Fridays are my favorite day of all! Fridays are when we focus on the Arts, and I wish sooooooo much that I had come up with this idea with C20 was still homeschooling. She’s my artistic one, and would have LOVED days like this.
For Art I am using Artistic Pursuits, the first book specifically. For preschool and kinder I used to plan my own artsy type project. But I really love, love, love the approach AP takes in teaching the concept of art in a conversational and interactive way. Plus, it’s all laid out for me and has practically zero prep time. All I have to do is make sure I have all our art supplies for the lesson ready to go.
I really appreciate also that they encourage the children to express themselves, not to follow a particular formula. (Remember those days? When everyone made the exact same paper pilgrim from pieces of paper already cut out for you?) They use a variety of art mediums which, I will admit, can get kind of expensive.
I discovered that Michael’s Crafts is giving teacher’s 15% off their entire order through Sept 24th. Plus my store also let me use their 40% coupon off one item too. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this will be something they will do each semester. But even if you miss out on this special, if you plan your purchases carefully and use coupons (JoAnns and Michael’s will often accept competitors) you should be able to get the most expensive items at a discount.
One tweak I made to fit our homeschool is I have made copies (and laminated them) of each lesson’s art masterpiece. I hang the artwork on our Learning Board so that we can see and discuss it during the week before our art lesson. That way the artwork is part of our everyday learning, not just once a week. We don’t actually talk about the piece every day, but it’s there for his little brain to look at and absorb.
I also make a point of listening to classical music during our school day. Last year it was Mozart, and this year it is Beethoven. I’ll probably check out a picture book or two about Beethoven for “couch school,” so G6 can become a little more familiar with the man behind the music. But at this age it’s more about exposure than anything else. I don’t expect him to be able to pick out specific symphonies or even be able to distinguish between Mozart and Beethoven. Although I do think it’s funny that he’s realized that there’s a lot of classical music in Bugs Bunny/Looney Tunes cartoons. *snork!*
Of course, the MOST important part of our Creativi-Tea Day is our Tea Party! I’m sure a lot of you are thinking “What? Tea party with a BOY?” I assure you, G6 is about as boyish as they come. He loves Star Wars, swords and having mock wars with his Legos (despite all my efforts of raising a peace-filled child!) But he and I have been having tea parties since he was about three years old, and they are lots of fun.
A tea party with a boy is more about food and conversation, rather than teddy bears and dressing up. In fact, he’s never had a tea party with his stuffed animals. However, I’ve always paired our tea party with a yummy snack, fun project and a good book. (Not to mention the classical music playing in the background.) I also take the time to gently teach/remind him of table manners.
Sometimes we make our tea party snack together, which is a huge thrill for him since he likes cooking/baking things with us. Snacks can be as simple as cheese and crackers, or as elaborate as finger sandwiches (usually PB&J). Sometimes I’ll even buy a special treat from the international section of the grocery or from World Market. And if I can fit in a food from the time period or area of the world we are studying, even better!
The boy even drinks actual tea. Sometimes people will serve kids juice, lemonaid or kool-aid type drinks at tea parties. But I’ve always given G6 real tea. Most of the time it’s a fruity herbal, although we have tried rooibos teas on occasion. I tend to stay away from caffeinated teas for him. Someone gave him a gift of Children’s Tea, and he really enjoys it too.
This year our “project” is our Artistic Pursuits lesson for the week, which is is absolutely loving to pieces. So far we’ve been closing our party with our art project rather than a book. But since we don’t limit reading only to “school time,” he knows he only has to ask, and one of us will cuddle up on the couch and read with him. 🙂