I do a fair amount of reading about homeschooling these days. I'm drawn to a Charlotte Mason-esque philosophy of learning, but sometimes I'll read an idea and think "how wonderful! But will that really work? Will my child really do that??" CM had such high expectations of a child's ability, and sometimes I think that is fantastic and some days I think "yeah right."
Besides that, I'm trying to navigate learning/teaching with a child who is only four (younger than children in most CM schools) and yes, he is very much only four, but also displaying an amazing appetite for learning.
So it was with some caution that I decided to try learning about art. (Have I mentioned that I can't draw/paint/color anything but stick figures?) We ordered a couple of books of Dover Art Cards - small art prints that can be given to the child to study - and today we began.
I am astounded by what occured. Jonathan did exactly what CM philosophy predicted. :)
We sat down together and looked at our first print: Claude Monet's The Water Lily Pond; Harmony in Green.
I asked Jonathan to tell me about what he saw, and with very few assisting questions he described the picture in surprising detail. (Thomas repeated everything Jonathan said, which is great speech therapy as well as artistic learning!) Then we turned it over and I asked Jonathan to describe it again, which he was willing to do (!!!) and did well! We talked very briefly about the name of the artist and the name of the painting, and then we sat down with watercolors at the table, propped up the art card to use as inspiration, and this was the result:
From Thomas (notice the choice of colors!)
I'm over the moon with pleasure in their success, and more than that, his enjoyment of the whole process. Learning with the boys is so much fun!