“Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is.” 

~ Jackson Pollock

“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” 

~ Pablo Picasso

We spent the afternoon painting en plein air. The kiddos used their easel (Eric’s first time) and also painted on canvas squares.

Painting is good for the soul.

We also made granola today:

And two loaves of yeasty, eggy challah. I meant to freeze a loaf, but the kiddos devoured several slices of the first loaf as a snack after their painting session. It was warm from the oven. Katie likes hers plain, but Eric enjoys a little unsalted butter on his, irresistibly drippy and golden. Eric, who turned 19 months yesterday, helped me to make the dough (it cracks me up that one of his most enunciated words is, in fact, “dough”—this boy loves the kitchen). He loves to measure out and pour the ingredients. While Eric napped after lunch, it was Katie’s turn to help: she divides the dough in half and then cuts each half into thirds, fractions at work. She knows how to pull the dough into ropes, and she is getting better at braiding them. Together, we uses pastry brushes to paint on the French wash. I love that each of them have such a hand in it.

Katie and I also took our lessons outside today. I set the easel up while Eric napped, and one side has a white board (which I then put paper over so that he could paint, too). We worked on vowels, filling letters into words, and seeing how many words Katie could write completely on her own (words like “it” and “yes” and “the” and “to” and “love” etc.) She also wanted to sound out the word “panther” and did fairly well—I’ve just started talking about the “-er” sound, so I reminded her about the “e.”

Working on our lessons outdoors, dappled in sunlight and breeze, was lovely. We had the easel right outside the kitchen, too, at that point, by the olive tree and lemon tree (we moved it later in case paint dripped). I could teach all day outside…definitely a beautiful liberty that comes from schooling at home.

I also had a bit of time to cross stitch today. Oh, and we played more of our new favorite game:


A few mornings ago, we gathered together our play shopping cart, our Fisher Price cash register, all of our play food and kitchen items, a purse, a shopping list…and we made a quick sign that says “Lucy’s General Store.” Katie is Lucy, and she mans the registers. Eric and I have our little purse filled with coins, and we purchase food to take back to our cabin in the Big Woods.

As the kiddos grow older and start learning more about how to count money, we can make this game much more elaborate. Great potential here! But right now, it is mostly fun imagination play. We’ve already logged some hours of General-Store-Cabin-in-the-Woods-Watch-Out-for-the-Spring-Bear game that makes use of their little play cottage from Santa (still in the house because they love to play in it so much, now moved over more by the stairs). We all love playing “General Store.”