Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I just finished an inspiring read for all homeschoolers and educators, A Call to Brilliance by Resa Stiendel Brown. It explains how all children are brilliant. As educators we are to find their passions and help them develop them in whatever form they may be.
Here is how we were able to apply the principles of our book for today's lesson.
Kate's assignment was to read "Pandora's Box." Our usual routine after reading a story is to discuss it and then Kate will write a book report in her school journal. Using a book report formula she will write the title and author, then the plot, setting, characters. The 3rd part is where she gives her opinion, what she liked, how she could apply it to her life, etc.
One example Ms. Brown gives in her book is when her daughter did a book report in college. Instead of the usual writing sample, she used her passion for art to paint her own interpretation of the book on a huge lifesize canvas. Everyone was astounded!
Kate's first impulse, after reading, Pandora's box was to start drawing Pandora's box. She sketched a picture of a fancy treasure box and a tiny beautiful fairy with wings--her interpretation of Hope. On the opposite page she drew a myriad of frightening looking creatures: spiders, snakes, 3-headed monsters, as her interpretation of the troubles of the world.
It was wonderfully creative. Why should we limit ourselves to writing only??
So, I told Kate from now on she could choose 2 of the following ways to report on a book:
MAKING UP A SONG on the piano or singing
....there is no limit to the creative ways our kids could express their brilliance.

Kate chose DANCE for her 2nd way to tell about Pandora's Box. She chose a song from our iPod, Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake Allegro non Troppo. Then she played it for me and danced away. I even joined her the 2nd time. The music went perfectly with the story! We started out all happy and perfect like Pandora's life. Then the music gets slower and more curious as Pandora explores the forbidden box and makes several attempts to open it. Her curiousity gets the best of her and she finally opens the box. The music turns slow and melancholy as Pandora laments the troubles and evils of the world she has let out. Then just at the end a violin trills a hopeful tune as Pandora hears the voice of Hope whispering, "let me out! I can help you! "The violin continues to trill as Hope's wings emerge out of the box and bring comfort to the whole world.
How fun this was!
I can see that we are going to have a lot more brilliant book reports to look forward to!