The lesson planner was full of direction, but the younger children weren't having the sort of day that was going to help us accomplish any of my well selected goals.
So I turned to the basket of books. Katie Meets the Impressionists was the first one I saw. I sat on the floor and began to read. Immediately two little girls were at my side. Afterall, who can resist a good book?
We joined Katie as she travelled through the works of Degas, Renoir, and Monet. After such an artistic adventure, we were inspired!
As I finished reading the last page, K (age 6) immediately yelled, "Let's paint!" T (age 5) agreed. D (age 2) chimed in with, "Yaaay! Let's paint green beans," and he dashed off to the kitchen.
Green beans? Huh?
The girls and I cracked up. But off went little D to the kitchen pantry where he grabbed the bag of dried lima beans. He was thinking of an activity we did months ago. We had painted some beans for a math game. Apparently, he enjoyed it and was ready to recreate the activity!
And so for the morning we became painters, imitating impressionist artists, though some of us just painted beans...
Soon, D's bean painting inspired some thoughts about bean planting. So off the girls went to gather dirt...
And they planted beans in a cup.
And they planted two beans in wet paper towels.
Meanwhile, D found his own form of entertainment.
Our painters, now turned scientists, made predictions about their bean plants.
But soon the blank stack of computer paper beckoned and they returned to their painting. A gallery was created...
Our scientist painters now became the museum docents, guiding mommy through the gallery.
Of course, not all of the students were participating...
But at the end day, mommy was reminded of the beauty of school at home. Learning doesn't have to be planned moment by moment. It happens as life unfolds. All it took on this particular day was a well chosen book. Little minds are easily inspired to interact with the world around them. And being here, at home, gave them the freedom to do so.
At their own pace. In their own way.
No artificial stops and starts. No right or wrong answers in their art. No reason not to let the moment take them outdoors. No limits on their desire to learn and explore.
Just creative genius at work. And all of us together on the journey.