Here are some spring projects we have been working on.
Nest building through collage. Like birds we scavenged for twigs, paper leaves, and other bits and bobs to build a nest.
We glued our materials on to watercolor paper (any heavy weight paper will do), and built up as many layers as we could, bearing in mind we didn’t want our eggs to fall through! And here are the results:
We had built our nests and so we needed to make some eggs.
We painted a few wooden eggs (bought from the craft store for $1 each) with metallic acrylic paint.
Mateo is excited about his eggs! They’re going on the nature table.
Experimenting is the greatest opportunity to learn the ‘what if’s’ and ‘why’s’. Recently, Mateo and I have been learning about matter: solids, liquids and gases. Freezing water, evaporating water, and working out how the clouds collect all that rain water. Mateo has since become obsessed with putting things in the freezer to see if their states will transform the way water turns to ice. We have frozen all sort of things – paper airplane’s, clay balls in water – but the pinnacle of our freezing escapades has been our colored ice sculptures.
We added food coloring to water and froze it over night in random shaped containers. Mateo was so excited to find these blocks of colored ice in the morning. Voilà! – pure magic in his eyes.
We adhered the ice chunks together with salt. Mateo was amazed to find that salt melts ice.
We watched in fascination as salty little rivulets cut grooves into the ice’s surface. The melted, tinted water then pooled at the bottom of each sculpture and blended together into new, more beautiful colors.
Continuing with color… While out trash picking one day, Tom and Mateo found part of an old school pencil sharpener attached to a desk dumped in a neighbor’s yard. So they snagged it and spent the afternoon together sharpening colored pencils to create mounds of shavings dusted with layer upon layer of color.
Thought it might be time that I contributed… Here we are a little over a month with our bus and still ripping shit out – a bottomless pit for the moment and an endless source for debate. As we inch our way towards the light at the end of a tunnel I’d like to contribute some of our homeschooling ventures. Since the majority of my time is spent making projects, experimenting and gallivanting around town with my children it seems an obvious place to start.
I have been homeschooling since the birth of my second child, Harper a little under year ago. To date it has been the most fulfilling (and sometime frustrating) choice I have ever made – much like getting the bus! Basically ditching school came down to a decision to either do or not do what I actually believe in.
What I have come to realize is this:
Conventional education despite having its place in our heavily fundamentalist country is, like so many systems within our culture, a lie. Not only does it fail for the most part to do what it purports to do, but it actually renders children incapable of doing what they naturally love – to learn. School has jipped us out of the joy of learning as well as our ability to self-educate.
So many parents are reliant on school to “complete” their children and give them the “education” that will set them soaring through life, but for the most part this is not the reality. I hated going to school as a child and I never learned anything I was actually interested in. I was always preparing for the real (adult) world by going to school, but ironically nothing they taught me in school had anything to do with the real world. Instead of pretending to prepare for some non-existent reality I want to give my children the opportunity to learn by experienceing the real world first hand. To that end the bus will be a great tool.
So the choice was clear for me. Since I have made the leap from unfulfilled arts professional to full-time parent and teacher extraordinaire, I am inspired again. My everyday no longer drags on with things I aught to and would rather not do, but instead is driven by the momentum of mine and my children’s curiosities. Ultimately we are FREE…and it feels very, very right.
I have started a branch of Transit Antenna in www.transitantennahome.blogspot.com, which will be solely dedicated to our homeschooling projects and ideas. Blogger has a great network of homeschoolers, but don’t worry about keeping up there as everything will be duplicated here in addition to our other, non-homeschooling related posts. Till next time.