An Impromptu Art Lesson

One thing I love about homeschooling our kids is how learning happens all of the time.  The best progress I see my children make is in those moments that are not forced.  We push the subjects of reading, writing and math, but not if the kids aren’t receptive, because it just will not stick with them.  Believe me, I’ve tried.

The other day we had an impromptu art lesson, and I couldn’t have been happier with what I saw the kids do that day.  After a morning of the kids yelling and bickering, I had sent them all to their rooms for a little R&R.  They needed space from each other and a chance to get in a nap, and I needed a break for the sake of my sanity.

Peas and Peaches.

While they were in their rooms, I got our my colored pencils and a few sheets of paper so I could work on an art project for the future produce stand I am hoping to get built before the pumpkins are ready to sell.  I sat on the couch with my papers and did some sketching, trying to get into the groove of it because it’s been a long time since I’ve drawn like this.  I lost track of time as I began to relax, and after an hour or so, the kids came out of their rooms and came into the living room next to me.IMG_1326

I have to be honest when I say that I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to them when they came down.  Even though I was far less stressed, I was tense at the thought of them arguing again.  I just kept my eyes on my work and kept drawing…usually if they come in a room and I am preoccupied, they will grab a book and start reading.  This day they came over to me and just watched what I was doing.  Nobody said anything more that “Hi,” for quite some time.

The kids got out some paper and started drawing too.  They quietly asked me (quiet is a pretty big deal in this house) some questions like “Why are you looking at that picture?” or “How come you are using so many colors?” to which I explained I was drawing pictures of photos that I took of things that are here on our property (produce and chickens).  I’m not good at drawing from memory or things that move, so a photograph is much easier for me to work with…it’s “still life.”

I didn’t make them do art, I didn’t tell them how to do their pictures, they just did their best, and I was really proud of them for the improvements they made in the 30 minutes they sat next to me, drawing.  You might look at their pictures and think it’s no big deal, and I get that.  If I looked at your kids drawings, I might think the same thing.  What makes a parent proud is in knowing where they were and how far they have come.  Miss Lady didn’t use pink or purple to draw the whole picture.

Miss lady drew a peach (like mommy), an apple, a branch of the peach tree, the sun, and those blue streaks are the sky.  I like how she really tried to draw a peach the way she saw me do it, with different colors and shading…

Peanut was drawing what he saw in his head, used appropriate colors, and even tried out a few of my color filling techniques he watched me use!

Peanut drew grape vines and an apple tree.

And Pumpkin got especially creative with what he drew.

Pumpkin drew the chicken brooder with a heat lamp, a chick, the feeder and waterer, and a mug (I don’t know how the mug fits in, but that’s okay!)
Here he drew his favorite fruit, Mountain Dew (don’t ask), and some drinks on a tray…one with a straw, the other with an umbrella. ( I don’t drink, and Scott only has the occasional beer, so I have no idea where the umbrella came from!)

They all payed extra attention to detail when they saw how detailed I was.  If I want my peach to look rounded, I should color with curved lines and move my pencil in more than one direction.  And you can see in Pumpkin’s second drawing, he tested his colors before drawing the picture, just like I did on a separate sheet of paper.  Have I told you how much I love these guys?  I don’t show you these pictures to brag about anyone, but rather as an example of how teaching children by example is one of the greatest learning experiences we can give them.  My kids draw every day, but these are some of their best pictures to date because they took their time and thought about how things look in real life and how they would use color to make those pictures come to life.

Hope you are having a great day!


P.S.  Here’s a picture of our new egg layers (taken last week).  The chick in the center is the one I drew.  Aren’t they adorable?IMG_1278

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