So, Dan had a great suggestion last night. E9 received a digital camera from his grandparents and we have hooked him up to upload his pictures and manage them using Picassa. E9 will be our blog photographer as much as possible. His camera is a Kodak Easyshare while ours is a Canon digital Rebel (LOVE this camera!) so as long as his shows the detail, he is hired! Below is our first shared experience and I think it turned out VERY well!by
So, check out our Starry Nights and Sunny Day paintings. We learned that Van Gogh was a mentally unstable guy who tried many things unsuccessfully before turning to art. He used swirls of thick paints (often right from the tube- which I SO want to try!)to make layers of paint.
We tried our hand at the swirly thick method by mixing paint colors with craft glue to make them thicker and painting in swirls on cardstock paper. I took a shot at it as well. I couldn’t resist!
This project idea came from The Usborne Art Treasury and we’ll be using Discovering Great Artists and Storybook Art as well. We do a lot of art with FIAR, but sometimes it’s fun to try something new! I guess the kids are tuned to the literature unit studies because they kept asking what this picture had to do with our book!
By popular demand (Hi Beth!), I have made a super cool slide show of E9’s timeline from Marie Curie- thus far! We use the FIAR timeline which is a fairly new product offered. Timelines can be made in all kinds of styles. Some people prefer to have wall timelines. They arrange it to sprawl a length of wall and lately I’ve seen a lot of posts showing three strings displaying different millenniums. People like to add their own family members and events and all of these are fun. Some folks go with the notebook format still showing a steady line through tons of pages marking off the millenniums and centuries and placing timeline figures along the way.
This one is different and I like it though it isn’t for everyone. Basically, the timeline consists of a set of templates in landscape or portrait formats. There are places for pictures, explanations, and the year. You can organize it any way you would like. I let E9 choose which pages he would use after I gave him a variety. I think he did reasonably well. Then I had him order up the events within that decade. So far he has chosen to use certain colors for certain years, but that may change as he goes along.
We can choose to display a specific time period on the wall or just leave them in the notebook. When I was remarking that we may not have anything to add to the Andrew Johnson page, E9 said he’d leave it to mark important events from his presidency. Smart kid.
What is the point of a timeline anyway? To me the significance of a timeline is to be able to place people and events from history into a proper context. Time is relative particularly to children who are missing the big picture. My goal is for the kids to put all the events and people they learn through their stories into the correct context within history. If they can do that, then we will have succeeded. Think about how you learned history. For me it was broken up into world vs. US and into different time periods. It hasn’t been until recently that I began putting it all together. You know like what was going on everywhere else when Marie Curie was born.
For example, it would never have occurred to me that Laura Ingalls and Marie Curie were born at the same time. Isn’t that interesting? While Laura was busy on the frontier dealing with native americans and building doors with her dad, Marie was over in Poland wishing she could study freely in Polish and learn Polish history. When Laura was taking her first ride on the railroad, Marie was trying to study physics at the Sorbonne in a language she did not know.
So for us, the FIAR timeline templates work. They are flexible and allow us to be creative in how we approach history. I’m sure we’ll change and refine how we use them. More important than spreading years and years of history before us, waiting to be filled with figures based on our study, is the idea that our kids know where to put the people and events they meet where they fit into the big story of the world.by
We had the opportunity to talk about grandparents, and people with disabilities and the use of wheelchairs. We also had fun spotting the wheelchair symbol in all sorts of places. Lighthouses and oceans made for some fun topics as well. Our time with the seashore is drawing to a close for now. We had some great August fun with ocean/beach settings and the best part was a trip to the real live Atlantic Seashore!
I-5’s front page for the book. Based on the items found on the seashore, we figured the book’s setting is most likely the Pacific coast. Well, when is the last time you’ve seen an otter on the Atlantic coast?
We made a trip to see their grandparents over Labor Day weekend and they were gracious enough to pay for one night’s stay there. We tried to make some seashore discoveries of our own, but we didn’t find too much. Next time we’ll have to hit a state park where the beaches might be less disturbed!
Woohoo! Success! I had made a slideshow my next goal and I made it! We’ve been working on the story Gramma’s Walk for more than a week since we had a trip to the beach in there.
I’m excited to share more about this story and what we did, but first I need to slideshow the stories the kids wrote!
Ok so I think the slideshow thing might get old, but I do want to share those books. It’s a lot to look at when I load the page!
For now, you can see the compound word activity the kids really enjoyed one day. R7 enjoyed reading her words- a whole new world has opened for her! I-5 had pictures to go with his and they were pretty helpful.by
Can you believe it? J2 sat himself down to the computer during school time today and tried to play Rainforest Math. Before he hacked something he shouldn’t, I asked E9 to load Reader Rabbit Toddler thinking maybe he could fool with it more and it would make him a happy guy.
Well, to my surprise he caught on very well. Don’t get me wrong. I know he is a good shape matcher, but he he was dragging those shapes so fast and dropping them into place. This is a great program for learning mouse skills and we have a giant track ball mouse for the preschool kids. I was just surprised by how well he caught on.
Not only that, but he navigated through several games and mastered them all! So, I guess another computer addict is born and that is good and bad. Now I have another tool to use for him when we are doing big kid school. Unfortunately, he might do a lot of asking to be on the “puter”.by
Is it really possible that my firstborn child is turning 9? 9! It seems like yesterday I was eagerly awaiting his birth having just “retired” from a teaching position I held for five years. I’ve long passed the threshold of having been home longer than I taught school, but still each birthday brings with it the recollection of all the time that has gone by.
I had gone into the hospital on September 9, 1998 for an induction- sure that we would have a baby by the end of the day. Mark McGwire had broken the homerun record for the season and the newspapers reflected his accomplishment which of course were purchased for the occasion. We were all set. Unfortunately, baby was not and E9 was not born until the wee hours of the morning on September 10, 1998.
And what joy he has brought to us all this time! He was fairly quickly joined by a sister and then a brother and eventually another brother, but through it all he has remained our first baby boy. The oldest always holds the record for firsts I suppose. When I first became a mother and was so busy with the tasks of taking care of babies and toddlers, I would run into moms of older kids. They were always busy with this or that usually involving their school aged children and I could never understand why playgroups weren’t important anymore- even though they still had a toddler. Most profoundly, I was sure I’d never be that mom.
Well guess what…I am that mom! I understand her more now. My toddler doesn’t always get the playgroup time. Why? Well because as my other children have gotten older, life cannot revolve around my preschoolers. I do try to achieve a balance, but it is difficult as this soccer mom knows.
So, happy birthday E9!
You are a wonderful little guy and we are thankful you are the one to lead us into new territory as parents. Someday, your brothers and sister will thank you too! New territory? The territory that realizes you are not little like your siblings are anymore. The territory that leads us to give you more choices and responsibilities like managing your own media time. The territory that convinces us that your own mp3 player is the prudent thing to do. The territory that means you can read in your bed long after your brothers and sisters are asleep. The new territory that allows us to begin relinquishing control- little by little as you grow.
I’m so thankful for the blessing of you and all that you mean to our family! And as your dad would say (to really get my goat and sometimes it does!), you are half way to leaving home, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. What a tragedy it would be if you did not continue to grow. May God continue to bless you as you grow into the man He wants you to be!
Tonight was game night at our house and we chose to play Knights and Cities of Catan. Let me first say that if your family has not invested in the Catan family of games, please get out there and DO it! Since March this has become a family favorite and it’s just right for adults and kids alike.
I-5 usually plays for an hour but opted out so he and J2 joined us in the playroom while the rest of us played the game. We just returned home with some new items since we celebrated family birthdays while on our trip to Maryland. J2’s aunt and uncle sent him home with a new Aquadoodle wall mat. What fun!
He and I-5 fought over the one pen we could locate this evening, but they pulled out some other aquadoodle media and had some fun. The pen is generous with the amount of water is lets out and if you shake it, well a whole other effect is born.
J2 is a brilliant modern artist! And of course, this sparked conversation about Mr. Pollack and his style of art. With the help of Wikipedia we showed the kids some of his real artwork.
Today E8 began his study of Marie Curie for his Beyond FIAR unit study. The book he is focusing on is, Marie Curie and the Discovery of Radium. It isn’t entirely an uplifting look given that she had some pretty hard times, but he is going to love all the science this book introduces.
Today he learned she was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1867. His first activity was to label a map of Poland and before we did so I had him take a look at the atlas and wall map to tell me where it was. He immediately confirmed it was in Europe east of Germany. Sure enough…there it was! I was completely impressed when he drew in the largest river on the map himself and labeled it correctly.
Then he got a chance to begin his timeline notebook. Knowing E8, he will enjoy this a lot. When I asked him what he thought was going on at the time, he immediately told me that Laura Ingalls Wilder was born that year and the Civil War had not been over long. Then he chose to use Wikipedia to find out what else was happening. Here is a short list for inquiring minds!
*Marie Curie the physicist and chemist was born.
*Laura Ingalls Wilder was born.
*Michael Faraday died (ok he is another physicist with a constant bearing his name. That is mostly interesting to me and possibly Dan.)
*Alaska was purchased by the US.
*The Suez Canal was opened and with a small amount of prompting he correctly identified which two bodies of water it joined (Mediterranean and Red Seas).
*West Virginia University was founded (he’s football minded you see)
*The Roebling suspension bridge opened between Cincinnati, OH and Covington, KY and was the longest suspension bridge in the world.
On deck for tomorrow is to discover some things about tuberculosis and malachite…stay tuned!by
How fun is this? I received two nominations for the Nice Matters Award. Thank you to Christa over on homeschool blogger and to Jen in SC who nominated my blog for the award. I’ve been getting a lot of traffic from the Five in a Row boards so it’s nice to see that others have been reading and receiving encouragement from our experiences.
“This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you’ve been awarded please pass it on to 7 others who you feel are deserving of this award.”
So, now it is my turn to pass this award forward to some bloggers I know. I know that many of you have already been tagged, but here goes:
Shannon– is a brand new blogger and I can just tell she’s going to be great. I found her first school entry totally inspiring and I can’t wait to see what else will show up on her table next week!
Sheri– has received copious nominations, but I love to visit her blog so I will have to mention it here. Her notebooking is so fun to peek at and I love to see her kids’ art work as well. She was so kind and helpful as I set up my own blog that I am so thankful to her. Plus, one day when my dd comes to me wanting purple hair, I’ll know just who to contact!
Jen Unsell– Who can’t be inspired by Jen’s fun FIAR journey? Stop by her blog and see what her kids are up to. You won’t want to miss out!
Candace C– Candace is a natural blogger and she and her kids have a lot of fun together. Her new teatimes give me food for thought and I can’t wait to see what’s playing for the day on her blog.
Michelle in TN– always has something going on at her school and I’ve enjoyed seeing what is new at her house. Too bad I don’t like tea because this tea time thing is catching on in TN!!
Alana- has a great blog and she and her kids do some wild stuff. I wish I could link you there, but you need to be invited to take a peek! She is another FIAR mama that I’ve gotten to know on the boards and she is one funny girl!
Marcy– Marcy is also new to the blogging world this summer and I always enjoy checking in on Ben and what they are up to. She was once kind enough to let me know she was selling her copy of Reading Made Easy when I needed to make a switch for for dd then 5. What a perfect program for her and I was delighted to buy it from another FIAR mom. Marcy and I share a love of Evan Moor history pockets too!