Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Reading Class

K’s growing booklist 2010 – 112 books, 5 months

Also known as…

She’s her momma


Why mommy lives at the library


Someone please help me with more titles and authors!

IMG_3333 IMG_3334 IMG_3335 IMG_3336


Monday, December 27, 2010

My little learner

Dear D (age 3),

I did not plan to do “school” with you this year. I believe most learning comes through play in the early years and was quite confident you would gain the knowledge you needed for kindergarten through the books we read each day and our daily life.

YOU have thrown a curveball into my “laid back” plans. Clearly, you desire more formal teaching so you had to begin it yourself.

Each day, for weeks, you sat at your desk and wrote every letter on the ABC write-on flashcards. Very quickly, you learned the name of every letter and how to write it.

I am doing my school,” you would tell me.

IMG_2592 IMG_2594

Your sisters, excited to have a pupil, have taught you all sorts of things in the preschool they run. They read to you, play games with you, and even make crafts for you to complete.

Of course, I have had to change my way of thinking and include you in all of our Galloping the Globe activities. If they girls are making a book about daily life in Egypt, then you want to hop right in there with them.

And it is a joy to watch.


Admittedly, it has been hard to adjust to stimulating your mind with learning opportunities because I am still struggling to balance your sisters educational needs. Yet, each day we work it out one way or another and you continue to learn, grow, and get excited about the world around you.

It is a joy to have another “pupil” in our school. I love watching the excitement on your face as you write your name or copy words. You are such an enthusiastic learner and you bring that enthusiasm to our little homeschool.

I love you buddy and I can’t wait to watch your world continue to expand.



Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Reading Class

Posted by Picasa

Studying South Africa

Sickness hit.  And many of our kids missed our South Africa get together.  My T (age 6) was home sick, so I went ahead and left her brothers there as well.  One of the other family had a house full of sickies, so she remained home with her 4 kiddos.

That left a small group of 5 compared to our normal group of 12 kiddos running around.  It was kinda nice in some ways, though we missed our friends!

During our time together, we used an audio CD of music to learn some South African dances and games played by traditional South African tribes.

 DSC_1864 DSC_1868 DSC_1875

Then we prepared our snacks before we had to grill them.  We cut wedges out of bananas and stuffed them with chocolate chips, craisins, pecans, and raisins.  They were going to be grilled in their foil wraps for 10 minutes while we worked on crafts.

DSC_1898 DSC_1900

Our first activity was the creation of “Rainbow People”.  We painted the various parts and then put them together with brads.  This idea was swiped from this site.  It’s a great idea and she has very detailed instructions as well as more decorated rainbow people.


We also made South African shields. 

DSC_1912 DSC_1918DSC_1913 

Fresh mango and papaya…


Fresh orange slices, bread, and our stuffed banana boats.




Another great day of learning!


Monday, December 6, 2010

When creativity explodes…

Sometimes creativity happens…

and dinnertime interferes.

But on causal “breakfast for dinner nights”, mom might be OK with letting the “spur of the moment” writer’s workshop continue…


in spite of the eggs being served…

IMG_2687 IMG_2690

because who wants to stop the flow of creativity? 


So dinner might just look a little bit like a newsroom, with reporters working late.


Of course, I wish we were all eating carry-out during our overtime…

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Artist Study

We studied the artist, Mary Cassatt, these last 12 weeks.  After doing 4 picture studies, we got together with some friends for a group picture study followed by an art activity.

We did a print making activity, to imitate the print making technique often used by Mary Cassatt. 

First everyone painted their own “original” image.

IMG_2555 IMG_2556 IMG_2557 IMG_2560 IMG_2561 IMG_2563

Even my little D (age 3) was having a blast drawing the letter “I” over and over again!


Then we put a blank piece of paper on top, press down and pull up…VIOLA…a print. 

 IMG_2565 IMG_2567

(It will work better if the original is painted on a cookie sheet so that the paint isn’t absorbed, but with a group of 12 kids we didn’t attempt that because it will also be messier and harder to clean)

K’s print…

IMG_2568 IMG_2572

And T’s print…

IMG_2573 IMG_2574

It is always more fun to work in a group and we al had a great time!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Walter’s Art Gallery: Meeting Walter Wick

We were so excited about the new Walter Wick display at the Walter’s Art Gallery downtown!  (October 22, 2010) Walter Wick is the writer and illustrator of all of the “I Spy” books, which we love.

We took that day to head to the festival at the museum on the day that Walter Wick would be there to sign his books.  We made it just in time and were able to get three of our books signed!


Then we created 3-D designs and looked at our drawings in 3-D.


Then it was time to see the Walter Wick display in the museum.  Many of his photographs from pages of his well known books were blown up on display.  It was so fun to try to “spy” the objects in the “big page”.  (The objects were listed on the photo description)


It was an interactive display with mirrors set up for creations and peek holes to see how things were done. 

One of the neatest things to see were the actual models that Walter Wick uses to photograph his pages.  About 5 of the 3D designs were on display so you could see what he created first…

IMG_2503 IMG_2507

and then view the matching “book page”…


The 3D display…


The actual photograph in the book…


The girls had a great time trying to find the “I spy” objects in the 3D displays first and then locating them in the pictures.  I really enjoyed that aspect as well.

Finally we attended the art making part of the festival.  The girls had a great time with these box lids.  Each girl was given one large shoebox size lid with three smaller lids, jewelry box size.  Then, available for creation on the table, was a box of “junk”, including buttons, springs, wire, bottle caps, pipe cleaners, packing popcorn, etc. 

Let the imaginations unfold…

IMG_2515 IMG_2523 IMG_2524 IMG_2576

Then the girls used a variety of materials to make, “Jolly Roger Windows”.

IMG_2529 IMG_2532

The day was an absolute blast!  I can’t wait to go back to the Walters Art Gallery again.  They did a wonderful job creating a day of art for the girls!