Artistic Pursuits

Wednesday, September 18, 2013Once upon a time, I took an art class in high school. It may have been the only class that I enjoyed in high school. I loved the art class and turned out some descent looking things. It was great for me. Fast forward to college and my Art History class. If I had ever thought about paying someone to take a class for me, this would have been the one! So…I guess you could say I like art but not so much that I want to spend three hours once a week looking at art slides.

There is this art curriculum where you can study artists and their art as well as make art. It’s called Artistic Pursuits. The kids and I really like this program. The kids think it is fun. As a parent, I hope it will open up new ways of looking at things and inspire creativity in my kids. Oh, and if they happen to pass by a painting and with great ease exclaim, “oh look, it’s “Children’s Garden” by Charles Burchfield” that would be okay too. 😉

You can get a complete kit with all the supplies(which I did and it was sooo worth it). But, you can also just buy the book and use your own supplies.  We are using the “Early Elementary” book. It is actually great for kids of all ages!

I drew this picture as an example to show the kids. In this lesson, you look at Marc Chagall’s, “The Birthday,” and learn about capturing emotions rather than portraying things exactly as they are.


Homeschooling with 5 kids

Jelly Belly fieldtrip!

Jelly Belly field trip!

So, how do I manage with the 5 kiddos during the day? Maybe you are in a similar situation. It can be especially hard if you have younger kids thrown in the mix like I do. Naps and moods can be so unpredictable. That being said, I love having little kids around. They bring so much life to our home and give my older, but shy kids a chance to break out of their comfort zones. Being very prepared has helped me immensely. Knowing what I want each month to look like, what learning I want to take place, and having a schedule for each day works for me. Now I am not a strict schedule follower. What good is a schedule if you never break away for a little fun! But with the little ones around, it is nice to know that we got done what we needed to.

My 13-year-old daughter loves babies. Every morning she hosts what she calls “nursery” with my one year old and I call a huge blessing. My 10-year-old daughter plays with my 3-year-old and I get my 7-year-old son all to myself for an hour. At around 10am, as we are wrapping up I will spend about 20 minutes with my 3-year-old daughter working on her workbooks. She loves them. They make her feel special. We talk and color. I tell her how smart she is. She eats it up. Then it is time for baby Mary to go down for a nap. Hopefully, right? Yep, it’s not an exact science but I work really hard to be patient. We want our kids to know what a blessing babies are, right? 🙂

Then the girls and I get going. Sarah and Rebekah are in 6th and 8th grades. But don’t count on them remembering that. I guess it is just not important information to most home schoolers. Ha Ha. Anyway, I work with the two of them until lunch and then…we eat lunch! YUM! This is a big daily milestone for me. Lunch. My little oasis. Do you feel the same?

During the day, my 7-year-old son Sam gets all his school work done. Lucky duck! But for the big kids we have NIGHT SCHOOL. Night school has been a life saver!  Last year, we were having issues getting into a discussion about history or science and having a well-meaning but noisy 2-year-old wander in. I was kind of at the end of my rope and looking for something new. So, the subjects where I am actually presenting more of a lesson, we do at night when Dad is around to help with the small ones.

Afternoons are for the fun subjects. Once a week we have chemistry, art, or cooking. The kids are really not at their best in the afternoon but they are almost always up for this type of fun learning. My little ones are sometimes wandering around for this but we do okay. The best is when my 1-year-old has opted for a second nap and my 3-year-old watches Curious George. We don’t watch a whole lot of tv so it will keep her attention pretty well.

I guess that’s about it. It makes for a busy day. But homeschooling or not, having 5 kids will get you that! Are you a big home school family? What works for you?