Friday, May 31, 2013

Welcoming Autumn (Art with Kids)

This is obviously a bit of a catch-up post but I didn't want to abandon these sweet photos so please forgive me :)

I wanted to show you some of the completely gorgeous art created by the boys and their friends.

Four children and the wonderful E (who teaches art at one of the local Steiner schools) met at our house every second Tuesday last term to create just this sort of magic. Mostly I left them alone, but I couldn't help but slip in on their final lesson to document it.

Welcome Autumn.
Wet-on-wet watercolour painting.

While the paper soaked in water for a few minutes E held court telling a story that would blend with the artwork as the lesson unfolded.

Creative. Inspiring. Freeing. Oh, and fun. The boys really enjoyed having their out-of-school-time friends joining them for a change.

 Paintings complete it was time to work with Chalk Pastels.

The subtle variations of a common thread.

And now our house is filled with the glow of autumn even as winter steps ever closer...

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Adventures of Trim (and Matthew Flinders)

I only scheduled a dash of Australian history into this year.

We were working through Our Sunburnt Country last year. Now, as our travels draw closer, our focus has turned to World History and the Great Artists and learning French!

But I digress.

I didn't want to completely ignore Australia. So I included a book recommended by Jeanne at A Peaceful Day (*waving hello*) in her Australianised AO2 list: Trim by Matthew Flinders.

I was surprised to find a copy of this quaint old book in our own public library system.

The story of a brave, seafaring cat who, in the company of Matthew Flinders, circumnavigated the globe in the years 1799-1804 
To the memory of Trim, the best and most illustrious of his Race, the most affectionate of friends, faithful of servants, and best of creatures. He made a Tour of the Globe, and a voyage to Australia, which he circumnavigated; and was ever the delight and pleasure of his fellow voyagers. Returning to Europe in 1803, he was shipwrecked in the Great Equinoxial Ocean; This danger escaped, he sought refuge and assistance at the Isle of France, where he was made prisoner, contrary to the laws of Justice, of Humanity, and of French National Faith; and where, alas! He terminated his useful career; by an untimely death, being devoured by the Catophago of that island. Many a time have I beheld his little merriment′s with delight, and his superior intelligence with surprise: Never will his life be seen again! Trim was born in the Southern Indian Ocean, in the Year 1799, and perished as above at the Isle of France in 1804. 
Peace be to his shade, and Honour to his memory

It's rather short so we were finished within a few weeks. And that was that. We planned to leave Australian History until our return next year. And then L discovered something... The Mostly True Story of Matthew and Trim. A graphic novel. His favourite!

It's the best thing ever when your child comes running to you, full of excitement, about something new they've discovered all by themselves that ties into something else you've been learning! Layers. Rabbit trails. Building connections. Love.

So we were back in!

What have you been learning about? Do tell :)x

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Reader

Long-time readers of my blog might remember the days when I wasn't sure how to get Hug interested in reading. I wrote about it a few times & I'm linking to some of those posts here:

"Mama I can read" 
The Art of Storytelling
The Textual Paradigm & Other Ways of Knowing

Well, time passed (as it does) and something happened...
He became The Reader.

Now, my boy LOVES to read. L-O-V-E-S.

There were days when I wondered if it would ever happen & now there are days when I have to stop him reading ;)

And it's amazing how often we are stopped in cafe's and stores (yes, he'll follow me out of the car and into stores with his nose still buried deep into a book) by people telling us how refreshing it is to see kids reading.

So, what happened? 

It's hard to put my finger on it. But, I really think it was about TIME. It just took him time to want to read. And then, the next part of the magic was, I believe, EXPOSURE. He has always been surrounded by books and by people reading. Books are important here. 

He always has enjoyed books but for a very long time he was happy to experience them visually.

Now, he knows there's something hidden in the jumble of letters too. A million things. A million worlds. A million ideas. He's hooked. And it's a beautiful thing to watch.

Do your kids like reading? Did it take time for them too or did it come easily?
A. x

Saturday, May 25, 2013


Sorry I've been AWOL!
Life. Life. Life. 

You all know I'm sure ;)

I haven't had the time to take many photos recently so I thought I might post some sweet pictures from a few years ago... Nawwww. Look at how cute the boys Montessori-inspired reading/play area was pre-LEGO / Kindles / everything else that growing up brings. #YesTheyGotTheirOwnKindles. Crazy.

Just looking at these photos make my heart skip a beat.
It's easy to forget these sweetnesses.

What do your kids like to play with these days?

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Kids Who Want to Learn about Chemistry (with Video and iPad Links)

This year we are learning about Chemistry.
Ahhh, yes, all of us. Not just the kids. My own education wasn't strong in the sciences so there is lots of cool stuff for me to learn about also.

On Monday we will be attending a workshop hosted by Nathalie of Science for Home Educators entitled Elements, Atoms and Molecules. We have completed the CSIRO Scyance Chemistry kit but it didn't touch on the Periodic Table or the Elements. I want to get them up to scratch before the class so I've googled-together a collection of relevant links and thought I'd share them in case they're helpful to you too!

Video Links:

1. Daniel Radcliff sings "The Elements" on The Graham Norton Show (UK).

2. "Meet the Elements" by They Might Be Giants.

3. NOVA: Hunting the Elements (PBS) this link is viewable outside of the USA, unlike the listing on the actual NOVA site and in the associated app.

4. A CrashCourse in Chemistry (YouTube)

5. The Periodic Table of Videos (University of Nottingham, UK).

The plan is as follows... Suck them in with Daniel Radcliff, both being big Harry Potter enthusiasts. Then sprinkle on the cute/cool of the TMBG video. And then dive in deep with the NOVA doco (which looks pretty enthralling). The Crash Course and Periodic Table videos will be a great follow up if they want to learn more.

iPad Links:

If you're interested here is a list of the Top iPad Apps to Teach Kids about the Periodic Table. I have downloaded the NOVA and PhysicalSci ones. Ideally I would get the Theodore Gray one (The Elements: A Visual Exploration) but my iPad's brain is too small *insert sulking emoji*. I have seen the book and it's awesome and is definitely on my wishlist. Brainpop also have a section on Matter and Chemistry (we're not Brainpop subscribers but I'm thinking about trying a month-by-month subscription).

Do you have any great Chemistry links to add? Please add a comment!

p.s. Photo-credit: What's in an ink?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...