Today, after a lot of days spent in the great outdoors recently, we turned our attention to a full afternoon of what, we term as, art and craft. This can be anything from simple “snipping” (a term my middle man uses for sitting there just chopping pieces of paper up with scissors), to using ink stamps, colouring, sticking and glueing, craft kits, beads, chalks, stickers, glitter, stencils, or painting (in one of it’s many forms). Art and crafts is a great passion of our little lady, and she loves making “things”. All the better if she’s allowed just to get on with it and allowed to choose what she does. Once she started junior school, she really noticed the absence of just being allowed to choose her method and task, and therefore the lack of being able to use her creativity in a very prescriptive environment made her sad and frustrated. Our eldest mini man is now following in her footsteps, enjoying glueing anything that’s within range of a glue-stick, snipping is a firm favourite, making colours and patterns with paint (whether using feathers, cars, brushes, or sponges for this), and colouring. Our youngest little man has a bit of an aversion to anything that might make his hands dirty, but has recently started to become more involved too, with a lot of encouragement, support, and perseverance. There is a few good reasons as well to encourage this side of a child’s nature, and the lack of opportunity and emphasis placed on it in our education system today, was one of the reasons to change to home education.
Art is a way for children to convey their ideas and express their emotions, at a time, perhaps, when they kind can’t find the right vocabulary or eloquence to express themselves sufficiently. It supports their physical development by helping their motor skills develop and also their hand eye coordination. More prevalent to our mini men is that they learn shapes and about colours. They begin to understand mixing colours and the results, by exploring what happens. They also put into use observational skills, which become handy in other subjects as they move through their education. It is also a soothing process, much like heading outdoors into nature, and can also lead to openings in conversation. I find my little lady can indulge herself for hours not realising how much time has disappeared, completely engrossed in her project. It is really lovely to see her so involved like that.
As for our other subjects, maths and english have continued in the background as an accompaniment to everything else, but are by no means the focus of the day. The focus has been on other subjects such as art, exploring outdoors, or a spot of science or geography. With the arrival of our caterpillars in the post this morning (something we do every year), I am going to bring the geography topic of world countries to a close, and move onto a science topic of animal lifecycles. All three will enjoy using the hungry caterpillar to guide us through this topic, and then my little lady and I will do some more in depth crafty tasks on the subject, covering a few other lifecycles and types too.