Homeschool Journey: Dia de los Muertos, Frida Kahlo, Jose Posada and a Weird Pumpkin

Last week we continued on with our fundamentals like math and reading (which I never share about really because it’s not super exciting as one might imagine) and also dove deeper into Dia de los Muertos and especially into Frida Kahlo.

Wyatt and I are both loving art this year. I decided to just wing it, and it is working out really well for us. Since October is Hispanic Heritage Month, I thought it would be cool to focus on Hispanic artists. We spent some time on Diego Rivera, and then on Frida, and then a quick lesson on Jose Posada.

I introduced Wyatt to the art of Frida Kahlo the other week, and we talked about who she was as a person, how she overcame pain and obstacles to create her art, and how she eventually married Diego Rivera. We read about how when she was in bed overcoming an accident, she drew her feet – so Wyatt drew his feet while laying in bed. And if you follow these posts, then you know that he also put together a little Frida doll. Well this past week we took art a little further. We started by making a felt flower headband, which is super easy. (I will link the tutorial we used below in the resource roundup area.) I am always working with Wyatt on fine motor skills, which can be difficult for him with his cerebral palsy, especially with his right hand. Rolling is particularly difficult, and we work on it a lot. So this was a great project do with him even for OT purposes!

The next step involved Wyatt using watercolors to create a background – he opted for various colorful stripes which I think turned out beautiful. The next day, I took his photo wearing the headband, printed the photo, and cut it out. His background painting was dry, so it was time for the next step – painting on flowers using acrylics. While this was drying, Wyatt and I read a few books about Frida and all of her animals, and how she often included them in her self-portraits. I asked Wyatt which of our animals he would like to include in his self-portrait and he surprised me by saying Luna, one of our leopard geckos. I thought for sure he was going to say Miso, our fluffy cat! But nope, it was Luna who got the honor. I printed a photo of Luna, then it was time to put it all together. And I have to say, I absolutely love how it turned out!

I am 100% going to hang this in our house.

We also had a quick lesson on Jose Posada, who created the image of the calaveras. I also had picked up a mask kit and we put it to use.

In lieu of a state this week, we focused on the cultural traditions observed during Dia de los Murertos. We learned about the importance and symbolism of the monarch butterfly, and how it came to become a part of the celebration. We learned about the traditional foods that are provided on the ofrendas and also enjoyed by families, about the inclusion of earth, water, fire, and air which I hadn’t heard of before, and the reason for the sugar skulls. I love that I continuously learn as well, alongside Wyatt.

We carried our lessons on over to language arts as well. We read the book Our Day of the Dead Celebration, which I highly recommend, and Wyatt and I talked about our family members that have passed on and I shared funny stories with Wyatt about them, and talked about different things that they had liked.

Music is another area we are winging it, and while art is going awesomely, music is a bit more difficult. It is more like music appreciation at this point but that is ok. I found an incredible free resource online from the Phoenix Symphony which included a “concert repetoire” of music from Mexican folklore and also lessons about the Ballet Folklorico. Wyatt predictably enjoyed La Cucaracha the best.

What We Used:

This section contains Amazon Affiliate links. In addition to the curriculum I am creating for him, we also use curriculum from The Good and the Beautiful, The Waldock Way, and Blossom and Root for phonics, reading, science, and social studies.

Our Day of the Dead Celebration || Funny Bones || Viva Frida || The Remembering Day || A Parrot in the Painting || The Boy with Flowers in His Hair || Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos || Frida Kahlo: The Artist who Painted Herself || Danza!!

Felt Flower Headband

The Phoenix Symphony The Ballet Folklorico

Our Crafty World Dia de los Muertos Display Board

Oh, and that weird pumpkin? It’s sort of creepy… are you ready for it?

Allow me to explain. Last week (when this pumpkin was created) we were studying spores in science, and looking at the spores on ferns. Well, since I had already trimmed these fern pieces I decided we were going to do something with them. I had seen something on Instagram about botanical pumpkins, and I was like ok, we will try it. Instead we had glue and mod podge all over us, were we laughing hysterically because we 100% could not get ours to look even remotely like the ones I had seen, so I told Wyatt to just be creative and make a fern jack o’lantern. And frankly, I can imagine this creation scaring spirits from our door!

October was a great month of learning with fun activities to accompany our work! I am looking forward to moving on to our November studies.

11 thoughts on “Homeschool Journey: Dia de los Muertos, Frida Kahlo, Jose Posada and a Weird Pumpkin

  1. Erin, I love how you are filling his heart with the arts (along with everything else.) Music — check the community music school in Detroit. They may have some good suggestions. The MSU comm. music school in Lansing sponsors the RicStar Winter music camp in June each year for those with special needs. This is last year’s website page but there is at least one video here and they are making a documentary about it.

    Here is founder Judy’s page about camp on her website: https://www.judywinter.com/ricstars-camp/

    And here is info on last year’s camp. There is also a youtube video on it somewhere.

    https://cms.msu.edu/el/programs/summer-camps/ricstars-virtual-camp.html?fbclid=IwAR1wsMyMpXd6ZvHszxvQlipaKizYMkEcfFvxal67A3RKODRJMAyWvGUzJHI

    Like

  2. What a fascinating month Wyatt and you have had. So many artists and cultural events…you are doing such a wonderful job showing him the world. I love his felt flower headband. I really love making felt flowers and can spend hours just rolling away on them!

    I think that pumpkin is pretty doggone cute! I wonder how it will last!

    https://marshainthemiddle.com/

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I hot glued some onto wooden embroidery hoops to make wreaths. I also hot glued them on grapevine wreaths. I sometimes just use them to fill bowls or anywhere a pop of color is needed. If you google (or use Pinterest), you can find lots of other ways to make the flowers. They are really fun, easy, and fairly inexpensive!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: My Sunday-Monday Post – Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs..

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