I have been fairly busy as of late since most of the kid's activities wrapped up. Although I am not gutsy enough to do home schooling full time, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to apply some of the ideas behind home school projects. A few ladies blogs Camp Creek and Playful Learning, helped me pique my children's interests.
First, I kicked up the observational drawing again with the kids every morning. Mixing up the exercises with 30 sec./ 1 min./ 3 min./ take as long as you want. Just to lossen them up and have them recognize the shapes and then the details of an object.
Then the kids chose a project to work on. My son chose Mindcraft and my daughter... art in all forms. She is interested and knowledgable about many different mediums. At an early age I decided to give her quality materials as they tend to yield more pigment and even in her eyes a better end result. All though her newest obsession is the world of comics and manga, she still loves doing mixed media pieces.
For my son...once we started a project he was passionate about, it was easy to help him along. He decided he wanted to focus on urban planning. He began his research on line, wrote his list of items he would need, and drew a schematic of his ultimate town. Then went to work building it. It is interesting to see his excitement everyday. As he builds... he begins to notice what works and what doesn't, and what materials were harder to deal with, etc. I reminded him to take snap shots of his work and write notes.
The other thing I invested in was a little mini writing journal class from Playful Learning. Simple little videos to help the children along on their writing journey. Although both children have had various journals for writing in the past they never really kept up with them. For some reason... the videos, the personalizing their journals, and perhaps seeing other children do them, reinforced the idea that their thoughts are important.
My daughter was excited to dig into the class and decorate her journal in the morning. My son... was a bit hesitant. A little of the 'I'm too cool for school syndrome', so at first he would have none of the stickers and tape. He just chose a marker and wrote and drew on the cover. Then wandered away. I didn't want to push anything and just wanted it to be an organic experience, so I let it be.
Needless to say later that night, after he saw his sister's journal and then watched some of the videos in the class, he broke out all my boy friendly washi tapes and went to town on his cover. As he was midst of decorating he said, "You know mom? This is actually fun!"
I'm very glad for finding this little creative class. They wake up every morning work in it a bit and then as they wrap up for the night. The night session is especially nice, I've always asked them to choose a quiet activity like reading, drawing, etc... and this is perfect. I've notice a much calmer state of being for both children and myself as I have also, used this time to reflect and enjoy the time together in quiet play...