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post #21 of 72
My feeling is that this particular art class probably isn't a good fit for your family. The teacher's approach doesn't mesh with your style, and her goals don't mesh with your goals. That's aside from any anti-homeschooling feelings she may have.

I think it's totally reasonable for a teacher to correct a child's grip or hand position, if the child is there for technique instruction. It sounds like you and the teacher disagree about the purpose of the class -- you think it's "for fun" and she thinks it's "for instruction".

I also think it's reasonable for a teacher to expect the students to follow directions -- to use particular materials, or to produce a result that's a particular size, or whatever. Whether that's a class you want your child exposed to is a whole different matter, of course!

It's not really the teacher's fault that her idea about what the class is about is different from your idea. I do think it's probably worth talking to her, to see if there's a way to make the class work better for your daughter.
post #22 of 72
I don't think it's unreasonable to kindly suggest the "right" way to hold a pencil or brush. My dad did that with my 3.5 yo and he held his pen "right" for a little while with no ill effects, then went back to his old heavy fisted way. My son also takes skating and swimming lessons, and there are some things presented that he physically can't do yet, but when he tries and doesn't get it, it's no big deal, they just move on.

I think the problem comes when there's pressure to do it "right" and the child is made to feel like a failure. And maybe, instead of "right", it should be presented as a "better" way, or a "more effective" way, or a friendly challenge, or something like that.

And obviously, the woman sounds hostile and pushy about homeschooling. That seems like her real hang-up. I'd get out of there and find a better class.
post #23 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by momtokea View Post
I would find an art class offered by a real artist, not a kindergarten teacher. A real artist knows that art cannot be done 'wrong' and would encourage creativity and individuality in art work, not conformity.

There is no correct way to hold a paintbrush. It can be held in different ways depending on the brush strokes you are trying to make.
I would be very tempted to make a snarky comment like "I thought this was an art class, not a writing class or a 'learn to follow directions' class."

I'm concerned that your dd is feeling bad and starting to hate writing. I would say stick it out to the end if your dd enjoys it, but it seems this teacher is causing damage to your dd, so I'd take her out.

It would be ideal if you could find an art class specifically for homeschoolers taught by a real artist.
ITA with this.
post #24 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoebemommy View Post

I think the problem comes when there's pressure to do it "right" and the child is made to feel like a failure.
in total agreement. i would totally expect a teacher to show my 5 year old how to do something correctly in regard to art lessons. but with a child so young, expectations regarding how correctly they actually follow technique & instruction just seems like the wrong thing to pour energy into (especially to talk to the parent about). at this point, i would want a teacher to focus more-so on fostering a love for painting & getting my child's creative juices flowing.
post #25 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by TortelliniMama View Post
Just for balance, I thought I'd mention that my ds took an art class with a teacher who drove me crazy with her over-directiveness and focus on the kids doing art the "right" way, and this was a homeschool group class, and the teacher was a hs'ing mom. So it's possible that your dd's teacher's dislike of hs'ing could be unrelated to her teaching style. That wouldn't change my opinion of the class or my decision to not continue/not reenroll, though.
This is why we don't do art classes. The art teachers are very focused on doing things the "correct" way even with kids as young as 2 and a half. It is not a fun experience. I don't think art is something that can be taught so I tend to just keep a well stocked art shelf and let dd explore her creative side on her own. If she needs help getting something to cooperate then I will help her by holding it or showing her how I might do it, otherwise I don't interfere.
post #26 of 72
I can see why you're bothered, but I don't think I'd worry about it much so long as your daughter is having a good time.

Holding writing implements correctly is a big part of PS kindy - for better or worse - so it's possible that she was just trying to be helpful. She may be a bit controlling - which is annoying - but if your daughter isn't too bothered by it, then I'd try to let it go.

It's also a bit troubling that she's asking your daughter questions about what she's doing with homeschooling. The teacher might just be curious - if she doesn't know much about HS, she's may be wondering how it's done. If this is the case, it would clearly be more appropriate if she asked YOU about it, but sometimes, people are silly! She might even be looking for new ideas - I have a good friend who teaches kindy and learned about handwriting without tears from a homeschooled child in the public library, and now she uses some of their stuff in her classroom.
post #27 of 72
I think how much it bothers me would depend on how upset it made my child feel. I don't think that suggesting a child hold a pencil/etc the *right* way is necessarily wrong; I make the same suggestions with my sons. But I think that to focus on it to the point where the child is feeling bad about herself or uncomfortable, as your dd seems to, is not good for her at all. A good teacher I think would know when to back off and let the child absorb what was said.

And the bit about her picture being too big is just insane. Its art...
post #28 of 72
Oh my gosh, who cares how a five year old holds a paint brush?

I think your gut is probably right that this teacher is singling you out because she has a chip against homeschooling.

How long is the class? If it's only a few more weeks I'd probably grin and bear it, but if it's a long term thing then you may have to lock a horn with her and address this issue by saying that you feel you/your daughter are being treated differently because you're hsers.

Grrr. At five why does she even care if she's in school at all? The legal age in most states is six or seven . . . Lots of families take that extra year before signing up for kindy anyway.

**eta maybe you could start talking about how you've been studying Jackson Pollock in your "homeschool" art study, and hmmm isn't it ironic that in all those videos you never see him demonstrating a wrong or right way to hold the brush? or even use a brush (hello, cigarettes and other debris in the paintings, in the MOMA)? or the "right size" of an art piece. As an artist and a homeschooler, your post has me a little fired up! There is no right way to hold a paint brush! Maybe you could loan her a JP video and that might loosen her up a little. Ugh. If I lived near you, I'd totally organize an hs-ers weekly art day for FUN and CREATIVITY, and we'd be just as loose and big and spontaneous as old Pollock himself! And he is just one example.

Maybe you could just say, I'm not concerned with how she holds the brush, I'm concerned with her having fun and enjoying the creative process; please don't worry yourself about her technique; she's only five.**
post #29 of 72
As a mom that has a child that had fine motor skill issues I feel you are absolutely wrong about the paint brush hold. There is not one correct way but there is functional and nonfunctional. One skill builds on another. If this teacher is use to teaching the age group, she knows this.

We were around early ed and k-1 teachers. My son would have been better served if someone would have "correct" his hold. If someone would have bother to correct him (gently) they might have noticed he did not cross the mid-line, either. But instead he spent years developing all the wrong muscles and nonfunctional grips. The way he was compensating was tedious and unpleasant. If it wasn't for intervention he would have grown to hate drawing more -- something he like. His abilities would have been hampered by a physical disability. His one year of K and instilled a non-functional hold that took about 2.5 years to fix.

Majority of 5 year olds have functional grasp. The ones that don't need to be aided and gently corrected. That is were I would look further, how is she being correct. Is it gentle. Is there gentle ways to reinforce better holds at home? Is it gentle but your dd being self conscious? If she is behind that can be more of the issue -- and you want to work on your dd confidence and help her understand people are good at different things. Sometimes when you love something you have to work harder to do it. I am thinking of runners with no legs---seriously they don't quit. It is harder for them than a 2 legged person.

If the kids are older why not explain to your daughter that the older kids know more, by the nature of being older. Like she know more than a 3 year old. They don't need that instruction
post #30 of 72
I'm also having a problem with the "no right way to hold a writing/painting utensil" mindset.

1. You hired this woman to teach. She's teaching. Part of teaching is correction.

2. Bad habits begun early stay with us for a LONG time. I have a freind whose first child is a left-hander. Because my friend didn't know the importance of lefty scissors, her own child (now a teen) has issues with following a line (sewing, cutting, tracing). Had *anyone* informed her of the issues, she'd have done things differently. Because my 6yo is a lefty, I've benefitted, and so has he, from the knowledge my friend gained through trial and error.

3. I think that if your child's teacher is giving instruction and you take exception to that, and want your child "just to have fun," then your child has no place in a teaching environment. She's not going to learn because you won't support her own education.
post #31 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by craft_media_hero View Post

**eta maybe you could start talking about how you've been studying Jackson Pollock in your "homeschool" art study, and hmmm isn't it ironic that in all those videos you never see him demonstrating a wrong or right way to hold the brush? or even use a brush (hello, cigarettes and other debris in the paintings, in the MOMA)? or the "right size" of an art piece. As an artist and a homeschooler, your post has me a little fired up! There is no right way to hold a paint brush! Maybe you could loan her a JP video and that might loosen her up a little. Ugh. If I lived near you, I'd totally organize an hs-ers weekly art day for FUN and CREATIVITY, and we'd be just as loose and big and spontaneous as old Pollock himself! And he is just one example.
Using Jackson Pollock as an example is just...well, not illuminating. He died in his 40's because he drank himself into a car wreck. Plus, he didn't paint so much as he threw paint at a canvas. Whether you like his artwork or not is immaterial.
post #32 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post
As a mom that has a child that had fine motor skill issues I feel you are absolutely wrong about the paint brush hold. There is not one correct way but there is functional and nonfunctional. One skill builds on another. If this teacher is use to teaching the age group, she knows this.

Majority of 5 year olds have functional grasp. The ones that don't need to be aided and gently corrected. That is were I would look further, how is she being correct. Is it gentle. Is there gentle ways to reinforce better holds at home? Is it gentle but your dd being self conscious? If she is behind that can be more of the issue -- and you want to work on your dd confidence and help her understand people are good at different things. Sometimes when you love something you have to work harder to do it. I am thinking of runners with no legs---seriously they don't quit. It is harder for them than a 2 legged person.

If the kids are older why not explain to your daughter that the older kids know more, by the nature of being older. Like she know more than a 3 year old. They don't need that instruction

I agree with this. Honestly, I can't tell from your post whether the teacher actually has issues with homeschooling or whether you went into the class thinking that she would have issues and you are feeling guarded and reading things with that lens, so to speak. You said that you told her from day 1 that you homeschool and so your dd might do things differently. Were you expecting to have problems? Then again, the teacher said it's just fun, and then is hung up on the size of the drawing. You could be right, she could be biased and nosy. It's just hard to tell from the info given. Was your dd defiant? Did she understand and ignore the directions or was she trying to do what the teacher wanted and her drawing turned out bigger than she wanted? Correcting a child for holding a pencil wrong could be a good thing if done correctly or it could be mean and unnecessary. So, if you have looked at the situation and you really feel she is biased, I'd keep an eye on things. I'd let it go at this point, but maybe mention that your dd feels self-conscious about being corrected in front of others. Could she please correct her quietly and one-on-one?

I'm a homeschooling mom, but a former K teacher, and I never corrected the kids who rested the pencil on the ring finger with 2 fingers pressing against the pencil, opposite of the thumb because that works. Of course recently, I hear this is being taught as an alternative right way to do it. It's how I do it, and that's what I'd tell my students. I'd say that some people say you have to use 2 fingers and a thumb, but I like 3 fingers and a thumb. Many people say that the other way is easier, but you have to pick what works for you. Now if they are using the fisted grip that most toddlers use, I;d sit with them and show them the "right" way and explain why I was teaching them that. So I guess what I am wondering is if she is correcting a grip that is just putting that extra finger up with her pointer or if she is doing something completely different.


Personally, I tend to like my way of doing things and I can be tolerant of other teaching methods to a point as long as my dd is happy. I bit my tongue a lot when I had my dd in public pre-K because she was happy. Now public K was a different situation, and I pulled her out. It's a tough dance to dance, trying to balance it out.
post #33 of 72
Did she have your daughter try one of the 3 "right" ways to hold a pencil currently acknowledged by modern educational trends? or just the way the teacher happens to prefer, herself?

That's rhetorical, of course. Anyone that spouts off about "right way" on most things clearly has more control issues than knowledge on the given subject. As was mentioned above, there is no "right way". There is "functional." If she's writing with clarity and speed, she's writing the "right way."

I wouldn't assume she's picking on your kid because of homeschooling though. The kind of people that do that tend to find SOME reason to pick on anyone they have authority over. That said, I'd pull my kid out and make it VERY clear to her superiors why I did so. This teacher's control issues are clearly detrimental to your child, if her studies are suffering from the interference. On a side note, you might want to put some focus into working with your LO on standing up for herself and self esteem. An uninformed busy body should make her frustrated or angry even, but it's not healthy for her to allow herself to be victimized by this woman. Even if she doesn't have the nerve to stand up to the teacher to her face...It's significant that she's doing something that clearly doesn't work when the teacher isn't even there to bully her about it.

I'd be totally PO'd about this situation, too. It's just completely unacceptable for a full grown adult (especially one in a position of authority) to take out their insecurities on a 5yr old (especially by publicly demeaning/humiliating her).
post #34 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by spruce View Post
Using Jackson Pollock as an example is just...well, not illuminating. He died in his 40's because he drank himself into a car wreck. Plus, he didn't paint so much as he threw paint at a canvas. Whether you like his artwork or not is immaterial.
GASP!


My point was that there are a ton of artists who don't hold the paint brush "the right way". JP was just the first who came to mind.

The fact that he wasn't the best role model (drinking and smoking and dying young, etc.) is immaterial. Public schools include him in their arts appreciation programs all the time--he is a much appreciated artist, acknowledged even by ps kindy teachers.

But what hurts is that you said he didn't paint.

Doesn't matter to me if you like his work or not---I didn't like it when I first encountered it, but I've come to appreciate the massive contributions he made in paving the way for artists who came after. In that way he was like The Beatles . . . whether you like his work or not, he had a major impact, via his very unique method of holding a paint brush and PAINTING.

I don't think that a short forum post here can really fully explain why Jackson Pollock is a great example of how "the right way" of doing something isn't always "the right way", specifically relating to art, the visual arts, and painting. But trust me, he is.
post #35 of 72
you have already received some great advice here....

i just wanted to mention a book that my son got from the library last week...

http://www.amazon.com/Willow-Picture...8797716&sr=8-6
post #36 of 72
I just wanted to add that, concerning how pps are insisting that there is a "right" or "functional" way of holding a paint brush or pencil, you all are right about that when it comes to writing and properly forming letters, yes. A child does need to know how to hold a pencil in order to effectively write letters on paper.

BUT. If you take a professional drawing or painting class, your professor (if they are good) will specifically teach you methods to break the habit of only holding your drawing utensil in the one "functional pencil grip". If you think about it, it can be quite crampy and limiting if your paper/canvas is not on a flat surface, hurting your wrist, etc.

I've had at least three professors in three different art classes independently encourage the students to use a wand grip or the whatever-you'd-call-it, scribble grip, or even taping your chalk to the end of a very long stick. Or even, gasp, like Jackson Pollock, dripping or using motion to apply materials. It all depends on what you want to happen in your art.

I really do think that a child can be capable of using a functional pencil grip for writing and then naturally adjusting their grip during drawing or painting in order to take a different approach. I don't think that there's anything wrong with this or that it's going to ruin your child's hand for writing. A child is capable of learning two different skill sets to apply to two different situations.

That's JMO. FWIW, my opinion is worth the time, effort, $, and study that have gone into two degrees in art (studio and art history) and some experience professionally teaching others. That's not to say that I know everything, but just that I may have a vested interest in art (as well as homeschooling) and feel pretty strong in my footing on at least this one particular subject.
post #37 of 72
craft,

That might be true for some kids. Most other kids a non-functional hold means that is something going on. It could be minor or major.

It is a symptom of a bigger issue. My son couldn't hold a crayon, pen, paint brush, et in a functional grip. This was a symptom of dysgraphia and dyslexia. I was completely ignorant of the situation until I pulled my son out of school. Yes, I had flash backs to play groups and times when it was obvious that something was not quit right.

It is great you have those degrees in ART but you do not have degree, related training, or a parent that has been there to realize this holding the brush correctly isn't just about art. It is a developmental mark that at 5 she should most likely have. How much fun will art be if her fine motor skills won't let her do what she wants? If she doesn't have these skills mom and teachers need to be giving them to her.

Early art programs are not just about creating art but developing and practicing other skills: fine motor, colors, texture exploring.

In this link it shows 2 ways to hold the brush..http://painting.about.com/od/paintin...ngBrush.htm.in you take the first picture and you really can add several other functional grips but if a 5 year olds grip is more like the second (entire arm movement) there is an issue. She doesn't have mine motor skills and needs to be urged to use them.

The over sized reproduction is also a sign that something isn't quit right. OP dd does not have the fine motor skills or possibly the eye sight (could be normal developmental) that facilitates her ability.

This teacher might not be correcting a problem in the right way. We do not know what exactly she is doing. Kids can be very self conscious. Her dd can see that she cannot do as well, and that she is getting "extra" help. The teacher can be doing everything right just the child is self conscious about it. My HOH child was embarrassed by early ed/speech teacher's/adults getting her attention by touching her, she was very aware that none of the other kids got the same treatment. Even though the adults were being discrete...she did learn to watch for the cues to change activities, but it was part of a "process" that was different from others.

Her child might not have disgraphia, she could be just a little behind developmentally. But these things the teacher is doing are pointing that things need to be investigated, and fine motor skill need to be works. Arts/crafts are often done to build up these skills. I wouldn't down this teacher see's something but not with the child enough to really know. I see something in the painting size and "non" functional hold because I have BTDT with my child.

Somethings kids do not grow out of, or waiting longer only makes it harder to change. If someone would have noticed, If I had known. We could have corrected and worked on things without my son feeling like a failure because he wasn't like other kids.
post #38 of 72
http://www.dys-add.com/symptoms.html#preschool

The teach also mention not following instructions. It could be that the child CAN'T sequence the instructions right. Again a possible sign that something might not be "right" or needs extra work.

http://learningdisabilities.about.co...otorskills.htm
post #39 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by craft_media_hero View Post
As an artist and a homeschooler, your post has me a little fired up! There is no right way to hold a paint brush!
Same here. I've held paint brushes all sorts of ways. There is no right way. I'm finding that I'm even holding my writing pen quite differently now from the traditional way I was taught and grew up holding it, and I have a lot better control of my writing now. Lillian
post #40 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post
craft,

That might be true for some kids. Most other kids a non-functional hold means that is something going on. It could be minor or major.

It is a symptom of a bigger issue. My son couldn't hold a crayon, pen, paint brush, et in a functional grip. This was a symptom of dysgraphia and dyslexia. I was completely ignorant of the situation until I pulled my son out of school. Yes, I had flash backs to play groups and times when it was obvious that something was not quit right.

It is great you have those degrees in ART but you do not have degree, related training, or a parent that has been there to realize this holding the brush correctly isn't just about art. It is a developmental mark that at 5 she should most likely have. How much fun will art be if her fine motor skills won't let her do what she wants? If she doesn't have these skills mom and teachers need to be giving them to her.

Early art programs are not just about creating art but developing and practicing other skills: fine motor, colors, texture exploring.

In this link it shows 2 ways to hold the brush..http://painting.about.com/od/paintin...ngBrush.htm.in you take the first picture and you really can add several other functional grips but if a 5 year olds grip is more like the second (entire arm movement) there is an issue. She doesn't have mine motor skills and needs to be urged to use them.

The over sized reproduction is also a sign that something isn't quit right. OP dd does not have the fine motor skills or possibly the eye sight (could be normal developmental) that facilitates her ability.

This teacher might not be correcting a problem in the right way. We do not know what exactly she is doing. Kids can be very self conscious. Her dd can see that she cannot do as well, and that she is getting "extra" help. The teacher can be doing everything right just the child is self conscious about it. My HOH child was embarrassed by early ed/speech teacher's/adults getting her attention by touching her, she was very aware that none of the other kids got the same treatment. Even though the adults were being discrete...she did learn to watch for the cues to change activities, but it was part of a "process" that was different from others.

Her child might not have disgraphia, she could be just a little behind developmentally. But these things the teacher is doing are pointing that things need to be investigated, and fine motor skill need to be works. Arts/crafts are often done to build up these skills. I wouldn't down this teacher see's something but not with the child enough to really know. I see something in the painting size and "non" functional hold because I have BTDT with my child.

Somethings kids do not grow out of, or waiting longer only makes it harder to change. If someone would have noticed, If I had known. We could have corrected and worked on things without my son feeling like a failure because he wasn't like other kids.
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