Artful Friday

After a morning at science club held at the library we headed home through the park. My youngest picked up a flower and wanted to paint when we got back home, he has been collecting sticks and painting them, but today he found a “firework” flower! He used white paint with a dish brush to make the prints.

My oldest read a book called The Late Loon by Dean Bennett. A beautifully illustrated book I picked up in the True Tales section while at the library. It was perfect for this weeks nature study! We both enjoyed doing some mixed media art work that reflected one of the pages in the book. First we water-colored the background, then used tissue paper and charcoal to sketch the loons, once the paper was dry we glued the sketch on to the paper!bookloon

flower

llomlloon

Colors of the Seasons

Today was more on Thirteen Moons on a Turtle’s Back, continued from yesterday’s Social Studies block. If you missed it, click here! We explored the Native American’s first calendar and natural rhythms yesterday.

This morning I read a poem from one moon in each season to the boys. We discussed the colors and the animals in the illustrations.

13moonsThe boys then each did a seasonal project. My youngest drew a tree on his watercolor print from yesterday. He used frozen iced cubes on wet watercolor paper. He decided the colors looked like Spring to him! He used his arm to begin the basic shape of the tree! Great job!! My oldest made a seasonal lantern, melting crayons between wax paper and (using an iron for the first time) with popsicle sticks and tape/glue. It came out beautiful too.

IMG_20140716_144206_360IMG_20140716_100224_790

Today for math was a writing prompt for my oldest. I’m trying a new routine out to make the lessons a bit more engaging. (See the page in the menu on the home page). Anyway, I read him a story from a book I found at the library called Animal Math by Rourke Publishing. We read a short story about temperatures in both gorilla and penguin habitats and talked of negative numbers. This fit in great with another book we are currently reading- Mr. Popper’s Penguins. Once done with the  short story I asked him to write his own penguin story using negative numbers in it. Here is his story: (He loved this btw!)

There were 15 penguins, they all like to play around. They next day they discovered there was -5 penguins! They didn’t care, they wanted to eat fish and the next day came and again, -5 penguins! So, they were happy cause they got more fish to eat!

My youngest took a break with legos and then later worked at his light table with tangrams, making animal shapes!

IMG_20140716_140655_381

Up next, we all sat as I read my youngest his story of the week; The Little House! He loves the story and first told his older brother about the plot before I read it. They both enjoyed it and it tied in nicely with our lesson block on the moon phases and the seasons.

little house

We finished the formal part of our day with beginning the first chapter in The Birchbark House! This will be our main book as we go along with our Native American lesson block. We are really enjoying this topic and I’m finding really easy to teach it at different levels for both boys!

birchbark

Moon and Stars- Natural Rhythms

This week we took a step back and read some Ancient Indian stories called creation accounts for our Social Studies lesson block. They explain how the world began, and how all beings once lived together. We took a look also at recent Scientific evidence and combined the two worlds together for some great discussions!

The first story was called “How Raven Helped the Ancient People” from Brown Paper School USKids History:Book of the American Indians. The boys both enjoyed the account as it was told, that the Raven is a black bird with feathers that were blackened by the smoke of a firebrand.  He was once an eagle who hated people so he kept guardian of the moon, stars and fresh water and fire; because of love for another he put them back, but was tarnished by the smoke while doing so.

As a craft to go along with the story, my oldest designed a bullroarer in his art book. It is a tribal toy from the Pacific Northwest Coast Tribe that was used to call the rain and sounded like the wind. He chose to draw lightening with a thunderbird on it!

IMG_20140714_101722_992 bullroar

moon bookToday, we all read The Moon Book together. They both enjoyed this one as well. We really studied the Phases of the Moon and how it follows a rhythmic pattern. The weekly, Monthly and Yearly cycles/Seasons.

This tied in perfectly with how the Ancient People also followed the Sun, Moon and Stars to calculate the seasons.  Native Americans used a Turtle shell as their first calendars following the pattern of the shell as well as a reminder to keep our hearts close to the Earth so we notice the natural rhythms mother nature shares with us.

turtle

Both boys really loved discovering this pattern that exists in the shell! They are both animal loves and in particular my youngest LOVES turtles! So, I went on pinterest this morning and found this great activity/blog for  the boys to do! On this blog there is also a little story on a the turtle to go along with the calendar.

Here is their own Turtle calendar and they are going to follow the moon pattern for the month to see the rhythm!

IMG_20140715_103142_581

Next, we created some paper stars as part of our newly introduced (what I call Waldorf Wonders) lesson block. I did not have any colored waxing paper, but I think the colorful recycled paper came out just as pretty!

IMG_20140715_112501_089

After a morning of all this creativity, we then concentrated on some workbooks- both did a math page and math activity,  as well as microscope work on Cells.

IMG_20140715_104955_006 I think we’ll relax and watch a movie with lunch next!

Measuring Dinosaurs!

Measuring Dinosaurs!

White board- Math Assoc. and Cumm. addition

White board- Math Assoc. and Cumm. addition

Ocean Treasures

This week was all about treasures in the ocean! The book, Flotsam was the basis of this week’s lessons for my youngest.

CM_flotsam We live in a coastal area, so we had a few opportunities to do some hands-on exploration around town. The boys explored some touch tanks filed with sea creatures just around the corner from us and rediscovered some treasures they had picked up last time we were at the shore.

 

I vowed to myself in starting this new year of school, that I would implement a “loose parts” play one day a week, based on Reggio Emilia.  The boys had a blast creating things just as I’d hoped! You’re never to old to just sit and be creative said my oldest ;).

IMG_20140707_095326_761IMG_20140707_095511_512

My youngest also worked on the letter F this week, both phonics and writing it. He’s been doing really well with recognizing and trying to spell words! Just last week we went to the zoo, when we came home he drew a picture of the zoo and spelled and wrote it all by himself! I was impressed, this was the first time I’ve seen him spell!

IMG_20140630_170641_988

For math we did some counting and graphing using the story to count the fish on each page. He has a new Star Wars math book he loves, and did about 5 pages in it each day too. We measured shells, and counted syllables in ocean words.

IMG_20140707_092323_734

My oldest has a similar theme as we read Mr. Popper’s Penguins together this week. They both are enjoying the story- this is what I love about homeschooling that they share activities and join in on each others topics!

My oldest keeps a sketch pad in which he does copywork and drawings. This week he copied a poem about penguins and drew a snowball fight.

IMG_20140709_122133_426

Together they both share the lessons of Artist and Musician/Intrument of the month. This month we are studying the works of Cezanne and The Beatles and the Violin. We listened to the sounds of the violin, read the biographies of both artists and talked about their work styles- still life and English rock and roll.

IMG_20140708_095045_599

His other studies were sentence types and reviewing multiplication and division. In science, we talked about Classifying living things and getting ready to dive into studying cells next week. The Mayan and Aztecs were part of our history studies and he worked on weaving “God’s Eye” as part of their culture study.

IMG_20140709_133713_683

He’s also gotten back into designing his own video games on 3DRad. He’s teaching himself about coding as he goes! I have no idea to attach it so you can view it?? 😦

 

Well, those are some of our highlights! We’re trying to get a routine down, but it’s hard in the summer with the heat! 😉 Looks like we’ll be focusing on Dinosaurs next week and my oldest wants to do some creative writing!

Camping Unit- Day 1,2, and 3

This week’s Unit study is themed “Camping.”

Language Arts:

Youngest: I focused on the letter “C” as in C is for Camping! I wrote out Camping and Canoe on the white board, and we came up with a verbal list of “C” words. Then it was his turn to practice writing “C” within the square shape. Day 2, we talked about rhyming words and learned the words to the “Moose Song” we found. Day 3, The boys came up with the idea to write a short skit about Owls in the forest.  They found costumes and put on face paint, rehearsed together and put on a little show!  Being the youngest at 4 yrs old.,  he worked on memorization skills!

IMG_20140623_085147_632

We then read ” Just Me and My Dad” by Mercer Mayer, a story about a boy and his Dad on a camping trip. (one we read often)

 

Oldest: My oldest has an art journal we use to combine spelling and art. He likes to draw/paint and the whole process of “writing” goes a lot smoother this way! First, he used watercolors to paint a camping scene as I read Camping Poems to him from “Toasting Marshmallows- Camping Poems” by Kristine O’Connell George.

Once he completed his art, he wrote in this weeks spelling words. We noticed his Bee poem from previously are re-read that poem as well.

IMG_20140623_113625IMG_20140623_113433_828-2

He also worked on Grammar, filling in a Mad-Lib story, titled: A Spooky Campfire.

Day2, He did copywork, copying a poem from the book.

Day 3, He chose to  do some creative writing and wrote/ directed a little skit about Owls in the forest! He did a great job with it, and helping out his little brother!

IMG_20140625_130816_839(1)

Math:

Youngest: I grabbed the bag of Geometry shapes I have and asked him to grab all the triangles (tent shape) and group them together.  He did, and noticed a Hexagon in the pile and then asked to use those pieces too. I said, Let’s stick to triangles for now and after you can use any shape you’d like. He started putting the triangles together and in his eyes, it became The Falcon Millennium! So, we went with it! I asked, how many triangles did it take to make “the falcon millennium?” Five, was the answer- So, I said.. How many total groups of Five did you make? Quickly he replied : “3!” I was impressed! 🙂  Guess I need to “up” his math!

IMG_20140623_092749_044

Day 2, We went to a near by swimming spot and dug holes together. I say this was his math, because he had to keep digging to find the right perimeter to fit himself inside the whole! This is what I consider Living Math at this age/stage!

Day, 3- I took out the package of marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers, and we worked on patterns together. Ex: chocolate, chocolate, graham cracker, marshmallow- repeat! We did this both horizontally and vertically.

Oldest: Going with the camping theme, I chose to focus on Geometry this week, concentrating on Angles. (tents) We have done Angles in the past, but I thought a review wasn’t going to hurt! We watched this great video called, Types of Angles, Suess Song on YouTube. Then we looked for Angles around the house!

Day 2, we took out the white board and drew and measured angles! He really enjoyed it and drew all different degrees to measure with his protractor.

Day 3, we worked in his new math workbook- Math for a Living Education and then watched Cyberchase, All the right Angles.

Social Studies:

Together; both boys looked at a map of the U.S. that had National Parks highlighted.  My youngest, loves maps and looked it over for a while. My oldest, I asked him to pick 20 of them and write down the Park and the State in which it is located in. They got a kick out of few of the names.. I think “Death Valley” was their favorite name..go figure!.

Day2, we all read the story The camping trip that changed America; Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir and our National Parks

CampingTrip

Science:

Together;

We viewed a short video titled, Should we control wildfires? Quick but, very informative! They loved it and learned a lot, now they know, fire can be helpful!

Day3, We took the Marshmallow Challenge! Can we sink a marshmallow??!!

It was very hard! They tried several different ways: poking holes in it, submerging it, tearing them up, and pounding on them! Just as it looked like we were not going to succeed, I read a hint (from Steve Spangler Science)  to break off a small piece and roll it in cornmeal….success! Two marshmallow’s  sunk! Great lesson in Density!

Art:

Youngest: First craft of the day was to mold a playdough canoe and see if we could get it to float in the tub. Next, not on the lesson plan, but, his idea; and it came out awesome was a diorama of a campsite with things from around the house!

IMG_20140623_094250_131IMG_20140623_122054_759

Oldest: Going along with National Parks..I showed him pictures of the Joshua trees, mostly because I think they’re so cool looking! Using tin foil I asked him to try and sculpt similar looking trees! He did a great job, they look neat.

IMG_20140623_113945

Music: We listened to the songs This land is your land, this land is my land! My youngest happened to pick it up a the library the other day- it went perfectly with our unit!

 

 

Tree and Flower Art Study

IMG_20140612_080054We recently moved and live across the street from a beautiful 15 Acre Victorian Strolling Park! Ever since I first walked through it, I thought, we’ve got to come here and draw/paint/color all these beautiful trees and flowers! The weather was perfect and so we did it, packed a bag of art supplies, a blanket and paper!!

Before heading out the door, we watched a documentary on the art of flowers, just to get us inspired 😉

We took the pamphlet that listed all 61 types of trees within the park and walked around until we saw a great one to draw! We’ve been to the park many times and my youngest always yells when he sees one of the trees with a marked plaque stating the type of tree it is!

The first tree we thought was really pretty was the Japanese Snowbell. We took a photo and continued on. Here is the photo:

tree study 001

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first tree to sit down and draw was picked by my oldest a little ways down the path. He chose the European Beech tree. He said it looked cool! The description of the tree in the pamphlet fit too; it said The specimen is a weeping form and a favorite play place for children on hot summer days.

tree study 007tree study 008tree study 009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next art study was a switch from trees to a water fountain, I warned them drawing water is tricky, but lets give it a try! After all, it’s the process, not the product!!

tree study 004tree study 003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some other highlights of the park we found beautiful. The boys noticed flowers growing in rows in the open field and decided to run and jump over each “line” of flowers!

tree study 005tree study 006tree study 010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For our third drawing my oldest wanted to do one “free style” as he calls it! 🙂 My youngest by now, was just wanting to pretend to be a “dog at the park.” So, we found another little spot and set up the blanket again. While Liam “free-styled” and Luke was a “dog” I looked around and loved the colors of the branches on the Japanese Maple, and decided on that one.

tree study 015tree study 016

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few other photos of prettiness in the park:

tree study 011tree study 012tree study 013tree study 014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the park we headed to a nearby playground to wrap up the day!

RI lighthouse 31117RI lighthouse 31118

Science, Seuss, Success!..and others things

Let’s start with the Success! The past few weeks I have really been working with Luke on letter recognition and spelling his name. Each night at bed time we sang the Alphabet, went through each letter and looked through his sight words- one being his name. A few days last week, I opened up word on the computer and just had him type his name over and over on the keyboard. He finally focused,  and as promised got himself a happy meal today after spelling out his name and pointing to the letters I said aloud at bedtime last night! He really, really wanted that Lego cup they were advertising at McD’s! 🙂 IMG_20140302_113804_167

Now for the Science…not that it was planned, but both boys ended up studying caterpillars and butterflies at the same time. Luke just loves The Very Hungry Caterpillar, we have done so many activities with this book! We made caterpillars from egg cartons, cocoons with paper bags and a geometric butterfly with our tangrams!geo butter

plate pillar

Liam was also reading about butterflies and studied the Morpho butterfly first, in the book -Jack’s Insects. The second chapter was on the Monarch butterfly. Here is his pastel of the Morpho.

morpho buttefly

He watched this video of the Monarch Butterfly, then drew up a sketch of the life cycle and read through “An Extraordinary Life: The Story of a Monarch Butterfly.”  We talked about entomology and why the character butterfly in the first chapter swayed Jack into promising not to kill any insects, well..except for fleas 🙂

boook

Homer Price is another book we have been reading together and incorporating lessons with.  Set in the 1940’s in a little town in Ohio -In chapter 1 Homer takes in a skunk as a pet and together the two capture the town robbers! Chapter 2, Homer and his friends buy comic books and end up saving a superhero who ends up in a car crash. Chapter 3,while  in his Uncles Doughnut shop, the machine ends up breaking and making 1,000’s of doughnuts! Homer comes up with an advertisement and saves the day!

own cops and robbers cartoon

own cops and robbers cartoon

facts on skunks

facts on skunks

facts vs fiction on Skunks

facts vs fiction on Skunks

Math: Luke continues with hands on work and counting as much as possible! He recognizes number up to 12 and easily does math in his head. He will see that four papers are on the table and say things like ” Okay mom, we did one paper so far… only three left.” or “Dad’s at work, so only three people are here right now.”

Liam is running a pet store with the Business Math Series from Simply CM. He’s had to keep an inventory, figure out sales tax, add up monthly sales, write out checks and count in some unexpected expenses as well! Very fun series!

your-business-math1

Dr. Seuss Fun!

I read to both boys “Oh, the places you’ll go!”  I asked Luke what he would like to be when he grows up, he said ” A painter!, I ‘ll paint anything people ask me to…..houses, cars, chipmunks, people..food, whatever!”

With Liam we talked about tools you need for success and what success means. How to handle failures, making good choices and traits he thinks are foul vs. successful.

I asked both boys to make a poster of a “Seuss Land” they would want to live in. Luke asked me to make his and he would paint it like a “Painter Guy” and Liam came up with the idea of a “YouTube World” and sketched out a few of his favorite gamers he watches.

IMG_20140302_131322_190

Liam's

Liam’s

Lastly: A few writing prompts to share from Liam. I find funny pictures and Liam keeps a journal of captions he makes up!

2014-02-26 06.05.042014-02-26 06.04.44