Monday, October 17, 2011

Things Not Uttered in the Little House in the Big Woods

"Laura, would you please get me some propylene glycol and yellow number 5. I'm making a cake."

Sunday, October 16, 2011

When I Have Some Extra Time

I recently heard a recommendation for It caught my attention and I spent a bit of time poking around there.

It's basically a site where you can create booklists for yourself to read. You can also rate books you've already read and receive recommendations based on what you've enjoyed.

I'd like to get some more free time to really try out this site. Oh, to curl up with some great books I've been meaning to read!

I've also been wondering whether people have found this to be helpful for their kids. In some ways it seems that it could be a nice motivation to read--create your own list, mark books as "read", write reviews. On the other hand, there are some books on the site I'd rather not have recommended to the kids quite yet.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Messy Art-Jackson Pollock

There are a considerable number of messy projects on my to-do-with-the-kids-before-they-graduate bucket list. Many of the fun ones are accompanied by fair amounts of clean-up afterward. This week we tackled one of those projects. 

After reading the Mike Venezia biography about Jackson Pollock I showed them a 2 minute video clip of him working on one of his big splatter paintings. I was sure to point out Pollock's messy work boots so the kids knew what kind of fun awaited us. 

Then I found the biggest pieces of paper I could and we went outside to "work". (Really we went outside to get messy and laugh.) The paper was about 3 feet x 4 feet.
ds8's project

dd5's project

It was great fun for all three of us to make our own large-sized art.

The one thing I didn't plan for was how to get these projects into the house for drying and safe-keeping! If we had done this project in the morning, the paint would have had 10 hours to dry before we picked it up. We did it around 4:00, though, and had a tough time maneuvering through doors and down stairs without smearing the paint.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Love at First Listen--More Books on Tape

It's happened again! 

We put on a recording of Little House in the Big Woods and the kids are hooked.

I've written before about how we've used books on tape. This is another successful example. I can't say that ds8 or dd6 would have picked up these (long) books on their own. But now they're interested in the storyline and the lifestyle of this classic. It's provided for some really good discussion.

Another bonus is, of course, that there are another seven volumes of Little House books which they will likely pick up by choice in the months to come.

Some might wonder whether it's a good idea to let the tape do all the work. For us it's worked out pretty well. Once the kids get hooked they almost always pick up the books on their own. Sometimes they do it because they just can't wait to find out what happens next. (I suppose it helps that I'm well-known for stopping the tape "just at the good parts".) Other times they just like to re-read them.

I wonder if that could work for a Jane Austen classic...
Perhaps not quite yet.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Goodbye Again

Make new friends but keep the old;
One is silver and the other's gold.

This week we again say "goodbye" to a homeschooling family in our area. (Well, here in the Midwest, our "area" includes places a couple of hours away.)

It's the second time this year that we've sent prayers to accompany really great friends on their journey to new home. Do you ever get used to that?

It reminds me of my teaching days in Ft. Wayne. Our school had a good number of seminary families who would be in the area only a couple of years. The adults had this in mind regularly. But the kids didn't seem to notice most of the time--they cared deeply for one another without looking to the time they would go their separate ways. They made every day count.

Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends
 will leave footprints in your heart.-Eleanor Roosevelt

Rather Long Hiatus

Hello again!

It's been a while but I'm finally back after some summer relaxation. 

Thanks for sticking with me!