Friday, January 6, 2012

Homeschool Weekly Report 2 Jan to 6 Jan 2012

We started back formal homeschool and music lessons this week. It felt good to sit at our little school table, and have a routine. It felt good, but it was very draining. I am going to fortify myself with no driving and lots of stitching this weekend because dance classes start next week. A little voice in my head frequently commented, "Isn't it nice to take a long break in the middle of the day, or even two breaks, and do some subjects in the late afternoon?" Even with no rushing off to dance, it was impossible to get everything done. Latin did not get done. Science got done a bit. History got done a bit more. Math, grammar, art, and composition got done A LOT!

I had one last thing I really wanted to introduce before we moved on to our next Artist Study. Paintings and Painters are our main focus, but I would like to introduce other art forms occasionally. To finish our Degas study, we read Degas and the Little Dancer and looked at Degas' sculpture "The Little Dancer." Buttercup colored another page from Masterpieces: A Fact-filled Coloring Book.

We did not get everything done with this Artist/Composer round that I had envisioned. I am trying to look at all the resources as "options I can choose from" instead of as "boxes I need to check in order to feel good about our experience." We drew ballerinas, we listened to different pieces by Tchaikovsky, Nutmeg worked on a Tchaikovsky piano piece, we went to a school day at a theatre for what we thought would be an abbreviated Nutcracker (It was a disappointment), we discovered new books about Degas and Tchaikovsky, Nutmeg noted the men in her Book of Centuries, and we even managed to tie Young Indiana Jones in by watching an episode where Picasso argues with Degas about art! I keep telling myself this is exposure, this is enrichment, it is not meant to be the end-all-and-be-all Culture Experience!!

We did some "hands-on" art as well this week. Nutmeg grudgingly did an assignment or two out of Artistic Pursuits- we are giving it another try, but we still have not discovered its "magic." Buttercup experimented with positive and negative images. (We haven't quite figured out how we want to display them.)
How to Teach Art to Children is still my favorite art program we have used. I remember having so much fun doing it with Nutmeg. Nutmeg also remembers it fondly and frequently asks to be included in Buttercup's lesson. Today they were each given three sheets of paper and three blue circles. The assignment was to make the circle part of the drawing in different ways on the different papers. Nutmeg's all had a Harry Potter theme, of course!
Buttercup also drew a tiger while I read to her about India. I know it looks like she misspelled tiger, but it was her little joke - a tiger growls "grrrr!"
India was our history focus this week. Yes, we are only on week 11 of Story of the World. I am past hyperventilating about that. Occasionally I do hyperventilate about other things though, like Social Studies. Now, I couldn't tell you what Social Studies is off the top of my head without a lot of "um's" and "you know's." Homeschoolers seem to pooh-pooh Social Studies. We always look at the geography, religions, foods, current events, etc. of any country we encounter in our history texts. But sometimes, sometimes, I get the Social Studies Bug- enter the Weekly Reader Social Studies Skill Builders Grades 4-5. I bought it used somewhere or other, and I pull it out now and again. This week Nutmeg did a few multiplechoiceinterpretthegraph-type worksheets about India and global energy use. She came downstairs so indignant that we Americans use more energy than we produce! Her reaction was so charming that it made my half-hearted purchase worthwhile!

I want to introduce you to a few more members of my Stinky Book Collection.
I am indebted to Jenn of Wildflowers and Marbles and Angela of MommyLawyer/Gratia Plena Academia for sending me down so many rabbit trails! I go to their blogs (and Angela's house) and rifle through their book collections, jotting down titles and authors as fast as ever I might. I have come to appreciate the uncluttered, simply illustrated books of the 40's, 50's, and 60's that can still be found at used book stores and sites. Sometimes a child (or parent) really needs a good, technical graphic or an up-to-the-minute text. But sometimes, sometimes, the parent and the child want to savor a book that does not overwhelm with flashy graphics (that remind me of MTV videos of the 80's and 90's) with text hidden here and there all over the page! I also appreciate the tone of many of these books. They seem to be written for children who have or at least appreciate an attention span longer than 2 minutes. I grabbed a handful that we looked through this week and include them here if you feel like going down some rabbit trails of your own!

Myths of the World Padraic Colum 1930
Getting to Know the Ganges Welthin Soni 1964
The Story of Peter Tchaikovsky Opal Wheeler 1953
All About the Symphony Orchestra Dorothy Berliner Commins 1961
Christmas Trees and How They Grow Glenn Blough 1961
Masters of Art David and Emily Kales 1967
The Golden Geography Elsa Jane Werner 1952

Those are some of the highlights from earlier in the week. Today is 6 January and we celebrate The Feast of the Epiphany!

May all your comings and goings be in search of Truth!



Mrs. W said...

Happy feast day Michele! Love the arts focus that you have with the girls - I just wish we could find time in our schedule.

My name is Tiffany said...

Great week.

Cara said...

I love your report, I'm going to make sure to stop by and read your blog more often. It's nice to find a fellow WTMer who does crafting of sorts!