Making a Laurel Wreath was a pain in the butt. Okay, I’m not trying to start this post off with a negative vibe, but the directions to make a laurel wreath (in our homeschool curriculum) were incredibly tedious for a 9-year-old boy. And also tedious for a mom who is newer to homeschooling and trying to get through all the lessons in a timely manner!
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As some of you know, I have started schooling my son at home through an online public school. Today, we did a history lesson about Ancient Greece, which my son absolutely loves because he is totally into reading all of the Percy Jackson novels (by Rick Riordan) right now.
The Percy Jackson Series is all about the demi-god children of the Greek Gods who pretty much so, save the world on a daily basis. Not only are they packed with adventure, but they bring the Greek Gods to life and make them easier for kids to remember who they are and what each of them did.
…..And when you are finished reading those, there is a second series all about the demi-god kids of the Roman Gods.
How long will this take?
So back to the history lesson on Ancient Greece. We read through the lesson, and wouldn’t you know it, they have a craft at the end of the lesson where the kids can make a laurel wreath. You know, the green leaf crowns of victory from Ancient Greece? The ones made out of branches and leaves that you might see in an old painting of Greek people or Gods? Or Julius Ceasar!
So of course I wanted to move on to the next subject, because let’s face it, the more we get done, fast, the sooner we are finished.
But no. He wanted to do the craft. Don’t get me wrong, I love crafts, I love that he is super interested in this culture, and I love that he actually wants to make this laurel wreath. I just feel like I don’t want to put the time into a craft when we could be doing more SCHOOL!
I know! I hear it when I start writing it…….I’m a TERRIBLE Mom/Teacher! That’s the mom guilt talking! Do teachers get guilt too? Who knows…
Would he make a laurel wreath if he was in school?
You and I both know that if he was in school, they would have him doing crafts like this. I needed to remember that he is still a kid and doesn’t stay focused as long as I do on boring things like history, science and math. (wait a minute, I don’t stay focused on those either!)
And before you start judging me 😉, remember that I have been home without my kids for the last 2 years working on my blog and not having to be a teacher. So this is new territory for him and me!
So We Make A Greek Laurel Wreath!
So of course we did the craft. 🙂 But the instructions were to trace the olive leaf all over some green construction paper and then cut them out. Yeah, that was going to take a lot longer than the actual time we had to complete the project, which was about 15 minutes.
Instead, I prompted him to “think outside the box” about ways that we could make this project a little more “doable” in the time we had.
First, he thought that maybe instead of tracing all the leaves we could just print them all out on separate sheets of paper…We then had a short conversation about waste and how to not be wasteful to protect the environment and your wallet.
BUT THEN, my son being the genius that he is 😉 says, “Mom…why don’t we just use real leaves…”!
YES! What a fabulous idea! So here is what we did to make this project doable. It did take more than 15 minutes to make because we had to keep letting glue dry before continuing to the next step. BUT, when we did a step, it was pretty quick and easy and then we could continue our lessons during the drying period.
(If you wanted it to be even faster, you could use a stapler for the headband instead of glue, we just didn’t have one.)
I would say that if we added up the actual “hands on” time we spent (not including the glue drying times) we probably made the laurel wreath in about 15 minutes.
How To Make A Laurel Wreath
Step 1: Gather up the supplies you will need which are as follows:
- A piece of white paper (printer will do but we used cardstock)
- Children’s white glue
- The leaves you will use as your olive leaves ( from a tree outside)
- Paper clips (around 20)
Step 2: Cut the white paper into two strips that are about 2 inches wide by 11 inches long.
Step 3: Use the glue to connect one side of the two strips and allow to dry.
Step 4: Once dry, place around the head of your child to get the right sizing and glue the other end so the two strips of paper form a ring that will fit your child’s head. Place a paperclip on the spot that you just glued to make sure it does not come apart as you are waiting for it to dry. Let it dry.
Step 5: Start gluing the leaves onto the headband that you made. Start in the back and layer the leaves on top of one another until you get almost to the front of the headband. The ancient laurel wreath crowns only ran from the back of the head to the sides of the forehead but did not cover the forehead.
Step 6: Place a paperclip on each leaf to hold it in place as it dries. Allow the crown to dry.
Step 7: Remove the paper clips and place on your child’s head.
Here are images of the steps we did!
Keep in mind, that we were crunched for time, so we only did one row of leaves. But you could make this Greek head wreath really great by taking a little more time and adding additional layers of leaves.
Learning Moments for Mom
So here is what I learned today about being a mom who also has to teach her son. I need to slow down and make time for him to be a kid.
Oh yeah, and lesson activities and crafts don’t have to be difficult, time consuming, or expensive. Find alternative ways to make them work for your skill level, your time constraints, and your budget.
‘Till next time!