Just to tempt you all a bit, here is a sample post I have recently posted on the locals group, ready for comment and discussion! I am currently teaching a small group of 6th graders and have been sharing my observations and experiences. Here is an example:
You might have read my posts about the 6th graders I am teaching--thought I'd now share a few thoughts about developing children's artistic work.
As you all know, in W education, we use beautiful bound unlined books--main lesson books--for the children from first gr thru twelfth gr. Their best work--copied written work, later original work, drawings, designs, lab reports, poetry--all goes into these books.
By about 4th gr I suggest that one sometimes mixes it up a bit and does not use the standard MLB. In the Christopherus curric I give details. This helps the child stay fresh with her work , develop an artistic eye and also helps her learn flexibility--what is the best way to encapsulate the work I am doing right now? In 4th gr that question lives with the parent-teacher and is shared with his child--by the time of about 8th gr, the child should be able to ask that question himself and discuss it with his teacher.
Back to my current students....in the first few grades, it is fine to do 'writing this side, picture this side' in the MLB. But sometime around gr 5 or 6, the children need to see that there are other ways to do their work: small picture on the bottom or several pictures sprinkled throughout the text; 2-page spread with text; and so on.
At home, we will often use beautiful books for the children to copy--don't do this when they are too young. By the time they are 11 or 12 they have enough art work 'under their belt' and are self aware enough to have a bit of distance from what they copy so as to not get overwhelmed by 'real' artistic work (as opposed to mom's best efforts).