Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Discovering Great Artists

Project #1: We made egg tempura paint, and painted with it. My girls thought the process was GREAT! They were suprised to be able to make their own paint so easily, and that the color (the pink specifically) was so vibrant.

Crushing Chalk:

Mixing it up:

Painting with the paint they made:
Finished Projects:

Rating: 9 out of 10

Back to School!

So, we officially started our "new" year on Monday. We didn't really take a break over the summer, we took a 2 week break the last two weeks, but that was really it. So, it seems strange to call it new, when we didn't really stop. But, we're working in all our new curriculum, so that makes it new. We've really been struggling. I'm not sure if it's just too much work, or if it's just new and going to take some time to get in the groove. I'm going to give it until the end of next week or so, and then reevaluate. Currently, it's taking us almost twice as long as usual to finish our daily work, and that's just TOO long! We've yet to finish before 4 in the afternoon. Now, granted we haven't been starting until nearly 11, and actually Monday we didn't start until closer to noon (DD#2 slept until almost 11 that day). I guess now that I think about it that way that's only 5 hours, including lunch in there....for 5th grade work, I guess that's not THAT much. I also must admit that we've veered off some, and we've had some great discussions going on while working on our election lapbook. See, blogging is therapeutic...I feel much better about it now. I'm sure we'll get in our groove, and it'll get a little shorter...and if we could get moving earlier (at least my oldest DD...she's an early riser) it'd be even better. We could still be done around lunch. There, crisis solved. Thanks for reading my ramble!

Now, on to what this post is really about. Aside from it taking way longer than I'd like (I hate feeling like ALL we did was school...ugh), it's going well. Here are some first day pictures, the girls coloring Cyrus the Great as I read to them from Story of the World.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Final Look at Summer

Our Family's Footprints in the Sand

For our final week of summer we spent it in Florida, visiting family. A couple years ago when we visited the beach, I took a picture of my girls standing and facing the ocean. Last year, on the babies first visit to the ocean, I took a pic of all 3 of them looking out at the water. We have an ocean themed bathroom, and the pictures have been framed on the wall, in frames that I covered in shells that we collected on that first trip, since. So, OF COURSE, I had to take a new shot to update the wall. Here it is.

Here the girls are VERY excited to be going out on Pop's john boat.

Sitting in the boat:

"Bye mom!"

The baby was VERY excited to play in this little "beach" (actually a small inlet off the Gulf of Mexico). And, yes, it was raining (we were going to get wet anyway, right? So why let a little shower ruin our fun!).

A few weeks back we went to this fantastic park near us. There is a HUGE rock by the river, and then a beautiful overlook you can hike up to from the river. Here are my girls in front of the rock (you can't see anywhere close to ALL of the rock, and they look TINY).

This is the view from the overlook:

The girls up on the overlook:

Random shots of the hike:

A really cool piece of bark:
Baby checking out the "fairy house":
A ginormous mushroom my oldest dd wanted me to snap a shot of:

Sunday, September 7, 2008


So, one of my BIGGEST goals for this year is to incorporate more art. My oldest is an artist, in every sense of the word. She loves all things artistic (dance, theater, music, painting, drawing...etc, etc, etc). I have signed up for an art class, and she seems to really enjoy learning the more technical side. She is clearly a visual learner, and after reading "the way they learn" by Cynthia Tobias, I realize that I need to incorporate more artistic things across our curriculum for her. I also got a great art "curriculum" called Great Artists.

To tie into our unit on China, she was reading in "What Your 4th Grader Needs to Know" about Chinese art (calligraphy, and painting on silk specifically). So, for art one day we broke out a "Paint Your Own Silk Scarves" kit she had gotten last Christmas (she had done one or two, but I knew we had one more...I'm really glad that worked out, unfortuneatly I can't take credit for planning it that way). And, she painted on silk....

In DD#2's "What Your Third Grader Needs to Know" book, she was reading about Mary Cassatt, so I looked up Cassatt in our Great Artists book, and we did this "Monoprint" project. She painted her painting on a cookie sheet, then she pressed a piece of white cardstock onto it, and then lifted to get a print.

The print is now framed on our wall. This is an idea I got from somewhere in cyberspace.....I can't remember the resource! Each of the kids have a frame and I periodically change out our art work. When they do a new project that they really like (or I really like), I put it into the frame. They really enjoy having their artwork displayed in this way, and that people comment when they come into our house (the frames actually flank our hallway, one on each they are hard to miss).

I also used this Artists Coloring Pages website, which was shared with me on my Homepreschool group. She colored the Cassatt page, but they have MANY to choose from!