Homeschooling Can Make a Difference

Even in art. I teach both, and I am seeing it in my classes. I gave the benefit of the doubt at first, because the homeschool classes are quite small. However, I had a perfect test case this past week: weaving.

At school, grades 3-6 all had some variation of a paper weaving lesson, in which a sheet of paper was cut as a combo loom/warp, and  paper, ribbons, or both are woven through as weft. The struggle school students had remembering to alternate rows, and not skip warp “threads,” was notable with many students. In fact, what stood out more were those students who could weave consistently, whether right or wrong. I found this somewhat puzzling, but chalked it up to either my instruction, or the developmental stage being less advanced than I had expected. The result, though, was a whole extra day on the lesson, because do-overs kept us so long. This was true even in my fifth/sixth grades, as every fifth grader had to redo several wefts, if not all of them, although the class is only five kids big.

And then I got to do this lesson with the homeschool class: four kids in second and third grades. Mostly younger than my other classes, but I attempt older lessons with them often, because it’s a much smaller group than my dozen or so school-kids of the same age. One student had to redo a weft, and another student had skipped a warp, and that was the extent of it! They cheerfully wove paper and ribbon in quantity, chatting and consulting with one another. Their woven papers:

Creed, 2nd grade, with one dropped warp

Jenna, 3rd grade

zach, 2nd grade

Katie, 3rd grade

I see that my homeschoolers often perform a little ahead of the curve in things like cutting curves, craftsmanship, and persistence. I think credit goes to what is happening at home with these artists. These outgoing, respectful kids are creative, but listen to directions and follow through well. Sometimes they may get over-anxious or emotional when artwork isn’t turning out as they expect, and we get to learn how to celebrate and salvage our mistakes. I fancy THAT is my contribution to this group of budding artists. I have great artists at school, and they are learning valuable things, but I covet these same traits for my school kids.

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