I have been cheating a little bit on all of my self-imposed deadlines. Must be because of the broken sewing machine. Sitting around, twiddling thumbs and all.
So to begin I wanted to plan on more crafts and handwork for the whole crew. Last lesson year it seemed the focus was mainly on math and language arts.
After a read through Magic Mangrove Seed by Alan Whitehead where I was looking for stories to begin the year with reviewing certain main points of last lesson year I flipped to the back. For the first time. Sigh. I have many books of curriculum and sometimes do just a skim and leave the rest for ‘later’. There is a wonderful section in the back, a type of overview of activities for each subject. In the Visual Arts-In Celebration of Colour and Form section on page 101 I found this quote:
Soak sheets of cheap watercolour paper (or good-quality cartridge) and smooth them on the desk top or small masonite boards. Squeeze from the tube into little paint bottles, watercolour paint (again not expensive, but not vinyl or poster), enough to make fairly strong blue, as needed. These make virtually every other colour in the spectrum. Paint straight onto the damp, sponge smoothed paper; the colours, being transparent, actually mix on the painting. If green is required, an already painted yellow tree is lightly overpainted with blue. This gives an on-going experience of colour-mixing.
Thank you. Thank you for not starting the section off with:
Go and purchase the most expensive water color paper available. Please don’t worry about eating or paying rent. Your child will suffer if they do not paint on the same paper as a professional artist.
When I first started homeschooling I bought everything by the North American Waldorf book. A year in I a got a funny feeling. I am no fan of using trash to make art. It is annoying. But it all smacks of ‘I am better than you because I buy the right things’. Urgh. Isn’t that we are trying to avoid? Do you want to limit your child’s artistic expression because of high price materials? Obviously, not. I could go on but I won’t. This above (real) quote is a great quick intro to wet on wet watercolor painting. Just read that and start. Don’t read everything ever written about that style of painting. Just do it and get better at it.
I then picked up The Golden Path by Alan Whitehead to get a handle on a few crafts we missed last year. So exciting! Because I will have a grade two and a grade five both boys will participate in the grades one and two activities I neglected last year. We will begin again with knitting. They hate knitting. I hope everyone is a year old and a year more patient. Fingers crossed. From the Carpentry for Children by Lester Walker both boys will make a cradle, one for each sister. I will make the doll quilts. The sacrifices I make for these children…..
As part of lapidary and merging with nature crafts we are going to be polishing and trying our hand at carving peach pits. I have a rock tumbler waiting to go for any goodies Dash happens to pick up on the hiking club hikes we are starting in September (yay!) and I am going to teach them both macrame. Because Mama spent a little bit of time on that particular knot craft, throat clear. And bread boards! How exciting to each have our own shaped like an animal! A special dream of mine has been to make a pair of sandals. Imagine my delight when reading it is a recommended project for grade five. I had just been reading the sewing blog, Tilly and the Buttons and she suggest this e-book. Yes!
This is our before the winter holidays plan. Making sure to leave plenty of time for that exciting business and hopefully producing a bit for the holidays as well.
I will leave you with one more quote from the Golden Path page 51. Not from Alan Whitehead but from Hedwig Hauck’s book Handworks and Handicrafts (available for free, click on the link!):
Dr Steiner introduced the block period, as with main lessons, for handwork as well; he said, ‘Rather than split up the lessons, it would be preferable to work with the children every day …. this is extremely important for later in life. The breaking up of work in to periods makes it disagreeable for children to have to persevere with their work over such a long period of time ( a single handwork job taking months with one period a week ). Academic and artistic lessons not only suffer from period teaching from a psychological point of view, but something in the human being is actually damaged. In the handicrafts, you must aim for bringing about a certain concentration in the children.’
*And just in case you are wondering, the girls will not be left out. I am planning a kindergarten light year for Sira which will be so much fun as it will be the third (actually fifth) kindy year I have done. So many exciting crafts and stories which sister Rika will no doubt enjoy weaving in and out from.