The first rule of Art Club is that there is no Art Club. Just kidding, it shouldn't be a secret- and so it shall be no longer- a secret, that is.
A few weeks ago, my almost 10 year old starting talking about wanting to do more art. She also wanted to see her friends more. With my pregnancy, adjusting after the move and Sugar Daddy still on the hunt for gainful employment our schedule has been erratic and she just wasn't getting consistent friend time.
So we conceived of a weekly Art Club where we could use the materials we have (many boxes of disorganized and mismatched arts & crafts supplies) and create works of art together with some friends. I wanted to do it at home for several reasons- mostly the types of project she was interested in, the fact that it is easier for me to keep up with my littles and still get some socializing in myself- and I'd read a post by one of my favorite homeschoolers about how she had game afternoons at her house with a small group during the early years of homeschooling.
Since if was G-pie's idea, I allowed her to choose 5 friends, feeling that 6 girls was the most that would fit comfortably in the garage space we dedicated to this endeavor. With their siblings and moms this turned out to be 18 people and our house is not large.
We never meant to be "exclusive" but we could not, of course, be totally inclusive- having met so many wonderful and enriching new friends. There are people who I have especially felt the sting of "leaving out" of this little learning cooperative, but as it has developed, I am cherishing what we have the opportunity to provide for our children- and am astounded at the unexpected rewards.
Tonight I accidentally created the next meeting as a public event on Facebook, so I am sure many of our homeschool friends saw it- a few of you have already inboxed me. I decided to turn to my blog - just last week this issue came up when one of my tender, loyal friends voiced her fears that we may cause hurt feelings in the community. I thought about it a lot and talked to G-pie and we decided it felt right to continue to provide this excellent atmosphere for a smaller group of kids and hope that our other friends will understand the need we are meeting, as we choose our path along the journey of alternative education.
To ALL of our friends, please know that we would have loved to be able to include everyone, but it just isn't feasible. I would be more than happy to talk with you if you would like to know more about how we set things up and how it might work for you to create something similar based on your children's interests.
We have decided as a group to have structured art lessons and then free "creative time" afterwards. Being a collective of creative spirits -we have already had our ups and downs, the kids and moms have all grown in our group discussion skills and are learning a lot about the dynamic of a group-led effort. I have so deeply appreciated that they all honor our original intent- to create art together.
My hope is to be able to blog about this experience, because I do see it as a special one as we continue, always learning, barefoot.
Love to you all- brightest blessings in this happy season.