ART! Drawing part 2

This is a schedule for a creative mind.  This is a simple schedule of ideas. Graduate through a progression of lessons for art & drawing with a little bit of guidance.

Learn drawing basics, 3D forms, shading, color theory, portraits, and more one lesson at a time.

I might suggest to study one section a week: drawing basics, portraits the next, shading…on down the list.

AGE- I think that it is all determined by interest and how much you make of it. I don’t see any reason a 3rd grader and a high school junior couldn’t do the same assignment. It depends on the child which one has more trouble with it or how much time they spend on it. 😉

Here is a list of lessons… well maybe ideas, pictures and prompts to spark imagination- just starters I’ve collected on my own Pinterest boards here, here and here. I’ve selected these to be drawing lessons that should require only a pencil and paper and tried to assemble them into some kind of order (I hope 😉 )  Follow rabbit holes, find inspiration. Enjoy!

drawing

Tutorials and Books on drawing:

Inspire My Artist guest post on drawing for Starts at Eight

 ART! drawing part 1

the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards

the book Line Upon Line by Janice Arduini

 

Drawing exercises and prompts:

upside down drawing upside down drawing allow your right brain to work without your left brain trying to take over. (read about it in either of the above blog posts)

symmetry sketches  take a newspaper, comic, magazine picture… use part of the picture and fill in the rest with our pencil.

Draw a tree

drawing hands

using a grid to recreate a picture- more on this in Art! drawing part 1

Organic Shapes

draw waves

weave

overlapping rings

doodling lines

draw a bowl of eggs. draw an apple. draw a vase of flowers. draw bones- particularly cattle bones if you can come up with them.

it may help to draw the negative space only

 

Portraits– portraits become a lot easier when you understand the proportions are not what you think you see. If you drew an oval for a head, where do you think the eyes would be? At the top? Try putting the eyes in the middle! I’ll be you find you are much happier with your portrait when you are done. Try these tutorials to improve your portrait drawing. Draw a friend, look in the mirror.

tutorial at Inspire My Artist

tutorial and proportions

portrait proportions on one sheet girl , boy

portraits in different view boxes

an eye – eyes have a very specific shape. learn the to draw them!

how to draw lips- lips have a very specific shape. learn to draw them!

practice drawing ears

hair, hair, and more hair

Perspective– if you have the opportunity to watch “Brain Games” Particularly Season 1 Episode 1 it is all about how your eyes and your brain make assumptions, and how it sees things so when it doesn’t look quite right on paper it is because it isn’t the way your brain thinks it should be. Things closer to you look bigger and things farther away look smaller. If you drawing is the opposite of that you will create optical illusions- even if you didn’t mean to. Learn to draw in perspective and you will be able to convince your brain that it is looking at something in 3D!

good tuturioal here draw a train in perspective– this has instructions for 1 point perspective

perspective tutorial this site also has a great worksheet on basic 3D shapes (basic shapes later)

garden in 1 point perspective

cityscape perspective

perspective drawing

row of trees

2 point perspective

basic shapes project in perspective

 lots of examples of perspective

Life drawing – with any life drawing please preview as human bodies are often drawn nude- because truly drawing clothing and fabric is a whole other matter to study. I believe I have chosen tutorials that do this without genitalia, and are not obscene- but you should check to be sure! Some do show drawn nude behinds. Tutorials can range from drawings of ears and hands to full body torso. Life drawing is generally considered drawing human life.

life drawing examples and lessons here , here , here

proportions of hands, feet, head

neck and shoulders

a leg

a few more here on my life drawing pinterest board.

Shapes & Shading- there are a few basic shapes that help us understand all others for drawing and particularly for shading. The sphere, cylinder, cube, cone and pyramid. Understanding how light plays on these can help draw all things in 3D accurately. A leg for instance is a cylinder.

this is and elementary worksheet to identify 3D basic shapes, in art we need to learn to draw these shapes and shade them to so use this to practice drawing basic shapes.

more 3D shapes

Shade techniques- mimic these lessons to learn how to shade in different ways

stippling (a way of shading) examples

basic shapes and shading

how to shade a sphere

how to shade a cylinder (with links to other 3d shapes!)

basic shapes project in perspective

shading in perspective

shading and drawing things of one color- here I suggest we recreate some of the organic shapes section. Organic shapes are unpredictable. Your left brain doesn’t already know it’s shape exactly. Solid colors similarly show only the shades changing in the light so that you are not so concerned about what color but what value.

draw a bowl of eggs. draw an apple.  draw bones- particularly cattle bones if you can come up with them.

reflections of glass

more reflections of glass

ice cubes

shading fabrics

shading folds and fabric – these examples could keep you busy for a week 😉 the book Line Upon Line by Janice Arduini has tutorials in fabric and glass.

 try drawing textures

Abstract drawings and doodles- it’s all about the creativity!

cursive name art

longest line

Graphic design (part of graphic design is learning to see pieces, symbols, icons, simple shapes…) try some of these exercises.

doodle fish or what do you see in this

fun trees

cupcakes

portraits in different view boxes

Elements of design

trees (or something else) from another perspective

elements of design wheel

composition do’s and don’ts

Try math art projects from What Do We Do All Day

Word Art

website to help you put words into a shape. Create your own word art. Inspire 😉

scripture art- inspiration

Calligraphy (this involves specific tools. I plan to do more with this in a later post, but I leave the idea here if you are so inclined as to tackle it yourself.)

3D words

3D art

ribbon lettering

graffiti lettering

 

Art! Drawing part 1

I  think I had the greatest high school art teacher that ever lived. I lived in a very small town (population about 1000)  with a very small school (k-12 in the same building). We graduated about 25 kids a year. Did you know that at least one kid every year went on to some kind of art school? Did you know that among 25 kids it was usually 2-4 going into an art field? Now do you agree I may have had the best art teacher ever?

Do any of you study IEW writing? Have you at least heart their pitch? It’s the Ben Franklin method of writing. Writing (mechanics, grammar) is a left brain activity, while creative writing- what should I write about, what should I write is a right brain activity. Did you know that your right and left brains don’t talk to each other very well? they don’t work together very well at the same time.

right brain left brain                                                                photo found at http://www.innerlighthealingarts.com

I’m a fan of the IEW approach to writing (just a fan, I’m not being paid to say so). It helps to make the process less painful because trying to accomplish something from one side at a time. Do you want to try it out? Try drawing something- anything- just a stick figure or bubble letters. Try drawing it and talking at the same time. ha!

So the first rule in my high school art class was that it is not that you are not allowed to talk in class, but I will know that if you are talking, you can’t be spending your time drawing 😉 Let me share what I learned from her. I think she had a way of reaching not just those interested in art- but taught everyone how to develop their own art talents through good teaching.

I just read an AMAZING blog post on how to teach art to your teens. Drawing specifically. She explains right/left brain and some great exercises that are meant to help you separate them. I think this is a brilliant approach and I understand this mom intends to create an art curriculum. I can’t wait!!

Have you ever tried to draw a hand? (this is a great first drawing project, you may have tried it through some drawing curriculum.) Did it end up looking a lot like a cartoon hand? Your left brain is telling you, you KNOW what a hand looks like: 1,2,3,4,5 fingers. Why does that looks so terrible? Because you didn’t SEE it with your right brain, your left brain told you what it looked like.

Would you believe that the only REAL difference between these two drawing is that one is seen with the left brain and one with the right. It has nothing to do with the pencil 😉

 

The book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and this blog post both give great ideas on how to TEACH your RIGHT BRAIN to see what your hand is drawing.  You’ll find the most difficult task is to ‘turn off’ your left brain. It is very bossy! This is the part that is so difficult. ‘I can’t’ is really your left brain talking. It does NOT want to give up control!

Take your left brain OUT-

Blind Contour Drawing– don’t look at your paper. AT ALL. It’s hard. Your left brain won’t like it. but if you spend 2 full minutes drawing what your SEE without looking at your paper, you’ll find that you were more accurate than when you watched.

Draw negative space– negative space is what you are NOT drawing- the spaces around the hand or consider an upright chair back. Draw the spaces in between the bars. Your left brain doesn’t know what the spaces look like!

Upside down drawing! – yes you read that right. This is probably by far my favorite!

This is a drawing by Pablo Picasso. It is GREAT for upside down drawing. Your left brain will see this man in a chair, but when you turn it upside down it is a bunch of lines (particularly starting at the top) that your left brain can’t quite understand. This will take your left brain OUT of the equation and allow your right brain to SEE the lines.

Grid Lines!– This is my favorite, every day, go to drawing project. I can end up with a drawing I’m happy with every time. I learned this using comics. Sunday paper comics. Single line drawing in a square box. Just dissect it into quarters and draw. But you can re-create anything this way and practice drawing what you SEE.

You may have seen this technique in coloring and activity books even. The idea is that when an object/scene is broken up into smaller boxes two things happen:

  1. your left brain is taken out because you are not looking at a whole object or scene, just a few lines. Cover up everything but the box you are working in. You’ll find that your right brain is quite in charge and can recreate what it sees.
  2. It keeps your drawing in place. you may have found in your Picasso upside down drawing that it grew until the whole picture didn’t fit on your drawing paper. That is good. It means you are drawing what you see- your right brain just doesn’t have a lot of boundaries or perception of space. Drawing what is in the box will keep those lines confined in the box so that when you are done the picture has come together as one piece, on one page 😉  Even if you only use two lines- cut into quarters- it gives your brain a confined space to keep the lines it sees.

Drawing within the gridlines allows your left brain to assist. It can relay to your right brain, “this line starts about 1/3 of the way up and goes that way”.

Years ago I used to take magazine photos or photographs to draw with grid lines. There are tons of resources now online (what did we ever do without google?) like this that make this a very simple task to work on.

If your child is interested in drawing something very special– a photograph for example- use a clear overlay-

  1.  a page protector sheet
  2.  an overhead projector plastic sheet (these are quite out of date but I’ve been able to find boxes of them at office supply stores and they are very easy to use. sturdy!)

You can graph these in quadrants or every inch or anything in between.Draw it right on the plastic. Maybe a fine point or felt tip sharpie. Draw the same graph on drawing paper- this is a great math lesson in making it 2 or 3 times bigger than the original!! draw light pencil marks that will be erased later. You’ll be surprised how accurate you can be in re-creating the picture and how fun this can be!

TIPS!

  • Go to your local lumberyard and buy lightweight Masonite board. This is a plywood that is smooth on one side. Cut it (you can cut it with a box cutter even with just a little time and effort) or have it cut to whatever size you wish but 24″ square is an option. Have your student use masking tape and attach drawing paper to the smooth side.(really tape those whole side. you’ll be happier and less likely to bend your paper on accident) attach your original grid line photo to the board loosely so it doesn’t get lost.  Your student can store this behind the sofa and take it out and draw anytime. Prop it up against the table for an easel in your lap.
  • Keep your original in view at all times!!
  • Buy good drawing paper. If you have a young student that just wants to draw- use copy paper. It is inexpensive, and you do not have to be afraid of mistakes or using too much. Use it and draw. If you have a student that is going to spend some time on a project- buy good drawing paper- at least 60 # paper.   You can buy a nice pad of paper at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby. If you intend to buy a lot of drawing paper I recommend Miller Pad and Paper Company.
  • Don’t be afraid to go big! This can be very freeing! Small can feel very accurate and technical and detailed. Let them try it big- not only is freeing some part of your right brain and creating  great excitement there – when it turns out well they will be so excited with their creation. It’s big!
  • Don’t necessarily go with a bright, bright white paper. It can be intimidating. To make a dark stroke on a clean sheet of paper is intimidating. To make it on a bright white paper can be frightening. Sometimes it can take some anxiety out by giving them a darker paper- or something just not bleached to a bright shining white 😉

Line Upon Line by Janice Arduini is another great drawing book.

NOW! These are big ideas that feel like they take a LOT of time and work. They do. But take it a little at a time just like you do everything else. This is not mastered or even attempted in one day!

You can always SIMPLIFY! If you want to take on drawing with your kids, but also know in reality you are not going to do this much…. this is my recommendation: buy a sketchbook. Work on tiny drawing lessons like these I’ve pinned on a journaling Pinterest board.  (I would recommend starting at the bottom of this board and moving up as I have pinned more complicated things as I’ve added to this board -relatively speaking.) Choose anything you or your child likes and just draw. I also have one board specifically for life drawing (humans in motion 😉 ) if you prefer. I hope to add more ideas in the future 😉 tell me what you want!

Isn’t it expensive to buy all those books?

It could be I guess. But, not the way I do it. 😉

COST:

I am a thrift shopper. I love to stop by the Goodwill or Salvation Army. Do you know what books cost there? $.98.

I shop Amazon Marketplace, Thrift books, http://www.AbeBooks.com is one of my favorite sites. You’ll find several books in my basket at any given time if you were to look. Often the books I want – are EXACTLY what I’m looking for AND around $3.50 shipped. (and did you know that you can use ebates with abebooks? If you don’t have an account, sign up here )

I love shopping my homeschool convention’s used book sale. I’ve learned over the years that if I seek specific curriculum, I don’t often find it, or I’m not very excited about the price. We pay a lot for that boxed stuff and we want some of that money back. I’ve learned that a ton of homes will be selling their books- living books for $1-$4 each. I can but a lot of them before I reach the used cost of $40 for a (used) boxed curriculum.

I follow Facebook sites with homeschool materials for sale.  They often post of local homeschool group sales. I shop the books the library is discarding.

I BORROW!! from friends. from the library. “Hey, I’m looking at economics for next year. Do you have any resources on that? Will you be using them next year?….”

I follow homeschool mom blogs! They offer reviews! They offer printables! They offer lesson plans and ideas!  I follow them on Facebook. (Okay I spend way too much time checking out what they post next but I glean some amazing ideas!) which is why I offer a Facebook page to follow me here!

I love looking up sites that use living books because they’ve found books they love to share. I can look for those specifically. I love just shopping through a garage sale or thrift store because everyone has a few great books. I collect them. I find that over time- either I’ve been seeking science or biology or ancient Egypt or whatever has been on my mind and I will soon have enough resources to assign them to my kiddos.

http://www.guesthollow.com has great book lists.

Tapestry of Grace and Sonlight has great book lists!

Eva Varga has some neat resources available for free and for purchase.

used curriculum can be found at http://www.homeschoolclassifieds.com

http://www.homeschoolfreebieofyheday.com

has free resources and links every day of the school year. I found that some books I’d downloaded years ago were the exact books I had in my Amazon shopping cart! Woo hoo!!!

 

Please check out my living books curricula, or check out my post on how to write your own.

share your ideas with me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

living books curricula

I’ve learned that my kids enjoy living books more than textbooks, so I decided to work with that. Below is just books I assembled to make my own course, I organized into a schedule, and this is the schedule wrote for each class. I hope you can use it or it will inspire you to use your own set of living books!

 

Science:

Biology– We used this for High School. 10th grade. Includes lab activities.

Forensic Science with Lab– We used this for 7th grade.

Human Anatomy and Physiology – I used for 12th grade- but this was my non-science kid.

High School Chemistry – in the works

Agriscience, Ag Literacy, Agronomy (Soil) and Animal Science – lot of resources for a study or to enhance another course- Ag Literacy Resources

 

Language Arts:

Introduction to Poetry– this was a read aloud I did with my 4th and 7th graders.

 

Social Studies:

How to choose a spine to create your own History  this is a read aloud I do with the whole gang. I’ve found that my High Schoolers – so far- choose to do something on their own. This is a chronological history study.

U.S. Governement – We used this for High School. This uses mostly FREE resources.

I’m also working on more government/economics/constitution/justice studies and I shared a book list I found.

Electives:

Introduction to Philosophy – we used this in High School.

Arts:

Music Appreciation – I did this as a read aloud to my fourth grader, but I may assign this to my middle school and high school students. It was great fun and a ton of great information about all kinds of music and composers. From Psalms to Classical Composers to a History of American Music.

Art! Drawing 1 – Drawing is learning to use your right brain- your creative side. Have you been asked to think outside the box? learn to quiet your left brain enough to find out what your creative ideas are 😉

Art! Drawing2– After learning to ‘see’ in Drawing 1, here are some exercises to help you put 3D objects on paper. This uses many Pinterest links.

Art! Color– color theory and using color to enhance your drawings and projects.

Duel Enroll at Public School? Pro-Con List

I’m talking about duel enrollment in the local school- not college credits. I know it isn’t popular. I’m not sure how ideal I think it is, but I’d be ungrateful to say the least if I didn’t say how much OUR local public school has benefited my home-schooled children!

Let’s start at the beginning.  I fought the calling to homeschool. I could hear the Lord whispering it in my ear but I wouldn’t listen. My family was against it. It was against the grain. It was an insult to my parents that had brought me up in the public school.

We live in a small town. NO, not the small 10,000 people kind of small town- take away another zero. There are about 1000 people in my town. K-12 is in the same building. The public school here is really the community building. Pulling them out here feels like pulling out of the community- all of us.

But, alas, when oldest two were 6th and 4th grade, I stopped dragging my feet. (The Lord has a way of making His plan happen even if you drag your feet) They were already enrolled in band- so we kept that. (One pioneer-homeschooling-era family had homeschooled in our area but I was really the first to pull out of public school here) The school officials when I told them were kind to me- not everyone gets this, I know!

This is how we started. It was comfortable and as we grew I had high-schoolers enrolled in : Spanish, Band, Speech, and Ag classes (this is the only way to be a part of the FFA) and sports. This is how I feel about our experiences. (I think 😉 )

 

Pros:

They stay in contact with friends they’ve had since childhood.

They are involved in a band

They are involved in FFA

They get to play organized high school sports

I still get the majority of their time- I get to parent. I get to share my values and ideas with them. I get to structure what they learn.

I get to structure what they learn (again, I know- hang on) because I don’t feel railroaded or confined by the choices made by the public school- I always feel able to pull them out or change what is going on for my kid. I am not intimidated by them! (and neither are my children- more on that) It is always our choice to be there.

Opportunities opened up because they received school announcements: oldest was in plays, speech competitions, several attended field trips to local community college or (other things I can’t remember)

This one I could hardly believe! They asked my oldest to participate in the graduation ceremony with them and included her in the yearbook. They said she would be handed a participation award or something while the others got diplomas but she would be there when the area scholarships she applied for were handed out. She would be invited back for class reunions. (I truly can’t even decide how I feel about this! Does she even identify as a homeschooler? Does it matter?)

I got to see just how SLOW the learning system is. Let me explain. ‘What are you working on in ___  this week?” two weeks later, same questions…. me: “still?” I realize that I may worry about how much we are covering but we cover it faster most of the time. I don’t have to wait for others to catch up. I don’t have to catch up sick kids that have missed days. We are not working in a collective. When she has it, we can move to the next concept- public school classrooms have to wait until everyone in the class is more or less with them.

Confidence. This may just be a home school trait? This may have come from 4H and FFA- amazing leadership and development programs with which we’ve been involved? Not sure, but I’m amazed to watch the interactions with teachers. They are not intimidated by them. They recognize they have something to learn from them, respect and a want to do well in class and please them- but they have an interesting discernment I didn’t have in high school. They really recognize their teachers downfalls, and days the teachers go all hullabaloo – we all have those days and the kids truly shake it off as a day- even if it was directed at their class or them personally. It is neat to watch. We do have our issues arise- my kiddos are not perfect! They can come home more influenced with an idea than I think appropriate, or upset for ‘getting in trouble’ but most of the time I am impressed with the poise they have for their age. I call this a pro of enrolling them when truly I think it is a product of homeschooling- but I put it here because of how it impacts me! I get to see and talk through how they balance authority influences outside of home and church.

To the outside world- they have proven grades and proven integration. I get to put A’s on their transcripts that I didn’t give them! 🙂

This one is really all about ME. Their involvement in the public school has allowed many volunteer opportunities for me. FFA Alumni, working concession stands, sports and music boosters, helping with and instigating Ag Literacy programs,  being involved in and coaching with REC sports (this is not technically a school function. It’s community sports,  but takes place in and around the school, announcements and enrollments are done at school- truly the school is the center of our community here)

Cons: (this list is shorter but heavier)

Our schedule! We are not as free as other homeschoolers!! We have classes scheduled every day or band- every other day. We get to choose our schedule- but we are tied down to school days!! My high-schoolers drive themselves (we are close!) so my youngers and I are free to join in filed trips with our local homeschool group. I don’t feel bad about pulling them out of classes for something I want to do- but it is limited. This is a HUGE downfall.

They have a romantic idea of what it means to be enrolled in public school. They sleep in, drive in for class- see their friends, sit through 45 minutes of class and drive home. If they have homework- it is only for the one class. This is a regular discussion. Reminding them of what it would be like to get up, (arrive early for speech practice) stay an 8 hour day, can’t snack during the day, sports practice and then homework. They can reason it out- but it really is a different perspective.

Influences. This- to my way of thinking- is good and bad. Yes, they are exposed to more! BUT- we get to discuss it and learn from in in small snippets! They witness the drama- but they are not living it! They really seem to have an interesting perspective. They don’t seem so involved and influenced by it all- but they are definitely exposed to more than I wish. I do feel, they will experience it sometime. I am delaying it some until their minds mature, and I am able to handle it with them. This is a pro and a con.

And our calendar schedule. We schedule school according to the local school calendar. After all, they need to keep track of what days they need to show up for classes. This means that we run a thrity-six week schedule. (This is one of the reasons I schedule 4 day weeks– the numbers for our legal days work well here) We have to watch for school closing snow days- but we do not take snow days at home- we prefer sun days!

I don’t tell this story to encourage your involvement as a homeschooler with a local school district or to influence your choices.  I simply share my experiences as food for thought. I believe my own prejudices have been a stumbling block, yet clearly I can only be thankful for the blessings we have receive being open to unique options.

 

 

 

Planning for next year- How do I decide?

I can shop for curriculum endlessly! I can shop until I am overwhelmed. I need to balance enough with STOP! we can’t do EVERYTHING!

This is how I shake it all out:

It’s just a list of ideas! This is how I sort my ideas. It doesn’t mean we’ll do all of this, and it doesn’t mean we’ll use this but at this point- this is what I’m thinking. If I change my mind, I write it down. If I purchase it maybe I’ll circle it or color code it red. It’s just a visual. A map- where I can see holes!

choosing for next year1

Lots of things still need curriculum or book choices. Many need adjusting. I will normally go to my local homeschool conference with this in my pocket. I normally circle the things I’ve decide on (at least at that point) that I need to buy, or check off ones I already own.

This allows me to see what ideas I had, which curriculum I might be leaning toward, room to make notes and adjust, and room to see if I have TOO much. Planning a class and choosing a curriculum seems so much easier when I have a map. 🙂

My unofficial experience with Dyslexia, Dysgraphia**

I didn’t have a diagnosis. This is a judgement I made all on my own. I have no scientific backing. No professional help. However, I believe I made a difference in my child’s life with a simple solution. It just seems like an easy, not risk idea to try. You decide what is best for you.

I had a child that was always behind. We were making progress all the time though….then  I realized the summer before 5th grade just how behind she was.

She sold her 4H Steer at the fair. As part of the fair sale, she was to fill out a Thank You card to the folks that purchased him. I went with her. I knew this would be a difficult task for her. I was in for a surprise. It wasn’t hard. It was impossible. I tried to tell her ‘write something like this…’ she couldn’t do it. I tried to dictate to her exactly what to write. “Thank you” … “T-h-a-n-k-y-o-u” no go. The only way we found through this was to write it out exactly on one card and HELP her copy it onto the next card. (queue worried mom.  embarrassed homeschool mom! anyone else been here? Pray!)

I knew she had trouble reading. I knew she couldn’t copy down her math problems from her book- you know so that I wouldn’t have to buy another workbook for the next child? She could remember what I read to her. She could do the math- mostly- if she didn’t have to copy the problem first. She could do anything I put in her hands (she was GREAT help on the farm). She could cook- if I helped read the recipe.

I began doing research. I was terrified- I had a 5th grader that couldn’t write a thank you note – with help!

I read about Dyslexia and Dysgraphia. Many of the symptoms- this home diagnosis (all me!) seemed to fit my kid (okay so you get this part right? if you put symptoms and a guess into google you are likely to find something there to say ” yes, yes that is what you have. That is what is happening.” I don’t know how accurate any of this was!)  I read quite a bit on physical development and right brain-left brain. This particular kid was an early walker. like 10 months old early. I tested her physically- marching took some work. army crawl- tough stuff.  Have any of you read about these types of tests? She was failing most of them.

God has given ME this child. Whatever she needs I am able to provide her- right? I may feel unable to meet this needs of this child but thankfully the Lord knows better.

I read some more. Physical exercise often works to set up these brain pathways. She needs the right and left sides of the brain to talk to each other. She needs to use both sides of her body in harmony. Piano? Music- right brain, Reading music- left brain. Using right and left hands together. Could this possibly help? Could it? What are the drawbacks? She studies music which is supposed to stimulate the brain somehow anyway, right? She learns to play piano? She learns to read music? This seems worth a try. I did.

piano2

We had an amazing piano teacher. My older daughter was playing already- she is very musical. I explained that number one is playing because she is a musician. I explained why I wanted number three to play- that I am not concerned with how well she plays or how fast she learns- just to play. two hands. two sides of the brain.

I realized one day as I witnessed a piano lesson that this quiet (nearly silent) child of mine was talking to her piano teacher 1000 miles an hour! WOW! something is happening.

By the end of that year- I just kept plugging away with school more or less the same as always- but I realized suddenly I wasn’t struggling as much with her. She was completing more assignments without a battle.

I talked to piano teacher. She said that it had taken all year- but number three was able to play each and every key individually with one finger at a time. Wow. I didn’t know that was what we needed. We did.

piano 3

Piano. Ok, so maybe she didn’t/doesn’t have dyslexia. Maybe she didn’t/doesn’t have dysgraphia. I don’t know I did not seek a professional. Maybe she would have caught up because it was her time to blossom. Maybe. Maybe she just needed her own time. Maybe. Maybe she still needs more help than I know. I don’t know the answers, but I know that my kiddo learned to play piano AND development improved AND school improved. It just seems like a simple thing to try. It MIGHT work for more than just my kiddo- so I thought I’d offer the idea 😉

piano

** It is NOT my intention to willfully misunderstand dyslexia or dysgraphia. It is not my intention to marginalize any struggles with diagnosis or therapies. I call this my unofficial experience because it is that- nothing more than a mom researching on the internet with no training and no professional help. This is nothing more than my thoughts on my child.