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Assignment #4: Paint!


Easy and fun. Just get out watercolor paints.  You can use whatever you have. The cheap kind that are in a box with a brush inside is fine, or use nice art supplies. A fine point brush is great for adding details if you have one. Q-tips even work. Set the dining room table with paper cups half full of water, some rags or paper towels and a stack of blank paper. Put a newspaper sheet on each person's spot to give them license to paint right up to and over the edge of their paper.

Put on some light classical music. Mozart is nice, or anything you have. If just sets the mood to have music going.

Now paint.

You do it, Mom, right along with the kids. That is the important part. Show them how to dip your brush in water and drip a little water onto each color of paint to soak in a bit. Show them how you rinse and wipe dry your brush between colors. That is all the instructions they need. Now just paint whatever you feel like. A sunset. Tulips. Butterflies. The baby's face. Underwater fishes in a coral reef. Anything at all.

Once you finish one page, set it on the floor next to the wall to dry. Now get another page and keep painting. Smile and enjoy! This is not perfection or anything close to artistic talent. If you goof up, say "Art isn't meant to be perfect". After several paintings, you've done your assignment.

The point? Kids need to see you involved and enjoying your homeschool time together. Kids need to see you create. Kids need to think of you as a person, one of them, a creative person with feelings. They will do a lot of watching you paint (and learning about you and your attitude towards your own creative efforts). Be upbeat and self-accepting. That attitude unleashes creativity and frees them from being the self-critic. If they have been in public school, they will be prone to self-criticism, and perhaps a "dare not try" or "I can't do it" attitude. Unchain them by your own example.

You will find them copying your work. That is okay. Don't mention it. They are learning that it is okay to free flow, by watching you. They have to take the secure road first before moving on to really being who they are and accepting it.

When the pictures are all dry, stick them on the dining room wall with sticky tack or push pins, creating a little gallery of paintings. Enjoy your visitor's admiring comments. Make some comments of your own during breakfast. Let your kids know their work is creative and beautiful—that art isn't perfect, that it is wonderful to be free to try!

Ready for Assignment #5?