Emily and David both dearly love to get the art supplies out and use their creativity. I think it is important for them to do that. However, David is only just starting to want to form something other than scribbles. On his own he is starting to form letters and is especially motivated to write his name. He does a pretty good job with that but has had no interest to draw what I call the typical kid drawings of a house with stick figure people. So I think he can benefit from some drawing excercises and I think it will help him with letter formation. Emily loves to draw... like most little girls do. She likes to draw and color rainbows, houses, flowers, stick people with dresses and bows in their hair. I think she would benefit from drawing lessons too... to build upon her love for drawing that she already seems to posess.
I requested Drawing With Children by Mona Brookes for two reasons. A friend wrote an article about encouraging art with your kids that mentioned the book and I also saw it in The Well Trained Mind for teaching children. So anyway, I got it and I have just started reading it. The book appeals to me because I want to stimulate my children's brains... in as many ways as I can. This passage spoke to me:
"As brain scientists interested in the whole spectrum of human learning, we know that the trained, practiced, stimulated brain is also more efficient at new learning. If we develop the building blocks of visual perception, visual spatial organization, and visual discrimination by learning to draw, our brains cannot help but transfer these skills to such tasks as mathematics, which is at its base the organization of objects in space, or to reading and spelling, which require visual attention to detail as well as pattern and organization in space, as the eye sweeps across the line of print and down to the next line."
So, yes... I'm sold. I'm reading and doing the first excercise which is for me.
The first excercise for me, the teacher, is to draw for 30 minutes with no interruptions... (really?) I am to draw a house, a person, a tree, some bushes and flowers, and 5 other things of my choice. I am supposed to use a felt tip marker and I'm not supposed to do anything over if I don't like it. Then I get to critique it. I can do this today becasue my David is sick upstairs with a 100+ fever and requested he be put back in bed. This is the time I would be at Familia so might as well use it for something else I enjoy. Here is my drawing. My five other things were the swing, the bird feeder, the mountain, the clouds, and the sandbox. It only took me 15 minutes and I didn't feel like doing anymore. Now I am supposed to analyze my work. I'll do this as long as Lia lets me.
How did you do, compared with how you thought you would do? I think it came out better than I expected. My tree definetly came out better than I hoped it would. If I could have gone back and erased, I would have done the sand box over. I can tell I drew it from the wrong perspective and it kind of looks like it is floating in the air. I would have liked to color or paint it but the instructions did not say to do that.
While you were drawing, did your thoughts reflect any of the opinions or experiences you had while drawing as a child? What can you remember about those times? Growing up, I remember thinking I was pretty good at drawing but knew if I wanted to draw better I would have to work at it. I don't think I was ever self motivated enough to work at it... but I always felt that I had a gift for it if I wanted to develop it later. My Mom certainly has the gift and has worked on it her whole life.
Emotional reactions? I was struck by my thoughts during this process of how I wanted to draw a peaceful home scene... Sitting on the swing with a family member - one family member at a time... probably because it is only peaceful with one family member at a time. ;-) I wanted the eye pleasing mountain. Somehow the idea of a mountain is comforting. Too bad I live in the flat lands... I wanted green space for my kids to run safely, a sand box to play in, a place for birds to hang out... peace.
And last the book addresses some preconceived notions like the the ability to draw is inherited, there is a right and wrong way to draw, drawing has no practical use and other negatives. It asks if you feel influenced by these negative notions. I don't think I am influenced by these ideas about drawing. I feel some people have a natural gift for it, but I truly believe someone with a positive attitude and the right teaching methods can improve their skills.
And that is all the Mommy time I'm gonna get for this today. I am being called by sweet Lia... More later.