Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Aboriginal Art

Having just written a huge blog post I thought I'd better stop where I was and do a new one on what we actually did today.  Now we have  rediscovered our groove, I wanted to share our day as it's been lovely.

It started with me reminding the boys that it was time to do Maths Whizz.  Youngest found a maths workbook that he wanted to do instead, so of course I said that was fine.  Eldest promptly went to find a workbook as well and chose to do two pages.  Again, fine.  Middle had to have a look for one, but came rushing back enthusiastically clutching a cursive handwriting book.  Well, I wasn't going to say no, just because it was supposed to be maths day (especially because he is usually a most reluctant writer), so he had handwriting practice instead.  All happy, all good!

Then I said we needed to go into town, but Eldest reminded me that we hadn't read their Bibles together today, so first we read from Youngest's Jesus Storybook Bible (which is totally lovely), followed by Middle's God and Me daily reading book (a bit young for him I think, but he loves it), with Eldest reading the passage that Middle's book referred to, from his Explorers Bible.  Today wasn't strictly the allocated reading for today's date, but Middle wanted to read one of the missed ones from previous days as it was about hugs.  We all appreciated that subject - plenty of opportunity for practical experience!

Then it was time to go into town.  We had a parcel to post as we have been taking part in a Culture Swap.  We'd not done one before, so started with a mini one, where we had to include three or four things that represented our summer here in the UK, and send it to our swap partner (this time in Germany).  Obviously there were a lot of outdoors things involved from us: seashells from the beach; a bug viewer and British bug ID sheet, sticks of ice-cream flavoured rock, and a recipe for Eton Mess (best if made with fruit from the local PYO farm).  We posted our parcel off this morning, and the boys were thrilled when they turned the TV on later to find that the Lingo Show (CBeebies) was in German today.

While in town we also popped into the bank to pay in a cheque, and I was thrilled when the cashier commented on how well the boys were behaving.  I confessed that the promise of a doughnut as reward for good behaviour was doubtless part of the reason - but still, it is always lovely to have people comment on how lovely the boys are (I mean, I know they are, but it's nice to have others notice too!)

When we got back we had an art 'session', planned the previous evening.  I didn't want to get paints out as the only available table was the one in the study (we try not to get paints near the computer), so I found some examples of aboriginal art and got our pastels ready.  When I showed the boys the art examples, the conversation went via a quick history lesson (convicts and the British colonies), followed by geography lesson (look at the globe, talk about the difference between northern and southern hemispheres, native wildlife), and then we got creative.

First we drew an outline of our chosen Australian creature (Youngest - snake; Middle - lizard; Eldest - great white shark; Mummy - lizard), and cut them out.  We chose a second piece of paper (contrasting colour) and decorated our creatures with pastels.  Then we glued our creatures to the backing paper and got busy with pastel dotted outlines.  All three boys needed a break in between 'dotting' but were happy to come back and finish their pictures without my needing to prompt them, and they were all happy with their finished pictures, so that was a real success - great work!

 Youngest's 'Snake'
 Middle's 'Lizard'

 Eldest's 'Great White Shark'

 Mummy's 'Lizard'
(if I had known Middle was going to do one too I would have done something else so as not to
put him off, but as it was he was quite happy to do the same as me)

This afternoon it was too hot for the boys to go outside, so they stayed inside in the cool and took turns playing Minecraft while I wrote my blog.  Oh, and Eldest and I watched a programme recommended by Daddy on finding the Giant Squid: a fascinating and strangely beautiful creature.  All in all, that was a lovely day!

PS While in town this morning I bought myself an 'academic year' diary (because it was the only sort available), so I can note down a quick summary of each day's educational exploits.  It really helps me to have a record of what we've been doing!


  1. Love the artwork! I'm hoping to do some slightly more structured art activities with J next term, and this looks fabulous! Rx

    1. thanks Rachel - we all enjoyed this one, hope you have fun with it too if you do it xx

  2. Hello, I found your blog via the UK Christian home educators' page. We've done a culture swap before and found it a great, if not cheap, way to learn.
    Just started to follow your blog.

    1. Hi Sarah Elisabeth, and welcome to my lil blog! I hope you find it helpful and encouraging xx

  3. I liked your post, I am an artist and I feel happy when people like you share the appreciations for Aboriginal Art. Thanks a lot Yarwo. All the pictures you shared are very pretty and I just loved your efforts from my heart.