After creating mandalas individually at Art Club, we played an art game: each starts with a blank paper, and we take turns calling out what the next “ring” of the mandala will include. Of course, despite the system, each one came out wonderfully unique:
The last one is mine, because I couldn’t resist joining them–who could? Unfortunately, a few artists left before I could get a picture of their mandalas.
Can you spot the fish, sandwiches, water and hearts in each mandala?
I love mandalas in whatever form they take, however temporary or permanent, colorful, simple, filled with words or My Little Ponies or scribbles. My hunch was right that the young artists would enjoy them, too, and create some beautiful designs.
I showed them some Tibetan mandalas online, and my freehand samples:
The young artists’ creations:
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.
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: