The View from the Classroom Window

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Poetry in the Redwoods--TOMORROW (Friday)

Hello Moms!

I cannot believe I forgot to post this sooner--it's been that kind of week!

If anyone is interested, I will be leading a guided poetry hike in the redwoods tomorrow.  So far I know it will be my family and the female Kimballs--some other homeschool families might show up, don't know who.  We will meet at the Henry Cowell nature center at 11:45 and start our nature walk at noon sharp.  We will be doing the Redwood Grove Trail, in case you are a little late, just come catch up.

Bring notebooks and writing tools--I'll provide the poetry prompts that even young kids can do. Mothers are welcome to do the writing for our kids! : )

If you want to join us for a picnic, just come a little earlier, as we will be lunching there on the deck by the nature center.

So, very sorry this is short notice--anyone who would like to come and can, we would love to have you.

lisa c.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Naturally-dyed Easter eggs

Just in case any of you have the inclination to try this!

--no artificial dyes
--great homeschool lessons on color and chemistry

http://www.rd.com/slideshows/11-ways-to-dye-easter-eggs-naturally/

Our Next OSM--let's finalize the day, please?

Hello Moms!

Our next OSM is scheduled to be at the usual 4th Monday of the month--but this month, that means we are scheduled to have it the day after Easter. 

I would like some feedback, please!  Will everyone be around and able to come that day?  It is an important gathering, as it is when we will be assembling our "What's Above" books, AND learning more about Japan.  At least, that's what we had said we might do--Laura, the books we will assemble immediately, so most of the gathering time will be available for learning.  Do you want to finish sharing your Japan studies with us that day?  If not, let me know!

So all you moms, please tell me if you would come Monday the 25th to OSM from noon to 2:30 or if we should reschedule.  Thanks!

lisa c. 

Musical Mondays play "The Sound of Music" this Sunday!

Hello everyone!  Jan reminded me that the final performance of "The Sound of Music" is this Sunday, at 3:00 at the First Congregational Church on High Street.  Very convenient for those who are coming from the 11 a.m. Vintage service--just grab lunch downtown and then drive over. : )  Jonathan from Old School Mondays will be playing Captian Von Trapp!

Book project on the human body--from the archives

Hello Moms!

I was looking through old TWIOC posts, and it looks like I never shared with you all something Becky and I did for the preschool kids one time when she and I were in charge of childcare for the morning SoulFood Bible study.  Since we were going to have our kids with us, we decided to make the most of those hours every week by doing a unit on the human body.  I just wrote about it on my blog, so if you are interested, please feel free to hop over and take a look. : )

lisa c.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Free paper from Staples

My wonderful ES Terry just sent me this email:

I have attached a coupon for a free ream of multipurpose paper from Staples. $5.99 with a rebate of the entire amount. Their rebates can be applied for on line and the check arrives in the mail about 6 weeks later.  It is easy, and I saved over  $100 using their rebates at the beginning of the school year.

I will try to put a link to the coupon here, but if it does not work, just leave a comment that you want me to pass it along to you via email!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Our collective book project! The Instructions Post

Finally!


So sorry, ladies, that I took so long to post this. It was a C.R.A.Z.Y. week, and then I got sick!  Now I have a whole day at home, finally, and my head feels good, so here you go!

As we were talking about at our special OSM last Monday, our theme for this year's book project is "What's Above, What's Beneath."  The idea is to brainstorm things you have been studying this year so far, and come up with an idea that can be developed into a triptych.  The three panels of the triptych will be the same size, and will be stacked horitontally.  The fourth panel is for an accompanying haiku or senryu.

Here is the format of the overall page:



Your job until the next Old School Monday (on the last week of April) is just to have your child complete the art and poem that go inside the four panels.  We will assemble the pages together at our next OSM gathering. **if you want to complete the colored border of the panels before we next meet, great!  But the content itself is what you must bring completed to our OSM.

First, the triptych panels:
The top panel is for "what is above," the bottom panel is for "what is beneath" and the middle panel explains itself. ; )  So you and your child should brainstorm several good ideas, and talk about what you could put in the panels.  I had my girls brainstorm three different topics, and then pick their favorite one, so we are confident in our ideas and have them planned out pretty well before we start the art itself. 

Don't limit yourself/your child to thinking vertically.  Think about all the different ways we can layer, even symbolic ones.  Here are some examples we came up with at our OSM gathering:

If the topic is the human body, you could do:
ABOVE:  head
MIDDLE:  torso
BENEATH: feet

or

ABOVE: skin
MIDDLE: bones
BENEATH: organs

or

ABOVE: hair
MIDDLE: skull
BENEATH: rainbows and images and things to represent feelings and thoughts

As a class we also brainstormed ways you could do this with redwoods, and with a ship in a storm at sea.  Think creatively, and encourage your children to look at things and layers from as many points of view as possible.

Suggestions:
*Each of your school age childen may make a page, or you can all work on one together.  If  your child gets really inspired, she is welcome to do more than one page!  But let's encourage all the kids to do their best work, ok?

*Remember, ideally this project would support learning you have already done, or are in the middle of.  We are finding it does not work as well to get a brilliant idea but not know about that subject, and then struggle with what do draw or say.  (but then again, if an idea gets the kid wanting to learn about something, great! run with it!)

*Have your child sketch out his idea on scratch paper first, so he knows how it will fit into the allotted panel dimensions. obviously horizontal images will work best, unless your artist would like a lot of negative space in her panels.  ; ) So encourage your kids to be thinking of this when they sketch their ideas.



*When it comes time to do the final art, I recommend the parent drawing out the rectangle (exact specifications below) on a larger sheet of paper, and then letting the child do the art, then cutting out the rectangle for the child so the lines are neat, and the child's art can easily go all the way to the edges of the panel.  (In other words, I would not recommend cutting out the panels first and then having your child do the art on them. Unless of course you are gluing sand or something to the panel that you would not be able to cut through later.)

*The art medium the child uses for the triptych is up to him and you--as long as the paper is strong enough to hold it, it should be fine.  So 3-dimensional art is fine, like a glued mosaic, but keep in mind this is to go in a book, so don't make the panels too heavy or have too much depth.

*Typically, the more detailed the art, the less emotion will flow through them.  Encourage your child to think of how the "above" "middle" and "beneath" can be shown with simple images. 

*Don't think of the triptych as a cross-section of something--encourage your kids to move past realism and into representation.  For example, if you were doing the first idea of the human body given above, the torso would not continue where the head/shoulders left off, and the bottom section of the body continue from there.  (your child is welcome to do this, but given the size considerations of each panel, they might just end up frustrated and their art cramped)  Instead, let's say the child draws the crown of a head, with its artistic swirls of hair for the "What's Above" image.  Then draws a tummy and bellybutton for the "Middle" image.  And then draws feet for the "What's Beneath" image.  Letting go the need for consistencies of perspective and literalness will allow for so much more creativity. 

*As the latter example illustrates, consider with your child how a large subject can be broken down and conveyed clearly through small parts of it.  The texture of bark would fill that middle panel beautifully for someone working with the topic of trees.  Or the overlaying shapes and colors of leaves filling the top panel for the tree tops.

Then, the haiku or senryu:
Please take a few moments to look up both these terms online, to best familiarize yourself with them before starting the writing part of the page with your child. 

But basically, both the haiku and senryu have the same three-line structure:
5 syllables in the first line,
7 syllables in the second line,
5 syllables in the third line.

Where the two poems differ is in their focus.  A haiku is traditionally about nature, while a senryu is traditionally about people. 

Suggestions:
*The poem should respond to the art, or help explain/illuminate it.

*Humor is welcome, if it fits your child's subject!  In fact, many traditional haikus use the last line of the poem to bring the first two ideas together in juxtaposition, which is often purposefully humorous. 

*Have your child write at least three poems, and then have her pick her favorite one for the page. 

*Ideally the final poem would be written out neatly by your child's own hand.  A good time to practice spelling and printing!  Use marker or dark pencil or pen to make your child's words stand out.

Panel dimensions:
*Each of the three art panels should be approximately 8" x 2 1/2". 

*The fourth panel should be approximately 3" x 2 1/2".

*If you choose to go ahead and glue your panels to the construction paper, that's great.  The upper box will be appromimately 9" x 9 1/4" and the lower box will be approximately 4 1/2" x 3 1/2".

*I think it is appropriate for the parents to do the cutting and assembly, so that the art and poetry really get the focus of the page, but those who have older kids who want to cut out and assemble their own, fine!  This should be a kid-focused project, and let's make sure the resulting works reflect them more than us. : )


I am excited about this project!  Anyone who is a part of the Vintage Homeschool group is welcome to participate, even if you can't regularly come to OSM.  Just contact me about how to get your child's work to me in time for  to be added to our book before the Author's Fair.  

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Not on the Test

Oh, moms who just suffered through STAR testing, this one is for you.

(and for you, Stacy--for Monkey)

Not homeschool specific--but important info for keeping our familes safe

Hello Vintage Moms--

I know a lot of us have fancy-schmancy phones that we use to take pics of our kids--if you have not heard of the predatory danger in doing this, please watch this video and learn how to protect yourselves and your kids (and other people's kids too!):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2vARzvWxwY

Lisa C.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

LitWits Smile Train Benefit Recital - April 16th!

Hi everyone! Just wanted to give a last minute heads up about the benefit concert LitWits is sponsoring! This is not a contest, but a confidence-building opportunity for your child to showcase his or her memorization and performance skills in front of an appreciative audience. Our goals are to put smiles on the faces of your child, the audience, and the beautiful children whom Smile Train serves. 100% of the profits will go to this top-rated organization that changes the lives of children born with cleft palate in 78 of the world's poorest countries. Refreshments will be served, and each participant will recieve a ribbon. Please invite everyone you know! There is no cost to the audience, and we'd like to pack the house for the sake of your child and the many other children who'd love to be able to smile. More information can be found at www.litwitsworkshops.com. Deadline for reservations is this FRIDAY, April 8!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

live webcam--baby eagles!

Just came across this link, and it is really engaging--a mama Bald Eagle hatching a brood. It looks like two have hatched and one egg remains.

http://www.ustream.tv/decoraheagles

great article: Yes, My Grown Homeschooled Children Are Odd — And Yours Will Be Too!

A must-read.

On homeschool parents: "We’re either deliberate, accidental, or reluctant social misfits who imbue our children with a set of values and beliefs that resist the siren songs of government schooling, pop culture, and social engineering."

http://www.homeschoolnewslink.com/blog/?p=629

(Unsure whether or not I'll share this one with the in-laws! Not sure they will get that the article is saying GOOD things about not being fully "socialized" ; )

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Info on upcoming Author's Fair

Hi,


You are receiving this email because you have contacted us this year about the Authors’ Fair or because you participated last year.

We are delighted to have your children enter books in the Fair to be held on April 30 from 10-4:30 at the Capitola Mall. We have attached the Guidelines provided by the Fair Coordinators. If you have other questions after reading the Guidelines, please contact us.

Our OG student authors loved displaying and having their books admired last year. The books are not judged, but each participant receives a certificate of participation. In addition, we provide post-its so visitors can comment on and encourage the authors. The children also have the opportunity to read their books from the Author's Chair for an audience. They are "interviewed" about their book and then read it.

Over 30 schools participated last year, and there were 100s of books on display. Our table had over 25 books last year, and large schools had 100s. The tables receive much attention from mall shoppers, and many people will look at the books.

The books which were entered last year ranged from poems on decorated paper plates to intricately designed and professionally bound books. The books may be imaginative narratives, poems, non-fiction, etc. The materials, design, and content can be anything that interests and sparks creativity in your children. These links will provide ideas and instructions for making some fun books.

http://www.makingbooks.com/families.shtml

http://www.makingbooks.com/freeprojects.shtml

http://www.vickiblackwell.com/makingbooks.html

http://familycrafts.about.com/od/homemadebooks/Book_Projects.htm

http://www.thenewhomemaker.com/crafts/bookmaking.html

http://www.learningbooks.net/literacy.html


We will be setting up the display at 9am on April 30 and the Fair runs from 10am - 4:30. You may bring your books that morning or get them to us before then. All the ESs will be meeting on the week of March 14th, so your ES could bring the books to one of our meetings if you cannot come on the morning of the 30th. We ask parents to help staff the table during the day in one or two hour shifts if they are able to do so. Please consider which hours you will be able to help.

Please let us know the names and grades of your children so we can make their certificates, and the name of your ES so we can be in contact with her/him also. We will be sending reminders as the date approaches.

Please forward this to any Ocean Grove family that you think might be interested in participating. We look forward to hearing from you, meeting you and your children, and seeing their books!



Kim Evans and Terry Cleary

Student Authors' Fair Coordinators for OGCS

Special Old School Monday--THIS MONDAY

Hello Vintage Moms!

We are quickly approaching the 2011 Author's Fair (I'll give all the info I know in a following post), and so all those interested in being a part of our community book project, please come!  We will meet in our normal classroom this upcoming Monday, April 4 from 12-2. 

Just like we did last year, we are going to put togther a book with a common theme, but each child/family can tailor their page(s) to their abilities and what they have been studying in their homeschool time. 

The theme of the book is "What's Above, What's Beneath."  I'll explain more about this theme on Monday, and we will brainstorm ideas and even make practice pages, so the kids (and moms!) get a feel for what the final product will be.  Each child's page will feature his/her artistic response to something he/she is learning.  Each page will also have a poetry component, and we will talk about this on Monday as well, and write some practice poems!

So we will start the project on this Monday, each family will take their pages home and complete them, and then bring them back to our official Old School Monday on April 25, where we will assemble them into the final book.  The Author's Fair will be the Saturday of that week, and I hope we can schedule a time for us all to be there to present our book like we did last year.

I hope a lot of you are able to make it on Monday, and share in the beginnings of this fun project!  If you can't come on Monday but still want to be part of the book project, please leave a comment or send me an email and I'll give you the info you need.

In fact, if you are planning on coming and participating in the project on Monday, would you please leave a comment and let me know? Thanks!

lisa c.