Thursday, January 17, 2013

Paint by Number... not so much-

My kids received a Paint by Number gift set. They were really excited as they had never done this before.

I gave each one of them a picture from the box, my son got the parrots in the jungle and my daughter got the tropical fish under the ocean.

I gave them each the paints and they set to work.

My son is more academic then artistic so I was quite impressed to see how into it he was. My daughter, who can spend her days painting, drawing, cutting, gluing, etc looked at me after 5 minutes and asked, "Mommy, why do we have to paint the colors that they want us to paint? Why can't we paint our own colors?"

I told her she is more then welcome to paint in whatever colors she chooses and she continued painting, but not by number.

I then realized that my son liked this activity because to him it was like a puzzle, and if he followed the directions and painted the right colors, he would then see the end result.

To my daughter, this was an art project. And she expresses her little self through art. By someone else telling her what colors to paint, it was their work, not hers. And it bothered her. So she took matters into her own hands and painted it her way.

We all homeschool our kids differently, and there is no perfect way. There is however, the perfect way for each of us and our kids.

I have friends who have a set routine with their kids everyday with a set curriculum and they are able to document everything their kids are learning and where they are up to. I think this is awesome, but the type of person I am and the type of mom I am, I just couldn't do it. Though there are many times I wish I could.

Sometimes I feel like kids really don't need to 'paint by number' and its okay to use 'their own colors'. My kids have very different learning styles and as their mom and primary educator it is so important to tap in these.

My son likes the end result. He has no patience to go through the motions so he finds ways to get there by himself. For example, learning to read. He had no interest in sitting with me and reading the Bob books, which he found silly. Instead of begging him to read every day, I left him alone and made sure to read to him every night.

One night I was tired and decided to skip a few lines in one of the books we were reading. "Hey mommy, that's not what it says" was my little mans response. All this time he was learning how to read, by looking at the words while listening to me say them. He is 7 and reads fluently. I never taught him the ABC's. He figured it out.

My daughter loves going through the motions. She loves playing word games and doing her workbooks. She loves decorating each page that she completes. It gives her a sense of pride.

My 4 year old loves cooking. So as often as I can, I let him help out in the kitchen. Peeling a cucumber and cutting it up for lunch, making the coleslaw for Shabbos, braiding the challah.

So whatever way you homeschool, always remember to teach each child according to their ways and once in a while, its always nice to let them paint by number using their own colors~

Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos,



  1. I have a curriculum, but I use it as a jumping-off point. A chapter on Athens vs. Sparta can lead to a Horrible Histories video clip. A book on Eskimo children can lead to an in-depth study of the Inuit, complete with a museum trip to see Inuit artifacts. Historia chapters are acted out with dolls. Geography is enhanced with paper dolls in folk costumes.

  2. That is so great that you have the flexibility to go off on tangents- it makes the learning so much fun and so interesting!


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