Our homes represent more than our financial assets; they have a deep and unique emotional meaning. Our earliest memories of home are often connected to our childhood. Layers of love (our 2nd mailing project with Mexico) helped us to cogitate about our homes, inside and outside. It was not a mere art experience that just involved paper, oil pastels and paint to enhance creativity but a reflective process that helped children to share their perspectives through illustration of what home meant to each one.
Personally, contemplating about my home gave me flash backs of both my wonderful and unpleasant experiences during my childhood days. I remember the time when my Dad discarded a wardrobe and placed it outside my house to be hurled out. My friend (my neighbour) of my age, used to join me to play in that wardrobe. We used to hide inside and pretend that it was our home. There was a discarded table outside too and we used to smuggle food from home (scramble eggs in a bowl), sit outdoors and party there. It was so fun. I was about three at that time and my memory is still vivid. I felt sad when I had to move out when I was four but there was a tinge of excitement of how my new house was going to be.
I believe that you have memories to share too. These memories might help us to understand our children better.
At school, the moment we handed the photographs( of the homes) to the children, they got excited and started chatting with each other. It was spontaneous sharing amongst them (between friends) and 'meeting time' became obsolete.
When we finally settled down for discussion after about ten minutes, all the children had something to say about their home and they couldn't wait for their turns. Adu said that he might forget if he doesn't say it now.
Actually this is true. I realised that children are just like us...or at least i could reflect my teachers' meeting where sometimes I would be bubbling with ideas and just can't wait to relate my opinion.
Children were able to describe their homes in various ways E.glevel 1, fifth storey , tall building, high etc. A child reflected about a time where she cried at home ( a sad memory). Another reflected about what happened to her vase of roses when the water became dirty. Others related about how special their homes were.
Drawing about homes aided at sharpening observation skills of children. Many wished that their homes were colourful and made colourful illustrations with the oil pastels. Getting down to our children's level( height) while taking the photographs might have given us a view that might be familiar to children. A child couldn't recognise her home (from exterior) as she had not seen her home from the angle which her parent took the photograph from. It made me realise that children observe things from their level (physical, emotional or/and social) which may differ from our perception.
Anyway, we have finished our art project and sent them to Mexico. So what is next? Let's look onto the homes in other parts of the world. How are they different from ours and how similar are they? Is our environment changing constantly? Are there reconstructions going on?
Ms Senthamarai (Rachel)
Nursery 2A Core-Teacher
EtonHouse Bilingual Pre-school