Sunday, August 29, 2010

Our Study of Leonardo da Vinci ...

For the month of September we will be studying Leonardo da Vinci for both art and science.  My oldest loves Leonardo da Vinci and has really talked him up to the little ones. They are all eager to learn more and do fun projects.

Leonardo da Vinci For Kids His Life and Ideas~21 Activities will be our spine.  We will be doing numerous activities from this book, as well as reading other parts that are not covered here in our picture books.

We will also be reading the following books~

  • Kids Discover magazine on Leonardo da Vinci

  • Leonardo da Vinci Dreams, Schemes, and Flying Machines

  • Leonardo and the Flying Boy

  • Famous Artists Leonardo Da Vinci

  • The Artist, Inventor, Scientist, In Three Dimensional, Movable Pictures

  • Katie and the Mona Lisa

Where do you start when it comes to Leonardo da Vinci?  It seems like he dabbled in almost every topic.  We will only be concentrating on a few areas of his life based on the kids' interests.  We are planning to do the following:

  • We will learn how da Vinci used casts to make statues by casting our own miniature chocolates.

  • His adopted son was quite a handful and was often given treats made out of anise to encourage good behavior.   We will make Aniseed sweets (cookies).

  • Leonardo was one of the first cartographers to make maps from a bird's eye view.  We will be making a map from a bird's eye view as well.

  • During his early apprentice years, he often made metal picture frames and death masks.  We will be doing punched tin picture frames out of pie tins and life masks.

  • We will be able to see a real Leonardo da Vinci at the National Gallery of Art when we visit my parents later this month.

  • We will do the lesson on taking things apart and drawing them in Discovering Great Artist.

  • We will be doing several picture studies.

  • We will wrap up our study of Leonardo with a special vegetarian dinner (Leonardo was a vegetarian), which will include his favorite, minestrone soup. 

  • During our feast, we will tell Leonardo's favorite riddles to Daddy and Grandma to see if they can answer any of them.  Also, Leonardo da Vinci often had theme parties.  Everyone will come as the personality of their favorite planet, a theme Leonarado once used with his guests.   For example~one could come dressed as Venus, named for the god of love and beauty.  I will be coming as Tellus (earth), who is known as Mother!  Sorry, Mom, I read the list first .... LOL

  • We will also be learning more about simple machines, but I have not decided which one we will make yet.

That about wraps up for this go around of Leonardo da Vinci.  I tried to leave some room for rabbit trails that are sure to happen.



Saturday, August 28, 2010

Weekly Wrap Up ... Blessings!

This wrap up is really more about the past 10 days instead of the last week.  Please join Canadagirl to see more wrap ups.

From The Heart ~

Our Tom Sawyer had surgery on Wednesday to remove a growth in his mouth. The doctor had to carve away bone to help the adult tooth erupt since it has been being blocked by the growth.  The surgeon feels that it is of no concern but it was sent off for a biopsy anyway. We should hear the results next week.  I am so proud of Tom Sawyer!  He was a real trooper and did not need to be anesthesized until he got into the operating room. All around us were children being anesthesized early because they were in hysteria. Tom Sawyer charmed everyone and asked a million questions about how they were going to remove the growth, etc.  He even went as far as to tell the nurse this was the coolest day of his life, because he got magic spray so the IV would not hurt and that having his first IV (that he can remember) was so cool.  Boys are really strange!!  Several nurses and the surgeon told me afterward that he was an "exceptional child" and "extremely well adjusted".  It is really nice to hear.  Sometimes, when I am in the trenches all day with him, I get caught up in all that we need to work on to help with his disabilities and forget what an awesome kid he is....Blush!   Since he has been home, his mouth is really hurting; and he has been on constant Motrin and ice packs.  He is feeling somewhat better today, and I hope we are turning the corner.

The hospital gave a great tour the day before Tom Sawyer's surgery. Here is Little Red Ridinghood dressed up in the loot they gave the kids.

On The Homefront ~

I am working on September's calendar. It is bulging at the seams and gasping for breath.  In the next 5 weeks, we will be on vacation for one week to visit my Dad and Stepmother, going to Tomatis therapy for two weeks, Duke University for half a week, and all of our out-of-the-home classes get underway.  In addition, we have 7 doctor/therapy appointments besides 8 days of Tomatis....  I guess I should be happy that I am only double booked twice!

In The Way Of Learning ~

This week we took it easy and did lots of videos, hands-on projects and chapter books.  We made paper with Grandma one day to go along with our study of the Gutenberg press.

It dried a light shade of purple.

Another day we enjoyed the park.  We did a subject at the picnic table and then the kids slid down a super cool slide 10 times.  They went back and forth like that for about 4 subjects.

They sat on wax paper so they went extra fast down the slide.

One day Tom Sawyer really needed some sensory input so we played with shaving cream.  This was a real hit.

We also finished Pippi Longstocking this week and can't wait for the movie to come in the mail from Blockbusters Online.

In The Kitchen ~

Thanks to my little helper, Goldilocks, we got a whole lot of baking/cooking done in just three hours today. We made apple sauce, two zuccini breads, two banana breads, 24 cupcakes, cranberry sauce, cornbread stuffing, and froze several bags of celery for soups.  Goldilocks also divided potato chips into 24 bags, so we will have snack food for all of our on-the-road appointments in the next week or so.



We are blessed beyond measure to have plenty of food and healthy children.



Friday, August 20, 2010

A Day in the Life ... August Edition

Welcome to the August edition of a day in our homeschool.  We are in the 4th week of this school year and so far things are going pretty well.  Our out-of-the-home classes start in September.  This year the kids will be participating in dance, homeschool choir, monthly art classes for homeschoolers at the art museum, monthly science classes at the science museum, and our FIAR field trip group.  In addition, one child recieves Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy weekly.  However, we are still in the slower part of our year so here is a look at today.  Every 2 months, two children get 10 consecutive days of Tomatis Auditory 2 hours of therapy.

7:30 to 8:50 ~

The kids woke up at about the same time and arrived dressed in the living room.  They watched a Magic School Bus Show and ate breakfast.  I took a shower, did some paperwork for one of the kid's doctor appoinments, ate breakfast and loaded the dishwasher.

8:50 to 9:20 ~

We took Timothy to his volunteer job at the nature center.  While riding in the car, the kids listened to The Bible in Living Sound.

9:20 to 9:50 ~

The children and I folded and put away 4 loads of laundry.  Tom Sawyer (8), who had been arguing with me all morning, was getting to be more troublesome during chores.  I attempted to distract him and then chide him for his behavior, but he kept complaining and arguing.  I then decided that he needed a morning in his room for his attitude. So off he went to his room with school books until lunch time.  I try to give him more opportunities to pull himself together because of his special needs, but special needs or not, the child must obey and comply.

9:50 to 10:50 ~

Everyone did Explode the Code, Correcting Reversal worksheets, math pages and math games.  The girls did reading lessons.

If you have children that are struggling with reversals and/or trouble keeping their place when reading, I have found these two tools to help --  The Correcting Reversals book, which is helping so much, as well as this see-through box from HeadsUp!

10:50 to 11:15 ~

The girls had free time in which they played with Playmobile figures.  I had a talk with Tom Sawyer about his attitude and talked to my Mother on the phone.

11:15 to 12:3o ~

Tom Sawyer rejoined us in a much more managable mood.  We ate lunch while watching the DVD, Galileo On the Shoulders of Giants .  We then did a science experiment, showing specific gravity using Galileo for Kids.

12:30 to 1:00 ~

We traveled to Tom Sawyer's OT appointment. While in the car, we finished the Bible story we had been listening to that morning.

1:00 to 2:00 ~

While Tom Sawyer was in his OT session, the girls and I ran some errands.

2:00 to 3:00 ~

We picked up Tom Sawyer, then picked up Timothy from the nature center and finished errands.  We listened to Song School Latin, which my kids just love.  It is such a gentle introduction to Latin.

3:00 to 4:15 ~

Everyone had free time.  The kids played Playmobile, Legos, and bike riding in the rain.  Timothy and I caught up on his day and what he wants to do over the weekend.  I also talked to a friend on the phone.

4:15 to 5:00 ~

We did dinner time chores and read a chapter in our chapter book, Pippi Longstocking.  No tea time while reading the chapter story today.

5:00 to 5:30 ~

The kids went bike riding with Daddy, who had just gotten home.

5:30 to 6:30 ~

On Thursdays, Earthfare (our local organic grocery store) has "Kids Eat Free" night.  It is a great deal.  For a $5 dollar adult purchase from the cafe area, you can get up to 6 free kids meals.  The food is healthy and there is lots of variety. We usually spend about $10 for the adults' food and the children love their kids meals.

Here is an example of one child's food, organic chocolate milk, turkey roll up, chedder bunnies, and a fruit kabob.

6:30 to 7:45 ~

Tom Sawyer went to his last swimming lesson with his favorite teacher.  She is moving away, and he will miss her very much.  The girls and I watched a show from season two of The Waltons.

7:45 ~

The children got ready for bed.

Last Note~  This is my favorite T-Shirt!  Some days are great and others are hard, but for our family this T-Shirt speaks what is best for us!



Monday, August 16, 2010

Not Back to School ... Student Pictures

It is time for the Not Back To School Hop...Student Pictures.  I thought I would join in this week.   Please join Heart of the Matter to see more great student photos.

Goldilocks (9) is our energetic student.  She loves music, singing, and art class.  She wishes that math had never been invented but is making progress with it anyway.

Tom Sawyer (8) is all boy.  He is very smart and keeps us on our toes all the time ...  my most challenging student when it comes to keeping him challenged and engaged. It seems like he already knows half of what I set out to teach him in a given week.  LOL!  Now that he is a good reader, his nose is often in a book.  A wonderful sight to behold, I tell you!

Little Red Ridinghood (6) is our youngest student. She loves doing nature studies and coloring history pages.  She is eager to join the world of readers and is almost there.

Our newest classroom friends are Periwinkle the Parakeet and Snowflake the Gerbil.  Periwinkle thinks she is one of the students and gets very excited about story time.  It is not the storyline that excites her but the desire to eat the pages!  We have to give her paper to chew on instead of the books. LOL!

Snowflake has ADHD issues and stays in her cage during school hours.

Thank you for visiting our little homeschool.



Thursday, August 12, 2010

Open House Tour

4 Moms, 35 kids is doing a fun open house.  I thought I would join in this week with their dining room/kitchen addition.  Since I missed last week's addition, which was front yard/entryway, I thought I would add it in the photo below.

My kitchen drives me a little bit crazy. It is not laid out well and has this tiny nook which is not really large enough to be a breakfast room.  (Don't even get me started on the yucky tiles which are sooo hard to keep clean.  My Mom and I replaced all the tiles a few years back, thinking that would help, but the grout still gets dirty easily.)   In my attempts to make the nook work for me, I have used it as many things over the years.  It has been a giant gated-off playpen, a seating area, a teenager's school/computer area, toy storage, and is currently our "Coat Closet".  Our 1931 home only has closets in the  bedrooms, and oddly shaped ones at that.  But, I digress -- we are very blessed to have a home in good working order, which it certainly was not when we purchased it 9 1/2 years ago. 

You can just see my professional Kitchenaid mixer, which my Mom amazingly got in working condition off Freecycle. It was missing the bowl and beater, but my Stepmother bought me a new bowl and beater for my birthday.  I am having so much fun with it.  Baking is a breeze now! 


The closet area.  I am pretty happy with this small space, FINALY! 


We re-purposed our living areas about 8 months ago, and it is working so much better for us.  We turned our dining room into a small living room and turned our living room into a dining room/library.  In the "library" we eat and homeschool. 

 What you see from our front door...Yes, there is a bird on the table and a dog off in the distance.  My dd was giving her bird free play time.  Our dog gets along well with all of our pets (including Snowflake, the gerbil, and a tropical fish aquarium, although Lady is afraid of Tim's fancy rat, Lucy).  We clear the books and schoolwork off the table before meals. 


Well, that concludes our tour for now.



Saturday, August 7, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up

From the Heart ~

It has been such a busy week. There was a fair amount of challenges each day but many happy moments as well.  One of my goals for the children this year is to get them together with friends more often.  They had several opportunities to play with other children this week.  It is a nice start to meeting that goal.  Speaking of goals ... my dh and I are contemplating our goals for the children this year.  We want to sign them up for several classes but need to find balance.  With so many therapy and doctor appointments for our children, it is often hard to commit to anything else.  We really do want the children to get lots of other opportunities, though, so we must press on.  So far, we are putting the kids into dance classes ( I found an all-boy dance class for Tom Sawyer),  and Goldilocks will be joining the homeschool choir.

Learning Time ~

The kids really enjoyed our nature study this week.  We have a crop of wild mushrooms growing in our gravel driveway.  The kids wore gloves since we were not sure whether they were poisonous.

I also gathered together our first FIAR group event for this school year.  Our book was The Bee Tree, and we had fun making bee crafts and eating honey.  We also conducted a neat density test.  First we put honey in the jar, then oil, then colored water.  The oil floated above the water and all three liquids separated.  We then added to the jar a grape, cork, button, and coin.  Each item stopped at a different level, depending on its density.

Family Fun ~

The kids were invited to two birthday parties in the past week.  The first was with a friend they have known for several years.  The birthday party was held outside, and the family rented a giant water slide.  Everyone had loads of fun.

Little Red Ridinghood did not want to go on the water slide and spent most of her time on a rope swing.

The second birthday party was held at a local museum for twin girls, who are new friends.  The kids got to make rockets and shoot them all over the party room, which they all enjoyed a lot. I do believe we have come up with another use for all of the film cans my father sent...making rockets!

Sweet Moment to Remember ~

We are watching a DVD show from  The Waltons series several nights a week right now.  My Goldilocks (9) especially enjoys this time together.  It is a nice bonding time for her, and she loves The Waltons.  I love the moral content, happy normal family, and interpersonal relationships that she is being exsposed to.  Sometimes the themes of the show seem too adultlike or over her head, but she watches with interest and shows appropriate emotions.  In the past two weeks, she has started singing and saying things like "I love John Boy..." and "I am going to marry John Boy".   She even asked me if I thought he would be a good guy to marry!!!  I could not be more happy about her first TV star crush. For a child who has seen so much horror in her earliest years and has a tendancy to make poor choices, this first crush is a tender and adorable experience for us.  When you look at the statistics for a child with FASD and RAD, the outcome of them having a successful adulthood is not good.  Since there is no cure for FASD, the only recourse my husband and I have come up with is to plant our dd's feet so firmly in the right path that it does not occur to her to stray into trouble.  This first crush shows us that we are making headway in our theory.

To see more weekly wrap ups, go over to Mary's Blog.