Friday, September 9, 2011

Weekly Report 5 September - 9 September

A quick word about last week: We went to the Georgia Aquarium last Friday. We spent our Science and Nature Study time on marine animals particularly beluga whales and rays.

One of my favorite animals we saw was this guy - he could be a lesson plan by himself!

We have gotten quite a bit done this week. We did only one chemistry experiment, but we did some nature sketching on the front lawn and read books about clouds. The clouds were amazing yesterday! We could really see their flat bottoms. O, you lucky clouds!

Nutmeg has been doing her K12 Middle School French consistently, but we have not been as consistent with Latin. I need to work on better scheduling for language.

Buttercup is reading everything she gets her hands on! I found 2 volumes of Veritas Press' First Favorites on my shelf, and I am letting her do them. I know they are for first grade, but she is enjoying them, and I bought them, so... She did her first official book report this week; it was a "literary narration" al a Susan Wise Bauer. We started Story of the World vol 3 which begins with the Spanish in South America so I choose The Magic Treehouse: Afternoon on the Amazon. Buttercup read it and narrated. I don't think that series is brilliantly written, but it is engaging and usually corresponds to some history or science lesson. She also chose an animal from the book to read more about and draw.

Both girls are also learning about St. Rose of Lima this week to go along with their history studies. I read from Ethel Pochoki's One-of-a-Kind-Friends, and Buttercup narrated and labeled Peru on her map. Nutmeg is reading this book, and we hope to do her literary narration this weekend. Nutmeg also completed an activity from a Weekly Reader Social Studies workbook that featured a lesson on the Amazon. I plan to implement Trail Guide to World Geography. I could just kick myself for letting it lie on the shelf for almost a year since I bought a used copy on the WTM forums! I read through it last night while Nutmeg danced her heart out. It consists of "5-minute drills" and optional activities to take things further. Once again, I had planned to keep geography so simple! I planned to only use these maps, with this post as my guide. Then I added Mapping the World with Art by Ellen McHenry. All I can say in my defense is Nutmeg loves geography, and the resources I have chosen are all fabulous!

Last year, I had great plans for music and art appreciation. They were so great, in fact, that they seemed impossible to accomplish. This year I have decided to try the neo-Charlotte Mason techniques that I have been reading about for years - they just seemed too simple! DUH! Simple is what I need!

It seems that Charlotte Mason recommended studying 1 artist or composer for 1 term to allow the child to become familiar with the artist's or composer's style. Parents say this enables the student to form relationships with the pieces and also to recognize works by the artist that they have not formally studied. This method aims for depth, not breadth. I avoided this method for years because "it doesn't cover enough." I am finally ready to admit I cannot fit everything in anyway I try!

I choose 6 artists and 6 composers from the time we are studying 1600-1850. I am already prepping myself to accept that the artists and composers will not always match the history curriculum and that that is just fine. Following a more condensed version of CM's original picture and music studies, we plan to study both a composer and an artist for 6 weeks. There is no particular connection to the pairings.

weeks 1-6 Rubens and Corelli

weeks 7-12 Anthony van Dyck and Vivaldi

weeks 13-18 Rembrandt and JS Bach

weeks 19-24 Vermeer and Handel

weeks 25-30 Gainsborough and Haydn

weeks 31-36 Edward Hicks and Mozart

I really am trying to keep it simple. Too many options keeps me (happily) chasing down rabbit trails, and (unhappily) not accomplishing learning time with my girls. Here are some of the links to blogs and other resources I have found informative and practical.

Dawn's blog has a wealth of information on artist and composer studies with book reviews and lesson plans.

Simply Charlotte Mason shows just how simple and effective picture and composer study can be.

Here is a great video introducing picture study.

Mater Amabilis also has a good explanation of picture study.

ETA: Composer worksheets

This is a series a friend introduced me to. I have listened to the Corelli cd, and found it very pleasant and informative.

I really enjoy downloading free books on my Kindle. There were so many great books written for children about art, music, history, science etc., and they are now in the public domain as ebooks or available to read online. Amy Steedman is a favorite for both saint stories and artist biographies.

When They Were Young! is a good one by Steedman that has many artist and composer biographies.

This week we studied this picture by Rubens. That worked well with our history studies.
I know nothing about art; I am so excited about learning along with my children! I really enjoyed picking out pictures by Rubens. Boy, was he handsome!

Is "keeping it simple" easy or difficult for you?



Chucki said...

Thanks for posting all that information. It has given me something to think about. I, too, often am a victim of my own grand plans.

Kristine said...

"Keeping it simple" is extraordinarily difficult for me, I always start out the year with the best intentions, but then pile on the work and get frustrated. Nevertheless, your plans sound wonderful (and even quite doable), so best of luck with them! Now I am off to check out the Amy Steedman recommendation as I've loved her other books (so thank you!).

Daisy said...

I need to review CM's art/music study again. I always get caught up in the complicated in hopes of achieving more. And yep, it winds up meaning achieving LESS. Great week.

Gifts for Girls Academy said...

I like your approach for picture and composer study, and I really liked your piece for study. It sounds like you had a good week! Thanks for sharin your links.

Brandi said...

I don't know how I missed your blog until now! Be warned. I'm now following you!! :)

MissMOE said...

Keeping it simple is really hard for me! Thanks for the link to the free book. I just recently got a Nook and am feeling I should use it for educational purposes! And the books look great.