Friday, August 27, 2010

Weekly Report 23 Aug-27 Aug (Homeschool)

Well, this has been our first solid week back. We never actually stopped schooling over the summer, but we definitely slowed waaaayyy dooowwnn. As you can see, they don't know how good they have it! Pajamas, daddy, and The Hobbit? Boo-Hoo! I go back and forth on assigning "literary analysis," but we are trying it again. Nutmeg can remember every detail of a story that she chooses to read. Of course she glosses over stories she does not like, who doesn't? So I need a program with some fact checking, but I am more interested in discussing ideas. I am really trying to pin my husband down this year to cover writing and literature, those are his areas after all! We have started Memoria Press' Hobbit study guide. The study is written for 5th grade, which is about right (I guess, if it has to be exact), and I hope she will appreciate Tolkien's love of Norse myth and language as we study the Hobbit along with our history covering the Saxons, Vikings, etc.
Before we could study the Saxon invasion of Britain, we of course took a look at the people being invaded: The Celts. I quake at the thought that I "covered" the Celts in a week! So let me just say I introduced Buttercup and re-introduced Nutmeg to the Celts this week! We read history books and folk tales. The hands-down favorite was listening to Rabbit Ears Radio's "Finn McCoul." It is delightfully told, and the girls asked to hear it twice in a row.

I get a bit annoyed with art and music appreciation programs that give the impression that art started in the Renaissance and music started with the Baroque. I think studying Bach while doing the ancients, and Rembrandt while doing the middle ages is...odd. (Unless it is covered as a separate subject.) Art and music are two of the things that make us human, after all. Humans have been doing them in some form or another all along. That said, I don't have fantabulous ideas for the perfect Year 2 Fine Arts Appreciation Study! I did try to emphasize the idea that Scotland and Ireland are not the only lands with a Celtic past. To that end, well, we listened to Chieftains albums! We listened (during our HOURS of car time) to traditional Irish music, and then listened to the Chieftains' "Santiago" album which features music from parts of Spain with Celtic heritage. Nutmeg seemed to enjoy trying to identify the "Celtic" sounds amidst the "Spanish." Buttercup was not as impressed. *Sigh*
For Art Appreciation, they colored tons of swoopy-loopy, interlocking celtic coloring pages from the 'net while I read aloud about Finn McCoul and The Salmon of Knowledge, among others. We also spent time looking at Hill Figures, in particular the Uffington White Horse. (and then they asked about chalk, and we discussed dead sea-creatures bones, and they were grossed-out...)
Our landmarks were the Uffington White Horse and Giant's Causeway
I thought we should have salmon, and see if it helped us compose poetry, but the girls opted for oatcakes (with strawberry jam!) They don't look like much, but they were pretty good. This recipe was from a Williams and Sonoma bread book; the recipe in the Step Into the Celtic World book was salty and, well, nasty.
You saw this side of Buttercup earlier in the week.
We did tons of other stuff too: math, latin, german, grammar, piano, violin, science. But the Celts were definitely the favorite!


Monday, August 23, 2010

This and That

I always get down to one thread that I cannot find..... How could I lose a 732? You cannot stitch Mary Beale without 732!!! The above design is from Mary Beale's "Hannah" series. When I find 732, I will stitch another floral motif on each end. I thought if anyone loved me they could put some bands around it and make it into a bolster pillow. Anyone?
This is the Scottish Companion Sampler from the Gift of Stitching. (Terri, let me know when '18th Century Rose' comes in!)As I said in an earlier post, I was surprised at how pastel the colors are, but I like it. I did have to change the main green to Gentle Art's 'Bayberry' I changed the brown to Crescent Colors 'La Tierre, '(I think). The recommended shades were indistinguishably lavender-gray.

In other colorful news, we are studying the Celts this week in history. (That gray thing is a sword.) I tried to make Boudicca's, I mean, Buttercup's hair stand up with gel, but it ended up looking a bit too Jersey Shore, but hey, my introduction to hair gel and mousse was in the mid-eighties, so what can I say. There was no way I was going to try lime-water or rancid butter!

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My Name is Michele; I am a Compulsive Starter.

I am almost finished with "Sarah Harriet Stephenson" from SANQ. So what's a girl to do? I started two new projects. I think I have a problem.....
Forget counting sheep and drinking milk! I like to look through a few older issues of SANQ as I prepare to drift off to sleep. Of course, then I want to start all the samplers I see, and I stay up way too late. *yawn* The above design is "Isabella Johnstone Sampler." I don't know why I find this sampler so appealing, I mean, I don't ever remember wanting to stitch a big red cow in the middle of a band sampler before...
I also started the "Scottish Companion Sampler" from an older edition of the digital magazine, "The Gift of Stitching." The colors are much softer than they appeared in the picture in the magazine; the main green was so soft that it was really more of a soft gray. I changed it to a sampler thread I had on hand, but I am waiting to see how the other colors play out. Late last night, I realized that I left a row out of the little peacock's neck. If I were stitching with good old DMC, I would pick the stitches out. Overdyed threads are just too expensive to pick out, as well as too much trouble to put in. So I think I will be okay with little ewok-peacocks!
In other new, Buttercup's hair has gotten really long and sparkly. ;)

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