Five Green Acres Mary Jo + Andrew Borchardt fivegreenacres@gmail.com Poynette, WI
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Painting the Guinea Way

Painting the Guinea Way
August 28, 2009 Mary Jo

Every single time we go to the library, Isadora heads to a particular shelf in the Childrens’ Non Fiction area, one that contains books on each of the 50 states.  I have no idea what draws her there.  We’ve checked out a couple, but each time confirmed my suspicion that they were too advanced for her attention span.  Or were they?  In one attempt to read the book on Philadelphia, I broke into an explanation of the feather quill that was pictured, about how people a long time ago used to write with them.  A seed was planted in that little brain, and recently she asked if she could try painting with one of the feathers discarded by our flock. Vinny the Guinea was first in line to donate for the cause.

The verdict?  Tedious.  Not quite fluid enough for this expressive artist – the quill end was rather useless to her, though painting with the feathered end seemed slightly more fulfilling.  It was a short-lived project; more likely a lesson in Modern Tool Appreciation than in Art Development.  But it was fun nonetheless and worth the effort.  I’d like to be the fly on the wall when, at some point, she shares her historical knowledge of the quill pen.  It’s all part of our special Prepare for Kindergarten Shock and Awe curriculum, where we fill her spongy brain with obscure knowledge and interesting tidbits for her to pull out later and impress her friends and teachers.  My mom seems to think this method of teaching will get us lots of phone calls from the teacher like, “Was she really quoting The Princess Bride?”  or “What is mullein?”  I only hope the teachers can keep up.

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