Autumn RhythmWe’re looking at Jackson Pollock’s Autumn Rhythm painting this week. It’s the first time we’ve spent focused time at abstract art, and the twins were intrigued. We had a focused exploration of the piece, trying to find beginning and ends of lines, looking for where they crossed and tangled and became something new. Tracing the lines led to some discussion of mazes, a rabbit trail I would like to follow. There are lots of free printable mazes online, but I don’t think that’s the direction I’d like to do. Maybe we’ll use blocks to build mazes– it’s a shame we don’t still have a hamster in the family! Our Hexbug phase has come and gone, but maybe we can build a maze for hexbugs. Or I could always get out the marble run. Although I’m not looking for worksheet activities, I might make an exception for these number mazes— Matthew especially loves dot markers.

As part of our afterschooling with apples, we’ve been looking at the still life paintings of Paul Cezanne. Specifically, we looked at his Still Life with Apples and Still Life with Bottle and Apple Basket.


We have a little art appreciation area set up, although we may have to change it if we end up getting a hamster.

Molly Cezanne

For a long time, I have praised the merits of taking a few moments to create small-scale play set-ups for your child to discover in the morning or when they come home from school. But it wasn’t until I began my work in a Reggio Emilia-inspired preschool program that I found a word for what these are– provocations.

What is a provocation? Well, at its most basic level, a provocation provokes further learning. A provocation sets up a child for inquiry or learning. The best provocations– indeed, in Reggio philosophies, all provocations– begin by exploring the questions, wonderings, and interests of the children. As you observe how your child interacts with the materials and provocation, you can document learning and further questions, creating a spiral of provocations that continues for as long as your child shows interest.



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.

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

Waldorf homeschool art appreciation
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.