Monday, July 15, 2013

The First Day Back

So today was - IS - the first day of our 2013-2014 school year.  It seems surreal.  It feels like we've taken almost no time off at all, and yet it feels like forever ago that we launched rockets and ended our school year back in May.  It's a strange dichotomy.

The kids were both prepared and unprepared for today.   M1 fussed for a while about the amount of writing that was going to be expected of him this year (never mind the fact that it's still nowhere near the amount of writing that would happen in a public school setting and the fact that he was doing nearly this amount in May), but he's also looking forward to some of our history activities and science experiments.  M2 was very grateful for the math review, even though it frustrated her that she'd forgotten things, but she's excited about the history and science projects, too, with a major jones for the timelines that I hung this morning.

For our optional subject today, we tackled art.  This has been a subject I've struggled with over the last few years for a couple of reasons.  First of all, I have no artistic ability or history whatsoever, so I'm flying blind.  Secondly, I think I've been barking up the wrong tree curriculum-wise.  I tried using Artistic Pursuits, but nothing was sticking, I suspect in large part because while Artistic Pursuits features excellent images and great information about various artists, the projects simply don't match!  A project about African textiles doesn't really work with information about an Italian renaissance painter, does it?

Anyway, now that we're using Discovering Great Artists (giant thanks sent to my friend Kim who introduced me to this book!), I decided to take it easy.  Our first project?  Making art cookies.

First I made egg yolk paint.  The kids loved picking out their desired paint colors, and I enjoyed trying to make them.  In the end, we had red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and a purplish-brown.  Then I realized we didn't have time to actually make cookies, so we had to run to the grocery store to pick up a tube of the ready-made stuff.

Homeschooling - it's all about the improv.

While the kids painted, we discussed art that they already knew about.  They surprised me with the knowledge of artists, works, and styles that they've somehow picked up... from somewhere... or someone.  I dunno.  M1 painted himself a rough Mona Lisa and incorporated cubism into his version of a tree.  M2 painted a happy face - pop art! - as well as some abstract cookies and an Impressionist rainbow.

The best part?  Cookies.  We ate them.  And with that, the first day of the school year came to a successful end.  Only 179 more days till summer!


rowan said...

HA!!! Sounds wonderful! We should be starting in about two weeks. Hope our first day goes as well. :-)

Kim said...

Cool! I love it. I struggle with teaching art in a coherent manner too. I happened upon an art textbook this year called Essential History of Art.

I'm going to follow it and search the internet for related art activites.

Sarah said...

Thanks for that! I've added that to my own Goodreads list to reference later. Let me know how it goes!