Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The Clay Center & Leonardo da Vinci-The Genius

I like to look at museums within driving distance when planning day or quick overnight trips to see if there's anything of interest.  When I saw that there would be a Leonardo da Vinci exhibit called da Vinci-The Genius, at the art/science museum The Clay Center in Charleston, WV, I knew we had to go!  We studied da Vinci last year for picture study, and Emory has studied that time period this year (though we had already chosen the Michelangelo biography from AO) so it was an excellent field trip opportunity for the kids.  The Clay Center is a member of the ASTC Passport Program, so it makes a great option for traveling families.

This was the first time we'd visited The Clay Center, so it was a new experience all around for us.  There is a planetarium and performing arts center that we did not check out, but also the Avampato Discovery Museum and the Juliet Art Museum.

Avampato Discovery Museum
This is an interactive science museum spread out over three stories.  My kids are 4, 6, 9 and 12, and I'd say there was something for everyone!  The younger kids learn through exploration, while the older kids get more out of the actual science behind it.

We went into the WaterWorks exhibit first, and my first thought was - we should have saved this for last!  We actually ended up making another stop there by special request before heading out.  You could use gears to raise balls to the top of the structure, then they would roll down a ramp and back into the other end of the water table.  You could build on the LEGO platform, or make "dam" like structures. Lots of fun ways to play with water!

The Music Studio was a lot of fun too.  You could conduct the orchestra with a Wii remote . . .

Or "play" these instruments and watch the sound waves on the screen.

The digital harp was a hit with my kids.  The "strings" would light up when you touched them.

There was a lot going on in the "Healthy Me" exhibit, which focused on the human body in motion, but I didn't get a ton of pictures.  The kids could measure their heart rate, or test their pitch speed while throwing a ball.  They got to examine the human body systems on a large touch screen table, or check out the skeletal system at work!  As you cycled, the skeleton did too . . .

There were three or four of these with different resistance on them, and you could try to pull yourself to the top.

This Climbing Sculpture was a lot of fun for the big kids.  It has a height requirement, so wihile the big kids did this, I took Eloise into My Town.

My Town was set up like a real community.  You could sit at the governor's desk, go to the bank, the mechanic, or other businesses, and of course ride a police motorcycle!

You could also climb into a firetruck and drive or climb up to the back to use the hose to put out the fire!  They even had costumes throughout the exhibit . . . but I'm not keen on sharing clothes and hats.

Eloise also spent a lot of time at the vet clinic - there were several cages full of a variety of stuffed animals to choose from (dog, cat, snake, rabbit, etc) and you could take them around the room to bathe, examine or take x-rays.  It was cute, but she was on the go the whole time and there were many children in and out, so I didn't end up getting any shareable pictures.

Measurement Rules! was really neat, and I think a temporary exhibit to look at many different forms of measurement.  There was a huge balance scale in the middle, and they could move cans of different items (feathers, lego, etc) to each side to balance it.

This one measured . . . how far or how fast you ran.  I can't remember.

This one tested the "1 Mississippi = 1 Second" rule.

Then this one turned you into cubes to measure volume.  Emory really liked it!

You could measure your height in apples, spoons, pennies or old fashioned milk bottles.  You could test the speed of a ball and rearrange the "maze" to test it again.  You could measure how many scoops (with different sized measuring spoons) it took to fill a container.

This had a lot of fun stuff, and we spent a lot of time in here, but it was one of the busier exhibits.

Juliet Arts Museum
The Leonardo da Vinci exhibit was upstairs in the art museum.  It was a large gallery with replicas and facsimiles of his works.  There were large size replicas on display . . . .

Smaller displays . . .

. . . and even several that were hands-on.

There was a room with da Vinci paintings and The Last Supper projected in a slideshow/movie style onto the wall.  Since it was ART and not hands-on science, it wasn't quite as kid-friendly (with a very active 4 year old) so we had to watch little hands and moved through a bit quicker.

Another area, Art Space, was much more hands-on.  There were tables with different types of blocks and building materials, magna doodle type toys, a "mobile" where you hang shapes to balance it, etc.  There was a wall that turned your movements into pixels.  It had a lot of neat stuff, but I didn't get many pictures here either, because we were all exploring together!

There was also a reading nook area with a variety of art books!

Overall, The Clay Center was a nice place to visit, and I would definitely return!

©2011-2019 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Angus Lost (and some Henry the Castaway)

After rowing a book about cats, Eleanor wanted to row one with dogs.  Since I doubt we'll ever row all the books in FIAR, I've decided to do some combo-rows for the girls' Kindergarten and Preschool.

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Eloise always wants to be part of what Eleanor is doing, so this time I decided to do a pseudo-row with Angus Lost, and throw in a little Henry the Castaway too.  There is a lot of overlap with the books and lessons, as they both include dogs, exploration, adventure and the opportunity to talk about safety and getting lost.

I didn't get a ton of pictures of activities in action, but here is a glimpse at their week . . .

Eleanor colored Luna who is apparently a "friend" to Angus.

Social Studies & Science
Exploring, Curiosity, Safety Survival Skills 

Not all of this was separated into different, distinct lessons.  It just kind of flowed from conversations and play, and I think that is the perfect way to reinforce topics.

We talked about explorers and about the excitement of exploring new places, but also about being safe.  For the safety part, we made sure to review what to do if they were separated from me or daddy (or the adult they are supposed to be with at the time) and how to handle themselves in an emergency.

One day they made their own cave, because Angus hid in a cave.

Dogs-Dog Breeds; Dog Safety, Caring for Dogs as Pets
We are dog owners, so we are definitely familiar with the idea of "breeds" but they weren't extremely familiar with the Scottish Terrier until now.  We read some of Seymour Simon's Dogs, and discussed some safety rules concerning dogs, particularly when they're eating/sleeping and how to approach dogs that aren't ours.

Language Arts
These books presented the opportunity to discuss some popular sayings:
"Curiosity Killed the Cat"
"Home Sweet Home"
"There's No Place Like Home"

But mostly, I just gave Eleanor some little worksheets and pages for her to do when she wanted more "school" than I had planned.  It's quick and easy to google/print.

Eleanor did these; Eloise did a "D is for..." (duck, dog, door, etc.) and some tracing pages.

After reading a related title, Henry Explore the Jungle, Eleanor drew Henry and Laird Angus McAngus exploring the forest!

More Fun 
The girls wore cute #puglove shirts one day; Eloise wore her outfit with a Scottish Terrier another.  They also did a few other activities throughout the week . . .

Draw Write Now Book 1 - Eleanor drew the dog
Angus Lost and Angus and the Ducks on Amazon Prime
Shelby Board Game - We played a few rounds of this game, which is great for a puppy theme!  It's a pretty basic counting game, but the "lose a turn" and "steal a bone" options make it more engaging for older Preschool/Kindergarten.

You can do lots of snack ideas with these books, such as making healthy trail mix or granola bars for your adventures!  However, I went easy and unhealthy . . . Shortbread Chocolate Scottie Dogs!

Final Thoughts
Since the girls are Preschool and Kindergarten, I focused more on the "fun" than the academic in Henry, but there are a lot more topics (geography, rivers, etc.) that could be explored.  There are more  topics in Angus as well, but I wanted to focus primarily on what overlapped and would be new and/or of interest to my girls.  You can see how I rowed Henry the Castaway with the boys a few years ago, who were older (2nd/4th grade) at the time, as part of an American History explorers unit.

Scottish Terrier Coloring Page
D is for Dog
D is for . . . coloring page
Angus Lost Printables from Homeschool Creations
Animal CVC Word Game

©2011-2019 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Papa Piccolo

Eleanor asked if we could row "the cat book" next, when she saw the cat story disk, so I obliged.

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I had read Papa Piccolo to the kids once a long time ago, but I never actually rowed Papa Piccolo with the boys, so it was a fun row to plan!  I think we only spent five days on this book, but we did spread it over two weeks . . . because you know, it's Kindergarten.

Social Studies
Geography-Italy, Foreign Language-Italian
We started the week by learning about Italy!  We found it on the map and talked about the boot shape, and we went back through the illustrations and talked about gondolas and canals.  We briefly talked about the Italian words.

She added the heart, because she loves cats!

Of course we talked a little about Italy and placed our story disk on the scrunch map.

Then we talked about Italy and Venice and canals, and she asked if she could draw one of "those boats," so we talked about and made our own Gondola!

Creating a flag was suggested in the manual, but I never suggested it to her.  She asked on "Art Day" if she could make one, so I printed a quick page for her.

On this day, we read from Cats by Seymour Simon, talked about different cats (our farm cat is a Tuxedo cat like Papa Piccolo) and she drew a cat, starting with the instructions in the Draw Write Now book, but eventually doing her own thing with it - including another heart.  The little cat stickers were a cheap amazon purchase, but she liked going through to pick out a sticker for each cat in the book.  She chose the tuxedo cat in the basket, because Papa liked to sleep in a crate.

Use of Color for Light
She'd already added yellow to her windows in her picture, but I did mention it to her when we looked through the illustrations.  "I add yellow to all my windows."  Well, then.

She actually colored the Venetian Canal when we were learning about Italy, but she saw the printout before we read the book, and recognized/remembered it from when I read it aloud ages ago.

Colors, Color Matching, Color Wheel
We talked about the colors in the book.  She's familiar with color mixing, but she liked seeing it on a color wheel and making her own.

Language Arts
Drama and Exercise - Act out the Words
We did the activity of acting out the words one day.  (We've done this in the past with her phonics program, so it's a familiar activity.)

The Fox and the Sour Grapes
We read the Fable and discussed "sour grapes" to compare to the event in the story.  (I googled and printed an image with the story on it - but there are a variety of options to choose from.)

Eleanor relaxing with Tux (our "man cat" as they affectionally call him) when he sneaked in the house one day.

The Color Kittens by Margaret Wise Brown
Cats by Seymour Simon
If You Were Me and Lived in Italy by Carole P. Roman

©2011-2019 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Katy and the Big Snow (Row 2)

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I am so excited to start Five in a Row again!  I adored FIAR when I did it with the boys, but I hadn't quite made the leap into adding another student fully into our homeschool day.  Eleanor is Kindergarten age and has been doing some math and has started Logic of English Foundations, but I could tell she was ready for more.  I wasn't ready to put her in AO Y1 yet, so I thought this would be the perfect transition!

Anyway, I chose Katy and the Big Snow for our first row, because we were supposed to get hit with some winter weather, and even if we didn't get a "big snow" like Katy, this is such a fun winter row!  I then realized the geography/mapping aspect would be good for introducing maps and the story disks, so it worked out well.

I tried to mostly stick to one theme per day, but that meant we weren't necessarily focusing on a single subject some days, as recommended in the manual.  We typically only school 4 days a week at home (we have a weekly co-op) so this has always been done out of necessity anyway.

Day 1 - Social Studies
Cities, Responsibility, Street Signs, Map Skills 
While I read the book, she colored a little coloring page that I found in the FIAR Facebook group, with the intention of using it as the front page for this unit.  (We're just going to put everything into a sketch notebook this year, since she has no need for a portfolio, and see how that works out.)

Much of these lessons were conversational, but she loves to draw so I asked her if she wanted to draw her own map of her own city.  She started with the road around her city, and included a fire station and fire engine, hospital and ambulance, a building for the electric company (and all the electric poles that provide power lines to the different buildings), and a pet store/vet's office, parking lots, as well as a central place for alligators and crocodiles, and a park!  She named it Star City.

Star City, in progress

She wanted to do more, so that's when we we talked about street signs.  We cut out a stop sign from a pamphlet and she colored it (even though she knows the letters are white), then drew her own on a dry erase board, before drawing a great big storm!

I'm guessing this was supposed to be related to the snow storm . . .

Monday was up to around 50 degrees, but I remained hopeful she would get some snow.

Day 2 - Geography; Language Arts; Art
Meet the Character-Katy, Personification
Art: Detailed Personality 
We had some snow flurries and a light cover and moved into a wind advisory, but no big snow.  I normally do the Story Disk on the first day (so we have all week to review) but we didn't do it Monday, so I got out our world scrunch map and we talked about Geopolis again, and she picked USA to place it.  Then I gave her a blank one to color and put in her FIAR notebook.

For Language Arts and Art we talked about Katy, then I introduced Personification and we looked ate the illustrations as discussed in the manual.  She had asked me the day before how Katy could think, then on this day she'd joked about Katy being able to talk, so it was a good day to introduce it, and the conversational art lesson tied in so naturally. After we talked about it, I asked her if she wanted to draw something that was personified.  She picked a Mermaid, because she said it's a fish with a human body that can talk.

She got a birthday card in the mail later that day, and showed me the smiling flower - I could see the surprise and recognition in her eyes!  She couldn't remember the word at first, but she was thinking of personification!

Day 3 - Science and Music
Weather, Water, Snow, Snowflakes 
We got a light covering of snow in the wee hours of the morning, but with the whole polar vortex, negative windchill weather, we did not go play in the snow.  I'm more of a "Sun Day" mom.  However, we did fill a 2-cup measuring cup full of snow, and watched it quickly melt down to less than 1/3 of a cup.

{Messy Morning Hair Don't Care}

Instead of reading the book today, I let her listen to Suite No. 3 Katy and the Big Snow.  She enjoyed the variety of it!

We read a simple reader call Water by Emily Neye.  It was very basic, so Emory (9) was not impressed and insisted on giving her more details about the water cycle and clouds afterwards!

At one point, she wanted to do something in her notebook, so she drew a snowflake, and we talked about how all snowflakes are unique.  She also made a variety of snowflakes with pattern blocks.  {Pattern blocks are great for patterns, geometry, spacial reasoning and so much more - from Preschool and up, we have used these for years!}

Day 4 - Mathematics & Drawing
Grouping and Counting by Fives
I introduced the concept, but she wasn't especially interested.

Measuring Snowfall
So I did something similar to what I did when I rowed this book with the boys, and we got out a tape measure, and measured up the wall the snowfall in inches and feet and compared our height to the snowfall!

My wild girls!  {Yes, they dressed themselves!}

As I said, she loves to draw, and was eager to put something else in her notebook, so I grabbed a Draw Write Now book.  This tractor was from the "farm" section, but she didn't care!  I have the whole set, so I think I'll align a drawing with a book whenever possible.

When she realized there were more books to row (from her story disks) she was so excited to choose the next book!  She loves cats and saw the cat story disk, so she chose Papa Piccolo!  I never rowed this one with the boys, but I was excited for her enthusiasm!

You can also check out my first row of Katy and the Big Snow with the boys.

©2011-2019 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.