The View from the Classroom Window

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Book Week Pt 1: The FINAL Book of Months post

OK, so it is technically a school week. But mentally I'm finishing Spring Break!  So in our house we are having a relaxing week, with a theme: Book Week. 

The first part of Book Week is trying to finish up our Book of Months projects. Each of my girls is making one. The books may end up in the heirloom category--certainly for the amount of time the girls are spending on each highly detailed page of illustration!  Even though we started this project about 16 months ago, the girls are FAR from being done. I'd say they are only 1/3 of the way through their illustrations, with even less of the writing done.  This is with the project getting at least 30 minutes of work almost every school week since!  I am so glad my girls are engaging with the project so fully, and that they are making such meaningful illustrations--but I refuse to let the project go on another year!  Esp. because they have grown as people and artists over the course of the time we have worked on the project, so that they have started being dissatisfied with the drawings they made earlier and have then discarded them and started over.  A fine artistic choice, but one that could well lead to this becoming a perpetual book project!  So, forcing my children to labor over their drawings for hours at a time is the first goal of Book Week.

(Perhaps it is appropriate that we just finished learning about illuminated manuscripts and the monks that made them--the children can at least be thankful they have a warm room to work in, they don't have to grind up their own coloring agents, and they are allowed to speak while working. Heck, they can even suck on some Easter candy while they work. Whatever will keep them happily working on it!)

I hope those of you who are also working on a Book of Months project will have success motivating your kiddos to complete it in time!  Don't forget--if they have it finished by next Monday they can come show it off at our Old School Monday gathering!  That might be helpful incentive for some of you. : )

Originally I said I would provide materials for those who wanted to have a "book binding" party on Monday. But Shelley was the only one interested--and Shelley, you are WAY more crafty than I am (judging by what I've seen on facebook of your first year homeschooling ; ) so I will not plan on us "binding" as a group--instead, I'll just tell you how we are doing ours, and then you can run with that idea or do whatever else you think suits your project.

There's basically one super easy way I have been putting together books for our Vintage Homeschool projects:

--go to an arts supply store like Palace Arts and look at their selection of art paper pads (the various kinds intended for different mediums, with different weights and textures).  Choose the paper texture and weight that you like, keeping in mind a heavier paper will make a sturdier back page to glue your child's artwork onto.

--Affix the artwork onto the pages as you and your child see fit. *Just be sure to leave a good left-hand margin for the binding.

--Use a heavy-duty hole punch to make holes in each page.  You can make as few or many as you like (or have hand-strength for). If you want a lot of holes, then you could make a pretty "lace-up" or "sewn" binding with yarn or ribbon.  If your finished book pages will be vertical, I would recommend at least four connection spots.  If the finished book pages will be read horizontals, three or even two holes might suffice, depending upon where they are placed.

--You can use metal clips from Palace to hold the book pages together, as we have done in the past for our group book projects--this will make a very loose book, great for holding open on a lap.  Or you can use ribbon or yarn and just tie bows--just don't tie them too tightly or the book pages will have difficulty turning easily.

There you have it!  

Finally, you have two ways to get your book to the Author's Fair:

--Give it to me on Monday at our gathering

--Take it to the Author's Fair and deliver to the Ocean Grove Table (usually to the right of the center fountain, if you were coming in the main front mall doors).

I can't wait to see what your kids contribute to the Author's Fair, either one of our group projects or something they have done on their own!

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