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I am the studio teacher in Zach's Place Studio, an AMS Montessori teacher, an artist, a mother and much more.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Parents helping with projects - Kathryn

For the first weeks of school, we discourage parents from visiting their children at school because seeing a parent during those first weeks of becoming used to school again can be a bit unsettling for a young child. But those weeks are past, and Children's Garden has been filled with moms helping groups of children with art projects. We have been so impressed with these moms - they "get" the atmosphere we are trying to create here - calm, relatively quiet, respectful of the children, slow-paced and focused. Yesterday as I walked through the classrooms, small groups of children huddled around tables filled with paint, beads, and pottery, working with a parent or two to complete a project. It reminded me of why we bring art into our school at all. There is something magical about the power of creating a thing of beauty, and for a child, that could be nothing more than a line on paper, a spot of color on canvas, or a string of beads on a wire.

The Toddlers: Here are a few photos of the toddlers painting small wooden objects. They are between 18 months and 3 years old, so the tools themselves are fascinating, hands become tools, for some there is the temptation to taste the paint (non-toxic is essential!!) and the paper beneath the figures also gets a good dollop of paint.

The Extended Primary: The extended primary children, all close to or by now five years old, have mastered most of the tools we use in the studio. They are beyond the exploratory stage of the toddlers, and are ready to do fairly refined and sophisticated work. Interesting to me is that both toddlers and five year olds fall into concentrate easily. The flow experience knows no age boundaries.

These children, with the help of two moms, are stringing fairly small beads of their own choosing, following a pattern of their creation, and then repeating that pattern several times. Obviously they are loving what they are doing, and because of the level of concentration, will return to their next work in the classroom calm and satisfied.

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