Friday, September 19, 2014

Instead of Girl Scouts

Many of you that know me, are aware of my struggles with Girl Scouts over the years. I don't care for the curriculum or for putting so much emphasis on cookie sales. I am also not a fan of how much money the girls actually get from peddling said cookies. My daughter wanted to keep trying troops as we had one failure after another. A troop leader that took the money from the three girls in her troop, another troop that expected me, as co-leader, to do everything. I don't have that kind of time to run a troop. I tried for the last six months to find her an established troop through the local GS office, with a lot of bouncing emails from one place to another. They told me there were no established troops with any room left for new members, but if I wanted to start my own, I have given up completely on GS in the form of troops. I may send her to one of the summer camps sometime in the future, but we won't be pursuing a troop anymore. So, what do I do to fill that scouting experience for a daughter that wants one? to the rescue!

DIY is for kids to explore new skills and then make them happen. The kids take pictures or videos of their projects and post them to the site. Someone will review them and approve the skill that was learned. When the kids have been approved for three skills in one catagory, they have then earned a patch. The patch will then be sent to the child automatically (if you have the $10 a month "More Awesome" membership) or you can buy the patch for them for $4 (if you have the free membership).

So far my daughter has really loved working on the skills. She is excited that she has "followers" and the others comment (very positively) on her posted work. She just earned the Illustrator badge and it has shipped. She came running up to me when she checked her page and found this out, she was so excited! We have discussed making a felt vest to sew her patches on.

There are skills for everyone. Just a few are Minecraft, Actor, Baker, Detective, Game Designer, and Mechanical Engineer.

The only thing missing from our DIY experience is the physical community. DIY suggests getting together with a group of kids to tackle the skills. Sidney and I discussed this and we are going to start our own DIY Club. We are planning to have meetings once a month and then long meetings or campouts when my son is away at Boy Scouts. She is always sad when he goes and this will give her something of her own to do during those days he is away.

I encourage you to try out DIY for your own kids. It has been a very positive experience for my little girl.

Happy Homeschooling

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Jan van Eyck Inspired Triptych

Jan van Eyck Inspired Triptych

A friend of mine is teaching an Art History course using a pretty in depth book as the spine. I read the biography from the book and the kids eyes glaze a bit. I have incorporated a few Youtube videos to reinforce anything that leaks out of their brains while I'm reading.

This artist was a MAJOR deal. He turned the art world on it's ear. The difference in earlier paintings and his is incredible. I really loved the music in this video showing many pieces of art by Jan van Eyck. This video has a great visual of the size of the triptyck by van Eyck. If you can spare an hour the whole episode is really great to watch.

Here is my video on how to make the triptychs. It is just a very quick run down. Sorry about the lighting.

Sidney's, of course, is Pokemon!

Alex's was a pixelated chicken. I need to post that pic as well!!

Happy Homeschooling

Monday, September 8, 2014

Working on Dialog

I thought I would share a video of my son reading his writing assignment for the day. He was supposed to use dialog. The pauses are for "dramatic effect". Just in case you can't understand it: It is about a man that sees another man with a goatee. The goatee reminds the first man of a scarf a girl he knew wore. He asks the man with the goatee for a piece! and....did you catch where he said black and white movie from the 80's!!!! lol

Happy Homeschooling

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Grandparent's Day

This weekend is Grandparent's Day. I have not be consistent with celebrating this with my kids. I love the idea though! This year we are going to do something for the beloved grandparents in my kids lives. My kids are beyond the handprint paintings and toilet paper tube projects. It was tough to find ideas that were geared to older kids. I was able to find a few gems in the mix though.


This was sold already by the artist, but it is a cute idea!

this is such a great idea. I have several pictures of all the grandchildren together that would be great for this!

Happy Homeschooling!
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Egg Tempera Painting Like Giotto

A friend of mine is teaching an Art History course using a pretty in depth book as the spine. I read the biography from the book and the kids eyes glaze a bit. I have incorporated a few Youtube videos to reinforce anything that leaks out of their brains while I'm reading. 
Today we learned about Giotto. A project suggested by the teacher, was to paint using egg tempera paints. This was the medium used at the time of Giotto. So, I used trusty old Google to help me with a recipe. 

One thing I learned while sifting through recipes is that the egg will start to stink. I don't know why this did not occur to me on my own. Anyway, my solution was to use Ener-G Egg Replacer as a substitute for the egg yolk. I did break a real egg to show the kids how it was done the-old-fashioned-way. We even released the yolk from the membrane so that the color would stick better. It was very cool. Then we mixed up the recipe for the paint and were ready to start our masterpieces. 

The recipe
sidewalk chalk
egg replacer
*rub the chalk back and forth in a glass bowl to produce powder. Add mixed egg replacer/water to the chalk. Pour into egg carton. Repeat with other colors. 

The kids of course did not want to draw out what they were going to paint before taking brush to page. Not being a naturally talented artist myself, I used pencil first. We talked about how much time it would take to not only make the paints, but to keep going over the painting to make the colors vivid. We also discussed apprentices and the role they played in supporting the masters as they painted.

My son didn't know that the paintings would be shared with his class, or he said he would have spent more time on it. He did not however, want to do another one. 

My daughter's painting of her and I. 

My frog on a lily pad. 

I am so glad that my friend offered this class. I would not "do" art on my own, but I do see a great deal of value in it. My kids love to draw and are actually very good (when they take their time). I am  enjoying the activities more than I thought I would. 

Happy Homeschooling