MONTESSORI TODDLER: FOLLOWING AN INTEREST–MICHELANGELO

We have a homeschool “plan” that I write out each month. While I always create it by following E and V, their interests and current skills, we aren’t tied to it to such point that we don’t follow other topics that come up. Our life-long goal of unschooling is to foster a love of learning, so why wouldn’t we want to explore what comes up, right?

The other day E and V chose to eat their breakfast under the table. Just watching, this may be an enclosing or enveloping schema, I’ll take note and keep observing to see if shelf materials need to be rotated or if this was just them admiring 1930 table craftsmanship. Regardless, seeing their heads pointing up (as well as their lack of interest as I pointed out legs and how they held the table top up), I immediately thought they might enjoy a lesson on Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

We have this book that contained a little bit about Michelangelo and his work on the Sistine Chapel. After reading it was time for some hands-on as there was much more than art.

Using their climbing tower, ramp, and a chair I created a faux ceiling–just the right size for two 2-year-olds.

We started with watercolor pencils, as I wasn’t sure paint would be the best medium. I was unable to locate our second pair of safety glasses and paint and eyes just wouldn’t make for a good combo. And, full disclosure, I really didn’t feel like dealing with the mess as it was just an off, low-energy week. The water colour pencils allowed for them to use water to “paint” and provide that truer experience that would be closer to the Michelangelo experienced.

When it was time to add water painting, I put just the smallest amount in a container. They were able to work with it well enough that we were able to increase the amount a bit (think from 1/2 a teaspoon to a tablespoon).

Water dripped on V’s cheek. E mentioned, after a bit, that it was getting hard to paint. So we talked about how Michelango may have felt, “He painted 5,000 square feet and you’re painting roughly a square foot–if you’re tired, do you think he got tired painting? “

We take the moment to talk about problem solving–such as taking breaks and coming back. Wearing clothing that is okay to get paint on and proper items, such as aprons, to prevent ruining a dress that great-grandma spent a very long time making.

One of the many great things about learning this way is that we can grow upon it with their development and as their skills increase. If it were T, we would also talk about the scaffolding that Michelangelo created and what math and such was used to determine what was needed as it was something not nearly as simple as our faux ceiling for E and V.

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