Calligraphy is our first stop on our family learning fun express! My boys and I are excited to share how we chose this activity to learn together in our homeschool. Find out why we think it is a perfect addition to our homeschool adventures and how it helps us connect.
A little background…I am a self-acclaimed planning girl. I have embraced this hobby and benefited from creative “me” time, as well as the boost of organization for our family. As I enjoy my planning experiences, I want to add to the ways that I can express myself in my planners.
Hand lettering was added to my “things to learn” list. I am mesmerized at the examples of different hand lettering examples. Despite the lengthy cursive writing assignments by my second grade teacher (and when I say lengthy, I mean I developed a callus on my middle right finger!), I never quite got the knack of writing in a pretty fashion. I have been told that I should have been a doctor with my signature (not to offend any doctors out there…).
I signed up for a few free online hand lettering courses. I got some supplies and was eager to remedy my sorry penmanship. And I bet you can guess what happened? Life got busy and I never got around to it.
I told myself that I would tackle this to-do list item over the summer. I would have “plenty of time” (I know, I know-how foolish of me to even utter those words!) to learn, nay master the art of hand lettering.
I did not pick up a pen or marker or pencil once for hand lettering. Not once.
As it so often happens with time, it flew. I turned our monthly calendar page and stared bewilderedly at August. How did that happen?
I gave myself a kick in the pants. Why didn’t I make time for this activity? What made me keep putting it on the back burner?
The Case For Calligraphy
After a bit of self-reflection, I pondered what to do. I was in the middle of planning our upcoming homeschool year. The “aha” light bulb went off. Why not incorporate some form of hand lettering into our homeschool routine? Popping out of my desk chair, I quickly gathered my boys in a huddle. (You huddle up your kids, right? That’s just not the ex-soccer player in me, is it?)
“Boys! I’ve got an idea.” (A few moans and groans-what has mom got up her sleeve now? Chores? Yard work?) “What do you think about adding calligraphy to our homeschool this year?”
After a moment of stunned silence, the sounds of exuberant cheers rang around our blue couch room (you know, the one with the blue couch). My older two started the celebration and the younger three joined in (later admitting that they had no idea why everyone was so happy but didn’t want to feel left out).
My boys love adding extras to our homeschool. We had several conversations over the summer about keeping homeschool simple this year. Reduce stress, focus on the basics, and allow time to explore interests. They were surprised with my suggestion-but happy to grant their permission on this one.
Affordable & Fun: Calligraphy Materials
Not one to let grass grow under my feet, I started researching what we would need to begin our calligraphy learning adventures. I feared that calligraphy pens would be expensive but was pleasantly surprised to find quality ones at good prices. (Of course, there are fountain pens and fancier versions but we have not reached that point in our calligraphy studies-yet!)
I found calligraphy pens with different colors. I thought that colors would add to our learning fun. We have been using these calligraphy pens with great success: (for more information on each, click on image)
We also have a set of silver and gold calligraphy pens. After a bit more practice, the boys and I plan to use these on navy or black card stock for Star Wars and other sci-fi quotes.
To guide us on our calligraphy learning adventures, I found this book, Hand lettering:
This book is an invaluable resource! Not only does it cover proper calligraphy techniques, it also goes into the history of calligraphy and why certain styles developed. We were fascinated to learn more about this art. My history buff, Professor, found this part of our calligraphy time particularly interesting.
I was glad to learn that regular printer paper is find for learning and practicing calligraphy. I did not want to invest in expensive papers and was relieved with this discovery.
And that’s it! Calligraphy pens, paper, and a book! Away we go on our calligraphy learning fun!
Why We Love Learning Calligraphy Together
Calligraphy time has become a highly anticipated weekly event. The boys and I independently practice throughout the week but come together every Friday afternoon for a new or review lesson. It has been relaxing to clear off our work areas and practice our new skills together.
Captain (13), Professor (11), and Smiley (7) have actively participated in our lessons. Bear (5) and Xman (2) observe and use this time to color or doodle.
All of us have learned to cultivate patience and cooperation. Calligraphy may look easy but we have learned that it takes practice and more practice! The boys and I encourage each other to not give up and keep at it. Empathy has also been nurtured for both kids and adult.
It has helped the boys to see mom struggling with learning how to do a certain stroke. They witness me taking a calming breath when I get frustrated with not being able to configure my letters the way that I would like. They hear me laugh at myself when I make a mistake or perform a stroke in the wrong direction.[bctt tweet=”Learn With Your Kids: Calligraphy Fun With Your Family #ihsnet #homeschool” username=”busyboysbrigdade”]
Calligraphy has helped me remember what it is like to learn a new skill. It has been hard enough to learn basic strokes. Professor is left-handed so I am also trying to demonstrate how to hold a pen, tilt paper, and do strokes. These challenges have reminded me of what it might be like for my boys as they strive to learn new concepts in our homeschool. It has been an eye-opener that translates into greater sympathy from mom and extra attempts at adaptions when necessary.
The boys and I love comparing our calligraphy work, as well as our progress. We are working on giving constructive critiques (not an easy skill to teach!). Personally, I love hearing my boys give praise to each others’ work and lifting each other up.
I will update with our calligraphy progress over on Instagram and Facebook. Already looking forward to sharing our next post on how to learn with your kids!
Have you tried calligraphy or other form of hand lettering in your homeschool?
What types of activities have you found to be fun to learn with your kids?