Sunday, March 22, 2015

Artwork - January-March 2015

So for art over the last couple of months, we've been trying new media and techniques. We talked about Albrecht Durer, who we looked at when we studied the Medici family in history. One of his big things was woodcuttings for printing. The kids got to try using foam sheets to scratch a picture and then roll over it with ink and press a sheet of paper to make a print.
 Olivia tried making two prints from one rolling. :)

Then we talked about Pieter Bruegel, who used bright colors to paint scenes of everyday life. We'd seen his work before as well. The kids used veggies to make various shapes on the page. The used slices of green peppers for the clouds, broccoli for bushes and the tops of the trees, corn cobs for tree trunks and logs and carrots for things like rocks and the sun. 

After Bruegel, we learned about someone new: Giorlamo Francesco Maria Mazzola who became known as Parmigianino. He did a lot of work with distortion, like painting the view in a curved mirror or a spoon. The kids' projects were doing watercolor "lifts" which involved painting the background and then using more water and a paper towel to soak back up some of the blue paint to make clouds. Then they painted angels on them. :)

Finally, we tried our hand at blocking, which is painting over something on the page and then removing it. They did candles in darkness and it was pretty cool how they came out.

Friday, March 20, 2015

FIAR - How To Make An Apple Pie And See The World

How To Make An Apple Pie And See The World is now one of our favorite and most involved FIAR books we've done. We had a ton of activities that really got the kids involved in the book, especially Ezra. Now that he's learning to read and do basic math, he was able to do a number of activities that he hadn't been able to do in the past.

 He did things like counting the seeds in apples, finishing patterns, circling the right number of vehicles on a card and the life cycle of an apple. 
Gabe was not exactly idle either. 
He did a huge math sorting puzzle that involved adding up numbers to put them in the right baskets. 
 He sorted a huge pile of apples into odd and even trees.
 He even made butter! :)

 It was yummy on some freshly baked rolls.

 Everyone got to play with cool sensory box that had little representations of items from the book.

Together the boys played a game making silly sentences. They would roll three dice that each had a different category of words on them (noun, verb and adjective) and then they'd make up a silly sentence. It was my job to attempt to illustrate it. :)

Finally, all the kids together made a fantastic apple pie!

Because of the late hour, they didn't get to eat it that night, so...

Who says you can't have apple pie and ice cream for breakfast?

This book also just happens to be the last one we're doing from the FIAR Volume 1. It's been such a fun time doing all the books and seeing them all over our big wall map. If you look closely, you'll see the apples that mark the places from this book where all the ingredients were gathered. :)

There is another book that is similar that we look forward to doing down the road when it fits our history studies.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Springtime fun

With the weather getting warm, Irene wants nothing more than to be outside with the other kids. She will stand at the door and beat on it until we let her out. The other day, I had put out the remains of a bucket of barley seed for the chickens to snack on and Irene took advantage of it to spend some time socializing with the chickens.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday Tradition: Soup Night!

Sometimes we establish traditions without really even meaning to or thinking about them. One tradition that just sort of happened for us is to have soup every Friday night. Maybe it's because it's the start of Shabbat, so we're having challah, which goes wonderfully with soup... :)
(Turn your sound up to hear Irene really enjoy her soup. :)

The kids really enjoy it and get really excited about the different soups we make. Some of the favorites are Mulligatawny Soup, Tortellini Soup (we use ground beef instead of pork sausage), "Letter" Soup (which is just a basic chicken soup with alphabet pasta), Turmeric Chicken Soup by Kitchen Stewardship (take her advice and add a head of cauliflower!) and Golden Cheddar Soup. Those are pretty much the go-to choices, but sometimes, we'll come across a new recipe that sounds great, so we'll try it. We did that recently with one called Chicken and Kielbasa Winter Stew that is just fantastic. Really, we haven't found a soup yet that we didn't like.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

FIAR - Night of the Moonjellies

Our latest FIAR book is one that we've wanted to do for a long time, Night of the Moonjellies. Sadly, it's been out of print and our library doesn't have a copy. However, Rebecca did a little looking and the library near her parents had a copy, so we picked it up from them. 

It turned out to be just as great as we'd hoped and heard. It's a really neat story that mostly focuses on a hot dog/burger stand that used to be in Connecticut years ago and the 7-year-old boy who worked there one summer with his grandparents and older relatives. The boy found a tiny jellyfish on the beach while looking for shells and put it in a bag of seawater. After a very busy day at the restaurant, his grandmother took him out on a friend's boat to where there were thousands of jellyfish swarming and helped him release his back into the ocean.

The first thing we talked about was the New England States. The timing was great because we've been talking about the pilgrims and the founding of places like Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.

We looked at all kinds of stuff about jellyfish and a lot of it was really interesting, though none of the kids particularly like the idea of a jellyfish, especially one that stings. 

For an art project, they painted jellyfish by making a pool of watered-down paint and then tilting the page to make the "tentacles." Then they splattered a little more on to make "bubbles" in the water. It was messy, but they had a lot of fun.

Another craft that we did was jellyfish in a bottle. Now, I am not a "crafty" person, but I can usually follow instructions pretty well. This is one of those crafts that I nearly gave up on. It took me several tries to get it right and I'm still not entirely happy with them. However, the kids love them and that's what matters.

I just want to point out that I was trying to get both boys doing it, but Ezra was being so... Ezra-like that I couldn't get a good picture of him with the bottle. :) 

The kids really enjoyed hearing about the food they made and the busy-ness of the stand. An exercise they did was to come up with their own menu for a restaurant. It was really funny because they started naming things that they eat for lunches and dinners and I realized they pretty much like cheese with everything. :)

Probably the best "project" we did was going to a burger stand that is probably similar is style to the one in the book, though this one didn't serve lobster rolls. :) It's a place on Lee Street here in Greensboro called Beef Burger. We got the kids cheeseburgers and fries and fried okra. For drinks they got milkshakes. It was quite a hit with them all. 

Probably the most memorable thing for them was the video games. They'd never been in a place that had them, so they were fascinated by them We got there while a couple of guys were servicing the machines and one of them put a few free games on the Ms. PacMan game for the kids. They just loved that. :)