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Winter Art 21/12/2010

Posted by snoozerider in art, craft, home education, kids craft, trees.
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Well, I’ve had a break from posting on this blog…but it hasn’t really changed what we do, so thought I would share a few of the boys’ latest beauties with you all 🙂

Here are some tea light lanterns they decorated yesterday. I can’t find link to tutorial but basically you mod-podge the jars, add strips of tissue paper and torn sheet music (this is “Winter Wonderland”) plus bits of glitter in our case 🙂 They look beautiful with the little candles in:

IMG_6858

The boys have also made some lovely paintings of winter trees:

waif winter treeG winter tree 2010

(and yes, that is some more glitter!)

We have continued with the Sketch Tuesday and are all seeing real improvements in our sketching abilities. The boys have picked their favourites from recent assignments:

Gman likes his “something to cure a cold” sketch:

cold g

And Waif was especially proud of his “something you find in a toolbox”:

tools r

Oh, and we’ve been doing more Van Gogh inspired art. Van Gogh is both boys’ favourite artist at the moment.

Here’s Gman’s vase of flowers:

gman van gogh flowers

And Waif’s:

R van gogh flowers

This will probably be the last post of 2010…see you in 2011. Let’s hope it’s a good one!

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Art, Rust and Picture Perfect Boyhoods 17/07/2010

Posted by snoozerider in art, craft, home education, painting.
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It’s been a while since I’ve posted on here, but not because we haven’t been busy…

We’ve done some more abstract art, using watercolours and marker pens:

This was with the help of the great book “Painting Abstracts:  Ideas, Projects and Techniques“.  It’s not a children’s book by any means but a lot of the projects are accessible or adaptable for kids and the great thing is they aren’t too prescriptive so allow the kids to go off at their own tangent.

We’ve done some more experiments relating to Gman’s rock project.  The most recent of these goes against all my instincts and turns something that is perfectly edible (grapefruit) into something most inedible (a fake geode)!!  This project was taken from a fab little book we have out of the library and involves layering Plaster of Paris mix into the emptied grapefruit shell, then sprinkling in alum crystals and topping up each day with some alum mixture.  We put a little red and blue food colouring in the mix to make it purple and sparkly!  And yes, it is a messy process 🙂

Waif particularly enjoyed doing some rust dyeing this week.  Again we took this project from a book aimed at adults: Fabric Art Workshop but which has a few projects that would be good to do with kids, as long as you take care and use rubber gloves etc.  To make this fabric, first of all we laid our unbleached cotton in a metal tray, then dampened it with a mixture of vinegar and water.  Next we ferreted around in the shed for some metal artefacts, some already rusty, some not eg washers, steel wool, weights, nails etc and arranged these on top of the fabric before spraying again with the vinegar and water mixture.  We placed the tray inside a black bin bag, tied it closed, weighed it down and left for 24+ hours.

This is what it looked like when we took it out of the bag:

Waif donned some rubber gloves and carefully removed the rusty things (we put them aside in an old ice cream tub for “next time”) then we soaked the cloth in a mixture of salt and hot water to set the dye.  The cloth is beautiful, partly because you can see in it what you like eg a treasure map, a wolf, the moon, monsters, an explosion in space…what can you see?

As well as the art and rocks, we have also been enjoying some old fashioned stories together.  Following a recommendation on Julie’s Homeschooling-ideas blog, we got hold of the book “A Picture Perfect Childhood“.  I found this a really inspiring book, convincing me that reading picture books to the boys (including 10 year old Gman) would be beneficial for all of us.  We’ve been slotting in a story after lunch each day, starting with the beautiful picture book, “The Barefoot Book of Earth Tales” and both the boys and myself have been really enjoying it.  It’s a lovely, quiet, cuddly time together and the stories themselves are raising plenty of issues to talk about.  Hopefully it will help balance out some of the over-boisterous boyish behavior that has been landing them in trouble this week, and help them get in touch with a gentler side…

A Car Boot Sale Education 16/05/2010

Posted by snoozerider in craft, home education, kids craft.
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Who says home education needs to be expensive?

At this morning’s boot sale we picked up a vintage weaving loom, two primary science books, three books interviewing children’s authors (Telling Tales series) a set of Oxford Learning Tree readers, a workbook on telling the time, a book of scary stories and Star Wars Monopoly.  OK, not sure of the educational value of the Monopoly but all the same 🙂

So what have we been up to the last couple of weeks..?

More on the Aztecs as part of Gman’s Mexico lapbook project.  The boys are quite taken with the somewhat gory nature of this particular period of ancient history.  I think it’s the live human sacrifices that do it!  Gman patiently stuck down loads of little gummed squares to make this two headed-serpent (Waif started out helping but got fed up with the bits sticking to him so wandered off to do something else):

As you can see, Gman was rather pleased with the finished result!

Waif has been continuing making some more “quilt” patterns and has even had a go at a liberated house (see my sewing blog for what this means!)

We have also been to see a small but very lovely textile art exhibition at the Babylon Gallery in Ely.  While Gman was totally entranced by a piece entitled “The Power of Money” which comprised a kind of waterfall of £10 & £20 notes embroidered in between sheets of sheer material, Waif was more interested in having a go at the hands-on textile art activity, with a little help from Nana.  They had a table laid out with fabric, ribbons, buttons, beads, and various yummy trims for participants to make fabric flower corsages to go on a “tree” inside the gallery.  Waif hung his first flower up there, but was so taken with his second that he went home with it sewn to his jumper!

Continuing on an artistic theme, Gman has been designing a poster for his latest story, borrowing somewhat from all the sci-fi we have been watching and reading lately!

Blast Off! 04/02/2010

Posted by snoozerider in collage, craft.
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Another hit from the marvellous Kids Craft Weekly Newsletter (issue 38, found here)

We didn’t have any curling ribbon for the flames so used red ribbon and yellow rickrack.  Waif was very pleased with the results as you can see!

Update 31/01/2010

Posted by snoozerider in craft, home education, kids craft.
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It’s been a while since my last post on here.  It’s not because the boys haven’t been learning anything, it just hasn’t been anything very photogenic!

They have continued to be enthused by Mathletics and Waif is quickly building up some very impressive mental arithmetic skills, while Gman is “Almost Einstein”.  They have earned enough credits for a stunning array of different backgrounds, haircuts and accessories for their profiles and are still going strong.

We have been watching some of the Adventures of Young Indiana Jones together which have brought up plenty of topics for discussion and learning – so far, we have covered opera, infidelity, Athens, philosophy, women’s suffrage, the First World War, conscription…

We have also been reading the Horrible Histories book “Angry Aztecs” and will be undertaking some arts and crafts relating to this period.  We started off with making some featherwork shields in an Aztec style.  Here they are working on their shields:

New home ed blog 29/09/2009

Posted by snoozerider in blogging, cooking, craft, cycling, home education.
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Have decided to start this blog as a place to record the things we have done, the stuff we have made and the cakes we have baked…home education, home baking and a bit of crafty stuff I guess.

Today has been one of those perfect home ed days where I feel that “YES! This is home ed!” We did an experiment this morning that worked (always a good start!), the boys have been getting along with each other and we had a fabulous bike ride this afternoon – 5 or 6 miles out of town along the river – a very different perspective on parts of the town.

We had our first LA visit last week and Gman certainly wowed them with his amazing collection of achievements – I felt quite ashamed that I hadn’t really realised just how much he had achieved over the year!! And he certainly enjoyed the opportunity to show off his work to someone outside of the family I think. Maybe need to make sure this happens more often (not LA visit, just the chance to show off!)

So will be unashamedly using this blog to show off some of the stuff we make and do on our home ed adventure – experiments, outings, plants we’ve grown, crafty stuff and of course, cakes :-) Here’s some visual tasters:

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