Saturday, August 16, 2014

Presentation and Watercolor and Beeswax

E has taught me, yet again, that how I present a lesson is everything. It makes or breaks the hour, day, and sometimes even week. It affects how E feels about himself, me, our relationship, homeschooling, and the information itself. Whew. No pressure, right?

The other day I got a bit too...wordy. I announced what we would be doing, rather than just doing it. He balked. He didn't want to model; beeswax is slimy, stiff, and smelly. No way was he going to touch it.


I thought it over and realized what I had done. The next day, I tried again. I warmed some modeling wax while he loaded the dishwasher. When he finished, I handed him half the wax. I started modeling a mouse nose, exclaiming over how pointy it was. And here's the tail...does this look like a tail? He immediately joined in. We modeled our mice while standing in the kitchen. Ten minutes later he's happily rolling his mouse back into a ball and turning on the computer for math.


e is a bit the same way. If I announce what we will be doing or begin with candle and song, she doesn't get into it. There's no excitement. If I just get it out and start doing it, I get an immediate audience. I wonder if that is a product of my roundabout leading I've been doing all these years with E? Hmmm.

I just mixed our watercolors for the year! This is the best part of each new school year- bright colors, all in a row. The kids sat around watching me. We all have a thing for rainbows.

After adding water, I just let it sit. It turns into beautiful, colorful, wet watercolor paint! We can take from the top for a wash, or brush the bottom for deep, vibrant color.


Our modeling beeswax made its traditional appearance at a band concert this past week.


When the kids were little, I'd bring 3 small blobs of wax to band concerts. With a musician daddy, there were plenty of concerts! I'd hand one to each child as soon as the show began. They'd roll it, shape it, flatten it, and then trade it for the (warmer) one I was working with. I'd push and pull the colder one, warming it up for the next trade. It was endlessly entertaining for them. They felt as if they had my attention and their hands were busy.


This time, for the first time ever, nobody handed me a ball of cold beeswax to warm. I saw mice, goldfish, turtles, bears, balls, ships, guinea pigs, pyramids, cubes, snakes, knots, and more. For two hours. I modeled my own ball over and over, but nobody traded me. It was wonderful and sad all at the same time.


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