Yet again, I find my ideas being challenged by Aaron’s interests. My plan for this year was to concentrate on basic reading and writing skills. Aaron’s plan at the moment is to become a prolific artist. He is currently churning out dozens of pictures every day and the felt-tip pens have become the most used objects in our house. Yes, this is the same boy who only produced his first recognisable drawing a year ago!
I don’t want to push him on the reading front. He can read simple CVC words, but at the moment he seems to have hit a ceiling which he isn’t ready to progress beyond. Any attempts to encourage him tend to lead to frustration and I feel very strongly that learning to read should be a positive experience.
So I’m going to follow his lead, which means concentrating on art rather than literacy. I’m running on instinct here, I don’t have any compelling research to justify it. I simply feel that drawing is more valuable to him at this moment in time. He’s obviously enjoying it, it encourages his creativity and imagination, and it provides a purpose for his writing. It will also be a useful skill as we move towards project work (I’ve really enjoyed reading Project-Based Homeschooling recently, more on that another time).
I’ve always been pretty useless at art, so I only do line drawings with stick people for the children. I think it’s probably due a lack of confidence and a desire for perfection. Drawing with Children has been on my wishlist ever since I read this post at Little Woodlanders, so I finally ordered a cheap second hand copy. I hope that I’ll be able to use it to teach Aaron how to draw whatever he wants. It’s fascinating to watch the development in his drawing (the helicopter pictures below are a good example) and I’d love him to have the confidence to enjoy art.
So here’s a peek at some of Aaron’s recent artwork.
First attempt at drawing helicopters.
Toothless and Hiccup.
Dragon and vikings.
Our family with a rainbow. He copied the order of colours from our wooden rainbow blocks.
Boats have been a favourite subject for a long time, but they appear less often now.
Another scene from “How To Train Your Dragon”. Notice the Vikings complete with swords, shields and belly buttons!
Second attempt at drawing helicopters.
Aaron found some blu tack and started creating a gallery on the wall. Remember the card he left for me to find when I got back from college last week? Well the pictures on the wall were for me to see when I got back from college this week. I’ve now moved it to the wall outside his bedroom and he can add to the display whenever he likes.
Birthday cards have disappeared in favour of postcards.
I love the tree in this one.
He has learnt to write quite a few family names from memory.
At this moment he is watching the Kipper episode “The Lost Mug”. He pulled out a piece of paper and asked me what shape a mug was, so I ran downstairs to fetch one from the kitchen. By the time I returned he had drawn a sippy cup. He did a really good job of copying the basic shapes of the mug and then drew another sippy cup with handles. He has now asked me to write out “babies have mugs especially when they are one” for him to copy.
Time and time again he teaches me that if I follow his interests, he cannot fail to learn.