This week we used art to tinker spring. We began by painting a few butterflies which quickly morphed into other insects. This led to more spring time creatures and pretty soon the kids were painting tad poles and frogs, eggs and robins, a chrysalis - caterpillar - butterfly trio, a snake slithering in the grass near the pond "it's habitat" my son said. I now have beautiful spring art work adorning my dining room wall but it is so much more than that. It is a portrait of my children's learning. It is a testament to their knowledge and their connection with the earth around them. It is an example of what a child's mind left alone for a few minutes can conceptualize.
The conversation was amazing. The engagement was inspiring. I loved seeing my kids work through various life stages of the creatures they were thinking of. I loved seeing them throw in color theory and work so hard to get this or that animal's markings just right. I loved it, but it also made me nervous. All this tinkering takes time. Much more time than a simple math worksheet. We spent an entire afternoon tinkering with these concepts, exploring what spring means, how it effects us. We didn't get any spelling done that afternoon, we didn't do one math problem. As much as my kids were learning and as much as I was loving it, there was still a nagging in the back of my head saying, "This isn't "real" homework, shouldn't we be getting some book work done soon?"
|Tinkering with costume design and story telling|
|Tinkering with homemade paper|
|Tinkering with flotation and ship design|
|Tinkering with the properties of liquids and solids|
|Tinkering with the forces of friction and momentum|