Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Walken in a Winter Wonderland

Okay, so I'm not actually writing about Christopher Walken. This is just one of my favorite memes, and I do want to share another art project we've done to make our home a crafty little winter wonderland.

This week's winter craft project was coffee filter snowflakes, which we proudly displayed on our kitchen windows! Big Girl and Big Boy took part in this, as did Mom. No way was I allowing Baby Boy in on this one. Given his propensity lately to find humor in disobeying me, I just didn't feel it was safe to put scissors in his little hands.

I'll be honest, I've had a hard time coming up with craft ideas. Thank goodness for Pinterest!

Monday, January 20, 2014

"Remember the Alamo!"

As I mentioned in my 2014 Homeschool Goals post, I'm striving to get more art activities incorporated into our week. For this week, I did something quick and simple to go along with our study of the Alamo.

Before we get to the art project, I thought I'd share briefly what this week's lessons included.

A few of the books we read:
The Story of the Alamo by Peter F. Copeland
Susanna of the Alamo by John Jakes
Story of the World, Vol 3, Chpt 40 by Susan Wise Bauer
The Alamo by Tom McGowen
A Picture Book of Davy Crockett by David A. Adler

We also visited the Alamo via Google Maps street view! My kids always love doing this. (We've visited the Colosseum, Pyramids of Giza, the USS Constitution, and the Palace of Versailles among other places.) 

Now onto the art project. I decided on simple for this week and printed off the Texas state flag. Then I allowed the kids to fill it in using whatever medium they chose. Big Girl chose yarn, adhesive foam, Crayola Model Magic, and cotton balls. Big Boy opted for red, white, and blue finger paints.

And the finished products:

Any other ideas on incorporating art into history?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

Shortly before Christmas, our family went out to see the movie Frozen. It is seriously adorable, and Olaf (the snowman) provides some great comic relief. The kids have all been singing the summer song the last several weeks. Haven't heard? Take the time to YouTube it! I promise you'll be cracking up.

Anyway, in keeping with my goal of doing weekly art projects, we decided to create our very own Olaf!

The idea initially came to me when I was killing time on Pinterest and found a simple cut out activity over on My Mommy Reads. I first had the kids paint a winter scene using watercolors since we were studying Audobon's paintings. Even Baby Boy got in on the action after he woke up from his nap!

Then I took the cutout pieces and let the kids arrange them as they saw fit. They came out really cute and now any time Baby Boy enters the room, he yells out "happy snowman!"

Like what you've seen here? Get your own cut out Olaf here!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

For me 2013 was a chaotic year. It was an excited chaotic as we anxiously awaited and welcomed our 4th child and older kids explored new activities and sports. It was a difficult chaotic as I struggled with depression and toxic familial relationships. Fortunately, God was always there during those difficult times, even if in just small ways like having me stumble upon old favorites of mine on YouTube.

Seriously, this song always brings a smile to my face because this is so me, right down to the lack of patience and the scatterbrain. It is such a reminder to me that God is ALWAYS there even when we forget to look at Him!

Now on to 2014! I'm looking forward to what God wants to do in my life personally, in our home, and in our school. I'm big on setting goals at the beginning of each year and coming up with an actual plan of meeting each of those goals. Like most, I'm not always the best at keeping them, but I figure that every little step forward is better than standing still.

Goals for our school in 2014:

  • Accumulate fewer fines at our local library! Do this by packing our books the night before our weekly trip when we are not as rushed and tending to forget things.
  • Stay on top of inter-library loan orders, so I'm not waiting on materials for lessons. I'm trying something new for this quarter to see if it will help. I ordered all the books up front requesting them for the length I needed them (some up to 9 weeks), so I only have to worry about returning them on time. (I'll look at doing another blog post on how I manage my ILL's so I don't return something too early by accident.)
  • Do our morning routine on a daily basis. This includes reading a chapter from Psalms, calendar, counting practice, mental math, patterns, and money. This also includes getting the kids to put their own stickers on the attendance chart again instead of me doing this. (I'm bad about just doing things for them instead of holding them responsible for what they should be doing on their own.)
  • Making art a bigger part of our school week. Big Girl loves art, so she's always a more eager student if she knows there is an art project to be done! Big Boy isn't as into art, but I have noticed that really enjoys the break from lessons that art gives him.
So, that's it! I can think of about a million more things I could add to this list, but these really feel like the big ones. I feel like they can really be summed up by saying be more organized, more diligent, and more fun!

What are your goals for 2014?