Making BLUE GOO —
We recently acquired a set of wooden building blocks for our Nixi; which we figured she might’ve outgrown by now. Not our little’n! She has no qualms about playing with toys for babies, and Nico and I see no problem with it either. In fact, it seems to help her grow even more, when it comes to educating her here at home.
I’ve come to see, in my early years of homeschooling, that Nixi can make a learning game out of just-about anything. She amazes me at every turn; the way she is reading and spelling new words every day. One particular day last week, we sat down at the kitchen table (our desk, if you will), and dumped a heaping pile of wooden building/letter blocks out…covering the mass of our small dining perch.
In no time at all, we’d built a cozy looking seaside village of beach houses; complete with bridges and all. We were both very proud of our creation. Then we moved on to the letter blocks. I nudged Nixi into the direction of spelling by asking her how to spell certain words, in a tone like I had no idea how to spell these words.
I was delighted to snap a few pics of the first words she spelled out for me. I am always proud of her efforts, and I see every day how much she is growing and truly enjoying the freedom of learning at home. I only wish I could’ve been home schooled! I think it would’ve made me a more confident, independent person as an adult.
I feel Blessed to be able to encourage my young daughter into the wonderful world of being free to truly learn all of the things that interest her in life. If I accomplish nothing else in my lifetime…if I find success in no other avenue, I will be grateful for educating my daughter in a relaxed and fun environment.
*Freedom to Learn. Freedom to Grow!*
I’m always trying to come up with new ways to exercise my daughter’s creativity. Being that she is six years old, she has a lot of input when it comes to our zany creations. One thing’s for sure — we always have fun coming up with new ideas.
I had been trying to think of a fun art project we could create from my Nixi’s hand and foot prints, but ‘the light bulb’ had continued to elude me. Finally, last week, the ‘light’ lit-up brightly above my head, and this Hand & Foot Print Family Tree was the result.
Using Nixi’s foot print as the trunk of the tree (which had to be painted, since we had no brown construction paper), we traced and cut enough of her hand prints from green construction/art paper, and labeled each hand (or, should I say ‘leafy tree branch’) with members of our immediate family from both my side and her dad’s side.
One thing I would have done differently — and might still add to the tree leafs later — is to also write the names of Mom, Dad, Bubby, Sissy…Grandma, Grandpa, etc, instead of just their call-names. It’s really no big deal if you do or don’t add real names to your leafs, because — as in our case — you can always go back and do it later. These improvisational art projects are pretty flexible that way.
On that note, we were very delighted with the outcome of our family tree creation. So, however you wish to carry out your process, you’re sure to have oodles of fun with your child…or children, and grand-children, too. I hope it inspires you to find new and different ways to create family keepsakes with your home schooler.
Thanks for stopping by. : ) Please comment and share your ideas and creations? We can all learn from each other. Blessings and .V.. (Peace), to you and yours!
*Supplies We Used*
-colored construction paper
-Elmer’s school glue
-Crayola washable paints
-white poster board (paper backing for family tree), 11 x 14 inches
-paint brushes (though you can always use your fingers, too)
-pencil for tracing (better than using a pen or marker so you can erase)
VOILA…!!! Here is our finished result! We couldn’t be more pleased with our hand and foot print family tree. If you date your creation, you can always see how big your little one was at any age. It’ll be a wonderful keepsake-memory…always.
Earlier this year, I attended my first ever vision-board workshop here on the island…at an art studio down in the Strand District. I so thoroughly enjoyed meeting the nice ladies there, sharing our visions about the life we hoped to inspire through art…the lives I-for-one, hoped to find.
My visionboard still hangs on my wall, where I can see it every morning when I wake up. To look at it gives me insight into my desires as a woman, as a mom, as a wife. Some months later, entering my first ‘official’ year as a homeschooling mom, my vision board has also inspired to create one with my five-year-old.
Sitting down at our dining table–the desk we use for studies, art, and games–I provided my daughter with foam pads (the size of a sheet of paper) of her color-choice, her Fiskars, Elmer’s Glue, and several family and travel magazines. Guiding her through the process at first, I smoothly backed off and let her take charge of her own visionboard creation.
As I looked-on, I watched the secrets of her little mind spill-out onto her blue foam boards (she chose to do two boards instead of one), and I was delighted to be invited into my child’s mind…her thoughts, choices, and dreams.
In the end, when the glue had dried and we had shown Daddy when he arrived home that evening, I felt like I knew my little one much better than I had when we woke up that morning. I felt I had discovered a hidden door into my daughter’s mind. It was a win-win for me as a homeschooling mom, grasping at new and productive ways of ‘teaching’ without really teaching.
Vision boards with your homeschoolers? It will remain a fun activity for me and my homeschooler for years-to-come. Try it with your child. You’ll be so happy with your discoveries…and wonderful memories made together.