More of Lucien Lately: Art, Scissors, and Voracious Reading

photo 1 (67)It has been a crafty week at our house! Lucien made a cut and pasted a Jack ‘O Lantern at our Halloween-themed library story time. He also told me that he wanted to paint some pumpkins, so we got out our paints and brushes! He asked me to make the long, skinny pumpkin he painted into a cat, so I painted a cat face and tail, and then he declared that this cat was a mama, and painted her seven green baby kittens. He then declared that the mama has seven boobs. We have the finished masterpiece hanging on our wall now.

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While Lucien was searching through our art closet this week he also came across a Kumon workbook – Let’s Cut Paper – that had been sitting there unused for quite some time. He asked me for “Lucien-sized scissors” and some help getting started. I showed him how to hold the scissors properly, and off he went, completing five pages in one sitting. He then took them over and proudly displayed then on the fridge. He came back to the workbook the next day to complete another page.

photo 3 (58)I decided to design another cutting activity for him, which I called “What’s hiding behind the grass?” I drew a picture on one sheet of paper and then affixed another sheet over green paper, cut in strips to look like grass, over top of it. I told Lucien that his job was to trim the grass and see what was hiding behind it. He worked with joy, concentration, and diligence. He happily declared to me “I’m lawn maintenance!” Then he told me that my attempt at a frog looked more like a ghost, though my flowers and butterfly and snake were all fairly accurate. Oh, well …. ghosts are appropriate since we are approaching Halloween!

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Even though Lucien is just barely three years old and I am not really “schooling” him at all (in the sense of traditional classroom schooling – really I am just encouraging and supporting his natural desire to learn), I am still a rather type-A person who likes to keep records of things. I decided to start a homeschooling notebook, to keep track of what we read and discuss and do each day. I never realized until I started writing it down how much reading we do per day, what an amazing attention span and voracious appetite for books Lucien has. This is our book list from yesterday:

From Mouse Tales by Arnold Lobel:

1. The Wishing Well

2. Very Tall Mouse and Very Short Mouse

3. Journey

4. The Old Mouse

5. The Bath

6. Daisy Comes Home by Jan Brett

7. The Umbrella, also by Jan Brett

8. Hello, Everybody (a Music Together story book)

9. Riding in the Car (another Music Together story book)

From the Usborne Collection of Bedtime Stories:

10. The King and His Three Children

11. The Three Wishes (an English folktale)

12. The Nightengale (a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale)

13. Prairie School (an I Can Read Chapter Book)

14. Five Little Monkeys Reading in Bed by Eileen Christelow (which we read several times)

15. Highlights High Five, October issue (We read all the stories, found the hidden pictures, did the action rhyme, and even made and read the mini-book at the back of the issue.)

16. On Noah’s Ark by Jan Brett

17. The Umbrella, again (He asked to hear this story again before bed. I think he is drawn to the detailed illustrations in Brett’s books, and he so loves hearing about new and different animals.

Lucien has very definite ideas about what books and stories he wants to read. His tastes are eclectic. He chooses some light and silly books – like the little monkeys! – but he also shows a lot of interest in more complex, developed story lines and rather sophisticated literature. Some of the stories are ones I would never have selected myself. He is broadening my horizons, and it is lots of fun. For example, I never knew how the real Hans Christian Andersen story of The Little Mermaid went. It’s not at all like the whitewashed Disney version. And I had never read Robinson Crusoe,  but Lucien loves the Usborne illustrated version, so I am now familiar with the story. It’s a good adventure tale that I would have otherwise never encountered. I am getting a taste of how fun and enlightening this home learning journey is going to be for me, too!

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