October 19, 2013

Passport to the Middle Ages

TJ's Viking longboat one of the souvenir crafts from stop #21.

TJ painting his viking longboat sail.

The back end of Zak's Viking longboat.

Max's Viking longboat dry docked on his loft bed self.

Front view of TJ's Viking long boat.

A close up of Zak's jousting mini book. The arm broke off but it should move up and down with a brad hinge and the knights face each other and can be slid forward to simulate a joust.

The inside of the jousting mini book

Max working on his jousting mini book.

Max's complete jousting mini book.

TJ playing the Fox and the geese game with Dad.

We attached the fox and geese prints to old othello game pieces so they played better on the board. Looks easy but it is a very challenging game for the geese.

TJ's own coat of arms. We used this book for ideas and then scanned some pages so the boys could trace them via the window light. They first selected what shape of shield thy wanted. Then they selected a motto, we decided not to try and put it in latin. Then they added animals and scrolls etc as they wanted by tracing them onto their paper using the sunlight as a light box.

Max's Coat of arms.

Following are excerpts from their medieval newspaper, templates provided by Passport tot eh Middle Ages.

Pageboy advertisement by Max.

Upswitch Armory advertisement by Max.

Jousting Match news article and Viking long ship drawing by Max.

Viking Longship illustration by TJ

News article and accompanying picture by Zak.

New Castle Article and picture by TJ.

Zak's coloring page and Viking souvenir craft card.

TJ's Rooms of a Castle overlay.

The castle without the overlay.

Lifting the overlay.

The boys have been getting postcards from historical figures like Alfred the Great and the Viking chief Rollo. They then illustrate the picture for the postcard. This is Max's postcard rack.

All these wonderful hands on activities are from Passport to the Middle Ages.

Thanks for stopping in. 

October 15, 2013

Vivaldi and the Four Seasons

We have been painting and listening to Vivaldi's Four Seasons these past few weeks. I have always loved to paint, draw or create with music playing, so it was fun to do this with the boys for these lessons. They did a great job picking a theme to paint for each season and drawing the picture and painting it all by themselves. We began with Summer....

Summer by Zak

Summer by Max

Summer by TJ

Autumn by TJ

Autumn by Max

Autumn by Zak

Winter by Max

Winter by TJ

Winter by Zak

Spring by Max

Spring by TJ

Spring by Zak

October 1, 2013

Composer Study/Music Lesson

We are getting know three composers this year, beginning with Vivaldi, then Pagani, and ending the year with Wagner. This post by Jennifer Spencer encouraged me very much last year and gives a wonderful explanation of how a composer study can help our children really connect with the composers and their music.

"First, in order to help my students form a relationship with the real person behind the music, I decide to only choose composers for whom there were living biographies available." -Jennifer Spencer

We have always loved Opal Wheeler's books as they give us a heart warming view of the composer as a child growing up which all children can connect with. This year I did not find a book by OW for Vivaldi but I did find one for Pagnini and Wagner. Our living story about Vivaldi will be from the Vox Master collection of CD stories. This one is called The Stories of Vivladi and Corelli.

"The decision to study one work for the term instead of sampling songs or movements from different works was made as a kind of experiement. I based it on the desire to connect with the ideas through the narrative." -Jennifer Spencer

We decided to study Vivaldi's Four Season this term, Another from Paganini next term and one from Wagner the following term. I am not as musical as Jennifer is but we are listening to the music with the idea that there are picture or ideas to be out into our minds. For the four seasons we listened all the way through the entire piece as the boys played quietly with their toys. Then during the following weeks we have been painting a season picture to go with the music. Here is an example of summer by Zak.

"The beauty of the music depends upon the quality of the ideas expressed, not just the technical skill of the performer or the emotional experience of the listener." -Jennifer Spencer

We do this lesson twice a week so we spend about three months with each composer. We also add each composer to our composer lapbook we started two years ago.

If time allows we also enjoy Classical Kids musical dramas. This year we hope to find time for Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery.

That concludes our music appreciation lesson which I teach, then every afternoon my dh gives piano lessons, each of our guys gets two lessons a week.

Thanks for stopping in. :)