Learning about Famous Artists – Henri Matisse

Lesson 3 of the Famous Artists curriculum, and this time it’s Henri Matisse.  Elsa researched him and we chatted about the different styles of art he did.  He is most famous for his painting/drawing with scissors which is basically a collage.  He used a lot of organic shapes and very few straight edges.  We had already done a name panel in this design so we decided to do his banner style this time.

Elsa decided one half of her banner was going to be a superhero style cutouts with Batman, Dangermouse and Star Wars all making an appearance.  The other side was more organic and like the style of Matisse a little more.

To start with she cut out different coloured rectangles and stuck them down in two strips, then cut and placed the various things she wanted to put on it to see how they fitted.  After moving them around for the best look, she stuck them down.

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This was great fun.  I know that because I did one too. 🙂

How Hill Adventure Time

I think I say this a lot but the beauty of home education is the freedom it gives us to try different things.  One thing that came up was a day out at How Hill in Norfolk.  What a fun place.

The children were able to try things they would never normally get to do such as thatching.

Thatching

We smashed the reed on the floor to make the bottom angled so it would look nicer and so it would line up with the roof. Then we put it on the roof with some special nail hooks called bottom layer hooks and hammered them down. On the second layer we needed different hooks called top layer hooks. After we had done three layers we had to stand underneath our roof while he threw a tub of cold water to see if it leaked but it DIDN’T luckily.

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Dry and Wet Woods

We went on a nature walk into the dry woods to do some tree spotting and log turning to spot bugs.  Anna found lots of little bugs.  Elsa played a game where her eyes were closed and she was led to a tree to touch it, then led back to the middle, then she had to open her eyes and try and find her tree again.

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We walked through some pretty gardens to the wet wood where the bogs, and the reed beds are.  There and lots of bugs on the river.  This was such a lovely walk.

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They wanted to show us how deep some of the bogs are in the wet wood, so Emma showed us a stick in the ground which was the tallest stick they could find and she pulled it out of the bog and it kept on going up to about 2m high.

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We all then went into a bird hide to spot birds on the broad. Anna didn’t see any, but Elsa saw a moorhen.  So not too many birds about that day.

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Pond Dipping

Finally we did some pond dipping and Elsa found a massive snail and some water boatman along with lots of other bugs and larvae.

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We had a GREAT day!

Bees & Honey

Whenever I have uncooperative children, my go to thing to do is a nature walk.  This weeks nature walk was about honey bees while they were busy collecting nectar.  It was a gorgeous day so I ran this topic by the girls.  Elsa didn’t really want to come but reluctantly agreed, and while Anna skipped off down the road spotting flowers, butterflies and bees Elsa dragged her heels a bit.  We talked about whether she knew the differences between a bumble bee and a honey bee, she did and I could see her becoming more interested in what we were discussing.  It didn’t take her long to spot a honey bee and we were able to look closely at what she was doing.

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They really are fascinating, they flit from one flower to another so quickly (so getting a photograph was near on impossible).  As we continued we saw lots of them all busily doing their job.  When we got home we watched a video about how honey is collected by the beekeeper, then the girls wrote in their nature books.

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We made honey cookies (recipe 40 here), which tasted lovely, but we did have to add twice as much flour as we wouldn’t have been able to roll out the dough otherwise).  The girls loved doing this 🙂

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The next day I asked Elsa if she’d like to do a comic strip about how the honey bee makes honey.  She said yes she’d love to as she’d really enjoyed this mini topic.  So she searched for information on the honey bee and then got to it.  The final result is really great.

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Thank goodness she enjoyed it 🙂

Learning about Famous Artists – Claude Monet

Lesson two of the famous artists curriculum.  I love the fact we can just pick these up as we feel like it.

We went for a nature walk (included as a different post) and as we got to the lake at the end of the lane, what should we see but lily pads all over it.  After a quick discussion with the lady at the house she said we were allowed to sit on her boardwalk.  We went back the next day with pens, pencils and crayons and drew them.

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When we got back we had a look in our art book and the next artist was Claude Monet.  I couldn’t believe it.  Anyway we decided to try and recreate his lily pad watercolour paintings which he did in his back garden at Giverny.

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We also had a chat about Monet, where he lived and what the term impressionism meant.  Elsa had to also do a little written biography on him where she found out that the impressionism term came from one of his paintings, Impression Sunrise.

Elsa and Anna both enjoyed doing watercolours (neither of them used enough water though 🙂 ) and the results were really nice.

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Our Nature walk 1

Another thing we are doing is learning about nature.  We are lucky to live on a beautiful farming estate so we have lovely walks available to us when we want to go on one.  Normally though, someone always gets stung while we are closely looking at something.

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This walk consisted of looking at the different types of grasses that are out this time of year.  Sadly, it has been very cold and we think that the normal spring grasses are going to be a few weeks late this year.

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On our walk, we came to the end of our lane and found a lovely lake which was covered in lily pads. We have done a Monet inspired painting from this.

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On the way home we came across this skeleton which we think was missing a few limbs and possibly the top of it’s jaw, so Elsa thought it was a possibly a fox or deer and Anna thought it was a kangaroo or a bear, which Elsa thought was funny but I thought made sense really, as it was missing two legs.  After a bit of research at home we found out that it is a muntjac deer.

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We had collected lots of moss and stones and pine cones this time so we made a little fairy garden which looked really cute.  The girls picked lots of flowers from our garden to pretty it up a lot.

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We had a lovely day.

Human Body – Skeleton

Elsa decided that this terms topic would be the Human Body.  We had already completed a sub topic on teeth before Easter due to the fact that we had all been to the dentist.

The last couple of weeks we have been learning about the skeleton bones.  Firstly, we chatted about the skeleton as a whole and what we needed it for.  Then I downloaded a skeleton labelling sheet from Twinkl.  Finally, I drew around Elsa so we had a life sized shape to stick our bones on to, (which was obviously very tickly).

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I asked Elsa where she wanted to start and she said hands and arms.  So we started there, using cotton buds as the phalanges.  Elsa said she didn’t realise there were so many bones in the hands and wrists.

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Next we did the bones in the arms.  We stuck on the labels off the Twinkl sheet (which uses the proper bone names), she also labelled them with the common names we use for them too.

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The next day, we did the skull, shoulders and collar bones.  Anna was here to help us this time, so it was nice for Elsa to explain to her the bones we had already completed.

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Next, we added the spine and ribs and sternum.

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Finally, it was the pelvis and legs, feet and toes.

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Our finished skeleton.

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Next stop the internal organs 🙂

 

Learning about Famous Artists – Pablo Picasso

As I’ve said before, Elsa is more of a crafy type of person, more hands on.  So am I really too.

I love art, particularly impressionism, so I thought it would be nice to introduce her to different artists from over the years.

I was searching for something I thought might be suitable when I stumbled upon the Pink and Green Mama website, There are several artist ebooks you can download for a small fee.  I chose the 3rd one, but I think any of them would be interesting to do.

So today we started with Pablo Picasso and his blue period. We talked a little bit about Pablo Picasso, where and when he was born, what type of art he did and why he went through his blue period (1900 – 1904).

I had bought some art books and paintbrushes from The Works, so we were ready to give it a try.

Firstly we sketched our portraits, then using blue, white and black paints we created different shades and tones to create our pictures.  This was a really interesting project for me to see if they could use just 3 colours effectively.  They did. 🙂

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Finished artwork 🙂

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Easter 2016

We don’t break up officially for any holidays.  If we fancy some time off, we take it.  This is one of the beauties of Home Education, however we do learn a bit about all of the various holidays we would be taking if we were at school.

This includes learning about the proper meaning of them, why we celebrate them and doing various crafts.

One of the Easter crafts we did was some decoupage. I’d never done it before and we saw it mentioned online, so we popped in to our local Hobbycraft to see at what they had available.  The girls each chose a basket and a rabbit, which were cheap at £2 and some papers (which varied between £2 and £3.80 for 3.

We just ripped the paper into smaller pieces, watered down our pva glue and off they went.

It’s great fun, it kept the girls occupied for ages and as it doesn’t really matter how much glue you get on it, little ones can do it independently.

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Elsa did a co-ordinates sheet which we found on Activity Village, she had to place the co-ordinates in the correct squares to produce an Easter picture.  She thought this was great fun.

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I found a great little Easter Maths booklet on Twinkl.  🙂 Anna decided she’d like to start on that, she started with her least favourite pastime of colouring.  I don’t understand why she doesn’t enjoy it, she’s really good at it.

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After that she wanted to do a number sheet.  She’s really doing well with her number work.

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There was a great game in the maths booklets which we all played together.  You had to throw 2 dice and add them together and then colour the relevant egg.  The one with the most eggs coloured at the end of the game (in our case 10 throws each) won.  It was a bit easy for Elsa, but we all enjoyed it and Anna won. 🙂

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What a busy Easter. 🙂

Human Body – Teeth

Our new topic is the human body which we will be starting after the Easter holidays, but as we had been to the dentist this week, I thought it might be a good idea to learn about teeth while the visit was still fresh in the girls minds.

We talked about the number of teeth we had and the girls counted each others teeth while using a torch to look at the different types of teeth.

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We talked about which foods were good for your teeth and which ones weren’t, then I printed off some pages of foods and drew some teeth for the girls to decide which foods should go where. Anna drew a happy tooth and a sad face on her teeth. 🙂

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Elsa designed her foods into sad and happy faces on her teeth. 🙂

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I asked Elsa to create a leaflet to help people to look after their teeth.  She decided to explain what were good and bad things to eat and then described how to brush your teeth properly.  She was really pleased with how it came out (and so was I), clever little thing. 🙂

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We chatted about the various adult teeth and the jobs they did.  Then I asked the girls to colour in the different teeth different colours.  Elsa had to write her own text about the teeth and we discussed the use (or not) of wisdom teeth.

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What an interesting start our Human Body topic. 🙂

 

World Book Day 2016

I was thinking that it would be quite difficult to celebrate world book day.  Elsa tends not to really enjoy reading unless it’s Tom Gates :).  Roll on May when the next one is out. 🙂

Anyway, being a member of the fabulous Twinkl website, they had emailed me some world book day ideas.  I asked the girls what they would like to do and they said the scavenger hunt, so they got dressed up as a character from a book, we grabbed some books off their bookcases and got started.

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The idea was to find the page in a book on which a certain item off the list was on.  I printed off the same sheet for both girls but suggested they used different age appropriate books.

For instance one of the items to find was a bus.  Elsa found it written somewhere in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkerban.  Anna found a picture of one in a Zoe and Beans book.

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This was one of the things we did on World Book Day, it was a fun little exercise and both girls enjoyed it.