Ali is officially in Kindergarten this fall, which means that this is my last year of “Casual Teaching.”

I’m going to sorely miss Casual Teaching – it’s served us well.  She’s learned much, with thanks to her iPad, placemats, and fake money.

But once she’s in first grade next fall, I’ll need to have prior preparation and lesson plans and records and curriculum and…stuff.  I hope that I can still make it fun, but I’m nervous about the officiality of it all.

(And the fact that if I’m going to be a teacher, I should really learn not to use words that aren’t words, like officiality.)

So this year’s aim is to take full advantage of the last year of Mommy’s Fly-By-The-Seat-Of-Her-Pajamas School.

On Tuesday, I could almost physically feel the need for a craft.  We all had nervous energy, and had been reading for a good part of the morning.  We needed to break out of the box.

So I headed to my craft closet to see what I could find.

A canvas…paints…crayons.

I formed an idea, mixed some paints, gave Ali a paintbrush, and hoped that Noah’s lunch would distract him for at least the first half of our craft.


We started out talking about color mixing – about how white lightened blue, and black would make it darker.


Ali learned the word “Horizon”. We talked about blending from dark to light, and how the sky looks when the sun is going down.


Noah learned about paint viscosity and it’s effect on a car’s ability to roll.


Ali learned about brushstrokes and how to make them all “back and forth”, and not in circles.


Noah learned that if you’re quick enough, you can try your own hand at brushstrokes.


Ali learned that every painting needs an irregularity to be unique, and little brothers are great at providing just such a thing.

IMG_7462 copy

Noah learned that although the act of painting is often short-lived, the consequences are far more long-lasting.


Next, I set Ali to work picking out some bright crayons and unwrapping them.  I told her it would involve fire, but I promised not to hurt her – she could be my official crayon holder.

She opted to be my photographer instead.


Ali learned that crayons don’t turn into paint when they get hot, even though that’s what it looks like,


…and that crayons aren’t nearly so pretty after being burned.


Ultimately, everyone learned something, including Mommy: she learned that a boy’s lunch is no match for the intoxicating draw of participating in art.

Melted Crayon Art


17 thoughts on “Art Education…Kinda.

    1. That’s what I strive for! And then I attempt to convince her that she REALLY wants to give all of her art to her grandparents – that way I don’t even have to worry about finding a place to hang it! #Lazy

  1. so cool! you are so creative. good job. samuel (“the destroyer”) would have been all over that project as well. just yesterday he tore apart a garage sale find we just got. i found it hard not to laugh. and i know what you mean about nerves of starting school. we are doing 1st grade this year and i only just decided on a curriculum this week and we should start next week. i’m so terrible at this, having never had a close example. you appear to be a really great teacher already though. i think you have nothing to worry about!

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one behind on curriculum! I have friends that have had it all planned out for a year. I used to be all plannery…but now I just can’t seem to get it together.

  2. Wow, that turned out really neat! I totally need to do more crafts…they just make such a mess and then I never know what to do with them afterwards. But I really should start to make the effort. And I really should stop writing incomplete sentences. :)

  3. You’re brave to attempt art time while Noah is awake. :) We started our 1st grade year of homeschooling this week. I always say that up until now, we’ve just been playing “pretend” when it comes to homeschooling. But we are off to a good start- it’s 5:00 and I’m in my pajamas. I think that means I’m doing it right! :)

  4. Well, I am impressed! Not to put a burden on you or anything, but how about having an art class twice a week (only a ten week commitment) and have about 25 of your closest blogging friends (I would be one of them) over to your house for art appreciation and instruction. No pressure, but it would really help this mom out who hates messes and isn’t crafty. :)

    1. Err, but I know NOTH-ING about real art. We just play around. I’d be the worst instructor ever!! Craft time, maybe – but you couldn’t call it art class, or the real artists would choke and die.

  5. Hey – I didn’t know you guys were going to homeschool. Fun! My oldest is starting sixth this year and we’ve been homeschooling since the get-go. Good times. I also have an eight-year-old in third and a six-year-old in first.

    Love the dropping melting crayon. Does it stay on or does it flake off eventually?

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