Sunday, April 20, 2008

Homeschool art

Norfolk homeschoolers are exceedingly fortunate to have an outstanding, inexpensive art program for homeschoolers available through the Norfolk Visual Arts Center at Titustown. (how's that for an over use of adjectives?)

Ben and Shira have just finished a three week program on papier mache puppet making. Ben made a squirrel and Shira a skunk.

Flower, the skunk.

They are also doing an after school art program on Pirate Art. I couldn't believe my luck when I heard about the Pirate Art program. Both my chicks are crazy about pirate lore. Ben, because he's reading "Treasure Island" at our homeschooling co-op and Shira, because she read the "Magic Tree House Research Guide on Pirates".

Shara Wertz, the young art educator who works with the children, is just wonderful. She understands young children and manages to keep that delicate balance between being a friend and still being in control. I've sat outside her classroom and heard her manage my son. She's a real pro, she never squashes that great energy of Ben's, yet she still keeps him on task. As the one who has to do it all day long, I can tell you it is no mean feat.

Marc and I joke about Ben. He's like a kitten who is constantly distracted by dust motes in the shafts of light. He's so intensely interested in everything that catches his attention. It's wonderful and trying at the same time. Shara does a great job of keeping him focused on the task at hand.

In May the chicks will be doing a painting class with Shara. They wanted to do her Mexican pottery class but it clashed with choir practice.

Shira can't wait to be 8. She has reminded me every day this week that she'll be 8 in less than a year. When she's 8, she can do Shara's "Pottery on the wheel" class. I've been very impressed with the pieces I've seen young homeschoolers make in this class.

Yesterday Shira and I went to an arts and crafts show at the Fred Heutte Center. One of the crafters was painting river rocks and Shira was fascinated. Today she attempted to paint her own river rocks. We had a minor problem though, we don't have any river rocks, we only have river pebbles. so instead of a nice door stop, she made a tiny lady bug.


Shira is in love with this art form so we have to go on a foraging expedition to find smooth rocks.