Monday, October 26, 2009

Rainbow Laundry Line

This doesn't have much to do with homeschooling, except that it is one of the regular household tasks that Tim and N. spend time on: laundry. I thought of these pictures when I saw this colloquy in the Times today on the subject of line-drying clothes and energy consumption. Tim and N. have taken to hanging the laundry in a rainbow pattern!

Fortunately we live in a shabby old neighborhood with no rules about hanging out laundry (the idea that some places have such rules just infuriates me!), but I like to think that our colorful clothesline would convert the skeptics. It's laundry as art!

I love it that Tim has turned a mundane "chore" into something beautiful, even though it takes even longer to put the clothes on the line when he has to sort by color as he goes. Instead of trying to get through the laundry task as quickly as possible, he makes it meaningful. This approach is part of what makes him such a good homeschooling dad: he is a very intense person yet he is extraordinarily good at being in the moment and appreciating each moment's rich color.


Mom and Kiddo said...

One of the things that really bugs me about apartment living is the inability to have my own clothesline. Also, how nice that your son can see that "chores" are something that can be fun, rather than tedious.

Anonymous said...

I do absolutely love your son's art!
My laundry is always hung by color. I sort the laundry first and only wash like colors together. The real art is hanging it by type so that when I take it off the line and fold it it's already sorted or hung in the order it gets put away. I know that sounds a little OCD (which I am anyway), but if I didn't do it that way nothing would ever get put away or found quickly on a busy morning. By the way, I live in public housing and have to fight to use the laundry court for clothes. The kids think it's solely for them to use as a basketball court. I've attached my lengths of line to caribiners so I can take the lines in easily between washdays, otherwise, the kids cut them down. I learned colors and counting while folding clothes with my mom and that's how my son learned them as well. When someone here tries to tell me they don't want to see my underwear hanging on the line, I tell them, "At least they are clean and you have a choice. You don't have to look at them if you don't want to. Sunshine is one of the best bleaches around, and it's free, unlike chlorine and electricity." To keep them from removing the laundry to the dumpsters (It has happened before.) I usually bring my knitting or spinning wheel out, pop up the easy-up canopy and accomplish something while the laundry dries (also, a great time to get the mending done.). My son cards the wool and explains, to anyone who asks, how the "hairs" stick together when they're spun and how the yarn locks together on the needles and makes his socks and sweaters and hats. He's also learning the history and mechanical how's and why's of textiles and clothing, including dyeing and designing.
We are firm believers in genderless tasks, everyone can do anything they put their hearts and hands to.
Keep up the good work!
MaaMaa and her Lamb