This morning’s work is an art of our last night’s dinner – venus clam shell and crayfish. We started out the session with some mindful observation of the seashell. Then, we drew using 3 different mediums, markers and crayons, and then painting the drawing. We also painted the shell. The kids did not want to paint the crayfish as it looked scary. As I painted, I described what I saw, it’s eyes, its shell etc. We counted its legs together.
The picture may look to others like an art class. But really, it is a mindfulness class, a science class, a math class and an art class all rolled into one. In practising mindfulness, we used focused attention to observe the shell’s spiky, shiny and rough texture. We observed it near and we observed it far. We observed its colours, its shape and its lines. In our math “class”, we did geometric shapes by analysing that the clam shell looked like a triangle and its curved lines on the shell. We also did counting. During our science lesson, they wondered where the bone of the crayfish was, to which I explained that their bones are on the outside and they are called exoskeleton.
All these are learning happening: Multidisciplinary learning, applied learning. They are happening because we have big, juicy conversations about their interests and wonderings. We forget that children can learn as adults do, through life-long learning, it does not have to be confined within four walls and through mastery of a single subject with no relation to the world we live in. Often, we weave our learning in stories or themes as we do life. It gives us the opportunity to revisit the story and create new memories (learning points) together. Another day could be turning the clam shells to decorative alphabet toys or reading a book about the sea. In our homeschool, we don’t do school at home; we’d really like to think of ourselves as lifeschooling.