Art: The Line

"EARTH without ART is just EH" - anonymous

We have traditionally followed a "Waldorf Education" model with our homeschooling.  The past two years we have branched out in a few areas.  I have seen that not everything in that educational model fits with both of my school aged daughters.  I am not capable of bringing everything to them in an awakened and true manner (such as Eurythmy!).  Up until this year our art lessons have been mainly beeswax crayon drawings, block crayon drawings and loads of beautiful water color paintings.

While visiting LACMA this summer, my inquisitive 4 year old sat down and looked at a painting.  She turned to me with a concerned look on her face and asked, "Mama...what makes art, ART?".  It took longer than I expected to come up with a response.  It's kind of a loaded question, right?  I mean, what would you say?  I think at the time I said something like, "Well, many different people have many different interpretations of art.  What may be beautiful to some, may not be to others.".  She looked at me again, and then skipped off to the next gallery.  Later that night I wondered about my response.  Did I truly answer her question?

I had no formal art training and always felt lost whenever I had to draw something.  It seriously gave me anxiety.  I gained much confidence after taking my first year of Waldorf Teacher Training, but I still did not understand the principles of creating a piece of art.  I decided this year I wanted to do a bit more with our art lessons.  I looked into art lessons online, but they were mostly about studying a specific artist, then having the children re-create their work.  While I do believe that's an important aspect of studying art, at this age I wanted to keep the artwork their own.  I happened to be browsing a thrift store bookshelf the next week and came across a 50 cent gem!  So this year we are mainly using concepts and ideas found in that book as well as a few internet references.

October we focused on the line.  Each week we did a short lesson and the children created some lovely pieces of art, completely their own.

Week 1: Line Dropping

Week 2: Foot Path

Week 3: Spiral Lines

Week 4: Negative Space Lines

November we delve into shapes.  It aligns perfectly with my 4th graders science block "Finding Geometry in Nature".

Halloween Circle - Boo!

We celebrate Halloween in our home.  It's always been one of my Mother's favorite holidays and watching her enjoy the day with my girls over the years has been priceless.

I realize it's the day after Halloween, but I wanted to get this posted in case someone wants to use it next year.  All songs, verses and rhymes are taken from WeeSing for Halloween with minor adjustments.  I grew up with this on tape and played it constantly.  I love sharing the songs I know by heart with my little ones...

Watercolor pumpkin with tissue paper cut outs

Our ghosts circling...

As we light our candle: 

Fire fairies fire fairies, come to our circle
Let the fire fairies come, bringing golden light from the sun!

Opening Verse (stays all season):

The Earth is firm beneath my feet, (touch hands to ground)
The sun shines bright above. (Make sun above head)
Here I stand so straight and tall, (standing up very straight)
All things to know and Love. (Hug self)

Halloween is Here:

(Each girl picks a story stone and then gets to act out their part of the song)

Fly, fly, fly little witch
Halloween is here.

Flap, flap, flap little bat
Halloween is here.

Moan, moan,moan little mummy
Halloween is here.

Crawl, crawl, crawl little spider
Halloween is here

Float, float, float little ghost
Halloween is here

Stomp, stomp, stomp little monster
Halloween is here.

Have You Seen the Ghost of John

(This is sung in a round.  We all sing together, then the older two start off the round)

Have you seen the ghost of John?
Long white bones with the skin all gone…
Wouldn’t it be chilly with no skin on?

5 Little Ghosts

(For this one we all have a little paper ghost.  I sing the song and tap each girl on the head in turn, and they sit down.  For the last line, all sitting ghosts must close their eyes and the last ghost creeps up and “Boo!”s them.  So fun!)

Five little ghosts went out to explore,
One found a house to haunt, leaving just…

Four little ghosts on a late night spree,
One found a cemetery, leaving just…

Three little ghosts stopping by the zoo,
One found a chain to rattle, leaving just…

Two little ghosts still looking for some fun,
One found a kid to scare, leaving just…

One little ghost with nothing left to do,
'Til he snuck up behind you and shouted out Boo!

Witches Brew:

(This is a hand clapping game…I vary the sequence for the girls depending on their coordination, but everyone gets a turn!)

Witches’ brew hot
Witches’ brew cold
Witches’ brew in the pot,
nine days old.

Monsters like it hot
Ghosts like it cold,
Skeletons like it in the pot
nine days old.

Spin Spider:

(One girl is the spider and takes the cotton yarn and “spins” by wrapping the yarn all around us and the room)

Spin spider spin, spin your spider web.
Spin spider spin, spin your spider web.
On Halloween night, you’re such  spooky sight,
Spin spider spin, spin your spider web

(Repeat until spider has “finished”)

Closing verse:

Stars, moon and sun…
Now our circle is done.
We’re ready to start our day
full of learning, love and play.


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