Today is day 3 of Homeschool Essentials. On day 1 I shared with you our most essential object, Our Child Training Bible. On day 2 I talked all about our precious books! Today I want to tell you about our art supplies!
Why art supplies? Art supplies open up the world to my children so that they can take what they have learned and manipulate it, engage it, practice it, and expand on it.
In our home my children will devour a stack of books on a topic and then go and create their very own projects with our art supplies based on what they learned. Let me give you an example. This year we are neck deep in a study of the Medieval Period. We have had a blast with this topic. What little boys wouldn’t? Medieval means knights, castles, sword fights, jousting, and horses. Our library cart has been filled to the BRIM with every book our library can find on the subject. They’ve poured over these books for hours.
Eventually these books find their way to our art table. Nearby is a cabinet filled to the brim with paints, pastels, construction paper, scissors, colored pencils, water colors, markers, drawing pencils, glue, craft sticks…. you name it! Supplies come flying out and they spend hours inventing the very things they read about in the books. If things go well they’ll use their creations to reenact the stories in the books they read. This process goes on for weeks. I can sit back and watch immense amounts of problem solving, planning, negotiating with one another, rethinking, retooling, improvising, and improving. I have learned the best learning happens when I don’t interfere. My job is provide the materials and perhaps some advice if asked. That’s it!
So far this year they’ve created a room sized castle from cardboard with GREAT detail. They beg cardboard from just about anyone. Fortunately for them their grandparents work in a place with an abundant supply! The castle comes down and goes back up, refined, from time to time. They made their own catapults, bows and arrows, and long spears. Noah (8) wrote an illustrated book on everything he knew about the Middles Ages. Yes, my 8 year old son wrote a BOOK! It was all his own idea. He used the supplies I have on hand, and created what I would have called a report if I had assigned it. I didn’t assign it though, he dreamt it up on his own, and I would say he did a far stellar job because it came from HIM, not me.
We do have rules for the art supplies. They do have to ask me before they take something out but ONLY because I don’t want them digging out all of the paints 15 minutes before we have to leave for an appointment. It is also up to them to clean up everything every time. If they do not then they will lose access that thing they left out. No one wants that to happen. They do a good job over all.
Between the books and the art supplies my children engage in learning in a deeper and broader way than I ever would have imagined. My role is to provide the stuff and then get out of their way.
Yes, an abundance of art supplies… essential to our homeschool!
Come read what other Schoolhouse Crew Team Members think are essential in their homeschools. Here are a few to get you started. Click on the image below to read even more
Lisa @ A Rup Life
Jordyn @ Almost Supermom
Jenn @ Teaching Two Stinkers
Jennifer @ Chestnut Grove Academy
Brandi @ Brandi Raae
Wendy @ Simplicity Breeds Happiness
Jodi @ Insane in the Mombrain
Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
Lynn @ Ladybug Chronicles