Friday, September 30, 2011

Composer Study: Mozart

Composer and Artist Study is something new we've added in this year. Each month we'll spend a bit of time learning about a famous composer or artist. Right now we're doing this once a week, and my main goal is exposure. Eventually we will do more formal lessons, but at this point I just want him to become familiar with a variety of famous artists and composers and to enjoy them. We started with Mozart because Jack already knew a bit about him thanks to Moonlight on the Magic Flute. Jay put this bulletin board up for me and I'll switch it out each month.

Since I'm trying to keep this fun, we're not doing much written work. If you are looking for lapbooking or notebooking things, Jimmie has some great ideas! As Jack gets older, I am thinking we will start a notebook on composers and artists.

Some of the books we read over the month--we especially enjoyed Mozart Finds A Melody and Mozart: The Wonder Child.

Probably Jack's favorite thing about this time is that we usually have a "tea time" along with it. We have some kind of special treat--though it's never been tea--and read a story and listen to some music. We also listed to some of the programs from Classics for Kids. (Both kids look a little sugared-out here.)

Jack made a request for pumpkin pie--his favorite!

One week we made these yummy acorn snacks.

I keep all of our related books in one basket, which I store under this end table. It works well to keep these together but not out in the school room where Alice can easily pull them out and put them in a hiding spot. When our day for composer study rolls around, I can actually find what I'm looking for!

Next up: Picasso!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wee Gillis

Last week we wrapped up Wee Gillis.

We used printables from HomeschoolShare for Jack's notebook.

One day we looked for differences in these two similar pictures. (Our library has a DVD of Wee Gillis and they did a good job of recreating these pictures in it!)

One morning Jack tried oatmeal, just like Wee Gillis. He really had to psych himself up to take a bite, though!

Later the same morning, Jack spotted a deer on our way into town! We thought maybe that meant he was suited to be a highlander.

We read The Magic Bagpipe, which is a story about a boy going to a piper competition. We were going to make this cute bagpipe craft, but life got in the way.

Breathe In, Breathe Out is a nice simple book explaining how your lungs work.

I found an experiment for testing your lung capacity in the FIAR archives, so we gave that a try!

Of course, we also went to the Scottish Festival during our time with Wee Gillis. To celebrate, the Golden Driller was outfitted with the world's largest kilt, but when we went to see it in person, they had already taken it down!

Monday, September 26, 2011

They Were Strong and Good

We recently rowed They Were Strong and Good, the 1941 Caldecott Medal winner.

Jack mapped the states listed in the story and then mapped out where his family members were born.

Homeplace is a neat book that shows how one places changes over time. After we read this and talked about changes we saw in They Were Strong and Good, we took our field trip to see how our town had changed. You should also take a look at Let's Go Home, by Cynthia Rylant and Wendy Anderson Halperin if you like this one.

Who's Who in My Family is very helpful with all those terms like second cousin and first cousin once removed!

Tilt your head and you can see the family tree Jack made--he was offended that Alice wasn't on there, so he added her.

Alice made more of a family scattering.

"None of them were famous, but they were strong and good. They worked hard and had many children. They all helped to make the United States the great nation that it now is. Let us be proud of them and guard well the heritage they have left us."
~ Robert Lawson, They Were Strong and Good

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hello, There

You can't tell it by most of the trees, but fall is finally here. The leaves are going to be green for a while still, but there are a few early birds around.

The main change is the temperature. We went to the park for three hours today.

When we got in the car to leave, it was 78 degrees.

That's about 40 degrees cooler than it was just a month and a half ago.

It's so nice to play outside in the middle of the day.

No hot swings!

No sweaty kid smell when you get back in the car!

I really, really, really love fall!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Off to the Races

(This picture doesn't really have much to do with anything. I just thought it was cute--maybe not so much as we were getting soaked while waiting for her to cross the schoolyard, but now that I'm dry and she's asleep, it's much cuter.)

For once, I'm going to share a post on the day I actually read it! I've been reading Kelle Hampton's blog for a while now, and today I think I injured my neck from my vehement nods while reading this. I can't fit it all in. Just when I think I have, something (or more than one something) falls apart.

I loved Kelle's Kentucky Derby comparison so much I was thinking maybe I should rig up some kind of little horses on string to hang in the entry. Jay could come in and see that Ole Swiffer was in the lead and Lord Laundry was holding his own, but Dinnertime Dandy was doing poorly and we were just having Hamburger Helper to eat.

Today was a day where most of my horses were a little pokey. Some were downright lame and worried about being shot. It rained all night and would have been the perfect day to stay home and read, but we had to go to speech and run errands. As I was getting dressed, Alice was curled in our blankets singing, "I love my family!" It was adorable, but I had to hustle her off for a diaper change so we could leave. I don't know how moms who have their kids in school get them there on time each morning. Speech--all three times we've been so far--has given me a whole new empathy for my frequently tardy students. I thought I was doing pretty well today--I was dressed acceptably and wearing makeup, but as I signed Jack in at the school, it dawned on me that my hair looked exactly the way it did at 6:50 this morning when Alice woke me up and I fumbled for a hair band (this kind, not this kind). Poor Sir Style loses again.

Tomorrow is another day, though, and the horses will ride again. If you want an inside tip, though, stay away from Sir Style and Ole Swiffer.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Life, Interrupted

We've been going like crazy lately. Not necessarily things I had planned, but that's how it goes sometimes.

We took advantage of the lovely weather one day and hit the splash pad.

Much to Jack's delight, we ended up on the news that evening--for a story about smoke in the area, not because of Alice, who is mysteriously missing in the video they aired.

Later in the week the weather was cold and rainy and the printer/scanner broke, throwing off our plans to make a family tree, so we took some friends up on their invitation to go to an indoor play place.

Some days call for leaving schoolwork behind for impromptu concerts.

Can you really concentrate on your assignments when there is a black light room calling your name?

Monday we used our free aquarium tickets, which were a day away from expiring. The aquarium is pretty expensive and we hadn't been in a year, so we didn't want them to go to waste.

This is the first week we've had all of our regular activities going. Jack has speech twice a week, a geography class every other week, and PE once a week.

And then there are the cars...Jay got home Monday night to find that his car wouldn't turn off. He took my car to work Tuesday and called to say that it scared him, so we may be back at a garage or a dealership soon--I kind of hope it's the garage, because I've had this car for nine years and I may look like this when it goes.

Now Canon has sent me a new printer, Jay's car is running (and turning off) fine, and I think we've finally caught up on the odds and ends from the last couple of books we've rowed. Hopefully I will get everything into Jack's notebook soon and I will share what we've been doing!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Caber Toss

Sorry about the laughing. You might want to make sure your volume is turned down.

The Oklahoma Scottish Festival

We're rowing Wee Gillis right now, so of course we had to go to the Scottish Festival today!

We saw pipers,

a dog parade,

and sheep herding, a la Babe. (Though this is a dog, not a pig, but it is not a man standing around with a crook, either.)

We also found our way to such Scottish traditions as the inflatables...

...and the expensive pony rides.

In the kids' area, Jack and Alice both tried out the games.

Jack attempted the caber toss--I have some video to upload of this!

Alice wanted to try, too!

Trying out the haggis toss

After they collected their ribbons (you can kind of see Jack's on his shirt), they headed to the arts and crafts area.

Alice kept trying to get a look at her crown.

After a snack (Alice also ate a good portion of Jay's steak and onion sandwich), we headed back to the inflatables for a bit before heading home.

We had a great time! This week we'll finish up Wee Gillis, so be sure to check back for more Scottish fun!