Friday, March 19, 2010

Chicago's Cultural Offerings

Not to make anyone think that this is almost a daily entry-type blog, but... I wanted to share that we are taking advantage of the cultural offerings here in our present setting/location. Despite all kinds of hindrances, the Daddy and I attended two operas in the past month. We are considering the Chicago Opera block checked off for now. That is to say, we are interested in spending more time together at a coffee spot or in travel (while it lasts) instead of managing the Metra train schedule AND the kid care challenge (but thanks Sis). So, the plan for Chicago's cultural offerings in the future will involve free entrance to art or nature museums with a picnic suppers in the evenings. This excludes kid care, because they'll be experiencing the art or other offerings with us AND it makes it possible to enjoy what this huge city has to offer us.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A New Habitat Study: Ocean and Oceanography

It's time to move on from the Polar habitat study to study of oceans and oceanography. This study will take us through the summer and will include many books for read alouds as well as audio books from library or
We'll begin this study by reading one page a day from Holing C Holing's Seabird as we carefully study plants and animals in coloring pages from the Dover Seashore Plants and Animals.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring is sprung!

Another G used various vegetables to create a spring scene. I'm glad for bunnies and squirrels at the bottom of the page too.

Crocus just popped too :-)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Veggie Prints and Completion of the Polar Habitat

One of my Gs took an apple segment and stamped the penguins' bodies with white paint. The heads were stamped in black with the diameter of a carrot.  He felt this was a suitable end to the Polar habitat discussion.  I agreed and helped him find black and white paint to mix for grey. Just right!

History explores Ottoman and Persian Empires

As we read through Story of the World 3, I've combined chapter content from one chapter a week to two chapters a week. Last week was one such week, full of History and my favorite region of the world, southwest Asia.  So, in addition to covering the material from SOTW3, I added Arabic letters and the sounds those letters make. At right you will see the memory card picture and information from Hannah's Helps Yahoo group as well as the coloring page image from the SOTW3 Activity Guide.  There is a definition of janissary as well as 2 Arabic letters. Maybe somebody in this house will learn Arabic someday; possibly even me. 20 years isn't too long for me to take to learn the 4th most difficult language in the world, is it?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Art: Northern Renaissance

During the past month we've explored the art of Durer and Bruegel. The projects usually involved a brayer. Well, I didn’t buy a brayer. So, I’ve punted. I used a creative solution to spreading the paint for each project. Yes, we learned something from these projects. Here are a few of our results.
We refered the art prints from Ambleside Online Yahoo Group.  The readings from Artistic Pursuits and Discovering Great Artists were helpful in presenting a more complete amount of information about Durer and Bruegel. 

When was the last time you smelled cigarette smoke?

History lessons discussed the job of growing tobacco in the Virginia Colony of John Rolfe.  The massive amounts of labor needed brough about slavery. Today as we drove, one of the Gs noticed a TOBACCO shop along the road. I asked them if they remembered when the last time they smelled cigarette smoke. They said that it was in downtown Chicago on a weekend trip in January. That was over a month ago! I explained that when I was a child, more people smoked and there was smoking in restaurants, stores, cars and even at church. I was thankful that they don’t have to deal with the smell or a parent that spent too much money on cigarettes.

We will continue to discuss the effects of cigarette smoking on the health of our bodies. We will also continue to study in history about slavery and the Triangular Trade from Europe to Africa to the Western Hemisphere. I’m not sure how, but maybe when we try to get to North Carolina this summer for ocean habitat study, we will be able to see some tobacco barns. Maybe I’ll be able to discuss the fact that some slavery still exists among the poor and weak of the world.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mommy's Reading Time

My vocabulary just improved. I finished listening to Maya Angelou's book on tape from the OverDrive Media Player.  It was called Hallelujah! The Welcome Table: A Lifetime of Memories. So, actually I didn't read, but only listened while doing all the other things that needed doing during the past couple of days. A world opened up to me from a writer I enjoy. Images of meals, cultures, far away place streamed through my mind.  A cosmopolitan hodge podge of experiences were described much like the non-linear timeline of my own life. "Jack of all trades, master of none" is more to my life's description. And yet, I spent this day enjoying the company of 3 very important people in my life. I can't complain.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Refraction along with Rare Earth Metals

This week we are reading about Lanthanides.  There was a noticeable difference in the appearance of the straw in the glasses with corn syrup, rubbing alcohol or water. So, refraction wins and science was easy. It was not so easy to take the time for my early elementary kids to write out their lab reports, because there was a tree to prune on a beautiful 45 degree Fahrenheit day.