Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The school year begins

So these pictures of the kids are very cute, I thought,  because for once in their lives they are wearing semi-matching clothes and the clothes are not too small for them. I have a bit of a philosophy about clothing for my kids that I've developed out of sheer laziness and/or lack of caring.

I barely buy them clothes. I hate shopping myself, so I run out each season and buy them what is absolutely neccessary. I buy stuff that is really practical (like I just spent a hefty sum on REI rain gear for Sammy since he's outside all the time at City Garden). But when things happen to his clothes, like holes in the knees or even getting too small, I rarely replace them within the same season. I WOULD if either of them cared one tiny bit, but Claire has never been a clothing girl either. And Sammy actually prefers to wear his clothes too small.

But here are my three all wearing clothes that are new-ish. My big sister would be so proud of me.

So, I've done about 2 weeks worth of school with Claire now, and we are figuring out what is working for us and what is not. One thing I implemented was a VERY casual "fine arts" curriculum. I bought this set of 3 cork boards at Staples and put them on the wall in the kitchen.

Each month, I'm just going to teach her one famous artist and one composer. This month I picked Michaelangelo, simply because I found a giant picture book of his art on sale for $5 at Borders. I printed out a short bio of his life, put a picture of him on the board, and we're checking out some books about him at the library.

The composer I chose was Vivaldi. I realize that the best thing to do would be to have our composer and artist be from the same period, but I know so little about art periods that I just decided to jump in and make sure to expose her to someone at this point. I figure if I wait until I get figure out about all the different periods and styles that I'll never start. So this month we're listening to Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" quite often. And then next month we'll switch. I figure if she is familiar with 9 composers' and 9 artists' work by the end of the school year, it's good enough for me.  

I use another cork board for our ongoing memory verse. This month we're doing Ephesians 6: 10-18 (The Armour of God verse). We just say it together every morning. No real pressure to memorize it, but by the end of a month, she usually knows the passage).
The last cork board is for Claire's Bible illustrations. Right now we are reading through Jesus' parables, so this is her illustration of the "Sower and the seeds". It's also our time for practicing drawing. In this picture we practiced perspective. She had to start over a few times to get the road right. Anyway, this is our little system so far and it's working for us. 

I also made myself start a real science curriculum with her so far. I have a theory on how science should be taught to elementary aged kids, and mainly I like the idea of nature studies, but since Claire likes the idea of experiments so much, I thought I'd add a real science for her sake.

Lesson one from Christian Kids Explore Biology was about the cell. We had to make a model of a cell out of Jello and put random food items inside that resembled parts of a cell (a hard boiled egg was the nucleus).

She loved it! Then we just had to look up what a few of the cell parts do. We only looked up a few (she's seven years old! We're taking this lightly) but she sure thought it was fun. And she'll never forget Golgi Apparatus after making it out of marshmallows. 

1 comment:

On the Verge-Couples ed. said...

SUZE they look so cute! chance and i are definitely coming for a three day weekend before christmas, so ill let you know when we are coming and see if it works with you. your family is so gorgeous. i have two amazing big sisters to live up to! i love those three kiddos....so much. i cant wait to kiss those cheeks of wella wella!!!