August 28, 2013

Nature Discoveries!

Zak's prize. He got a lot of milage with this scary critter giving me the jumps.

I am glad the boys found this one and not me! It does have pretty markings though.

We have no idea what this first we thought it was legless lizard but then the tiny little legs appeared. Such a long tail!

First they saw the turtle dove eggs...

Then one of the eggs hatched and one chick sat on the nest for a few we found the chick out of it's egg but it did not make it.  :(

This is the little bird we saw a few weeks ago. SO cute.

We are finding more chameleons since our cat has passed away. This is a small male one. Love his bright colors.

He is hissing at us as he look out at us from inside Max's hat.

Our new puppy, his name is diamond.

August 24, 2013

Art Lesson

There are three parts to our art lesson this year. Art skills, Art history, and Art Appreciation. Our Artist Study this year is centered around just one artist Giotto Di Bondone. We will be at times looking at some of the other famous artist of the Medieval times like Cimbaque Giotto's teacher,  but mostly we will be studying Giotto. I spent a entire term at University doing an art history course on Giotto's Chapel in Scrovegni and I am excited to share this wonderful artist with my boys. So we will be reading about Giotto and the world he lived in and looking at his many many paintings and sculptures. We will also be improving our won art skill once a week by learning more about painting with tempera paints and water colors.

Art skills is something I believe every child can develop. Like any other skill some take to it more readily than others but all can learn to mix paint, hold a brush and draw what they see. All can make art. Each week we have been doing a painting lesson out of the wonderful text by Barry Stebbing called I Can Do All Things. This is our study in mixing different blues and using them in the dolphin drawing.

And heres a close up our mixing greens picture with the grasshopper.

and here is TJ's study of mixing red.

I am using a large picture book entitled Masters of art: Giotto and Medieval Art as my spine for the year in our Art History lesson and adding to it Giotto Tended the Sheep by Opal Wheeler for our back ground info about the artist. Sister Wendy also does a wonderful you tube introducing Giotto in her series called The Story of Painting. (part 2 "The hero steps forth is about Giotto) and Madeline L'Engle has put together a beautiful book entitled The Glorious Impossible but we will use this book more in our art appreciation lessons than here in the art history lesson.

Our Art Appreciation lessons are mostly picture studies, but sometimes we will do a hands on project to help us further understand the art in Giotto's time and how he made his art on frescoes and with egg tempera paint etc. I am using Simply Charlotte Masons Picture Study Portfolio and Madeline L'Engle's book The Glorious Impossible, and there is a wonderful collection of Giotto's work online here that allows you to see the paintings as a slide show.

August 22, 2013

Geography Lesson

This is the first year we actually have a subject on the schedule called Geography. We do this subject three days a week for about 1/2 of an hour each lesson, so it is not a huge time commitment but it is fun! Maybe it's fun because it is Europe we are studying or perhaps it is just that maps can be a beautiful thing to learn.

Our lessons are varied but regular and we all are loving this. 

The first lesson of the week is a read-a-loud lesson. This year I will be reading from Lucy Fitch Perkins Twins Stories. We plan to read the following twins stories this year:
The Belgium Twins
The Dutch Twins
The Irish Twins
The Eskimo twins
The The Italian Twins
The Swiss Twins
The Scotch Twins

The Second Lesson of the week is adding pages to our country book one week and a short half hour to an hour long you tube about the country the next week. Here are a few you tubes I m=have bookmarked to choose from.

Austria (Part 1/6) Each part os about 10 minutes
Belgium the whole movie is about 1 hour
Denmark A little over 9 minutes
France: travel by train(10 min)/A trip to Paris(10 min)/Visit France (23 min)
Germany(1 hour)/ Neuschwanstein Castle (4 min)
Hungry, Budapest (part 1/3 each 17 min.)
Iceland (43 min.)
Ireland (44 min.)
Norway (23 min.) Beautiful Norway (14 min) A Norway Passage (1 hr.)
Gaudi's Barcelona
Sweeden: The Real Stockholm 1/2(10 min.)
Switzerland part 1/2 (14 min.)

The pages for our country book include a notebooking page on the country we are focusing on, other cool icons like the Belgium coat of arms below that we found online when we researched about Belgium and a map drill page. The cover I designed myself in Publisher. We bound our book together with the Pro-Click Binder.

The Third Lesson of the Week is a map drill. 

Lesson one: With a blank map and a map with labels, practice finding Belgium on the blank map. color it in and copy it's name. Memorize how to spell it. Add all the flag labels to the large, colored map of Europe. (includes 20 countries and three seas) 

Lesson two: Add Belgium to a new blank map without looking. Color it in and spell it correctly. Then, practice finding Austria on the same map but now using the map with the titles. Color it in and copy the name learning to spell it correctly. Add all the flag labels to the large, colored map of Europe.

Lesson three to twenty: Add another new country and review the previous ones in the same way. Add the flags each time to the large, colored map.

Sometimes we play games like the one below, Viking Voyages, on project day, the last day of the week. Viking Voyages is a FREE game you can download, paint, and tape together your self. My boys helped me make this game.

August 13, 2013

Finally Ending and Barely Beginning

Well I have had a huge break from blogging this spring and summer, but that doesn't mean that we have not been hitting the books and doing some school now that we are home. We have been home for a few months. We have been wrapping up our year three which is centered around the study of Ancient Greece and Rome. Thus the toga party last week and the silly pictures of the boys in their togas and tunics.

TJ the "Terrible"

TJ the "Magnificent"

Zak the "Fierce"

Zak the "Great"

Max the "Innocent"

Max the "Tyrant"

We did a little unit about Picasso which does not do the artist justice but it was all we had and every little bit counts. Now I bet when they see his work out in real life they will know recognize it and now a little about this interesting artist. Following is a snapshot with of some of our projects in it.

We have been taking a break from doing our nature notebooks as well as taking a break from other lessons so we can wrap up the subjects with material still remaining and get ready for year 4. But the boys did have a very sad afternoon last week that I wanted to share with you. Zak one of my twins came inside after having been in the yard with his brothers and he was crying and sobbing and very very upset. He told me he had accidentally stepped on the little nest of baby birds that they had only just discovered the day before. The nest was in the grass on the ground and vey well hidden.  So we learned the camouflage has it's down sides. Zak was devastated and did his best to bury the little dead bird. However not all the chicks were hurt and we managed to save one. Here is it's picture.

Doesn't he have the cutest little eyebrows?

Well we are done with year 3 and already midway through our first week of year 4 knee deep in Tales from Shakespeare, Visual Latin, Paddle to the Sea, Stories from the Middle Ages, the map of Europe and more. Below is Max doing a map drill with our enlarged old style map of Europe from Homeschool in the Woods.

Thanks for dropping by....see you soon with more updates of our home education journey.