(Above: learning how to give a doll tea party in Starting School.)
The following is a description of Starting School, which my little one attends. Instead of my toddler getting into everything while I am teaching the older children, she cheerfully goes with her grandmother to Starting School.
"You have heard of "finishing school" no doubt. Well, this is similar, only it is the start. I had a use-what-you-have curriculum.
We began with the primer of McGuffey's first reader and read about doing what was right in the sight of God, and that God made the wind and the trees, etc. I took her outside to feel the wind.
The lithograph etching on the story was similar to some of our French toile prints that we have collected--just little squares of them with scenes. One had a boy and girl fishing in a pond, in a red color, so I got that out and showed it to her and showed how similar it was to the etching.
Then we opened up a poetry book I had called "Friendship and Roses" which I bought in the 80's. It had a painting of a girl carrying a bouquet of flowers and a letter.
I asked her to point to the flowers. I asked her to point to the letter. Afterwards she was so fascinated with the shoes. I guess the shoes have a strong light on them, that a child would be drawn to them. She really talked about the shoes. I asked her if she would like to do what the little girl in the picture is doing. She said yes. We went outside and picked something that resembled flowers, and we came in and tied them in a ribbon. Then we got a card and rubber stamped it with a kitten, tied it in ribbon, and presented it to mother.
I have the first Victoria magazine ever printed, and it featured children at the beach, so we had a wonderful time looking at the pictures and talking about the beach.
I showed her how to make tea cups from egg cartons and chenille wire, and we had a tea party for dolls and bears.
I got idea for a reflective kind of teaching, from the old Art-Literature readers that I had when my children were little. In the back of them, it suggested you illustrate the lessons by imitating them. You could pose your children for photographs or paintings, just like the masterpieces in the book. You could create a bowl of fruit to match a painting of still life fruit, etc."
Lilac Mist I
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