After a wonderful summer of travel, we are back home finding ourselves adjusting to the back-to-school routine.  When I last wrote an entry the kids and I were spending time learning about art.  We took time to learn about Renaissance artists form Florence, Impressionist, Post-Impressionists and Modern art in preparation for our trip to Europe.  I plan to write a series of a posts about the art work we looked at and the art materials we used to create our own art pieces later this month.

Piet Mondrian at the Centre Pompidou
Looking at Modern Art

     It is back-to-school season and this time of year can be bittersweet.  On the one hand, kids and parents are ready for a return to routines and early bedtimes.  On the hand, as my kids get older, I see there are fewer “first-day-of-school” days left.  I remind myself that school days and having kids at home is only temporary; only a stage in life.  It gets busy, and stressful.  Sometimes, I get flustered when the kids’ activities and school events  fill up the calendar.  On a busy day, I long for the slow carefree days of summer, especially for the ones we spent outside.

Family Hike
Mountain Trail in the Swiss Alps

      This school year, I am making a conscious effort to slow down.  I want to drive slowly, take time to make healthy meals, and be present when my kids are talking to me.  I do a better job of slowing down when I have set time aside for myself.  When I exercise and take time to make something I feel more relaxed.

Sketching and Watercoloring
Learning to sketch and draw.

The art explorations I did with the kids this summer sparked an interest in learning to do nature drawings.  I started a simple art journal this summer.  I make time to draw in the evenings after dinner and during the weekend.  The kids often sit at the table with me and do their own activity. Our dining room turned creative space continues to be a favorite place to spend time together.

Microscope Observations
Deyrolle Coloring Book, Vintage Microscope, Lakeshore Learning Slides

In my next post I will write about the art lessons, resources and materials we used to learn about art history and how the kids responded to the art they saw during our trip.

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Maria Arana

Hi, I am Maria, a mom to three wonderful kiddos. My family and I live in Phoenix, Arizona. We love the beauty of the desert southwest. I am a former primary teacher and elementary math coach. I love to encourage my children to follow their interests and passions. At Guided Learning Studio, I offer private personalized lessons and enrichment classes. Tutoring services are best for families seeking long-term educational support over a semester or school-year.

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