Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Yale University Art Gallery

I am so grateful for the homeschooling parents who spend a great deal of time and emotional energy coordinating classes that are open to the homeschooling community.   

Grace and Lilah participate in art appreciation classes held at Yale University Art Gallery, home to some amazing pieces and collections.  Led by docents who are art students at Yale’s School of Art, they explore a room/gallery a month.  They missed the first tour, but attended the second, which was held in the African Art gallery.  

There were a wide range of ages in this group but enough teens to make the girls feel comfortable and the teaching truly appealed to all age groups, even the adults.  I hung back from this group, not to be anti-social, but because I want my girls to be independent in their studies.  They would both be in high school if they attended traditional school and I most certainly would not be following them around all day!

I believe that parents should not be present in the classes offered to teens, no matter how appealing the class or the subject is to us.  Often parents have a way of hijacking a class or a lesson, asking questions and interjecting with commentary which makes the children question whose class it really is.  When this happens, the students shut down because who really wants to compete for attention with a parent?  Thankfully this did not happen in this group but still, I hung back and let the girls take the lead.

They had time to really inspect art.  The drew a piece that they choose and then they drew a piece that their partner chose for them.  They were not allowed to look at the piece but could only draw according to the directions given to them by their partner.  They did surprisingly well.  

Our next tour will focus on European Art.  I’m eager to see how this may tie into our history studies....


Theresa B said...

I so agree with you about parents not being part of classes that teens take. That is our one big issue with e-cubed (the teen-led group the girls are part of on Wednesdays). A lot of parents drive a great distance and hang out there (I take advantage of a nearby Wegman's, Whole Foods and Trader Joes, and sometimes Hobby Lobby, a nice mall for holiday shopping, etc.) The teens usually meet in a large room and the moms all park themselves on a circle of couches in the corner of the room and "observe" the class. Many of the parents are respectful and knit or work on their computers, but there are some who think nothing of interjecting and getting involved in the discussion. This makes my girls very uncomfortable. Allie and a friend ran the book club this year and decided to hold that activity in another room, away from the moms and found that there was A LOT MORE teen participation. In our year-end reviews, my girls and I all separately suggested ALL classes be run in the other room OR the parents hang out in one of the many other areas of the building. But I was told by the girls that the moms in the corner laughed at the suggestion and several interjected how they want to know EVERYTHING their kid does. I have to pick my battles ;-)

LJS said...

On one hand, I get it. One of the big sells of homeschooling is "learning alongside your child" and for most of us, our children are learning things that we never had the opportunity to in traditional school. Up to a point, I think it is fine to tag along. We all loved learning together when we did nature hikes and kept a botany journal or when we learned about Monet and went to his Water Lilly exhibit in Hartford. But there comes a time when you, as a parent, have to separate and let the learning happen without you. Perhaps some may disagree but it is so frustrating to be in a class and have question after question asked by a parent. Or have personal commentary interjected. This class lends itself to group participation but even still....when questions were asked, the kids were silent and a mom chimed in. If the parents weren't there I think the kids would have talked more. This was the first "quiet" group of homeschoolers I have ever encountered!

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