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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

"Everything You Need to Know You Learn in Kindergarten"

I almost believe this statement...there are a few more things we could stand to know in life, but I think everyone should go back and repeat Kindergarten, starting with me! Like Rusty could definitely go back and learn to write his letters. I know he's got that all too cliche excuse that he's a Doctor, but his handwriting is hardly legible to himself. Sometimes I will ask him for clarification on what he's written, and even he can't decipher it! Mind Boggling! He blames his Kindergarten teacher, who was a man. All I know is writing all your letters from the bottom is messed up!
Teaching Emma Kindergarten this year has been way too enlightening! I mean how dumb must I have been? I'm learning where things are on the globe, who the heck Christopher Columbus was, what the deal is with all the planets, how plants really grow, and so on.
Last week, the unit I taught was on art. We spent a whole week just immersing ourselves in art. My daughter is a self-proclaimed true artist, and is quite passionate about it. (She gets that talent from her Daddy.) I knew I would have to give my A-game to challenge her. We started out learning the basics...you know...warm colors, cool colors, how to mix the primary colors together and make colors like purple, green, and orange. But we also looked at books of paintings and sculptures and studied what they meant. It is way fun to listen to a four and six-year-old analyze art! Our field trip was to the MSC Art Exhibit. Who knew it was Art Emphasis week at A&M too? (We saw a banner up when we got there saying so.) I can't prove it, but I think they're following my lesson plans. Anyway, I bravely entered the quiet, pristine art gallery, with a pre-schooler, Kindergartener, and a terrible two-er, pushing a stroller, and carrying a Superman backpack... and they were in awe. Emma could not leave until she saw every single thing there. I observed her just standing there, silent, studying sculptures, all on her own. I thought I would have to walk them through each piece, and pull some sort of observation out of them, but I totally underestimated my children. Emma was enthralled, and Jax kind of tagged along, as normal. Justus wanted to touch everything there- no surprise. It was really fun!!!
But I discovered a new passion myself for art last week, and for one particular artist...

Norman Rockwell. This is my absolute favorite. It's called "Marriage License." When reserving books of art from the library I chose a Norman Rockwell collection, knowing that I liked him, from what I knew, and that his work was fairly obvious and easy for kids to look at. He also paints a LOT about children, so that piqued their interest. But I didn't know how I would fall in love with his paintings! They are so true to life, and what I would call "precious." I want to own this one someday.

THIS WEEK, we are learning everything I never knew about Thanksgiving. All I can say I really knew before this week was there were pilgrims, there was the Mayflower, there were Indians, and there was a feast with turkey, corn, and some squash on the side. I was pretty sure they made friendly and supposedly were thankful.
I'm learning the long version! Today we went out on our fort and pretended to board the Mayflower, or as my kids keep calling it, the Cauliflower. (How funny is that?) We pretended to be passengers, and learned all the details of life on the voyage to the New World. We read a story that was from the viewpoint of a child on the ship. I can hear them outside still right now pretended to be sailing, yelling things like "Land Ho!" and "anchors down!" It's awesome.

How I love homeschooling, and how I love Kindergarten...the second time around.


Arlene said...

Jenn Bacak - you are an amazing mother. I sit in awe of the way you find such joy in raising your children and emmersing yourself in their lives. Your children are so lucky and blessed to have you for a mom and Rusty for a dad - seriously!

p.s. I would have LOVED to see them walking around that exhibit!

rachel said...

I love reading your homeschooling stories. They really inspire me for that someday...

Norman Rockwell is my favorite American painter. I went to an exhibit of his in Atlanta once and I loved him even more after that. Fun stuff.

Hendrick Family said...

Yes...school at home is so fun...and SO ENLIGHTENING.

I too realized what a moron I was the moment I started teaching my children.

Just wait until you get to first grade...and second grade...

It gets rather intimidating!!