Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Scribble Art

We've recently taken up art at our homeschool.  It was mostly because I was trying to find something to do during that 15-30 minute lull after Sierra was done with school and before it was time to pick up Bailey from preschool.  Also, I found it too difficult to take all three of my kids, Blake in particular, to out local museum's Discovery Days (weekly art projects for ages 2-6).

At first, we just did a little of this, a little of that.  My mom had given us a bunch of small projects for the kids to do (making bracelets, painting sun catchers, etc.), so we started on those while I searched for a good book of ideas.

A couple years ago, I picked up a book called Mudworks by MaryAnn F. Kohl.  I liked it a lot, but there wasn't much besides sculpting, exploring, and playing with different compounds.  Well, last week, a friend of mine told me she had another art book by MaryAnn Kohl, Scribble Art.  Turns out, it's exactly what I was looking for.

Remember making crayon rubbings?  What about spatter painting?  Finger painting?  Collages?  Scribble Art is based upon the premiss of exploration.  There are no specific outcomes to the projects.  What she does instead is give you a list of materials, the process used, and variations that you can do with the materials/processes.  The final outcome is open ended.  The best part, for me, is that the projects can be easily adapted to a wide range of ages, from preschoolers through adult.  You can make the project as complex or as simple as you want.  I can enjoy the art experience right along with my kids.  Another bonus is that most of the materials used are found lying around the house (crayons, chalk, tape, yarn, glue, tissue paper, string, newspaper, baking supplies, etc.).

It's a great book.  Check it out at your local library (I know Longmont has it).  You can also "look inside" on Amazon.com  here.

Monday, September 22, 2008

In the Banryard

We had an official flied trip today.  One of our church friends, Nancy, owns a farm up north of Longmont, and she invited my three year old's preschool class to come meet her horse, Noah.  Sierra, Blake and I decided to tag along.

We were running a little late, so when we got there, they had already started.  Nancy was in the pasture talking to the 3 and 4 year olds, and soon we all headed over to the stable for water and cookies as she told us a bit about horses.  The kids were enthralled, even while her dog, Marbles, was trying to snatch the kids cookies.

Then Nancy brought Noah in.  She introduced him, talked a little more about horses, shooed Marbles away, and then announced that the kids could each have a short ride on the horse.  They each took their turn riding bareback, Nancy leading and one of the mom's walking close to the side.  Some of the kids more unsure then the others, but they all wanted to try.

After that, their preschool teacher handed them each a carrot, and Nancy lead them over to Noah's pen where they fed him.  Sierra was able to tell me confidently  that he was a herbivore and a mammal (homeschooling, check).

Then came the unexpected fun of riding in the bed of her tractor.  All of the kids wanted a ride, even Blake.  He was scared stiff, but demanded a turn anyway.

Soon it was time to leave, and Blake thew a fit.  He didn't want to go.  It was a good trip.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

If I had to choose

My toddler has decided that he likes to take his diaper off so that he can do his business in the buff.  I've tried getting him to use the toilet, but nothing is working.  Believe me, I've tried everything, aside of force.  That method backfired with his sisters (who I had a hard time with as well), and I don't want a repeat.

Yesterday, I had enough.  I called my mom up and begged her to come and teach him.  She doesn't know if she can come, but she walked me thorough all of the possible methods she could think of.  Check.  Tried them all.  Sigh.

Then I had to laugh at myself.  Of all the things that I would rather pass off to someone else, it ends up being toilet training.  Homeschooling, no problem.  Natural birth doesn't scare me either.  I don't even have a problem telling my kids about the birds and the bees.  But toilet training!  It is the bane of my existence.  I fear it more then any other development my kids will ever go through.

I find it amusing.  To each their own, I guess.