Monday, July 22, 2013

Art for a Year

Yes, Art for Year. Its not as daunting as you would imagine.  A 36 week school year if you do a craft a week is 36 crafts.  36 crafts really isn't all that unrealistic in getting done ahead of time.   Even if you do all the prep work such as cutting out small pieces or finding odd and end supplies.  Mine isn't quite 36 weeks, because we start school on a Monday and Monday is our art day so we won't do art the first day.  We don't do any the week of Thanksgiving either because its a busy week, etc.

I first went through our school calendar and figured out which days corresponded to holidays or other days of note.  Such as Columbus Day or Arbor Day. Finding crafts to correspond to specific days is rather easy.  If you are doing unit studies you can find crafts that go along with those.  Anything patriotic could be used for Memorial Day or Veterans Day, Presidents Day, etc.  Some art lessons can be used to make useful things around the house.  You could give them a task of using the recycling to create organized desks or lockers for Earth Day.  Make your own decorations for a holiday or a party instead of buying.  Remember to keep some art for a portfolio if you have older children who will be applying to colleges soon.

I filled in the rest of the days with Art related to a specific artist or art style.  I ended up realizing I wanted to do way more than one craft a week.  But my file box only held enough for a craft a week.  So I put some in my filing cabinet under 'extras'.  That way if we have more time or someone gets bored, viola a craft is instantly available.

For older kids you can add in more elements.  The city collage one for instance, ask them to do only half a page and paint the other half as a reflection.  For projects too involved for younger kids simplify it for them by cutting out all the pieces, having the picture already drawn or like in the post it note craft, draw an outline of a simple picture on graph paper, something they recognize and ask them to color in the squares.  

Here is how I organized mine. All set and ready to go. 

Heres my list for the year: (remember to click on the links for pictures and directions)

09/16/13 Marc Chagall
09/23/13 Octagon Geo Shape
09/30/13 Expand an Image
10/07/13 Circle art
10/14/13 Origami Boat
10/21/13 Oh My Gosh its Bosch
10/28/13 Name Skeletons
11/04/13 William Wegman Craft
11/11/13 Patriotic Wind Sock
11/25/13 Mayflower recycled craft
12/02/13 Snowman Reflection
12/09/13 Thumb Print Christmas lights
12/16/13 Print and Color Nativity scene
01/06/13 Picassos Guitar
01/13/14 Nature Scene
01/20/14 Torn Paper Landscapes
01/27/14 Flowing by Helen Frankenthaler
02/03/14 Senecio-Head of Man by Paul Klee
02/10/14 Valentines Day Craft – Magazine hearts on coffee stirrers
02/17/14 Presidents Day Craft
02/24/14 Beasts of the Sea Matisse
03/03/14 Spring Craft Flower basket
03/10/14 St. Patricks Day Crafts
03/18/14 Apples and Oranges Cezzane
03/24/14 Christina's World by Wyeth
03/31/14 City Collage
04/07/14 Coral Reef
04/28/14 Newspaper Tree
05/05/14 Post it Note Art/ Graph Paper Art
05/12/14 Murano Glassware Shelf
05/19/14 Art Dice
05/26/14 Memorial Day Craft – Patriotic Chinese Lanterns
06/02/14 Fathers Day Hand Print Tree

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Making a Gardening Notebook

Since we moved into our new home my daughter has started to garden.  I wanted to make her a nice notebook to help her plan and keep track of all the hard work she has done.  If you wanted to make one for your kids here is what I did. 

I found a great printable gardening notebook for her at About.   But I didn't like the cover, and it wasn't personalized.  So I found this Pretty Trellis I could print out and write her name in.  You don't have to print out every page for the notebook and some of them you might want multiple pages for, like the plant profile page and the journaling page. 

For younger children you can add some pages about the seed to plant process, or coloring pages for each type of plant that you are planting.  

A few tips: Make sure your printer is set to auto landscape/portrait because the pages flip back and forth between the 2.  If you choose a different page for the cover like I did make sure you don't get the website and date time stamps on the top and bottom of the page.  If you chose to print black and white make sure your printer is set to grey scale or it will come out as a pink color instead.  Make copies of the originals and keep the originals so you can do it again the next planting season. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Giant Swallowtail Butterfly

You might homeschool if your kids go off into the backyard and look for caterpillars to grow into butterflies.  Know how to feed them and what to do when they emerge from their cocoons.  To be fair we have done this before but actually paid for the caterpillars.  My kids got smart and found some for free in our backyard.  It helps that we have a backyard with trees.  Specifically citrus trees.  My daughters, yes the girls not one of the gaggle of boys I have, found the caterpillars on our citrus trees.  They are Giant Swallowtail Butterflies - some of the largest butterflies in North America. 

If you are interested in doing this project yourself you can order a kit online or find your own caterpillars.  If you do it yourself you will need a mesh enclosure for them to live in (ours was reused from when we ordered the kit), and you will need to research how to feed them both as a caterpillar and as a butterfly.  Make sure you are getting the correct caterpillars or you could end up with a house full of moths or worse, worms and bird poop (some of these really do look like bird poop). 

Which ever you choose, it is so worth it.  Have fun bug hunting and be sure to post your own pictures if you get some to turn into butterflies!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

I'm Thankful

This year its not hard for me to find things to be thankful for. 

I am thankful I got more time with my son, that he is in remission and able to walk again. 

I am thankful for those who care about us: friends, family and strangers in ways I never knew they would.

I am thankful for a home in which to call our own.

I am thankful for my animals who bring me joy everyday, who are always there for me, are always warm and always ready with a wet kiss. 

I am thankful for people who care for those who suffer more than are scared of suffering themselves.  Without them we would not have the awesome drs and nurses we do. 

I am thankful to live in a country with access to those drs and nurses, with freedom to homeschool, with choices in what we want to do with our lives, where we want to live and how we want to worship the god of our choice.  I might not agree with everyone but thats what makes our country great. 

I am thankful for a husband and his undying devotion to me and his children. 

I am thankful this horrible awful year is almost done.  May the next one be more blessed and prosperous for everyone. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Light the Night

Thanks for all the sharing and donations to help us reach our goal for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Light the Night Walk.  I was really shocked by how many people turned out.  It was our first year and it really warmed my hear to see so many people care about people like my son.  If you are ever looking for a way to get involved with a charity I can't recommend Light the Night enough.  Our areas coordinators were so helpful and very responsive to emails and questions.  Our kids got to be involved which was a big deal to us.  We want that to know what it is to give back.  For them to see how many people whose lives have been touched by Leukemia and Lymphoma, it made them feel not so alone.  We will be doing this again next year for sure. 

Some strangers were nice enough to get a picture of ALL of us.  I think its the only family picture with all 9 kids.

It was a cold cold night right there on the lake. 

There were local "Celebrities" like the Phoenix Suns Gorilla who is seen here dancing. Kids loved him.