Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Old School Monday Christmas Party--Friday!

Where:  The usual classrooms at Vintage Faith Church, in the Children's Ministry building

When: This Friday, December  20, from noon to 2:30

What to bring: A treat to share, and a small gift per child in your family if you want them to participate in the Great Gift-Swapping Game.

This will be a fun and low-key gathering, and a great time to invite friends!

We will eat cookies and other treats, read a few Christmas stories together, and then play the Gift-Swapping Game.  We'll do this last, so any family who does not want to play can duck out. But if you want to play, the gifts you bring should be inexpensive and something you already have in your home.  Just wrap each item individually (or better yet, put in little bags), and make sure there is one for each child in your family who wants to play.

You are welcome to bring lunch for your family, or to eat before you come--whichever is easiest for your family!  But would you please remember to bring plates, napkins & cups for your family.  We're striving to make our gatherings as waste-free as possible. : )  Thank you!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Old School Monday, NEXT Monday, Nov 25--Traditions Day!

The Freedom From Want by Norman Rockwell

It's time for our November Old School Monday!  Our theme this time will be "Traditions," and we will be talking about family traditions, and the tradition of Thanksgiving.

When:  Monday, Nov. 25
Where: the usual classrooms, Vintage Faith Church

*Those children who are interested may bring something to share with the group about a special family tradition they have. It does not have to be specific to Thanksgiving--any family tradition will be fun to hear about!  Those who have been working on the Book of Months might choose to bring a page from their book to share.

*Does any mom want to come prepared with a short book to read to the kids and/or a short talk about the real history of Thanksgiving/Pilgrims?  I have a book I can read, but I know some of you have researched the sometimes forgotten history of this holiday, and if any of you have a passion to share, please let me know!

*I was not planning on this being a party or special food event this time, so as always you are welcome to bring lunch for your family if that is helpful, but there is no need to bring a food treat to share. : )

Questions? As always, please leave them in the comments below, so everyone may benefit from the answers.

*please note we will have to end a little earlier than usual, because I have to get to another homeschool event by 2:30. : )

Friday, November 15, 2013

Hey you guys!
I've been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience. Time4Learning can be used as a homeschool curriculum, for afterschool enrichment and for summer skill sharpening. Find out how to write your own curriculum review for Time4Learning.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Ye Olde School Medieval Monday, NEXT week!

image (and fascinating discussion of trombones in ancient art) found here

Welcome to Ye Olde School Medieval Monday
October 28, 2013
Vintage Faith classrooms
noon - 2:30

Children are welcome to dress up in Medieval-Renaissance appropriate clothing.

Please bring a finger food item to share--we will have a Medieval feast!  *It is perfectly fine to bring food that is not historically accurate.*  We will be talking as a group about the foods they would have eaten at this time, and why, and so it is will work well if we have some foods they would not have eaten. : )   If you would like to bring a food that is more historically accurate, I have found some web pages here, here, and here for starting points.  *Whether you bring historical or modern food, please choose something that is not very messy and can be eaten with fingers.*  

Some quick food options from Medieval times:
--dark bread (rye, barley, wheat)
--figs, dates
--apples, plums, pears
--roasted nuts
--chocolate gold coins (for taxes ; )
--apple cider

For extra ambiance, see if you have any wooden or metal plates or bowls to serve your foods in.

Please remember to bring plates, napkins & cups for your family.  We're striving to make our gatherings as waste-free as possible. : )

If you and your children would like, the kids can also come prepared to share a favorite book that takes place in or a historical character that lived during the Middle Ages or Renaissance periods in world history.  Each child who comes prepared will share briefly, if they desire; older kids may write and present a report if mom wants. ; )

Questions or comments?  Please leave them in the comments below, so that everyone may benefit from the discussion.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox/Birthday Party!

child in Bosnia who just received a shoebox--from the Operation Christmas Child facebook page

Hello Vintage Homeschool Moms,

Hope everyone is getting plenty of opportunities to enjoy this beautiful fall weather with your sweet families! In the last Old School email, Lisa mentioned that we might consider having an Operation Christmas Child (OCC) Shoebox filling party. Our family  would love to host a small scale OCC party and invite you all to Hidden Beach Park on Friday, November 8th, around 11:30ish. Our family will provide the boxes and take them to one of the designated drop off locations for mailing, *unless* your family would prefer to take your own box(es) home & deliver/mail at your own convenience. That is great, too!

Lastly, I would like to mention that two years ago we were honored to be able to host a small OCC Shoebox packing party on my son Jack's birthday, and we look forward to hosting again this year. Like last time, Jack has requested we bake his favorite mini cupcakes to pass out to all his homeschooling friends. While there will be sweets offered, I will also have some healthy snacks to share as well. And again, this OCC party is my son's wish to help fill some boxes for some precious kids, so please only bring gifts for OCC:)

And just a friendly btw--if you are having a rough morning (hmmm, this happens a lot at our house on Friday mornings!!) or if you do not have time to bring something for a shoebox that day, PLEASE please just bring yourself and your kids!

We hope you can join us!


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Old School Monday gatherings--Beginning THIS MONDAY!

Hello Vintage Homeschool Moms!  There are even more of us this year, with lots of new homeschooling families to welcome.  Becky and I have thought up a few fun events for this Fall that we want to invite all of you to.  Please pass around this info to all the homeschool moms in your circle!

Our first Old School Monday is this next Monday, Oct. 7, from  noon till 2:30.  As usual, we will meet there in the two right-hand downstairs classrooms in the Vintage Faith Children's Ministry building.  This will be our annual "back to school" share day, and our theme is "What We've Been Up To."  This is a great opportunity for your kids to prepare something to share with the group. 

Some things your kids may have been up to, that they might want to share:
--What they did this past summer
--Something they learned this week
--Something they did recently that was exciting
--Someplace they went recently

You get the idea.  There are also many ways your kids can share their information:
--They could make a display
--Or make an old-school poster board presentation
--They could write a story
--They could show some photographs
--They could write a play and act it out
--They could write an old-school report
--They could present an interpretive dance
--The new moms hopefully realize I'm joking. But yet, I'm not!
--They may do it individually
--They may collaborate with siblings or friends.

Again, you get the idea.  There is only ONE rule:  Any child who participates must have a writing element in his or her presentation.  It can be as short as a page, or paragraph, or sentence, depending upon the age of the child.  But there must be writing of some sort in the presentation.

I apologize for not posting this sooner and giving you more time to get all into it--and yet, I know most of us do these things only a few days beforehand anyway. ; ) 

So, there you go!  I hope you encourage your children to participate, if they want to.  But no one has to if they don't want to. However, any child who participates will earn a prize!

And let's make this first gathering a party!  You are welcome to bring lunch for your family, or to eat before you come--whichever is easiest for your family--but please bring one food item to share with the group.  Also, please bring your own dishware & cups. 

But of course if nothing else we hope you just bring yourself and your kids. : )

Here is roughly what Monday will look like:

12:00 - 12:30 -- arriving, setting up displays, eating lunch for those who want to bring theirs
12:30 - 1:00   -- Circle time, introductions, story
1:00 - 1:30     -- kids can share whatever they prepared (don't forget their writing!)
1:30 - 2:30     -- kids can play in the gym, moms can chat!

Hope to see you there!

The rest of the Vintage Homeschool Moms gatherings we have planned this Fall:

Monday, October 28--The Old School Medieval Monday (Middle Ages costumes optional)

Monday, November 25--The Old School Monday Timeline Day

Friday, December 20--Our Christmas Party

In the past we have had an Operation Christmas Child shoebox filling party, which would need to happen by early November.  If anyone is interested in doing this, please let me know.  The likely date of such an event would be Friday, November 8. 

Any questions or comments?  Please feel free to leave them in the comments below, so everyone may benefit from the discussion.

Catching up--Welcome to Fall 2013!

Lisa here.  Boy, it feels like it has been forever since I have posted anything here--that's what happens during summer I guess!  And now here it is OCTOBER and I don't know if any of the rest of you are trying to keep from hyperventilating, but I am.  This summer was the fastest summer EVER, and so we just were not ready for school to begin when Ocean Grove officially began mid August.  Our summer felt like it was just getting good!  So I pushed back the start of our own little family school--The Redwood Academy--for another couple of weeks, and also decided to build in some grace to the start of our year by dedicating the entire month of Sept. to planning, sorting, organizing, and slowly implementing.  Although our classes and activities began when the official school year did, I gave myself permission to not have my act all together like I normally would, and that amount of psychological buffer really helped me not start the school year in despair.  : )  It also helped me start the year being the mom I want to be--so much more patient and unstressed than I would have been otherwise. 

Let's just say, I spent last month feeling like every day was "bare bones" school, and it's been painful how sloooooowly we are grinding gears to get ourselves into a good rhythm of schooling again. This would be exactly why we don't normally take long sections of summer off--once we lose momentum, and our minds and bodies get used to loosey-goosey, it is just too hard to get up and running smoothly again.  But believe it or not, I have not been frustrated by the slow start this Fall, because I started with realistic expectations for myself and the kids and made GRACE my plan--instead of frantically making an idealistic plan and then being miserable trying to force everyone to meet it. 

I'm not calling that slacking, or complacency, ladies--I'm calling that wisdom! ; )

Compounding this unusual re-entry into schooling this Fall is that we have been crazy busy.  No, I mean CRAZY.  Like one week in Sept we had NINE special events/meetings in one week--on top of the usual classes, schooling, etc.  The next week we had seven!  And this is me saying "No" to a lot of things--these are just the things that I could not or really, really did not want to say "No" to!  Now it has slowed to an average of 3-4 special events a week--which is still too much!  But at least now I'm home enough to keep the dishes washed. ; ) 

This busy life would also be why we usually try not to do too much--we can't HOME school when we are not even at home!  (Yes, of course we car-school daily--have to make the most of those drives to and from classes!--but that cannot take the place of the learning that happens when we are settled down and focused for long stretches of time at home.) 

Moms who are starting out new to homeschooling, please heed my words.  Do not feel like you are being a boring mom if you keep your kids home most days.  Do not feel like you are being a negligent homeschool teacher if you don't have your kids enrolled in classes every day of the week.  Busy is not better--you need plenty of time to focus on your kids without the stress of watching the clock.  And they need plenty of time to engage with activities without being interrupted.  And I highly encourage all of you new-to-homeschool moms to build in some breathing room for yourself into the day too.  Any of you who have been around me for more than one day know I am a big proponent of quiet times! 

So, I would love to hear from any of you who care to leave a comment how YOU are doing here at the start of the school year!  I would esp. enjoy hearing any new routines or things you have implemented this year that you think are going well. 

It is a little scary to realize that we've been homeschooling now for. . . 7 years.  This is our eighth.  I can't believe it!  But just this Fall, I am starting to realize that over the years I really have acquired some wisdom!  So this Fall I would like to do some more writing here and share with you all some of the things I think I have finally figured out that work well for us, or that make me happy--just in case they work well for you or make you happy too!

And all of you, please consider sharing your stories here too!  I keep learning new things, and some of you come up with the best strategies for more effective and fruitful teaching and living.

.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .

Now, with all that said, I want to let you know that we are ready to announce our Vintage Homeschool events for the Fall!  So, keeping your family's "busyness" needs in mind, please put them on your calendar, and consider joining us.  We have some fun things planned!  I should have the first post up tonight. : )

Happy Fall Semester 2013!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Easiest and Healthiest Banana Cookie Recipe Ever! (sugar and flour free)

Hi All,

A few of the mom's asked me to post this recipe.  A friend of mine gave this to me and I'll pass it on.

2 mashed bananas
1 cup of rolled oats (you can process them in the food processor if you wish)

now the fun part...you can add chocolate chips, nuts, raisins, almond meal, chia seeds or whatever you desire.

(I usually add 2-3 T of almond meal and some chocolate chips.  My friend adds protein powder to hers.)

Bake for about 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees and Enjoy!!!

Monday, May 13, 2013

UPDATE to the Abbey Art Show Wrap-Up

UPDATE to the Update! 

It looks like I will be there tomorrow at 10:45, and can stay as long as 11:15 for whomever can come by tomorrow (Tues)--but will have to skedaddle after that, so please come at 11 at the latest, ok?

Please see the info on the last post about where I will be--upstairs over the Abbey.

Thanks, everyone!


Well, yesterday must have been a big day of Mother's Day plans, because only one person showed up to pick up art!  (Thanks, Charlotte! : ) I am now having people email me asking if they can make individual plans with me to pick up the art, but as you can imagine, I won't be able to make individual pick-up arrangements with so many families.  So, let's try a formal pick-up date one more time.  I am not over in Santa Cruz much during the week, but I would be willing to make one weekday morning pickup when I am over there if people preferred that over the weekend.  Or we can try for next Sunday again. 

So would at least some of you please respond to this post so I know which you would actually go to? 

Option #1: Tues or Thurs morning between 10:45-11:00 a.m. Please note that is just a 15 minute window!  My kids have a class nearby for one hour, so I can run over to the church and get people their art, but I will have to be prompt in leaving again to make sure I'm not late picking the kids up again. 

Option #2: Next Sunday I'll set out the art again in the hallway upstairs.  This time I won't be there early. : )  This time I also won't hang out and keep an eye on it--but the hallway is fairly quiet, so I don't think the art will come to any grief.  But if you are concerned, come on the early side!  I'll have it out between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

If you do not contact me, or come to get your art, I'll have to assume you are not interested in having it back, and I will have to throw it away. : (  

You were all so wonderful about getting the art to the Abbey in time for the hanging, for having those required cards, for adhering to the guidelines of the show--I was as impressed with you parents as I was with the kids for their art! : )  So I assume this past weekend was just really busy for people. Please let me know which of the above times you would come to get the art, so we get all these masterpieces back where they belong.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Abbey Homeschool Art Show Wrap-Up

Thanks to all the families who participated in the Abbey art show! 

Your children did such a fantastic job with their art.  I heard several people around the church comment that it was one of the best shows they had seen.  I'm so proud of all the artists!

I really enjoyed meeting many of you artists and parents at the opening too.  Thank you, those who came and brought treats to share!

So now the show is officially over, and when I emailed last week to find out when it was coming down, I got a response back that they had just taken it down, and the art is ready to be picked up.  The art is lock in a room above the Abbey, which means it is safe, but which also means you can't just go pick it up whenever.  So let's make a pick up date:

This upcoming Sunday morning, May 12--Mother's Day!
9:30 a.m. till 1:00 p.m.
Come to the church and enter through the office door (just down from the Abbey main door, closer to the street), then go straight ahead and go up the stairs on your left.  At the top of the stairs, turn R and you should see the art, which I will have leaning against the wall in the hallway. 

At 1:00 I will be locking up any art that was not picked up, and then you will have to email me to make other arrangements for getting it. 

Thank you again for helping create such a beautiful, meaningful and successful art show!

The Author's Fair wrap-up

Well, you could hear the crickets chirping in here after my last post about the Author's Fair!

I understand.  It was a busy Spring for most of us, and many of you intended to participate but then when the time came to do it you felt like you could not do one more thing.  I get that--I felt that way this Spring too!

So this year our group book ended up being a two-family collaboration.  And guess what?  It still turned out adorable, and was a big hit at the fair!  Read what my E.S. Terry sent me in an email after the fair, which another E.S. had sent to her:

The other E.S.'s family wrote:
We all went to the Authors' Fair yesterday, and the kids were quite excited that people had read their works and left comments.  We looked at some of the other books, and one was a book of riddles ending with "Who am I?"  The kids have been busy writing their own riddles last night and this morning!  M's I wrote into a tracing program, so I printed his riddles out with 'conventional spelling' : ) and we decided to use those for his copywork. 
Thank you for encouraging the kids to take part in the authors' fair!  Nothing else has come close to giving them the inspiration to write - both before and after the fair!
Now how cool is that?  Our book was inspiring other kids to go home and think and write!
This fun anecdote was just what I needed to confirm in my mind what I already thought we would do for next year's group project:  build the riddle book!  This means that we have TWO projects going on for the Author's Fair of 2014, and you have ALL the information you need right now, a year in advance, to be working on them! 
--The "What Is It?"  Book of Nature Riddles  (formerly called "Our Big Backyard") group project, where each child/family can submit one or more pages.
--The "Book of Months" family writing project.  You parents are the bosses of this project, but I have provided suggestions and guidelines, and we can have a party where we come together and share these the month before the Author's Fair if you like. 
So I encourage you interested families to start working on your Book of Months now, so your kids have plenty of time to really get into it if they want and you don't run up against the deadline next year and be frustrated.  It would be a great summer project!  But as always, these are just things you can do or not, depending upon what your kids needs and interests are. 
I have updated the labels for these two book projects so you can just click on the label "Book of Months" and it will take you to all those posts, etc.  : )


Monday, April 29, 2013

Author's Fair THIS Saturday--Final Details Here!

Last Monday we had our Old School Monday "book binding" party, where you and your kids could assemble their poems onto the book pages and be done.  Judging by the number of families who showed up, I am guessing this has been a very full season for most of you, as it has been for us, and either you decided not to participate in the group book project or you ran out of time to get your family's pages done before the party.  Either way, it's ok.  If you have not finished (or started!) your pages for our group book this year, but wish you had, you still have time.  Yes, it is down to the wire--the Author's Fair is this upcoming Saturday, May 4--but the pages are easy to do and I'll show you here how you can finish and still have them in our book at the fair, if you still wanted to participate. 

In the last post, I gave you the details for formatting and printing your riddle--but I am amending instructions because I found our poems looked best with approx. 20 point font boldface.  So that's a slightly larger font size than I said before.  If you use the smaller font size, no big deal.  But if you see this before you print out, great.

Also, minor detail that does not affect your work but which I wanted you to know:  my girls and I decided to change the title of the book.  We found in our riddle generating that while our riddles were celebrating the natural world, they were ending up all being very broad and not quite meeting the idea behind the title "Our Big Backyard."  So we are changing the title of the book to "What Is It?  A Book of Nature Riddles."  So as long as your child's riddle is about something in nature, it will work perfectly.

If you still want your kids to participate in the book project:

--Bring your child's riddle printed out and the riddle answer printed out on a separate page to the Ocean Grove table at the Author's fair no later than 10:00 a.m. 

(If you have multiple children making riddles, their answers can go on the same page, with plenty of spacing in between--you will be cutting them out, as you will see below.)

--Bring glue sticks.  You can assemble your child's page there at the fair and add it to our book.  I will have all the other supplies you will need to finish your page.  Please do not bring regular glue--it will not dry in time.  Tape might also work.

--In the past we have met at the Ocean Grove table and then given the kids a chance to present their book all together at the Author's Chair.  If we do so this year, we will be meeting at 10:40 a.m., with the goal of presenting the book at 11:00.  Those of you who want your kids to present the book at the Author's Chair, please RSVP to this post by leaving a comment.  If no one is interested, I'd like to know so I don't hang around the mall unnecessarily.  : )  If no one RSVP's, we will just pass on that this year.  

Questions or comments otherwise?  Please leave them in the comments too, so everyone may benefit from the answers.

Finally, here are my girls' pages, as examples of what the final pages will look like (click on the images to see them bigger):

The front side of each child's page will have the riddle, bordered with colored construction paper.  Notice the poem is offset to the right, to allow for the holes we will add to complete the "binding."

The back side of each child's page will have the answer and illustration. 

So as you read the book, each riddle's answer is revealed as you turn the page.

My girls had fun with these!  They used the online "riddle generator" interactive I linked earlier just as a brainstorming tool, and then came up with their own riddle styles.   You own child's riddle can be as elaborate or simple as you and he/she wants.

Special thanks to Kathy Oak and Lucy Hiatt, who generously donated some of their Ocean Grove funds to help purchase the papers needed for the Old School book projects last year and this year.  Thank you ladies so much!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Book "binding" party--NEXT Monday!

Ok, after a whirlwind Spring, culminating in the Abbey art show and STAR testing, I took a much needed mental Spring Break.  Only to realize, yesterday, that in doing so I neglected giving you all the final details about our Author's Fair book project this year, "Our Big Backyard." 

But I have a feeling most of you are like me, and are just now starting the project anyway. ; )  So if you have not started working on the project with your kids yet, it is not too late!  But, um, you'd better jump on it now, since we are scheduled to have our binding party NEXT Monday at the April Old School Monday gathering.  That gives you four days--so time to get busy! ; )

And please remember--this is meant to be a fun thing, not a huge hassle, so please keep that in mind as you help your kids with their pages.  The art may not be amazing (hey, that's what the Abbey art show was for) and the riddles may or may not make much sense.  ; )  But it's an opportunity for our kids to stretch their thinking, be creative, engage with words and ideas, and make art! 

If you have not already read the first posts about this year's project, please start here and here

Once you have read those, you know our theme and our writing style.  Now let's talk details of art and format:

--The art can be in any two-dimensional style and medium your child chooses!  I'm not going to direct my kids in a specific medium, but just encourage them to get out the markers and colored pencils.  For our family, this is not the time to try to get all fancy. 

--Your child's art must be made on a roughly 8" x 8" square.

--Please print out your child's riddle on a regular 8 1/2" x 11" piece of white typing paper

--The text should be centered.

--The text should be approximately 16-18 pt. font (whatever fits and looks good).

--Your child is welcome to choose the color and font style, but please use boldface.

--The answer to the riddle should be printed out exactly the same font style and size and boldface, but on a separate piece of the same kind of paper.

(If you have several children submitting pages, you are welcome to print their answers on one page, as long as you leave lots of room in between them, as we will be cutting them out on Monday when we assemble the books.)

Does this all make sense?  Am I forgetting something important?  If you have questions, please leave them in the comments to this post, so everyone may benefit from the answers. 

So, see you Monday, April 22 from 11-2 in the usual Vintage classrooms!  *And bring your supplies!  We will be using scissors, glue/gluesticks, and maybe pencils and markers.    

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

REEL Kids Adventures Series

I really love books.  And I really like to own them in our own library, which is probably the death of me.  Anyhow, my oldest daughter (age 9) recently picked up a set of books that I was holding onto until I thought she was ready (though she could have read them earlier).  It is a set of 10 books, which can be read independently - called "Reel Kids."  I personally know the author - Dave Gustaveson.  He has been serving in YWAM for a long time, and he's incredible!  These books are full of culture, adventure & challenges along the way.  The 3 kids in the story actually travel to different countries in need of Jesus, and video-tape the culture.  Its a wonderful blend of God's faithfulness & power in the middle of adventure!  Anyhow, I highly recommend these books if you have $ to invest in them.  YWAM Publishing is selling each set for $19.99 right now (5 books, each set), and you can probably find them cheaper on Amazon. 

Here are some handy links if you want:

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Abbey art show--final details!

Allrighty, folks!  We are in our last week before the art pieces are due at the Abbey.  So now is the time for me to share with you all the last bits of information you will need before the show.  I asked Philip, the assistant to the Abbey art director, a bunch of questions, and here is what I learned:
Dropping off your art:
They will start installing the art when the Abbey closes at 8:00 p.m.  next Wednesday, March 27.  This means you need to bring the art to the Abbey before 8 on that day.  Anytime that afternoon or early evening should be fine--I will make sure the Abbey workers that day know the pieces are coming, so they can direct you where to leave them.  Unfortunately, there is not a space to secure all of the art before the day of the installation.  I do not responsibility for your children's masterpieces, but I will be glad to work out necessary arrangements with families who might be out of town for Spring Break.
How you can help with the installation:
I have heard from one family offering carpentry services with the installation.  Great!  May I suggest  you either show up right before 8 the night of the installation ready to offer your services, or email Philip in advance at phillip at lincolnstreetstudios dot com.  Thanks!
How to label your child's art:
Please make one placard for each piece of art you submit.  The placard should be on white cardstock cut to 3 x 5 inches.  The information you should include on the placard, in this order:
1.  Name of piece
2.  by Child or children's name(s), age ____
3.  Medium used for the piece (for example, watercolor or paper mosaic)
Please print out these cards (i.e. please do not handwrite), using any font you desire as long as it is approx. 18 pt. boldface.  Please center the information on the card. 
When you drop off your art piece, please make sure the placard is safely taped to the back (but in a way that will not harm the front of the placard, as these will be hung by your child's art).  
The art show Opening!
The Opening will be held Saturday, April 6th there at the Abbey, from 4-6.  Please invite your family and friends to come and celebrate our children's artistic achievements! 
How you can help with the art Opening:
I have also heard from two parents offering to bring desserts to the opening.  Yes, let's make it a party!  Let's make it a dessert/snack potluck, and everyone who can, please bring a finger food to share.  Let's try to avoid messy things like chips, please, as the Abbey will be hosting their monthly Open-Mic Night at 7, and we don't want to cause extra work for the Abbey staff.  So I'm thinking veggies and dip, cut up fruit, and of course finger-lickin' desserts like brownies and cookies!  
Is there anyone who can help provide napkins?  Small paper plates?  (Please, no plastic.)  Please leave a comment below and let me know.  Thanks!
For drinks, we will rely upon the fabulous offering of the Abbey, who is being so generous to host us  We can show our thanks through our patronage. : )
The show will run:
The show will be up for the month of April!  
Any more questions?
Please do not email me if you have questions, but instead leave them as a comment to this post. This way everyone may benefit from the answers.
One last thing:
I just want to remind everyone that this show does have three required elements:
1) the overall theme of "New Life"
2) the construction theme of layers
3) the mounting of each piece, using the black matte board specified in the earlier post.  This board is found at Palace Arts, and comes in pre-cut sizes over in the framing department.  It is black with white core.  There is also black with white core matte board in the do-it-your-self section to the back left corner of the store.  Just make sure it is black with the white core.  It is not foam board, but like heavy paper stock.

I look forward to seeing everyone's creations!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Abbey art show--time for committments

work by Emma Johnson, found here

Alrighty everyone!   I have been posting this information on the SantaCruz homeschooling yahoo group, on homecruzers, and on the WIOC fb page!  But for those of you who come here for your information, let me make sure you have everything you need to participate. 

It is time for me to get formal committments from any of you who are interested in participating in the Abbey art show. So if you have read the previous blog post and can commit to the three elements of the show, please email me or leave a comment to this post by this upcoming MONDAY, to tell me how many pieces your family will be submitting.  

At this point we have a "waitlist" for the show, so as you give me the total number of pieces your family will be submitting, please limit the pieces to one per child. Your family may also submit one additional piece, if your children would like to make one collaborative piece. I would love to give those waitlisted kids a spot in the show, and I'm sure you feel the same.

Thanks so much, and please tell your children I am eagerly awaiting the time when I will get to see their creations!

work by Charles Clary, found here

Friday, February 22, 2013

Easter Art show at the Abbey--Homeschool kid art!

image found here

I don't think I can adequately express how excited I am about this.

I have been talking with Cheryle Isaacson since last Fall about the possibility of an art show at the Abbey for homeschool families/kids, and just yesterday we wrangled out the details.

We will have the Big Wall for the show--that's the premiere show space you can see in the photo above!

If we need to, we can overflow into the bathroom hallway (which is also a great space, and the pieces there get more close-up viewing, so it's all win-win).

I don't know how many pieces we will be generating--that is one of my first goals now, to have families commit to the number of pieces they plan to put in the show.  Families may either submit one collaborate piece, or individual children in the family may submit their own pieces.  So if you know for sure you want to participate, and know how many pieces you want to commit to, please email me at blesseday at gmail dot com.  I am inviting first you Vintage Homeschool families and the parents on the santacruzhomeschooling yahoo group, because you are the parents who have shared excitement with me about a show like this. : )  If I think there is still room, then I will open the show up to homecruzers on facebook. 

*If you commit to the show, you are also committing to adhering to the thematic and display guidelines of the show, so please read the rest of the information carefully and be sure you understand the three required elements.

We have three elements to the show that should not only create visual cohesion, and provoke thought, but hopefully will also result in richer art:

--The subject theme of the show is "New Life."  Each young artist may interpret this as he/she likes!

--The constructural theme is "layers."  This means that each piece of art should be made with the idea of "layers," but again, each artist may interpret that to suit which ever medium s/he will be using. 

Some of you families are really into art and have lot of experience with different mediums--to you, I say, take the layers theme to whatever you think is its most fun and beautiful extreme. Some of you families are still pretty much in crayons and markers mode--while those can be absolutely fine mediums for this art project, I highly recommend you think about how you can take what your kids already know and take it one step further.  For example, layering watercolor over crayon.  If you want to be inspired, or need ideas, I would recommend image searches on the web.  Just now I googled "childrens art projects layers" and saw some really neat pieces and projects. 

Some examples of how this constructural theme might be interpreted:

Scratch-away art

Layered punch-art mosaic

three-dimensional pop-up paper cuttings

Matisse-inspired paper and crayon mosaic

printmaking, with more than one layer of prints

layered paper arts

visual layers within a painting

horizontal triptych

photograph of layers (scroll down post to "Layers" art photograph)

Now, please realize I posted these as examples of layered art, not as examples of pieces that go along with the theme of "New Life."  The creative marriage of the two themes will be up to your artists!  Also, please keep in mind your children's pieces will still need to be overall two-dimensional, since they will be wall-mounted.  In fact, that brings us to the third unifying element of the show:

--Each fnished piece must be mounted with black matte board. This last element will really give visual cohesion to the overall collection, and should also really make each piece "pop."  The specific matte board you will need can be found at Palace Arts--it is black on top with a white core.  Please visit the store before starting your project to see the matte board so you know what is available to you.  For example, there is at least one size of pre-cut board you could use, but then you would need to make sure your art was the right size to fit its window. 

The final pieces may be either undermounted, through the cut window (like you would see in a picture frame), or may be top mounted.  You can choose which ever "framing" is most appropriate for your child's finished work.  The overall visible matte border should be approximately 3-4 inches in depth, but of course you should tweak that depending upon what is most suitable for your child's piece.

We do not have specific size constraints for the pieces--as long as they are matted per the above directions, whatever size of work your child creates is fine.

Also, because this will be child-generated art, I don't think I need to specify that whatever they make should be suitable for all-ages public viewing.  But just in case--there you have it. ; )

The completed, appropriately matted pieces must be brought to the Abbey no later than 8:00 on Wednesday, March 27.  That night the Abbey art director will install the show!  They might also appreciate a few parent helpers with the installation--I'll share details about that when we get closer to that event.

If you have any questions, please leave them here in the comments on this post, so everyone may benefit from the dialogue.

found here

More on Book Project 2013: Our Big Backyard Writing

Ok, everybody.  I shared a few weeks back about our topic for this year's Author's Fair book project, Our Big Backyard.  Now I'm excited to tell you that I have settled on the writing style for the book--riddles! 

So each child/family who would like to participate in the project will come up with a topic--like redwoods, or sea stars, or the Sierra Nevadas, or constellations, whatever they are interested in or whatever you are already learning about as a family--and then they will write a riddle "poem" to accompany it. 

Best of all, I found a great interactive online that will help in the riddle-writing process! 

ReadWriteThink riddle interactive

Write your riddles using the interactive, and you will be set!

More details on the size of the art and how you should format your writing for the book will come in later posts. : )

Questions?  Please leave them here in the comments so that everyone may benefit from the discussion.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Another Excellent Book of Months Example

When I made the post the other day about books your family might want to read to get ideas for our 2014 Book of Months writing project, I forgot to share one of our favorites:

The poetry in this book is wonderful, and while you can find it in many editions, the one illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman is our favorite.  Her watercolor and ink drawings are beautiful, and really draw the reader into to the "feel" of each particular month, as much as Updike's words.

Just a taste:

(click on the image to embiggen)

The facing November page, illustrating the "beauty of the bone."

I highly recommend this book for your family's bookshelves!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Old School Valentine's Party! YOU are needed!

Hello Vintage Homeschool Moms!

So, after our last gathering, many of you told me how much your kids enjoy the annual Valentine's Day party.  So, yes let's do it!  I have reserved the room for Friday, Feb 15 from 12:00 to 2:30, as we discussed last time. 

BUT I am really suffering from allergies this year, ladies, and am feeling pretty stretched thin.  I just don't know if I have the reserves to plan and execute another party so soon after the last one.  SO this is the chance for some of you other moms to step in!  Does anyone want to plan and lead the party?  Or do several of you want to take turns leading certain parts of the party?  Please, everyone, jump in with your excellent ideas and leave them in the comments below, so others know your intentions and ideas. : )

In the past we have had Valentines-ish party food, a reading of a book something about love, and some kind of craft or activity.  (Often some kind of holder for valentine's day cards.)  And then we have the traditional passing out of the valentines at some point near the end. : ) 

I look forward to hearing whatever you come up with!


Friday, February 1, 2013

And now the Vintage Homeschool Kids' Book Project 2013: Our Big Backyard

If you read the last posts, you know we are starting the annual book project for 2014 a little early.  But that does not mean we are not doing a project for this year!  No, so many of you told me how much you and your kids enjoy this annual tradition of making a collaborative project and presenting it at the Author's Fair in May that I got up the gumption to do it again. ; ) (Seriously, though--thanks ladies for your encouragement. It is nice to know you are not just joining in the book projects because you feel like you would be a bad friend if you didn't, or because you would feel guilty or something.  No one ever has to participate, but I'm glad to know those of you who do actually are glad to do so. : )

So here's the project for this year, to be completed in Feb and March and presented at the Author's Fair in May:

Our Big Backyard

The theme of this book will be God's grand creation.  The world is our classroom!  And it is also our big backyard, so your child can write about anything at all in nature--with one caveat:  the child must be able to engage with that thing with his or her senses.  So, this means your child probably should not choose to write about the Sahara desert. . . but of course he could write about Death Valley if he's been there recently and can remember it well.  And exotic animals like Golden Lion Tamarins would not be the best topic. . . unless your family gets to observe them at a zoo.  The best topics will be those that your children can experience as fully as possible, with as many of their senses as possible--tide pools, or banana slugs, or erosion, or mushrooms, or Salinas valley farms, or babies, or weather. . . you have so much room here to be creative with your topic, and choose a subject that fits your child's interests and experiences and your family's recent homeschool studies.  

You can choose something you want to learn about with your kids for this project, or you can piggy-back this project with something you are already studying.  Make the project fit with whatever works for your family and your homeschool schedule.  

This year we will not do the art all together, so you and your child can decide what medium best suits his/her topic. 

I'll write more on the specifics of the project later--this was just the heads up to get you all thinking about possible topics for your child's page.  

But in the meantime, here are the important deadlines for the project, so you can figure those into your planning:

April 22, noon - 2:30: All pages complete, bring to Old School Monday gathering for binding party

May 4 : Author's Fair at Capitola Mall 

Inspiration for The Book of Months project

I'll tell you how this project got started:  my own Meredith decided about a week before the Author's Fair last year that since her older sister had two books to enter, she would like to write another book to enter as well.  And the child labored for that whole week on detailed pencil drawings and pages of text--all her own "book of months" inspired by this family favorite:

Well, she barely got it done in time for the Author's Fair--no, really, I was sitting there after the fair had started on the mall floor with my back against some shop windows trying to shove her pages (some done vertically and  some horizontally of course, and with text on  both sides) into the clear plastic pages of a photo album our dear ES Terry had brainstormed as the solution to her binding dilemma.  But she had put so much thought into it, and it was such a sweet idea, that I decided we would "do it right" for the next author's fair.  And decided each girl could do her own.  And then though, hey while we are at it, maybe the other Vintage Homeschool kids would like to join in the fun!  

It really is a fun way to record not only the passing of time and the rhythm of a year, but also your own kids lives at this stage.  I have a feeling if you and your kids do a really good job, you will end up with a book you want to hold on to and bring out year after year. 

Here are some other books of months that you and your kids might enjoy reading while getting into the mood for this project:

We love this first one--gentle story about a little girl remembering with her mother what happens in a year's time.

This series has a book for each month, although I have not read them.

Ok, this last one won't be all that helpful with the project.  But I loved this book when I was a kid! ; )

If you know of other books that are similar in vein that you could recommend as creative thinking fodder for this assignment, please leave the titles in the comments.

Our Vintage Homeschool FAMILY Book Project 2014--A Book of Months

Some of you remember that I was brewing up a book project for the annual Author's Fair that could be completed by families or individual kids, but would not be a collective project as we have done in the past.  Well, I have finally figured out how we can do it and make it logical, easy, a great learning exercise for the kids, and potentially a great keepsake!  (Even a great Christmas present for a family member!)

Our project is a Book of Months.  The idea is for your child/children to capture the rhythm of a year in your family.  Each month will have one page describing what your family traditionally does in that month, with one page of illustration (or your child can make more than one page for eventful months--that part is completely up to them/you).  Some things that could be included are holidays, birthdays or other annual family celebrations, typical weather, favorite activities for that season, whatever you and your child(ren) think best captures your year.

Since we are just now starting the new year, and have completed our first month, this is the perfect time to begin this project.  So anyone interested can make a time in the next week or so to talk about January and what they did as a family that month, what is special about that month, etc.  Then have your children write/draw about it while the memories and sensory elements are fresh.  Then at the end of each month, look back and do the pages for that past month.  If we all do a little at a time, the project should not really impact our other schooling, and the kids will have time to get as involved with the writing/illustration as they would like.  Ideally, the project itself will end up being part of the rhythm of this year! 

Of course this project does not have to be done so systematically.  There is absolutely no reason why you can't just do it whenever you remember, when you have room in your school schedule, etc.  I could even see someone doing this project in two weeks--completing one month every day.  So I am just setting out the project the way it could most organically be done, and those of you who want to participate can do the pages and art however/whenever you see fit.

My gift to you will be a reminder here on this blog at the beginning of each new month to look back on the past month and write about it while the memories are fresh. : )  The final goal will be for all the books to be completed this same time next year, and we will have a binding party at one of our Vintage Homeschool gatherings! 

Since each family will be doing this project on their own, but we hope to show them all together at the Author's Fair in May of 2014, there will be certain simple parameters we will use to give overall cohesion to the project. 

--Each child's writing and illustrations should be completed on 8 1/2 x 11 inch white typing paper. 

--Only use one side of each piece of paper.

--The text and its illustration will be on separate pieces of paper.

--I strongly urge you to figure out in advance if your child(ren) wants to have the pages horizontal or vertical--we have learned already from experience with this project the sadness that occurs when some illustrations are one way and some are the other!  Your author(s) can choose which they want--either is completely fine for this project, as long as their whole book is done the same way.

--The text will be typed out in black ink (unless of course your child believes there is a need for colored text).  You can choose the font, but the size should be 14 pt (as long as that fits well on your page--of course you can change it if you think the text length warrants it).

--The text for each page will be centered on the page (both L to R and top to bottom).

--The style of illustration used is entirely up to you and your child as well.  You could even practice different mediums on different pages, if you choose; however, I would recommend you choose one style and use it for the entire book, to keep the months having the same visual "weight."  So if your child chooses watercolor, encourage them to use watercolor throughout the book.

--You may choose to make the book as a family and have different children do different aspects of the project, or each child may do his/her own book.  This too is up to you and your children.

--Be sure to have a safe place to store this project over the year, so the pages are not bent and damaged.  Our family started this project about 8 months ago, and some of the pages that the kids were storing themselves have been creased, a little wrinkled. . . not really a big deal, but if this ends up being a beautiful "keeper" book, then in the long run they may be sorry.

Remember, you should not worry about binding the book--we will do that all together next March or April.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments below.  I hope you are as excited about this project as I am!

Happy Writing, all!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

book review: Little Pear

This book is so funny.  It is about a little Chinese boy named 'Little Pear' who is 6 years old.  He is very mischievous and sometimes a little bit naughty.  This is the second book I have read by Eleanor Frances Lattimore, and this 2nd book is more about Little Pears friends & his little brother too.  I like that Little Pear is always trying to help, although he isn't always as helpful as he means to be.  Each of the stories made me laugh as I was reading it.  I think anyone would like reading this book, because it's so funny and his adventures are so exciting. 

The first book is called "Little Pear" and it is more about his life in the village and his first adventures.  My favorite adventure was when he hid in a pile of vegetables that his father was going to sell in the city.  This first book is also really funny!  I hope you can find these books at the library, because they are really great.  I also really like the illustrations. 
by Asia

Monday, January 28, 2013

book review by Asia

by James Houston

"This book is a legendary tale about a young Inuit Eskimo man who survives by himself in the wilderness in the freezing cold Canadian arctic.  He kills seals, a big bear, birds and arctic fox to survive.  I like how it tells the details of how he killed the animals and how far he had to travel to get home to his family.  I like how the author describes the island and the wilderness around Tikta'Liktak.  This is the first time I have read a book about Eskimos and I really liked it."  ~ Asia McNabb, 9

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Old School MATH Party! This MONDAY, Jan 28

Old School Monday Math Party
Monday, January 28, 2013
Vintage Preschool classrooms

Hello everyone!

My girls all finished their math programs before Christmas, and I am so proud of them.  Per our tradition, we are going to have a Math Party to celebrate, and we want to celebrate the math accomplishments of all your kids too.

So part of our next Vintage Homeschool gathering will be all about math!  Please have your kids come with something to share (if they want) to show something they are doing in math, or something they completed in math of which they are proud.  We will have share time so everyone who wishes to share gets a turn.

We will have the gym that time too, so does anyone know of a good physical game that involves any math?  I would love it if someone knew/would lead such a game!  Send me an email or leave a comment if you are game. (Ba dum dum!)

As always, you are welcome to bring your lunch for your family.  This party you do not have to bring food to share (unless you want)--my kids will each make something to bring that represents the colors of their math book covers!  (But if your kids want to do the same, of course they are welcome to--we don't want to hinder their creativity!)

Hope to see you there!