For us learning has to have heart, and quite a bit of soul too. Ok hands as well…….and head, don’t forget the head!
What seems to work quite well for us is using the arts as a ‘way in’ to all kinds of learning. It ticks T’s boxes because it means hands on learning, which is what he’s all about right now. He likes to be active, to move about and chat a lot whilst creating. It ticks L’s boxes because she likes to feel connected to her learning, and she is very artistic but it’s not really about that, it’s more about being in control of the subject matter and owning it.
Sometimes L will come up with something to make and teach it to T and myself in what she refers to as our evening class. I think this started when we lived in Ireland, where life was obviously much slower paced and I went to loads of crafty evening classes when the kids went to bed! I don’t seem to have the time to do that anymore!
We’ve always made art together, since they were teeny. It’s very relaxing and therapeutic. The best learning happens when everyone is feeling chilled I think, and being creative together just gets us in the ‘family love zone’. We have fun together and learning kind of just happens. Plus we love mess, we are a messy kind of family.
So here’s a couple of projects we worked on this week.
Both L and T made ‘animal habitats’ from modroc. L made a habitat for a family of sloth bears and T made a habitat for a family of ardvarks. They’ve been working on them for about 4 weeks but they are finally finished! Loads of research went on in order to create the habitats and ensure the models replicated the animals wild environment.
It was their first modroc sculpture and they loved using it, L was fascinated that she was using bandage for broken bones.
They also made prints of ancient mammals with a group of friends at our house, as part of their ‘Big History’ project: a mammoth (L’s) and a guinea pig like animal (T’s)and Macrauchenia (weird looking herd mammal). The idea was to make a prehistoric print in a pop art style!