Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Homeschool Mornings

Yesterday, Aidyn and I had a lovely homeschool morning. Because we have been talking about St. Patrick's Day coming up, I broke out our decorations and let him have at them. He tried on the shamrock antennae and Irish hat and ran around the house. We even did our tablework decorated for St. Patrick's Day.

Aidyn did a quick run-through of the alphabet song, we talked about some letters, and then we did our artist study for the first time. I checked out a children's art book that focuses on Vincent Van Gogh. Yesterday morning, I selected a page for us to look at, which happened to be his "Pear Tree in Blossom" painting. Armed with his sketchpad, I asked him to look at the picture and tell me his thoughts. Every observation I wrote down. He said many interesting things and made careful observations. For example, he said that the pear tree had no leaves on it, only flowers, so it must be springtime in the picture. This is an exercise that I would like to make a habit. Eventually I would like him to even sketch the painting himself on his sketchpad and write his own observations. But this is a good way for him to become familiar with later exercises.

After we finished the art observation, Aidyn and I played with his tangram pieces which is an assortment of right triangles of differing sizes, squares, and parallelograms (we have more than the usual 7 pieces). I am using this particular set as an introduction to mathematics, geometry, and tangible puzzles. It is an excellent way for him to learn his shapes and how to manipulate these shapes to make pictures or other shapes. When we played with them, there were no set rules; we simply messed around with them. He ended up joining two triangles to make a square, and upon flipping it around, he said that he made a diamond and a kite. We made pictures with the pieces also. For example, I made a rocket ship and Aidyn made two houses with roofs. We pretended that my rocket ship was sailing over his houses. I am hoping that this kind of math play encourages Aidyn to like math more than tolerate it.

We have also been filling our home with Johannes Brahms. He is actually on an assortment CD, so we've also revisited Mozart and Bach. Listening to classical music these last months has brought a certain calmness and tranquility to our home, and I love that Aidyn is getting samplings of some of the finest composers. Later when we do more in-depth studies of them, he'll already be familiar with their music.

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