Thursday, September 30, 2010

Boot Gnome craft

The rainy weather is coming! We were stuck inside far too often last year, so this year I purchased rain pants, a rain coat and rain boots for each of the boys. The first thing I noticed is that the rain boots were just being kicked off and thrown all over the place. So, I was inspired to do the Boot Gnome craft in my Enki Kindergarten craft book.

Basically the directions called for using a clothes pin and sewing a little cloak to go on it. Then you could draw a face on the gnome. Brother can sew and was more than ready for this craft, especially since he is seven and in first grade. Little Brother is only 3.5 years old and can't sew yet.

So, Little Brother glued on an underskirt and he glued on the wool roving hair. He chose the color of the cloak and thread, but I sewed up it and tied it on for him.

Brother decided he wanted his gnome to be old and added a snowy beard to his gnome, which is glued on.

Here's mine. I always make one for myself as well. Actually, I make one with scrap fabric when I am alone first so that I am familiar with the process. Then I make one at the same time to boys do.

So, I realize that the process of art is much more important than the product actually produced. Except in this case I really want the boot gnomes to be used to promote good care taking of the boots. Honoring the process over product philosophy, it really doesn't matter to me how they turned out aesthetically. Brother's stitches aren't even, Little Brother's gnome has hair all over him. It's just contained by the cloak. Little Brother used so much roving, it probably needs the cloak to keep the hair on! My issue is that the BOOT GNOME has to function properly and hold BOOTS.

My girlfriend made boot gnomes with her Mommy and Me class a few years ago, so I checked in with her. The clothespins provided did not hold boots either. So, it isn't just am a boot gnome making failure. But, I did have a bit of a tiff and I'm an engineers daughter so....

... we turned it into a wood working project. I sawed off the legs because I had to hold the clothespin in one hand and the saw with the other. I just used an old icky wood cutting board as my working surface. When my hand got tired of holding the clothes pin I realized I could hold it with a portable clamp, but that is still not appropriate or safe for kids.

Then I clamped the head and torso part of the clothspin on our woodworking table and Brother filed the bottom of the torso smooth. After it was smooth he used his manual hand drill to drill a hole in the center of each torso.

Into each hole we glued a pipe cleaner. We just used Elmer's school glue.

Allowing a day for the glue to dry, we ran the pipe cleaner through the hole in the spring of a clamping clothespin. And now we have a boot gnome that will actually hold the boots! We added an underskirt to hide the top of the clamping clothespin. The boys were very concerned when I was cutting off the boot gnomes legs. Phew! Happy Mommmy.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Week three - "F"

Yes, you were right. The letter is "F". He got a little stuck in the curve, but we used yellow to cover over some of the letter and he redid it.

Copywork is still a challenge. I am asking him to do the first line of the poem, which take him over 10 minutes. But, it will get easier.

Meanwhile, circle is going great! Brother is really fed by our first grade activities and Little Brother is floating in and out. When Little Brother joins us we add in a couple Kindergarten songs that are fun and speak to big Brother's silliness. He is really silly!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Week three - Guess the letter!

Probably not so hard to guess the letter this time! Our story was Rumpelstiltskin this week. The woodsman happens upon Rumpelstiltskin in the dark part of the wood dancing around the fire.

I think Brother and I have fiery temperaments. I managed to include a bit of the darkness of the wood, Brother has almost none.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Week three - Form Drawing

So, I was planning on running wave form for this week. I knew what I wanted it to look like, but when I was out there in our form walking area ready to present the form - I realized I couldn't do it. Oh my! Obviously it is a form that will feed me to work on as well as Brother. Meanwhile, I just quickly pulled this running loop form out and present it instead.

This morning when I was looking in my Enki manuals I read that this running loop form is more advanced because of the midline crossing required and really would be expected to be presented in the later part of the second half of the year. So glad I read that before morning lesson today.

So we took the form really easy. When brother was drawing it on the chalkboard, at first he kept drawing spirals. I had to actually put my hand over his and steer his hand at key points in order to break out of the spiral. After we drew the form a few times together I was able to slowly decrease my pressure and remove my hand.

The same thing happened when we moved to our "sand tray" and then again to his Good Book. It was so neat to actually see or feel his brain mapping.

So, tomorrow morning I will be introducing the running wave. I've walked it a few times in the living room, so it should work out better.

Here is our "sand tray." It's actually brown rice flour in a casserole dish. I was considering purchasing a sand tray, but after the form lesson has been completed Brother loves to build with the flour. So, I guess it becomes like a sensory table tray. It is also how I include Little Brother (Baby). He really wants to be involved, so I try and find ways to include him that are not so intrusive for Brother. Here is Little Brother (Baby) taking his turn with his form work. ;)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Week two - "B"

Brother had a really hard time getting the block crayon to move with the form "B". So, it turned out lumpy. He drew over it to try and make it look more "B"ish. He concentrated so hard on getting the "B" form, that he messed up the picture frame. Oh well.

Copywork! He did less copying, but he used a pencil instead of a crayon, which was a bit of a stretch. And he copied the whole thing from the board, rejecting the idea of copying off of my page. It's fine if he copies of the board, but it sure does lengthen the amount of time he spends on the activity!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Week two - Guess the letter!

I love this drawing. It is just so cute! He didn't mean for it to turn out sideways. I'm glad that even when things don't turn out the way he expects them to, he can move through that and make the best of his art. The black is the bear's cave with a green tree out front.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Week two - Form Drawing



Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Week one - "T"

Brother is still reversing letters some times and is still struggling with copy work from the board. I was hoping that tracking would kick in over the summer, but it isn't fully functioning in quite yet. Which is totally fine as he just turned seven on the 30th. Hopefully by eight years old he will be fully tracking and can do his copy work from the board with ease.

Today's circle went really well and was a lot of fun! I think it was because the three of us wrestled in the living room this morning before we went on our walk.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Week one - Guess the letter!

We are officially back for the second part of first grade now! We had a couple false starts trying to find our rhythm. This week felt like we were ready! We are starting slowly with our morning walk, circle and lessons followed by rest and afternoon practice.

Guess the letter!

It was really neat seeing Brother fall right into drawing again. He had no resistance to filling his whole page with color. Last year he wasn't really wanting to color the background in and just did it to please me.