Friday, April 29, 2011

Our Walls

I always wonder what other homeschooling families walls look like... do they look like this?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Campfire & Art

One activity that Holly is in outside of 'school' is Campfire. We meet up once a week and she enjoys a nice evening of activities, earning patches, doing some community service projects and making friends. This month the kids have been working on their art competition and patch.

The theme is painting - in which they have tried out at campfire. An art teacher came in a held a class on Aboriginal Dot Art. The kids learned about through books and a story, then tried their own hand at it. The next week they sampled water color painting... Holly's favorite. We have read about painting and yesterday we went to the Tacoma Art Museum to see the Norman Rockwell exhibit/paintings - which was amazing! (Wish we could have taken photos from the actual exhibit, bummer!)

Now, Holly has finally made her decision on which painting she wants to enter into the actual competition. She decided on one of my personal favorites a rainbow scene. I love her little details like the heart tree, the rain & sun... to make a rainbow of course and the itty bitty bird hopping along. She enjoys water color painting a lot. We had done a lot with water colors but only recently purchased real water color paper which makes such a huge difference in the quality of painting. She has enjoyed this months theme of art & painting!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Recycled Flower Art

Recently Holly enjoyed creating an art project form old magazines. She created flowers which worked well with our current plant unit! We created three templates in which she would trace over a magazine page with nice color and then cut them out. Three in total. After they are cut out she would fold them over three times, similar to cutting a snowflake, and trim the edges into fun flowers shapes. Once they were all trimmed up she then layered them and secured them with a brad to her paper. After all of her flowers were created she added stems and leaved. They turned out wonderful, have great color and patterns, and better yet the folding offered some fun dimension to this project. The best part though... it was created with recycled materials - a lesson in re-using (a great tie into Earth Day).

The Write Start

I just finished reading a great book called The Write Start: A guide to nurturing writing at every stage, from scribbling to forming letters to writing stories by Jennifer Hallissy. It was fantastic!!! While I thought I had a pretty good grasp on introducing writing techniques for the young, it opened my eyes to new perspectives and ideas.

This book has a great ideas on introducing writing in proper stages for the very young (toddlers) to school age children. Basic ideas on proper hand use when writing so that a child is comfortable enough to be interested in writing, muscle building and when to encourage the next stage without moving ahead to soon to offering your child a quality writing space and tools. It offers so many great ideas on keeping writing fun, interesting and most of all something a child will want to do versus being made to do.

The Write Start is a great book that I recommend any parent have on their book shelf for reference, ideas and inspiration.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Working Waterfront Museum

We planned and took a field trip Friday with some fellow home school families to the Working Waterfront Museum along Thea Foss in Tacoma. This is the second time we have done this trip and once again it was fantastic!!! The kids learned about various kinds of boats, positions on a boat, parts of a boat, how the waterfront works on a basic level and about steam engines. This was a wonderful group activity for Holly, hands on and a lot of fun with friends!

Monday, April 25, 2011

How Stems Work

We are working our way through this fantastic plant unit, Plants Science Works for Kids Series by Evan Moor - and I love it!!! Holly is having a great time with it, enjoying all the hands on approaches to learning. We are also reading several other books to go along with this unit.

A recent study we did was to learn about stems of a plant and how they work, what they do for the plant. For Holly to see this in action we did the classic white carnation in colored water as well as a celery stalk in colored water. We then watched them for a couple of days to see the transformation, talked about what happened and noted the changes. A great visual to help learn more about how stems work.