Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Everyday Forms

Two weeks ago we finished up our Clown of God form drawing block, and it was a success! Sunburst was pretty upset when Giovanni grew old and died, even though she thought that the statue catching the golden ball was really cool. After she made a title page for her book, I went ahead and presented her with Tomie de Paola's book, from whence I lifted the story. We read it together, and then we read the endnotes where it talks about this being a really, really old story passed down from generation to generation, and Sunburst looked at me with her mouth open.

"It's true?! It's really true?!!!"

"What, the story?"

"You mean the statue really did catch the ball?!!!" Her eyes were as big as her open mouth. I grinned at her and mirrored her amazement. And then she closed her mouth and sighed, contentedly. And that was that. Another seed was nurtured. (Miraculous things happen all the time. There's something more out there. There's a connection. Can you feel it?)

But that's not all. You see, I've noticed something really fantastic in the last few weeks of these lessons. The forms have begun to emerge in regular ol' everyday artwork. The artwork that I like best-- the kind with zero involvement from me. No hovering, no instruction, no rules whatsoever. The girls worked on these mainly during our quiet time, the time in which I beg, plead and bribe them with snacks, a ream of paper, coloring pages, Super Ferby pencils and Crayola markers to be quiet enough to allow Kitty Bill, their baby brother, to fall asleep. Whatever it takes, just let the boy sleep.

And they draw stuff like this:

See all the forms? The spiral from last year. All the circles --apples up high and down low, the apple tree, ornamentation on her dress. The mountains on her crown, also from last year. The stab at symmetry on the pine tree. The loops on the saddle. The pyramid of lines on the unicorn's horn. --I also love that the princess is riding side-saddle (because of her foot problem?) And I love the depth.

Sunburst drew this freehand in pencil, erased the lines she didn't want, and then went over it with an ink pen. She brought it to me to copy, as a coloring page for herself and her sister, Moonshine. I thought it was remarkable.

And then I uncovered a stack of drawings just like this, with different themes. In each one you can see at least one form working itself out. It blew my mind... and it wasn't just Sunburst's drawings, but Moonshine appears to have absorbed quite a bit of our lessons just from being in the same room. Spirals, circles, and lines.

I don't know what this all means, but it's neat to watch. I have to tell you though that when we did the pyramid of lines drawing (plates) Moonshine came over to the chalkboard and informed Sunburst that she wasn't drawing it correctly. I didn't know whether to cringe or to laugh.

There's no holding these younger siblings back. As much as I'd like that to be the case, it's a monkey-see, monkey-do scenario. She's going to pick this stuff up. All of it, and probably fairly quickly. Moonshine is finding her footing. Sinking her teeth into new ideas and trying them out. "C starts cat. And rhymes with rat. And rat has this letter (R) in it." But not to worry. It's not sinking in too deeply. She's still dreamy enough to walk into oncoming traffic. We've still got plenty of time yet...

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