Don’t click out. I know what you’re thinking—Waldorf-inspired homeschoolers do NOT teach their toddlers the alphabet. Uh uh. No way. No how. No chance.
Let me back track for a second.
One of the things I love most about being a homeschooler is that I can be as eclectic as I want to be. Waldorf is my first love. It speaks to my heart like no other method. But I like to borrow from other approaches as well. I love the methodical organization of Montessori. I love the cycles and rhythms of the Classical Curriculum. And thanks to a series of posts over at Fairy Dust Teaching, I’ve been falling back in love with the beauty and project-based approach favored by the Reggio Emilia method. Read more...
I know, I know– when you think “Andy Warhol” you think soup cans, not kitty cats and puppy dogs. But on our recent outing to the Carnegie Science Center we saw these little cuties.
Matthew and Molly especially liked them!
So this week for art appreciation, we learned a little more about Andy Warhol’s cat and dog series. We followed it up by creating our own Warhol cat drawings following these directions from Art Projects for Kids, an awesome web site.
Source: Art Projects for Kids
Our little art museum
As you may have gathered from my billion posts on the subject, my kids fell in love with the Blue Balliet books this spring and summer and along the way, fell down a bunch of different rabbit holes. Pentominos were one. Frank Lloyd Wright was another.
When they discovered Fallingwater was located in Pennsylvania, the children insisted on adding it to our summer fun list. And a few weeks ago, we were able to make that particular dream come true. Read more...
From the archives:
At the Waldorf school where we have our parent-child classes, the
children use a strong piece of cardboard covered with brown paper on
which to color. Not only does this allow each child to have his or her
own workspace and helps to keep crayon off the table, but it also
serves as a perfectly smooth surface so that no dirt or imperfections
on the table. A quick and easy substitute would be an old cookie
Art is not the possession of the few who are recognized writers, painters, musicians; it is the authentic expression of any and all individuality. (John Dewey)
Jackson Pollock painting, Spring 2008
You may have picked up on our new-found enthusiasm for Blue Baillett’s Chasing Vermeer. It has a lot going for it. After reading the books, my kids became very interested in Pentaminos and we ordered a class pack so each child has their own. We’ve checked out some books on Vermeer, and they’ve tried (in vain) to get me to buy the $20 art book from Borders. They may succeed yet. They’re also trying to get me to use my Swagbucks to buy Lo! by Charles Fort. Most of all, we’ve had some great discussions about art. Read more...
From the archives…
Since we have been talking about art, this might be a good time to
plan out your own weekly art rhythm.
Not only will you want to explore what you want to get done and what
day you wish to do it, but you may also want to pick a time and commit
to your child that every day (or every other day or whatever works for
your family) you will have art time. Our art time is following nap and
snack. We may do “projects” at other times, but we always have a
standing date after snack! I guess what I am trying to say is that you
really do have to be intentional about it. For the longest time, I
wanted to do art projects, but something always got in the way. The
easiest way to be held accountable to a predictable art time is to
tell your child- they will definitely not let you out of it! Read more...
From the archives…
Having come from a cognitive development/early childhood education
background, I have often found my “preschool side” at odds with my
“Waldorf side.” The preschool teacher in me felt that my son needed
access to art materials at all times, whenever he wanted them. Paper,
crayons, markers, glue, scissors, play dough- he had it all. He also
slowly lost it all. The markers went when he colored his baby sister,
and the glue disappeared when I caught him eating it. The scissors
were being incorporated into barbershop play, and one day I entered
the playroom to discover everything he could find stuck into a large
pile of glue. When his new paint tray holder arrived (just beautiful,
and very reasonably priced, from naturetables.com) he “christened” the
unfinished white pine by scribbling the jar holders with beeswax
crayons. Thank goodness for Goo Gone! So… the crayons went on
vacation, as did the paper. Now, I am beginning to realize something.
This was just way too much for my just-turned-three-year-old. Read more...
Michael reading McElligot’s Pool from Your Favorite Suess, a Random House Treasury
Our own funny fish:
Starfish (Do you see the stars?)
Week two of co-op, and we had another great “Art Masterpieces” class!
We looked at two pieces of art this week, Mary Cassatt’s Mother and Child
and Amedeo Modigliani’s Gypsy Woman with Baby.
The children brought there own (very cute!) baby pictures to look at as well. Read more...
“I am going to work,” said Mister Thumb.
Hold up thumb.
“Now who will go with me?”
Said Mister Pointer, “I will go.
Hold up pointer finger.
You need my help, you see.”
And so they worked together
As happy as could be.
They made a lovely apple
In a big tall apple tree.
They made a little bluebird.
They made a sun for me.
Mister Pointer said, “I like to work.”
Mister Thumb said, “I agree!”
Coloring with crayons is a traditional early childhood activity, and that is well-loved here at our house. Not only is a great creative outlet, but holding crayons helps children cultivate the small motor skills that will later help them have a functional pencil grip.
The typical box of Crayola stick crayons can be fun in their variety for older kids, but are often frustrating for the little ones. They’re thin and break easily, and I’ve noticed my own wee ones seem a little more interested in peeling off the paper than in coloring with them. They seem less substantial, especially after using a block crayon or homemade muffin crayon, and just seem ill-suited for small hands in general. Read more...