Last week was well, peaceful. I wanted to explore the concept of peace and mindfulness and home this month with Wyatt. It just felt like the right thing for November. It is an ongoing theme, so we started reading a few books on the topic of peace, talked about things that felt like peace to Wyatt, and made those cute peace dove hearts with his cousin one afternoon. Inside the kids had to write three things that peace is and they did a really good job.
When I learned that North Dakota was home to the International Peace Garden, which is situated on the border of the U.S. and Canada I knew it was the state we were going to work on in social studies. I mean, obviously. We didn’t get around to making our own mini peace gardens but maybe before the month is over we will.
We always cover the key facts of the state, talk about the state animals/trees/flowers etc, and then always pick the interesting facts that are most appealing to us. I am not expecting Wyatt to memorize the date of statehood or what number state they are, or even the capitol of the state right now. I want him to learn about the area the state is in, the region, what the landscape and climate are like, the flora and fauna, and those interesting things that stand out. I am always a little surprised by what he chooses! This time he chose as his favorites the W’eel Turtle, which is an 18 foot turtle built out of 2000 wheel rims, and that the National Buffalo Museum is there, and home to a rare white buffalo named White Cloud. I didn’t tell him that White Cloud passed away in 2016 so he is on display there, not actually living there. I kept that tidbit to myself.
We always have fun in art! This week Wyatt was a bit bored by the actual art and artist I had chosen – Edward Hicks and his work The Peaceable Kingdom. And from his perspective it probably wasn’t super exciting to look at, but it did give us the opportunity to talk about how the animals in the painting are usually animals that wouldn’t normally get along, which was the point of the painting, that they were a peaceable kingdom. He then picked an animal from the painting and then together we created one out of oil pastels. It was again an art lesson with Dad, which has been a fun trend! Wyatt chose a lion from the inspiration artwork, and then I helped him with the actual outline of the lion using hand over hand due to his motor control, although he is getting better and better everyday! Sometimes he just wants my hand over his wrist as a confidence boost while he does all the work. Anyway, we got the lion drawn, he made all the wild marks for the mane, and then Billy showed him how to blend the pastels to make it look smooth and soft. It turned out really well! And Wyatt did enjoy that part!
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.
P is for Peace Garden || Peaceful Pieces || Peace is an Offering || Peace Train || The Peace Book
For the peace dove heart craft
3 thoughts on “Homeschooling Journey: North Dakota, Edward Hicks, and Peace.”
You and I would have made a good team teaching! I never stressed about dates or state capitols. Maps and books (and google) are good for that. What’s important is the culture and the real guts of the area! You are doing such a wonderful job showing Wyatt this country…pulling in all of those different areas, too! Wyatt’s lion is really, really good! Aren’t pastels the most fun? Those peace hearts are such a good idea, too! I love how you are introducing and reinforcing the idea of peace! We all need that!
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That would have been fun! I totally agree! I mean, I feel like there are probably a lot of adults who don’t know all the capitols, and I know for a fact I don’t know all the dates for statehood! Lol. I am teaching him how to find the information though! Like to look for the key facts in books, etc. That seems like a more valuable use of time than memorizing those dates.
And thank you so much Marsha! I mean, I did help with that lion. But it turned out so cute! And I love pastels! They are my new favorite medium!!
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