Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A la Mary Cassatt

When I saw this lesson on Meet the Masters, I was horrified. I thought, "Could there be a more boring art assignment? How overly simplistic!" 

I was wrong. 

The finished products here are only part of the story and do not really do justice to the concepts learned. I wish I had had my camera rolling during the plaid explosion that occurred before these creations.  The girls and I took oil pastels and scrap paper and went to town creating all different sorts of plaid patterns.  We used all different types of strokes to create the different textures.  In fact, we took so much time on the exploration part of the lesson that we were rushed to finish our profiles.  Sigh.  But we had a lot of fun, and I'm still trying to figure out a "big girl" art project in which I can incorporate some of this plaid! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Not Something You See Everyday...

Over the house
 On Monday we were out on the porch doing a project when suddenly this flew over our house.  We watched it until it was out of sight. We think it landed at an airfield on the other side of the river (because it was so low and was clearly headed down), but it may have made it to the military base on the other side of the Bay.  I've never seen a dirigible/airship/blimp in our area, and never this close. It was so fun to see the girls' reactions - they've definitely never seen one in real life!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Snippets from Week 2

Last week was our second week of school, and it completely flew by. As we're starting on week 3 today, I decided I want to include a snippet of our work from each week, especially as (ostensibly) the point of this blog is for me to have a record of our journey.  Because I did not plan on photos, I don't have pictures of some of the cool things we did last week. But going forward, I'll keep this "weekly snippet" in mind and be sure to snap 'evidence' of our doings. =)  I also find it hard to pick just one or two things for each girl from the week... I really wanted to get a picture of all of the craftiness going on last week (hemp jewelry, knitting a baby blanket, paper bracelets, duct tape wonders) but I don't have any so that will have to wait.  Here is what I did have photos (or records) of from our second week of homeschooling:

 Grade 3 ~ Cooking
My 3rd-grade daughter loves to cook and this little cookbook from Oak Meadow (this is a vintage copy) has very simple recipes that she can do without much help.  They almost seem too easy, but actually they teach valuable lessons in cutting techniques and using fine motor skills. She loves to help out in the kitchen, and being able to do this independently was a great bonus.
 Grade 4 ~ Terracotta Warriors
This project was not part of our regular school work, but something my DD wanted to do because we have been listening to The 39 Clues. There is a very exciting scene that takes place among the Terracotta Warriors, and she decided to learn more as well as create her own warrior.

 Grade 5 ~ Environmental Science
So much of what my DD did was outside - a trip to the pond, collecting samples, etc. - and of course I did not take one photo. She did write about the interconnectedness of humans and the environment, though it was more of a journal entry than a true essay. She is also checking the turning of the seasons by measuring shadows - in a few months we should have a really interesting log of the change in length as we have shorter and shorter days. 
 Grade 7 ~ Comparative Religion and The Scientific Method
My oldest DD has been busy!  This essay on Hinduism is just one of her essays for the week. She is a girl that loves to read and write, so last week was fun for her. She is also fine-tuning her ability to use the scientific method. I feel like it's one of those things we cover every year, but every year we add to it. She did a very simple experiment on gravity to refresh her memory on all the steps of the method before we dive into more complex work.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Backyard Nature Study

Last week we saw something in the backyard that none of us has ever seen before ... an albino deer. Then, we saw another one. Clearly, they are twins.  Our camera isn't the best so we couldn't zoom in as much as we wanted, but you can see the deer in the photos attached.  We've seen them every evening since - it's wonderful  And it's nice to be reminded of Nature's wonder sometimes!  It's also nice to be able to look out of the back windows and see things like this... it reminds me not to take anything for granted.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Snippets from Week One

Elizabethan Dress - 7th Grade
7th Grade
Our first week back has been very successful!  I'm pleasantly surprised because I am feeling quite under the weather with a lingering cold - the kind that keeps you up all night coughing unless you take something that knocks you out and either way, you end up groggy and tired every day. Despite my sluggishness, we've actually had a fun week. Hurray!  Here are some snapshots ....

15th-century Writing - 5th Grade
Scientific Observation - 4th Grade

Literary Narration - 3rd Grade

Monday, September 3, 2012

Back-to-Homeschool Self-Portraits... Modigliani Style!

As a fun back-to-homeschool project, we created these Modigliani-inspired self-portraits.  Modigliani is perhaps best remembered for his elongated portraits, and the idea for this particular project was inspired by Kathy over at Art Projects for Kids.  Two of my girls felt frustrated at the start of the project because the placement and size of the facial features is not what they are used to drawing. However, all were extremely happy with their results.  These are completed on large paper, the drawing outlined in Sharpie and then colored with crayon.  The girls signed the bottom with big, cursive signatures (blacked over in the photo).  I think if we were to do it again I'd use oil pastels as I believe the stronger color would result in a more dynamic picture. However, I love them even as they are! Super fun, quick, and a great way to get back into the artistic swing of things.