One thing I am loving about the prospect of homeschooling is that I get to see my little man learning. I get to be a part of it, and that is beautiful.
This week we combined art and science (which really isn't that hard, for me they are one in the same) as we took the first step to planting our garden.
Here are the materials we used- (less than 15 dollars)
a bag of dirt
little bio-degrable planters
terra cotta pots (tiny or small)
We had art time first.
Prep time- 3 min or less Clean-up time- 5 min (remember to protect your table with the old newspaper it makes cleanup time easy)
I placed the terra cotta pots on the table. We had tiny ones, small ones and a couple of plates. I got the water and the paint and brushes ready. I on
ly put four colors out onto his palette and gave him two brushes to work with a thick one and a thin one. Put some water in the middle of the table and we both began painting our pots. We had a great time.
The good thing about painting pots, he didn't have to stay in the lines, they were small enough to do at the table and we got to chat as we were painting. As soon as he got bored, he went and washed his hands. And art time was done.
The acrylic paint didn't take long to dry, maybe 30 minutes and then we began the science portion. I only bought 5 terra cotta pots, (not because they were expensive but because I wasn't sure how many we would paint) so I made sure to buy the bio-degradable planters.
Prep time- 3 min Clean-up time- 15 min ( I mopped afterwards)
I put everything on the kitchen floor. The pots and the dirt. ( I would have done it on the back porch but it was cold and wet out.) I let Elijah fill the pots with dirt and then take the full pots back to the table. I swept the dirt up as he took the pots one at a time to the table.
Then we planted the seeds. I let him plant the sunflower seeds and I planted the smaller tomato seeds. I made him count the pots in front of him and then told him to pick the same number of seeds. (so we even threw a little math in) He had a great time pushing the seeds into the dirt and to my surprise was very thorough. After all the seeds were planted, I let him put one table spoon of water into each of the pots. (make sure to have some paper towels or old newspaper under the pots, a few of them leaked.) After that, we were done. I explained to him the seeds would soon grow to be big plants. He stared at the dirt for awhile and left to play his drums.
Then something wonderful happened. Today (two days later) I had him water his plants again. As he did, I explained to him that all living things on this earth need water to grow. I pointed him to the plants in the yard. They all started out small, just like the seeds we planted. Soon, if you take care of them, these seeds will grow to big plants too. Then he asked to water my indoor plants and I showed him how they all had little buds, because they are growing, just like your seeds. He looked from my plants back to his dirt pots and back to the plants and then something clicked, and he understood!
This exercise was cheap and easy. (It can be as cheap as you want it to be.) And it was very satisfying, it took a day or two, but Elijah now understands what we did, why we did it and what to expect, and that is a good thing.
A personal note-
Because Elijah has autism, (high-functioning) I sometimes find it difficult to connect with him, to have conversations with him. This exercise would have been a success whether he understood the science or not. We spent time together painting at the table and covered with dirt on the kitchen floor. And I didn't have to bribe him, (come read this book with me and then I will make you some popcorn) He really enjoyed all of it. So much so, that the next day he wanted to do it again.