We were supposed to be at our local soft play meet-up today, but our car is at the garage having its brakes sorted (they locked up the other day), and I was put off the idea of going on the bus with a bad back and three excited boys by our not-great experiences yesterday. So we've been at home again. The boys are now playing happily on the Wii as a thank you from Mummy for not making a fuss about missing out on Soft Play. Mainly today I've been trying to clear the mess in the study, with the boys helping where they can. Eldest has also been doing his lapbook, of course - and we did a lovely art project too. I even liked my finished result for once! I had found and pinned this Northern Lights Project the other day - and thought this morning it would make a nice cheerful little project to do as we were home. We had a look at some Aurora Borealis footage on YouTube, and learned a bit from Wikipedia., including the colour being affected by oxygen v nitrogen - and looking up the south pole equivalent (Aurora Australis). Then we got out our playground chalks and had a go on some sugar paper sheets. We didn't follow the exact instructions on the link because the boys were just too keen to get stuck in - but they still enjoyed it!
Youngest (it started as the Northern Lights, but ended up as a picture of the car getting stuck when Mummy tried to drive it - it must have made a big impact on him on Tuesday if he's still reliving it!)
I have noticed through blogging that we seem to do a lot of art - and I wondered why that is. After all, I'm supposed to be rubbish at it - I certainly wasn't allowed to take it at O'level (showing my age there). I decided it's down to at least two things: firstly, I like it. In fact, I love it. I am rarely pleased with what I produce, but then, I don't expect myself to make anything that would qualify as art ("art" in my mind being something that sells for lots of money to people who supposedly know what they're looking at). However I do love looking at it, being inspired by it, and just the process of having a go - it's creative, fun and therapeutic (although admittedly the clearing up isn't always so soothing). Secondly, I think part of me is rebelling against being told I wasn't allowed to do it - and that shows itself by my determination that my boys will never hear they are "not good enough". Now they may never have careers as artists (although Middle is obviously passionate about it - I may need to consider proper lessons when he's older), but that's not the point: right now, I just want them to be free to do whatever they want to do. As long as they enjoy it, we will carry on painting, chalking, sketching, modelling, pastelling, marbling, collage-ing etc to our hearts' content. It kind of sums up for me one of the things I dislike about school (being labelled as 'good' or 'bad' at something) and what I love about HE (being free to do something just because you enjoy it). And by doing as much arty stuff as we do, it's my way of blowing a raspberry at the system that by enforcing some kind of skill evaluation, suppresses all sense of enjoyment.
So on that arty-farty note, I will leave you with Eldest's painting. He was reading one of his Calvin & Hobbes book, and saw a rare cartoon that was drawn almost entirely in black and white. This inspired him to come and get the paints out for himself and do his own monochromatic picture. It's called "Birds Migrating in the Winter" I love the little hedgehog and badger at the bottom - and even more, I love that he saw something he liked, got inspired, and just had a go. That's my boy!