lenape Harvest Celebration, where Chris Egnoto (above) gave lessons on primitive (ie more fun and awesome) fire making.
We’re working on continuing to learn that skill. I’m thinking it’ll take a bit of time. But for now, with the aid of a couple of matches, all homeschooling took place by the fire. With toast.
In fact, fire was on the (ever informal) subject list for the day. Not sure what on earth I’ve been thinking (um, says the red-headed Aries who loves burning stuff), but I can’t remember the last time the kids were solely in charge of fire-building. So today, my son did it all himself. And toast was eaten.
When the toddler woke up, he built it back up with pure determination. Okay, we added some lung-power to help him out as he added sticks and leaves. And next time, my daughter will have her turn to build solo.
It was all easier, being in nature to accomplish our homeschooling tasks. Reading about Lewis and Clark outdoors by the fire made much more sense, and Math Review In The Dirt turned refusal into speedier calculations with a few smiles, even though he’d rather be drawing. The young artists were more relaxed, and I got to smell like woodsmoke, my favorite perfume.
Sometimes all you need to do to inspire creativity is pull out materials the kids haven’t seen in a while, or something they’ve never seen. In this case, washable brush tip markers, freshly sharpened colored pencils, and graphic pencils in varying hardnesses. After some testing to see what’s what, a flurry of activity followed:
Amidst the colorful beauty of autumn, after a hike and a creekside picnic: homeschoolers contemplate a puddle on a rock on Ridley Creek, PA. Measuring twigs are soon gathered and puddle depth is determined with much amazement.
Is it science, playtime, art exploration, math, physcial education? All of the above.
I love homeschooling.
Sometimes—often—our kids are passionate about things we are uninterested in, perplexed or bored by. At times, listening to them closely can explain why they care so much, and give us enough fuel of interest to hold our attention through the monologues of information. If nothing else, we can love their love, be grateful they care a whole lot about something (not everyone does), and help nurture it in whatever way we can.
For instance, my ten-year-old daughter’s dragon love. It has been in her since toddlerhood, since before she could speak in sentences. It began with toys and board books, then drawings, sculptures, paperweights, Lego projects, and now in chapter books.
Yes, honey, I will buy you out-of-print dragon codices. Don’t worry.
And yes, you can make dragon rune graffiti in the garden. I understand.
And I love your love.
Being the type of homeschoolers we are, there’s no such thing as homework around here.
But there is Home Work, especially for old chests that need a new lease on life and a happy color. Nobody in this family needs cajoling to complete a lesson using spray paint.
An after Home Work, there’s Extra Credit in Dragon Runes: