Crafts and Learning

Well, it's been a while since I talked about the art and learning we've been doing this semester, so I thought it was time for an update!

First of all, I somehow miraculously convinced M's teacher to let her read during naptime. This is her third year in this school and I can probably count on one hand the number of times she's actually fallen asleep during naptime (unlike her sister, who seems to have no problem...). So she's always just laid there for TWO HOURS doing nothing EVERY SINGLE DAY. Obviously, no one thinks this is a good idea. Except her teacher, who is responsible for watching 50 other kids nap at the same time.
But anyway, I convinced the teacher to let her read. And it has been life-changing! M's reading ability easily jumped a grade level since then. Which makes sense, because she's spending close to two hours every day reading. Now, she wants to read all the time and she says reading is her favorite activity. So that's been awesome!
I'm also finally getting a feel for the level of art project we can handle, which has made our projects much more enjoyable. It's a lot less fun to do art with kids when you spend the whole time helping them with theirs. So we've had a few good ones recently, like our most recent sugar cube step pyramid from above. This weekend I'm hoping to do a turkey drawing that you paint with instant coffee... we'll see how that turns out.
Their school has also had a massive policy change this year: no more teaching. Yeah, you read that right, no teaching. Apparently someone high up realized that you shouldn't make three-year-olds memorize ancient poetry, they should play instead. So after two years of M writing pages and pages of homework, now she has none. Or just a few minutes a night of "fun" stuff. By that I mean, whereas in the past she would've had to write an entire page of "5"s, now she would just have to color all the things that are in a set of 5. Which is great!
So, a side effect of that is that they're doing a lot more craft projects at school. And whenever the teacher feels like it'd be too hard to manage 50 kids doing a craft, it becomes homework. There are pros and cons to this strategy. But at any rate, the kids are enjoying it! So we've had a lot of chances to do art together lately, which has been really fun.