Friday, July 18, 2014

Art Club

During the school holidays there is a art programme run each day with two sessions where the children have the opportunity to learn skills and use materials to craft , draw, paint, glue, creating something from a chosen topic. We have joined in this class a few times with the girls not only enjoying the company of each other also the experience of having an art mentor and special space specifically to create.

I notice both Kalea and Zoe horse pictures were posted on the Facebook page!

Drawing Horses and Ponies came up as a session and Leigh and I knew this would be of high interest especially Kalea and Grace who seemed to be more focused on learning how to ride and be around horses.  The class was a huge success both Leigh and I spoke of Kalea and Grace coming home and showing us the technique they had learnt to draw a horse so we could also draw our own horse with ease.

Grace went on to make a booklet of instructions to draw the horse and then wanted me to use the book by following the instructions. She asked Jason too and he enjoyed taking part in this activity with her. She as ingested to learn by using the same technique of seeing an animal as a series of shapes we can draw other creatures, we gave this a go looking at a picture of a Pukeko.

 We are now looking at asking Angela to do classes specifically for our home learning group and give the children an opportunity to delve more into specific art and craft techniques!

Yoga and The Beginning of Time

We start early for Yoga which is a novelty for us to be up and organised out the door and over to Leigh's house, we may have skipped breakfast :) yoga started off for the older three it seemed the two younger ones were not interested today. The girls lasted the whole session with Grace and Zoe partaking in the meditation at the end, to see them both slow down this much was surprising and although Grace said it was " hard to stop wiggling around" she still managed a few minutes :)

Mel and Nu arrived which meant we had 7 children present one of each age 2,3,4,5,6,7,8. Along with three Mums made for a fun day. We started our time together with circle to establish the needs of the group for this day. Trampoline came up and being one of the first sunny days in a long time this was a possibility. Horse riding for Kalea (which is booked in for next week) Sunae wanted to play trains with Luke and Zoe wanted to see what the Montessori First Great Lesson was all about so I had agreed to do this with anyone whom was interested. Zoe was highly motivated had I had quite a list of things to prepare of which she did in a very short amount of time! Trampoline games came first and after jumping and experiencing some interesting dynamics all calmed down so we could sit and listen to the story. Upon reflection Leigh noticed Zoe found this type of experience quite calming and commented how she really needs a balance of physical and intellectual stimulation to be in a calm and satisfied place. This particular aspect of development also fits in with current brain research where children around 7 or 8 are no longer so much in their bodies are starting to really exercise the brain. Makes us ponder the thought of children from 5 being expected to sit and do book work much of the day when possibly their learning is more on a physical level, we feel grateful to be able to cater to the individual learning needs of our children! :)

The other reason it was decided to tell the Montessori Great Lesson is that all the children are continually fascinated by how we came to be. Our Universe and all that is in it is covered in this story and it was wonderful to be able to listen to prior knowledge and how the children understood this concept.

I began reading the story of the beginning of time from what some scientists believe happened ( there is evidence of other stories so that's something we can bring to them another time). All the children had input at one time or the other answering questions or offering their previous knowledge so it made for a dynamic experience. Of course they all loved the mini experiments that came up too and around half way through the younger ones started becoming louder with their play and the older ones were starting to look topped out with all the new knowledge so we agreed to continue another day, doing the volcano experiment then :)

After lunch the two youngest came home with me, Mel and Nu went home and Leigh did some rafting with the three older girls completing little birdies of which Grace has helped Sunae complete her own at home.