17 December 2014

Day 49 / 104 - The Grinch

We've been drawing the Grinch today because no one really outgrows Dr. Seuss.

We watched a tutorial here.  Definitely check out his channel.  He has many other great drawing tutorials for children.

15 December 2014

Day 48 / 104 - Nutcracker 2014

Last weekend, my daughter danced in two performances of Beckley Dance Theatre's Nutcracker.

We love the Nutcracker.  It has become a part of our holiday tradition for many years.

She danced beautifully in the Act 1 party scene, a role she had been eager to fill for awhile.  Like before, she took her small role quite seriously and didn't miss a single rehearsal (which began in early September!!)  Plus, she loved her party-scene dress that was very generously made by her grandmother.  (She's in the middle of the above picture -- green dress with two white embroidered flowers on the top.)

Beckley Dance Theatre does a superb job with its performances.  At times, I sit in the audience and am amazed that I'm witnessing a dance school and not a professional ballet company.  The artistry of the choreography, dancers, and the set is beautiful.  I am always so grateful that we invest the time to be a part of these performances. 

For added excitement, once again, my daughter was able to join the invited guest dancers for lunch.  (You may remember from last year, she won an autographed pair of pointe shoes which has become a prized possession for her.)  Like last year, lunch was a highlight of her very full weekend.

11 December 2014

Day 47 / 104 - Fall Semester Blue Book Assessment

My son took his first Blue Book Assessment last week.  In related news, I wrote my first Blue Book Assessment last week.

As we continue on this educational journey, we've realized that learning is only part of the journey.  Another part is being able to communicate to others what you are learning.  Like everything else, this is a process that doesn't happen overnight.  My son has the next 5 1/2 years to develop this skill.

This year, he is exploring six subjects (seminars) in his Classical Conversations' Challenge A curriculum.  Last week ended our fall semester.  He spent a few hours this week reflecting on discussions and lessons from this entire semester across various subjects.  He jotted down his reflections in a composition notebook allowing him to express his ideas, and allowing his father and I to evaluate that expression.  I am impressed with all that he has discovered this year and his commitment to his educational journey.  The Blue Book assessment has been a highlight for me this fall.

Day 46 / 104 - My Body

This is a science project that has appeared on this blog before.

Throughout the fall, my daughter has been memorizing basic Anatomy facts and completing related science projects and experiments.  One of those projects was producing a life-sized body that included illustrated organs.  (Check the link above for resources).  Just like last time, she loved this assignment.

There's a strong possibility her previous body is in a box in the garage.  I considered digging it out only to measure how much she has grown over past three years.

Day 45 / 104 - ColorKu

Over the summer, we discovered ColorKu in an independent toy store.  We are huge Sudoku fans, so we were excited to try our hands at this.

ColorKu is the colorful version of a Sudoku game using wooden balls instead of numbers.  Puzzle cards are included in order to start you off with a few colors in the pockets.  Then, the objective is to fill the board so that no color is repeated in any row, column, or square.  Actually, you are able to play it with any Sudoku puzzle by assigning a color to each number (red - 1, orange - 2, yellow - 3, etc.) and setting up the board.

My children have loved this and have spent quite a bit of time this fall solving puzzles.  But, if it sounds easy, it's not.  At least not for me.  I find it far more challenging to remember nine different colors than nine numerical digits. 

09 December 2014

Day 44 / 104 - Meet Julie

We ended our six-week American Girl class by exploring the world of Julie Albright.  Julie is the most progressive of all the American Girls, living in San Fransisco in the mid-'70s.  Her parents are divorced.  She is eager to play on the boy's basketball team at her school because there is no girl's team.  While researching Julie, I also discovered she is the only American Girl doll who is sold wearing pants (all the rest are in skirts and/or dresses) signifying the change in attitudes about clothing for women.

For our final class, we opted to tie-dye t-shirts (for our class members and their dolls).  Of course, there was not nearly enough time to actually tie-dye, so we gave the sharpies-and-rubbing-alcohol-pin a try.  Success !!

As part of the History and Geography component of our class, each week we identified the girl's location on a U.S. map and marked her era of life on a timeline.  Our students departed with their individual maps and timelines on our final class day.

24 November 2014

Day 43 / 104 - Still Not Eating at the Table, Month 2

Last month, I wrote this post where I shared how I found such enjoyment in my messy dining room table.  This activity was therapeutic for me.  In fact, I shared with another how if I did not already have a plan for an annual portfolio, I would do this.  Weekly, I would take a picture of our educational journey from our dining room table, I would list five activities that were happening, I would print it out, and then at the end of the year, I would assemble a book of messy dining room table pictures.  Voila! 

However, since I already have a plan, I decided I will do this once a month.  It's good for me.  All this happened today.

1.  My daughter is mastering her first 12 weeks of memory work.  Here you see Geography and times tables.

2.  After spending all fall drawing North and South America and Europe, my son is now working on combining them by drawing the entire Western Hemisphere.

3.  My son made Latin Grammar flash cards.  Very helpful.

4.  Handmade duct tape wallet and letter prepared to be mailed to one of my daughter's BFFs.

5.  My husband was home today and cleaned the heck out of our patio sliders.  They are cleaner than they have ever been.  Good things happen when the patio sliders are clean.

We probably won't be eating at the table tonight, but we could possibly eat off the sliders.