Tuesday, July 27, 2010

getting ready for homeschool

Today I have been thinking a lot about our plans for homeschool this fall.  Once we move into our apartment we will have 11 days to get our furniture arranged, walls decorated and all of our stuff organized.  All before we start homeschool and Jeremy begins his fall semester.  I hope during those 11 days my desire to check things off the to-do list will overpower the indecisiveness I tend to have when decorating a new space.

Back to homeschooling...

One of my fears (one of many) when I think about educating our kids is stifling their creativity.   I want to teach them skills to engage their creative minds, but I don't really know how to do that on my own. I don't want to give them a craft to simply copy, instead I want to teach them how to think about drawing, painting, sculpting.   I want to teach them how to put on paper what they see with their imaginations.   I don't have anything against doing crafts, we do plenty around here. I just want to keep the crafts separate from the art. Is that even possible when do it all at home? I really don't know. Am I overcomplicating things? I really don't know. I do hope this second year of homeschool will show me those answers.

I saw this book by Keri Smith a few year ago and immediately knew I wanted to add it to our homeschool curriculum when the girls were old enough. I think this year will be a great time to introduce the concepts.  Click on the link to the left and you can see some samples pages.  This is a little excerpt from amazon:

The mission Smith proposes? “To document and observe the world around you. As if you’ve never seen it before. Take notes. Collect things you find on your travels. Document findings. Notice patterns. Copy. Trace. Focus on one thing at a time. Record what you are drawn to.”

I honestly feel like I need this for me too-I can't wait to do this with the girls! 

(edited: I noticed the links are not showing up in reader, to see the books, click here to go to my blog.)

The other book I am using along with our curriculum is The Art of Teaching Art to Children. My parents ordered it for me earlier this summer and I have really enjoyed it. It is written for a classroom teacher and the author also includes tips at the end of each chapter for homeschoolers. I do think there is a lot you can incorporate from each full chapter. This book is VERY practical-down to how she sets up and stores the supplies, what size paper she gives her students, how she presents the activity to the students and what kinds of comments she makes to the students about their art-which is exactly what I need.

Have you read either of these books? If so, I would love to hear what you think about them.  What books inspire you?


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Danielle said...

ooh, that explorer books looks like a great resource for teaching kids (and for adults, too!). Thanks for sharing. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy.

Meghann said...

Here's a blog group that I read on occasion, and they have a homeschooling section that first attracted me. http://simplehomeschool.net/
But check out the other sites they have - Simple Mom had a good post about how to engage your kids as the summer ends.

Jeanneoli said...

We start back after Labor Day. Now that I am back from France I need to get serious about ordering books etc. I will check out these books too.

diane said...

Meghann, I will have to visit Simple Homeschool and Simple Mom, they sound like a great resource, thanks for sharing.