Matisse: Red Interior. Still Life on a Blue Table.

Henri Matisse, Red Interior. Still Life on a Blue Table, 1947
Henri Matisse, Red Interior. Still Life on a Blue Table, 1947

I’m going to relate my homeschooling attitude to this painting. It might be a stretch, but with me, and with Matisse, it might work. I’m technically new at this homeschooling thing. My oldest child is six and will be doing Year 1 of Ambleside Online beginning this fall. Also, I was not homeschooled myself. However, I knew I would homeschool several years ago, and in preparation I have been saturating myself in the colors of a homeschool lifestyle. I have not been stressing out. Can you imagine Matisse stressed out while painting this picture? I can’t. When I look at this picture I see freedom to play, freedom to be bold, a desire to have one foot in abstraction while not removing the other from realism. I see the attitude I want to have as a homeschool mom. I want that freedom to play both indoors and out. I want to bring the outdoors inside. I want that open door. I want learning to be bold and in-your-face, not dry and cryptic. I want to see patterns all over. I want to hang the faces of historical people on the walls of my children’s brains, as if they were relatives with interesting stories connected to each. I want learning to be multi-sensory, so that dinner or the produce we bring in from the garden, becomes part of our learning lifestyle, not just dinner. Not just tomatoes. I want everything to fit together, wonderfully, crazily, playfully, amazingly. The way God fits everything together. I want to love beauty so much that we want to create it, explore it, describe it, live in it. My son recently told me he did not want to watch such-and-such a movie because it was ugly. I wish I had thought of that. Parts of it are ugly animation, and I am (upon further thought) very encouraged by his wisdom. Already he is learning to discriminate between what is second-rate and what is lovely and worthwhile.


2 thoughts on “Matisse: Red Interior. Still Life on a Blue Table.”

  1. Nice. This is actually what I love the most about home education, that everything really does fit together. Learning, living, loving, they’re all seamless. Your post reminded me of the way I felt when I first began, so many years ago. I was so excited to discover that there was a better way for kids to learn (well, different anyway; obviously better is only my opinion). And after all these years I still believe in the beauty of homeschooling.

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