Thursday, June 17, 2010

Art for Small People

I have become fascinated over the past year by the process of creating art in general, but particularly my interest lies in the art of young children.  How do they learn to express themselves through different media?  What is the difference between "abstract" and representational art, and how do they develop the skills to actually picture something in their minds and then bring it to life?  How can we cultivate a child's artistic abilities from the time she is young?

Two of my favorite blogs recently posted very good articles on this topic:

The Artful Parent :: Top 10 Art Materials for Preschoolers

Paint Cut Paste :: Making Art At Home: My Favorite Art Supplies for Toddlers

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What's for Lunch Wednesday - Getting Your Kids to Eat Their Veggies

This is a great post from Delicious Ambiguity about how to get your kids to eat their vegetables.  My favorite idea: vegetable BINGO!  How creative!  Blog author Jenn suggests using Bingo Card Creator to make a template; this is definitely one we are going to try over here!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Weekend Web Favorites

I'm behind on my link love, but I'm trying to catch up.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Childhood 101 has several really great posts lately :: 10 Tips for Creating Great Play Spaces, Playing Creatively, and Developing Brains: Laying the Pathways to Learning are all worth a read

Ecology of Education :: Creating the Optimal Learning Environment, What Makes a Master Teacher?

Education Revolution :: Democratic Education With Young Children (a talk given by Elizabeth Baker of the Patchwork School at the Voyagers' Conference, very good!)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

words, the podcast of wellspring community school

After an outrageously frustrating month of technical difficulties that has challenged my patience to its very core....I think we are finally back on track over here at Rhythms.  We are working on instituting some privacy protocols with respect to photos, but I am planning on at least getting the content up and running again.

So it is with great, great pleasure that I give to you our first episode of words, the podcast of wellspring community school - actually up and functioning!  Please check out my interview with Stephanie Field, Director and Heather Laszlo, co-founder of Wellspring Community School.  If you have any ideas for future podcasts, please post them in the comments either here or at words.  Thanks for listening!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Simplicity Parenting

Donna Ashton over at The Waldorf Connection is hosting an online Waldorf Homeschooling Expo.  Some of the workshops are really geared specifically toward Waldorf in general and homeschooling in particular, but some of them are great general parenting workshops.  I just listened to Kim John Payne talk about Simplicity Parenting, and his talk was phenomenal - I highly recommend that you pop over and give it a listen!  His talk is about an hour long and then his wife Katharine talks for a half hour from her unique perspective as a Waldorf-educated individual and teacher who is now a homeschooling mom.  He describes his four layers of Simplicity Parenting: simplifying clutter, creating rhythm and predictability, scheduling and screening out the adult world.  The talk is free for forty-eight hours, but after that you will have to purchase the entire Expo download package to listen.

Luckily, you can also read Payne's book Simplicity Parenting - I haven't yet, but I've heard great things about it.  If you've read it, please post a review in the comments!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

May at Wellspring

We welcome spring!  Our garden is the source of many lessons this month including: math lessons categorizing by size and charting by taste and science lessons exploring roots, characteristics of emerging plants, and why the radishes with big leaves are smaller than the ones with the small leaves.  We have enjoyed our lettuce and radishes for snack.
Our World Cultures Program took us to Japan and Israel this month.  We celebrated Children’s Day, a Japanese tradition with Ann Rosen in the beginning of the month.  The children enjoyed making carp kites, learning about traditional dress, and the Japanese alphabet.  The children also learned how to sing If You’re Happy and You Know It in Japanese.  Dōmo arigatō, Ann!
Caryn and Josh Rosenberg came in to explain and celebrate Shavuot, the spring harvest festival in Israel.  They shared traditional foods and a ram’s horn instrument (bukkehorn) for all to try.  Caryn introduced the alphabet to us and wrote everyone’s name in Hebrew.  Finally, Grandma visited to read a story called Chicken Man about living in a kibbutz.  Toda, Rosenbergs!
The blue bird project has been exciting this month.  On Thursday, we checked the boxes to find both eggs and baby chicks!  FINALLY!  Each child was able to peer into the box and count the eggs.  The baby birds were huddled together and difficult to distinguish.  We took a picture and counted four babies when were returned to school.  Before the end of school the tree swallow eggs and blue bird eggs will hatch, offering a nice opportunity to compare species.  The children should be able to monitor the birds until they are fledglings.
The children are also monitoring the life cycle of the caterpillars.  They have documented the caterpillar and chrysalis stages and awaiting the emergence of our painted ladies.  We have observed these butterflies in the meadow this spring.
Lastly, several children took the opportunity to sponge paint “their meadow” at the request of the town.  Our artwork should be hanging in the Rock-a-Bye meadow display box shortly.  Please try to stop by to take a look.  If you also choose to peek in the bird boxes, please gently tap on the outside and step away from the opening before you lift the side.  Just a bit of bird etiquette on this last day of May,