Meredith has been enjoying painting and other arts and crafts a lot lately. But she seems to especially like painting right now. We got some primary-coloured tempura paints free from a local homeschooler. I add the colours in the sections of an egg carton, and as she paints she tends to mix them all up, ending up with varying shades of brown. I never thought much of it before. Then yesterday, she asked to paint, and as normal I got out the paints and started squirting them into the egg carton. She pointed to one and said: “Put yellow and red here Mama, so I can have orange too”.

It kind of blew me away.¬†Sometimes it’s really simple things that remind me that she really is learning all the time, even when it doesn’t necessarily look like it. I try not to make a big deal of it when things like that happen (or make even a small deal of it), because it’s obvious that to her it’s just a natural progression. She also knew that red and blue make purple, and yellow and blue make green. Then she experimented to see what happens when purple or orange or green are mixed with each other or with one of the primary colours, as well as what white and black do (we have those too). The actual painting seemed to have been forgotten.

8 comments to Colours

  • very very cool! I love when my son says stuff that I didn’t know he knew or didn’t know he was learning!

  • It’s so easily to lose sight of the fact that they are learning all.the.time. I like being blown away like that every now and then…keeps me grounded in my decision to unschool.

    Today we were at our NVC meeting and Isaac was counting the chains hanging down on each wall. (You know…the ones in photo galleries used to hang picutres. Anyway, he counted the one side….6 and then the other side…10. Then he says to our friend – “That’s four more than the other side.” Our friend (who also unschooled his 3 kids) says, Um…that’s subtraction.” Yep – and people think they won’t learn math. It’s just so organic…I love it. Thanks for sharing. xo

  • AttachedMama

    I love it too. It’s fascinating to watch them learn naturally and in their own way and time.

    Debbie, she’s been doing a lot of substraction and addition lately too. She’ll say something like she wants to watch five episodes of Dora, and we’ve already watched two, so we need to watch three more. Who says TV can’t be educational? ;)

  • What a clever girl! Next time you are down you should flip through my First Art book. It’s for toddlers mostly but I bought it because it had some many great art ideas and recipes for paints and playdoughs.

  • That’s really great! So much learning through play… the natural way.

    I used to hate it when my son mixed all the paints together and made every painting just a big brown or black blotch. Now, I get it and when he paints I just prepare the supplies and step back. We don’t even use a smock anymore.

    • AttachedMama

      Nadia, I used to hate it too. I really had to bite my tongue and just remind myself she is having fun (and the paint was free!). And now I see there was a method to her madness and she had a purpose, even if I couldn’t see it at the time.

  • How cool! They really do learn from everything! It’s just us schooled adults that need reminded of this every once in awhile. The other day, Layla came up to me and said, “Mama, I have twenty teeth. See? Count them.” So I did. Turns out, she has twenty teeth, but I didn’t realize she could count to twenty (and apparently much higher than that).

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“It is absurd and anti-life to be a part of a system that compels you to listen to a stranger reading poetry when you want to learn to construct buildings, or to sit with a stranger discussing the construction of buildings when you want to read poetry.”
~ John Taylor Gatto