Re: Just learning!

Karen James

When he was 5 I thought how is he going to learn without worksheets.<<<<<
I thought similarly, especially with math.

I wrote this today on Facebook for no particular reason other than to share something I thought might be interesting for people. I think it applies in this instance as well. Forgive me, I am copying and pasting:

**************
Still suffering from jet lag, I found myself awake again at 2:30am. This time, though, Ethan was standing beside my bed saying he couldn't sleep. So, I got up and climbed into his loft bed with him. We laid (lay, lie?) awake together in the dark, touching the ceiling, talking about the statistics in a game Ethan (and Doug and I) plays. Great Sam! That child knows his material! And, he can use what he knows to make comparisons and projections. He talks in ratios and percents and throws in simple equations. None of it inspired by a single math work page or lesson. All of it inspired by a desire to better understand a game he loves playing. After at least 30 minutes of listening I told Ethan I was starting to get a bit sleepy. He said "That was fun (meaning our wee hours chat). I love sharing my knowledge! It makes me feel good about myself. It makes me feel happy." I slept well after that.
**************

My son, at ten, has a deeper understanding of math than I did after I-don't-know-how-many years of doing math in school. He seems to be like his dad that way. He particularly doesn't care to draw or paint. He's not like me that way. He's very creative though. He's himself. And he finds what he needs to be the best self he can be. Not for teachers. Not for parents. For himself. That's just so cool in my opinion.

Re: Just learning!

BRIAN POLIKOWSKY

My husband is not the kind to talk or discuss unschooling. Years ago he had some doubts, but trusted me for the most part.
He has read a few things and he has met a few great unschoolers and that was a huge thing for him.

Today our Veterinarian is doing a Herd Check on our Dairy Farm. They were vaccinating, pregnancy checking and doing ultrasounds to check pregnancies and sexing pregnancies.

Gigi , my seven year old , and I fed all the baby calves because dad was very busy with the Vet and then Gigi went with that do watch in the  Vet's extra screen  the ultrasounds. So my daughter is  looking at live ultrasounds of calves and my husband says:

" This beats any day in school"

He gets it. He can see all the learning our children is doing. He can even see  all the learning our son does while gaming and he is so not a gamer , my husband!

I like that page Sandra has : You will see it when you Believe it

Alex Polikowsky

File - Email for AlwaysLearning Members.txt

AlwaysLearning@...

﻿Posts for the Always Learning list need to fulfill at least one of these criteria:

-helps lots of people understand unschooling
-requests help seeing different aspects of a situation
-helps people have more peaceful and joyful lives (helps lots of people
on the list)

ALL posts should be

honest
sincere
clear

NO posts should be just a "thank you" or "me too" or "cool" or "LOL"

With over two thousand people we don't need greetings and good-byes. Be
here or don't be here, and save posting for important messages to
hundreds of people.

If you don't want to even consider what people are offering as
Think privately, and not in a post that hundreds of people will need
to read or ignore. Only post important, useful, honest things.

Thanks,

Sandra

Re: Just learning!

barbaramatessa

Sometimes I have a hard time thinking on my toes, but in retrospect, here's what I wish I'd shared at the symposium about natural learning:

I taught first grade for several years.  One of my most struggling students was a boy named Martin.  Long after his peers had finished their worksheets, Martin would be dawdling, confused and uncertain with the arithmetic or phonetical task at hand.  I would dutifully help him, while he'd look, wistfully, at his classmates during their time of free choice.

It wasn't until the very last day of school that I realized Martin's true giftedness.

Another student had brought in a mechanical carousel to share on the last day of school.  Unfortunately, it quickly broke amongst all the eager hands.  Each student, in turn, had a time of playing with the instrument, to see if he or she could fix it.  The carousel was passed around, looked over, turned upside down, opened up... and all day long it failed to turn or play.

Martin was the last to have a try.  He didn't give up on the carousel.  He poured his concentration into the mechanics of the toy, determined to get it working again.  And sure enough, right before the last school bell rang, he fixed it.  The toy turned, the horses moved up and down, the music played.

I regret that it took me an entire school year before Martin had an opportunity to display his true gifts.  All year long I focused on his deficits.  I don't think I could have fixed the carousel, even if I'd really wanted to.  I don't think Martin had been "taught" how to fix a carousel toy.  This was an example of his natural learning and natural giftedness.

Barb

Ben Lomond, CA

---In AlwaysLearning@..., <alwayslearning@...> wrote:

-=-I've been reading here since our kids (now 6 yr olds) were babies and I came to trust that the parents of grown unschooled kids knew what they were talking about when they described how their kids learned. It is truly awesome to experience our kids learning. Reading and swimming (two activities that many folks believe must be taught) arose spontaneously, easily, with joyful confidence. The corresponding joy my husband and I feel----immeasurable!-=-

Tori, I want to start a page with this, on people's "own certain knowledge" that their children can learn.

As you say, it starts off trusting other people's stories, but at some point, with each person, it becomes personal. Maybe they used to think it could happen. Then one day they *know.*

One of the sessions I led last weekend was about that very thing. Here was the description:

_____________________

Vague interest can turn to trust in others' accounts of learning and of parenting successes. Trust in those stories can give us courage to experiment, and from that we can discover our own proofs and truths to share with newer unschoolers, who might find courage from that to try these things themselves. Faith in others can only take us a little way, though, and then our own children's learning will carry us onward. Some ideas become theories. A few theories might turn to convictions. Some early thoughts will be abandoned; others will gain substance. After much thought and use, what is left will be what you believe because you have lived it.

Share (if you wish to) a moment when learning surprised you in a profound way.
________________________

It went well, but it wasn't the time to be taking notes. At least three people got tears in their eyes. I did a similar one (less tearful) last May in Minneapolis.

If anyone else wants to write something for me to preserve there for others to read, please do. Here, or send it to me.

Sandra

Re: Just learning!

Genevieve Raymond <genevieve.raymond@...>

Our oven is broken, and we've been baking our birthday pies at our neighbor's house today.  I was just over checking on them, and my 8-year old daughter came running through the door and said "Mama, is two 7s fourteen?"  I said, "Yes, were you thinking about weeks?"  (We had just been talking about how many weeks until she can take her new earrings out.)  She said, "No, I was thinking about how 7 is 2 more than 5, and two 5s is 10, so two 7s would be two 5s, plus two 2s."

She and her brother ask things like this pretty regularly, and I think it's so cool that they spend time thinking about numbers and math "just because," and also to hear the different ways that they calculate sums in their heads.  If they were in school, there would be *one* way to come up with a sum, but they get to play around with numbers, turn them around in their heads, and discover the beauty of math for themselves.

On Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 11:51 PM, Tiffani wrote:

 My family was big into school when my second son asked to be homeschooled. We decided to give it a try. We started off recreating school. We joined an unschooling parkday group and I was introduced to unschooling. Skip forward a few years. My youngest son has never been to school and he hasn't had to do school work at home. When he was 5 I thought how is he going to learn without worksheets. He and I were in the bathroom and he moved in front of me and declared "I am in front of you." Then he moved next to me and said "I am beside you" and so on. That was a huge aha moment for me. This exercise of positions was a kindergarten worksheet being done in real life not on paper and just because he figured it out. I have seen many more examples of this as the years have gone on. Tiffani

From: Sandra Dodd ;
To: <AlwaysLearning@...>;
Subject: Re: [AlwaysLearning] Re: Just learning!
Sent: Wed, Oct 30, 2013 3:24:11 PM

 -=-I've been reading here since our kids (now 6 yr olds) were babies and I came to trust that the parents of grown unschooled kids knew what they were talking about when they described how their kids learned. It is truly awesome to experience our kids learning. Reading and swimming (two activities that many folks believe must be taught) arose spontaneously, easily, with joyful confidence. The corresponding joy my husband and I feel----immeasurable!-=- Tori, I want to start a page with this, on people's "own certain knowledge" that their children can learn. As you say, it starts off trusting other people's stories, but at some point, with each person, it becomes personal. Maybe they used to think it could happen. Then one day they *know.* One of the sessions I led last weekend was about that very thing. Here was the description: _____________________ Your Own Certain Knowledge Vague interest can turn to trust in others' accounts of learning and of parenting successes. Trust in those stories can give us courage to experiment, and from that we can discover our own proofs and truths to share with newer unschoolers, who might find courage from that to try these things themselves. Faith in others can only take us a little way, though, and then our own children's learning will carry us onward. Some ideas become theories. A few theories might turn to convictions. Some early thoughts will be abandoned; others will gain substance. After much thought and use, what is left will be what you believe because you have lived it. Share (if you wish to) a moment when learning surprised you in a profound way. ________________________ It went well, but it wasn't the time to be taking notes. At least three people got tears in their eyes. I did a similar one (less tearful) last May in Minneapolis. If anyone else wants to write something for me to preserve there for others to read, please do. Here, or send it to me. Sandra

Re: fine arts

maltmanjamie

Would you and your kids like to visit some of the great art (and other) museums around the world? Try going online with the Google Cultural Institute.

They have sections for the Art Project, World Wonders, and Historic Moments.

The Art Project is amazing for budding artists young and old, and its organized by artist, by collection, or you can look at a map and see all the places they've added.

World Wonders?
How about Versailles or the Hiroshima Peace Memorial (one of the most moving places I've ever been)

Historic Moments?
How about Bletchley Park, home of WWII's codebreakers? Or the fall of the Berlin Wall?

Enjoy!

Re: Just learning!

Tiffani <tiffermomof5@...>

 My family was big into school when my second son asked to be homeschooled. We decided to give it a try. We started off recreating school. We joined an unschooling parkday group and I was introduced to unschooling. Skip forward a few years. My youngest son has never been to school and he hasn't had to do school work at home. When he was 5 I thought how is he going to learn without worksheets. He and I were in the bathroom and he moved in front of me and declared "I am in front of you." Then he moved next to me and said "I am beside you" and so on. That was a huge aha moment for me. This exercise of positions was a kindergarten worksheet being done in real life not on paper and just because he figured it out. I have seen many more examples of this as the years have gone on. Tiffani

From: Sandra Dodd ;
To: ;
Subject: Re: [AlwaysLearning] Re: Just learning!
Sent: Wed, Oct 30, 2013 3:24:11 PM

 -=-I've been reading here since our kids (now 6 yr olds) were babies and I came to trust that the parents of grown unschooled kids knew what they were talking about when they described how their kids learned. It is truly awesome to experience our kids learning. Reading and swimming (two activities that many folks believe must be taught) arose spontaneously, easily, with joyful confidence. The corresponding joy my husband and I feel----immeasurable!-=- Tori, I want to start a page with this, on people's "own certain knowledge" that their children can learn. As you say, it starts off trusting other people's stories, but at some point, with each person, it becomes personal. Maybe they used to think it could happen. Then one day they *know.* One of the sessions I led last weekend was about that very thing. Here was the description: _____________________ Your Own Certain Knowledge Vague interest can turn to trust in others' accounts of learning and of parenting successes. Trust in those stories can give us courage to experiment, and from that we can discover our own proofs and truths to share with newer unschoolers, who might find courage from that to try these things themselves. Faith in others can only take us a little way, though, and then our own children's learning will carry us onward. Some ideas become theories. A few theories might turn to convictions. Some early thoughts will be abandoned; others will gain substance. After much thought and use, what is left will be what you believe because you have lived it. Share (if you wish to) a moment when learning surprised you in a profound way. ________________________ It went well, but it wasn't the time to be taking notes. At least three people got tears in their eyes. I did a similar one (less tearful) last May in Minneapolis. If anyone else wants to write something for me to preserve there for others to read, please do. Here, or send it to me. Sandra

Re: Just learning!

-=-I remembered the How To Use An Index drills I had to do when I was in school. -=-

And google blows it all away.
I saw a photo this week, somewhere, of a crowded card-catalog aisle at some library in the early 1960's, maybe.  I remember using the card catalogs at libraries very well.  I remember the feel, the smell, the waiting, on a busy moment, for someone else to finish with the drawer I needed.  I remember writing the call numbers down on little pieces of paper, and knowing that the book might be checked out, or mis-filed, or in oversize but they hadn't indicated it in the card catalog because the shelves had been rearranged since it was cataloged.

Now people can look at things quickly, and all at the same time. :-)

-=-And the old Apple mainframe computer we used once in a while in the classroom to complete prescribed lessons on How A Computer May Be Properly Used, and how huge that computer was compared to what we have now!!-=-

Big on the outside, but probably couldn't do what your iPad can do. :-)
There were computer use lessons sometimes in the 1980's that were on paper.  There was a computer in the classroom, but before someone was allowed to touch it, they needed to pass the test about how to turn it on and to access a program, which was all paper-and-pencil.    What a contrast to the hole in the wall experiment in India!  http://www.greenstar.org/butterflies/Hole-in-the-Wall.htm

Sandra

Re: Just learning!

Colleen <3potatoes@...>

****Share (if you wish to) a moment when learning surprised you in a profound way.****

Last night around 11PM, my 10 year old was sitting on the couch watching an episode of Seaquest DSV on Netflix.

Our pug was in his lap :-)
On top of the pug, he had a page we'd printed off the internet a couple weeks ago - a chart of the Greek and Roman names for a bunch of gods, with a description of each (what they were "god of," who they're related to, etc.).
On the arm of the sofa, he had his Audubon Birds of the East Coast field guide.

He was using the chart of Greek and Roman gods to explain to me that the writers of the show had made some serious errors.  The show was calling Neptune a Greek god, and had him involved with Minerva who they were also saying was Greek.  Then Medusa (actually Greek) got involved - and he was wondering who one writes to when a show has already been taken off the air, to let them know that it if they were going with a Greek theme, the gods should have been Poseidon and Athena - not Neptune and Minerva.  Then Medusa would have fit well and all would have been good :-)

Once he was done explaining all that :-) and while the show was still playing, he used the index in his field guide to look up a bunch of birds that he is hoping to see in Florida this weekend.  He checked the migration and residence maps for each desired bird in the guide so he knows which ones should actually be around there this time of year.  He then added the ones he wanted to a list he's keeping in a birding app on my iPad.

He showed me how he'd realized that he wasn't finding things at first in the index because he was looking them up by specific species name, but the index is organized less specifically - so in order to find House Sparrow, one must look under S for Sparrow and then find House under that entry, rather than going straight to H for House.  But in the app, he can look under H to bring up the same bird.  He thought it was pretty interesting how the same information is organized differently, in different places.

As I sat with him, I remembered sitting through boring lectures in school about the Greek and Roman gods, and retaining none of the information past the last Test I had to take.  I remembered the How To Use An Index drills I had to do when I was in school.  Then I remembered the quizzes where we had to properly alphabetize lists of words.  And the old Apple mainframe computer we used once in a while in the classroom to complete prescribed lessons on How A Computer May Be Properly Used, and how huge that computer was compared to what we have now!!

I also realized, as I was doing all that Remembering, that my son has learned to type, to use an index, to use maps, to look things up in alphabetical systems, and to use computers and tablets with fabulously interesting apps and programs - all as a result of simply being surrounded by information he wanted - information to which he was drawn, and information that he wants to use for his own reasons.  And I realized that he had the Chart Of Gods with him so that he could show me what he was talking about - but he didn't need to look at it more than once, as he remembered most of what was on it from reading it over many breakfasts, looking at it when he wants to tell a story or set up a play-scene with battling gods, etc.  The information on that chart wasn't about a test or a quiz or a grade for him - it was interesting, and fun, and he took it all in and processed it and remembered it - and as soon as the character on Seaquest said Neptune was Greek, he ran off to grab it because he saw the problem right away.

It's times like last night that really drive the point home for me, about how kids really can (and do!!) learn *so* much in the absence of school and teachers.  They learn so very well when they are allowed the time to explore and examine, question and Google, ponder and wonder - and they learn even better when they have the support of parents and other such people as they go after and capture the skills and knowledge that they desire.  Pretty cool :-)

Colleen

Tiny request for donations

Last year I had a fundraiser in the fall. This year, no energy for it, but next year, probably!

This year, I have two expenses totally about \$250 that seem good to share.
I'm just asking once, and quietly. For those for whom money is tight, but who might end up with an extra Christmas card, my address is there, and I do love Christmas cards!

http://chatnotes-unschooling.blogspot.com/2013/10/donations-will-be-gratefully-accepted.html

Thanks,

Sandra

Re: Just learning!

-=-I've been reading here since our kids (now 6 yr olds) were babies and I came to trust that the parents of grown unschooled kids knew what they were talking about when they described how their kids learned. It is truly awesome to experience our kids learning. Reading and swimming (two activities that many folks believe must be taught) arose spontaneously, easily, with joyful confidence. The corresponding joy my husband and I feel----immeasurable!-=-

Tori, I want to start a page with this, on people's "own certain knowledge" that their children can learn.

As you say, it starts off trusting other people's stories, but at some point, with each person, it becomes personal. Maybe they used to think it could happen. Then one day they *know.*

One of the sessions I led last weekend was about that very thing. Here was the description:

_____________________

Vague interest can turn to trust in others' accounts of learning and of parenting successes. Trust in those stories can give us courage to experiment, and from that we can discover our own proofs and truths to share with newer unschoolers, who might find courage from that to try these things themselves. Faith in others can only take us a little way, though, and then our own children's learning will carry us onward. Some ideas become theories. A few theories might turn to convictions. Some early thoughts will be abandoned; others will gain substance. After much thought and use, what is left will be what you believe because you have lived it.

Share (if you wish to) a moment when learning surprised you in a profound way.
________________________

It went well, but it wasn't the time to be taking notes. At least three people got tears in their eyes. I did a similar one (less tearful) last May in Minneapolis.

If anyone else wants to write something for me to preserve there for others to read, please do. Here, or send it to me.

Sandra

Re: fine arts

-=-There is NOT a right way to do art. Looking for beauty on everything is a wonderful way to see , learn and live art.
Be that mom that points out beautiful and interesting things all around.-=-

Alex wrote that.

I collect things.  I've been collecting images of wheelbarrows.  Some of those photos, settings, wheelbarrows are really beautiful.  Some are old. Some are new, but elegant.  Some have been decorated.  Some are props in historical settings, or movies or TV shows or paintings.  Some are themselves artistic renditions of wheelbarrows.
Here is some art by a French photographer, using a wheelbarrow and the moon:  http://wheelbarrowthings.blogspot.com/2013/10/playing-with-moon.html
This is the oldest one I've seen myself, in a medieval village (preserved for tourists) near Geneva:  http://wheelbarrowthings.blogspot.com/2013/07/three-wheeled-barrow-antique-france.html

My house is less cluttered since I started collecting digital images instead of physical objects.  I still haul home oddities, but photos are easier to store and to share.
http://thinkingsticks.blogspot.com is one of my collecting and sharing places.
Cars matching their trailers (two sets, both blue, different continents):  http://thinkingsticks.blogspot.com/2011/10/trail-trailer-wagon-fender.html
I'm sure dashboards of current cars will look like art someday, as will our cellphones and DVD players, but now they all just look plain and "normal."

I'm not saying what these are.  Each is a clue to be considered and revealed gradually:

This is a webpage with a background made from a photo that was itself evidence of artistry by a child.  A child did the meal, a mom photographed and sent it to me, and I (years ago, with my rudimentary knowledge of Photoshop Elements) created a background from part of it.   http://sandradodd.com/t/holly

Some websites are beautiful.  I love the map on the front of Pam Laricchia's website:  http://livingjoyfully.ca  And there's treasure in there!

My website is a mish-mosh of stuff, but here are some of the things I've used for title—many were pieces of art created by readers specifically for my site.  Some were painted.  I would consider using more, if anyone's in the mood to doodle up something.    http://sandradodd.com/art/title/

Sandra

Re: Learning History

Blandstein

I really enjoy Khan Academy Crash Course in World History.  My kids watch it with me when they feel like it.

---In AlwaysLearning@..., <alwayslearning@...> wrote:

Hi,

This is my first post. I have three children 14, 11, and 8 and we've
been homeschooling for 6 years. I started out using curriculum but it
soon became clear that it wasn't working. I started out limiting screen
time and it became clear that it wasn't working. Then I found
sandradodd.com and all its links and everything became more clear. A BIG
thank you to all who share their wisdom.

Today my two younger children were playing Civilization V ( a gift from
a friend for my oldest). They were very enthusiastic ! I mentioned that
the game. "That would be great, mom ! I'll write out a list for you to
take to the library" replied my 11 year old. Our new path feels wonderful.

- Nicole August
artbetweentheworlds.com

Re: fine arts

Nicole August

Hi,

I'm really into art too :). My son (14) loves photography. We both love this site for inspiration: http://www.thisiscolossal.com. They showcase all kinds of different things. This post was fun: http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2013/10/instagram-experiments-javier-perez/

Here's a post about a 14 year old's photography: http://www.demilked.com/surreal-self-portraits-14-year-old-fiddle-oak/

There are all kinds of ideas out there !

-Nicole
artbetweentheworlds.com

On 13-10-28 9:31 PM, joanne.morehouse@shaw.ca wrote:
Hi my daughter has expressed an interest in learning more about art
(painting, etc) anyone know of any good resources? She is 13.

Re: Just learning!

I love hearing stories of kids (or people of any age!) claiming their own learning!

After the first couple of encounters with adults asking about school we talked about why so many adults assume all kids are school. Obi tells them, "I'm lucky; I learn everywhere!" Linka, if she feels like answering, is more prone to sharing a quiet secret about what she learns from spending time with sheep or spiders.

I've been reading here since our kids (now 6 yr olds) were babies and I came to trust that the parents of grown unschooled kids knew what they were talking about when they described how their kids learned. It is truly awesome to experience our kids learning. Reading and swimming (two activities that many folks believe must be taught) arose spontaneously, easily, with joyful confidence. The corresponding joy my husband and I feel----immeasurable!

Many thanks to all of you who share here! This list is a gift.

Tori

Re: Just learning!

My 12 year old loves to play this game on Steam. While he's waiting for it to open the game gives facts about bananas. He keeps talking about bananas and giving me all these facts and information. Fun and interesting information that I never knew about bananas. He loves that he is helping me to learn new things. It's pretty cute.

Maybe, just maybe, he will be a banana farmer in Hawaii and I'll get to live there with him.....Hey, a mom can dream.

~Jen

Re: Just learning!

Lucy's web

On 30 Oct 2013, at 04:25, BRIAN POLIKOWSKY wrote:

Yeah they just learn!

This reminds me of something my older daughter said, when she was probably about 7 too.   Someone asked her: "Does your Mummy teach you then?"   My daughter laughed at this, and said: "No of course not!   There's no teaching in our house.  Just lots of learning!"

Just learning!

BRIAN POLIKOWSKY

Today when I took my seven year old daughter to her Horseback riding class we were waiting inside of the office  and the person working at the office today is a retired teacher ( who has taught kindergarten to College) asked Gigi how was school.
" I don't go to school"

"You don't?" Replied the gentleman.

"No I am no school." Gigi said. to which I then said : "We homeschool "
and then Gigi said:

" Yeah. I just learn!"

I am glad to know that my daughter feels that she is always learning. It is so fun to see my kids learn all the time so many amazing things. Gigi is reading. My second child that learned to read without curriculum , classes or lessons. They own their learning. They are not afraid to ask questions and they are  really great about searching online for answers and information. Yeah they just learn!

Alex Polikowsky

Re: fine arts

When Kirby was little we went to a homeschooling day where parents ran sessions for children to learn things (exposure, generally, to theatre, art, math, crafts kinds of things—not by unschoolers). That's the day I first played with those stained-wood pattern blocks I love so much! "Attribute blocks," they were called in those days.

But in a room with glass windows to the hallway, one dad was showing older kids how to paint nighttime mountain snow scenes with just three colors—white, black and blue. OMG I had NO IDEA people could do that! They were doing trees in canyons with moonlight and snow and it didn't look like just three colors.

Painting is beyond me, but that day I learned enough to look at oil and acrylic paintings with smarter eyes. :-)

Seeing what's on youtube for musicians by musicians, I bet there's a ton of stuff there showing people doing things like that with paints. I have friends who can do amazing shading with water colors, guache and inks, on medieval-style scrolls. I can do rudimentary background ivy patterns with light green, darker green and gold, but I paint like a monkey compared to friends I've watched.

AND museum websites of paintings, where you can look at the painting SO CLOSELY you can see brush strokes.
Oh! Art.com, then, where they will sell prints and you can look closely before you consider buying.

If she loves a particular painting, get her a poster, maybe. My favorite is Children's Games by Breughel the Elder. I have a poster and a jigsaw puzzle. I bought the poster for \$1 from Scholastic books in the early 1970's and once in a while I have it up for a while. http://www.art.com/products/p14616442397-sa-i6774652/pieter-breughel-the-el-children-s-games-complete.htm?sorig=cat&sorigid=0&dimvals=5534841&ui=8f16f8141fe14e26bdf801780717626c&ssk=pieter+breughel+the+elder

It's history, costume, play, architecture. Oh right. And painting. :-)

If face painting is too much for her as a beginner, hand painting might be fun. Painting shoes on feet is something I did with my kids when they were little, using just tempera or sometimes real body paints. When I was little I painted bracelets and rings on my hands.

Nail polish! At the Apple store the other day one of the guys at the genius bar had his nails done with black and green chevrons. I kept wondering if he had used tape to mask the triangles, but he said it was just freehand.

Bristol, England, has street graffiti everywhere, and painted walls inside buildings, inside public bathrooms, because years ago they covered over some art by a guy who became super famous, and they regret it, so they went a bit far the other way. That can be fun to look into, and easily available on the internet. Alison/Almadoing showed me a lot of that art and told me about it, when I stayed with her. The artist's name was Banksy, and you can google Bristol Banksy and see lots of things.

I'm fascinated by tromp l'oeil. You'll see some at the Banksy page. There are many-stories-high examples in Lyon, in France. Right behind my house there are two storage containers painted with lifesize 1950's cars that can look real even from a short distance. They're decoration for the business in front of them, that has some other things by the same artist (it's Fastino's, for locals to Albuquerque) who did full two-story-wall tromp l'oeil near the university of New Mexico, behind and around Saggio's (a related restaurant).

And there's electronic painting, too, which can be practiced easily with games like Draw Something (which doesn't have to be simple stick figures) and Art Pad: http://artpad.art.com/artpad/painter/ and if she likes that you might be able to get her a computer program (or there might already be something easily available—someone here will know).

There are moms here who do art. Oil on canvas: http://karenjamess.blogspot.com/2012/09/to-moon-and-back.html

Colored pencil, Jenny Cyphers... (I couldn't find a link to art, but maybe someone else here will.)

The aforementioned Ren Allen who wrote a lot in years past and does makeup and body art now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMTjtBPhqH0

Sandra

Re: fine arts

BRIAN POLIKOWSKY

As someone who loves many kinds of art and art medium and who can draw pretty well and was very interested as a child I would say that if she wants :

Buy her books with lots of pictures of art ( painting, drawings, sculptors, pottery, jewellery, tapestry , make up, clothing design,  ....
My parents had encyclopedia with the classic art pieces and about famous artist and I used to sit and look at it for hours.
Look up beautiful things on Pinterest
Go to art gallery, museums, craft shows, art shows.
Buy her all kinds of materials to play with.

But do not do any art classes! Unless she really wants to learn a technique and after trying online tutorials.

Because art can be inspired by anything but it comes from the person's interpretation. I really think most art classes for kids are simply not the way the go.

There is NOT a right way to do art. Looking for beauty on everything is a wonderful way to see , learn and live art.
Be that mom that points out beautiful and interesting things all around.

Alex Polikowsky

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