Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Does anyone know how to make a Mermaid out of tape???

Apparently, I do. Or, I WILL, rather,  as that is what Miss Moo has requested that we paint.

I purchased a few canvases a week ago with the intention of  teaching shape and line design, along with a little color mixing reinforcement, by creating two canvases in homage to Piet Mondrian.   This particular project was one of my favorite to teach and watch the children enjoy when I was a Pre-K teacher and later a Museum educator. The idea came from this wonderful book by Mary Ann Kohl. (If you like the idea of education and process not product, look her up. She's amazing!)

My Pre-K's LOVED this activity. They loved the bright primary colors with which they painted. They enjoyed laying the tape upon their canvases and watching shapes form between the lines. But mostly, they squealed in delight when they could remove the tape after everything had dried. I loved the activity because we could discuss so many concepts, and they kids could have entire conversations with one another about their individual works.

I couldn't wait to do this activity with Moo. I began telling her what we were going to do while driving home from the park yesterday. She listened intently as I began describing the process. I was almost done with the steps, explaining that when we pulled off the tape shapes would appear.

"How about a Mermaid, also?"

I glanced at her in the rear view mirror.

"The tape will make shapes, baby girl."

Her eyes narrowed a bit. Then she smiled.

"Ummm, no thanks. I think we should matke a mermaid!"

It was then I realized that even thought I may make lesson plans, homeschooling isn't going to be like preschooling.

We chose to start homeschooling this fall because Drew's company's contract is up for renewal, so our short term future isn't certain. I didn't want to enroll her in preschool only to yank her out in a month or two, move her, and start over again. Drew and I had also decided we were going to home school our girls starting at the elementary age, so starting a few years earlier wasn't going to cause any harm. If anything, it would get us all in a rhythm by the time she was "kindergarten ready". I've been reading, researching, compiling, and starting plans. We've been integrating some structured learning, thought she doesn't realize it, into our daily routine. I'm also trying to set up our calendar for outings and field trips once the weather cools down a little.

But unlike Pre-K, here I can focus on my two children and what they actually enjoy and excel in rather than what is required by a higher authority that they master. My Pre-K's didn't really have a choice in what they did, my girls do. In the past my plans were fairly rigid, now they are fluid. It's liberating- and a little terrifying. I'm learning along with my girls, some days MORE than they are. But this is my job now, and I do love a challenge. I was a great teacher in the past, so I hope to be as good to my girls as I was to my previous students.

So during nap today, I better teach myself how to tape down a mermaid so she can paint it. Simple lines just won't do.

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