February’s Adventures in Homeschooling
This year we began homeschooling Lucy (7), Hattie (5), and Beatrice (2). We’re including this on our Giants & Pilgrims blog as all our family adventures seem to impact our art & music so much! Also, we just like sharing the stories. So we’ll be sharing posts on the themes we’ve been covering each month and calling the adventure “ABACUS”! Our hope is that these posts will help spark creative direction and inspiration for your family as well as giving us somewhere to be document and record our experiences.
February has been a month filled with lots of preparations and travel. We went to KS to wrap up some projects and visit family. As for our homeschool activities, they all had this wonderful literary bent to them. Colorado (and KS) are mostly very unpleasant in February – not much snow, just wind and cold. So it has been a perfect month to get lost in stories. Here is our homeschool photo journal for February.
We had a wonderful Valentines tea party in Kansas with grandmas and cousins. Pretty wonderful. Lots of Valentines makings…
Lucy’s valentines – little origami boxes, with Washi tape ribbons, filled with heart garlands she made.
Harriet’s wonderful gigantic heart.
Early in the month, we all drove out to Kansas to spend some time with family and for me to do a book signing for the Bravest Adventure and to build frames for my new series of paintings with my dad. We started Arlo out young on his woodworking skills.
Since we had access to my dad’s wonderful workshop and tools, we slipped another tiny project into the mix – making a toy tabletop theater! Here is Lucy helping with the construction (learning from the best!).
Fables & Theater:
Thanks to the inspiration from Read Aloud Revival, one of our themes for February was Fables. Here are some of the books we enjoyed. I hadn’t realized what an illustrative force Paul Galdone was until now!
The girls picked “The Teeny Tiny Woman” as our first fable to perform. Here we are working on the backdrops.
And here is a photo of our debut show in our newly dubbed “Fable Theater”.
My little theater painter helper…
And the ever dramatic Lucy presenting the newly painted facade! Pretty cool, right!?
Later in the month, we also put on a show of Peter Pan! More on that in a moment….
Alongside exploring the wonderful worlds of fables and poetry this month, I wanted to jump into crafting more of our own stories. So we invested in a few fun new story telling games. Story cubes – (which I will be honest, I was a little skeptical about, but the girls LOVE. So simple, with endless creative possibilities.)
And this really charming fairytale story telling puzzle I found on Amazon. The pieces can be rearranged in any order to tell different stories. The illustrations are lovely and the story possibilities surprisingly diverse.
We really haven’t done much Nature study this month (February… blech). But, I couldn’t not mention how much we are LOVING the new Planet Earth II series. Takes my breath away every time.
The fun little surprise exploration this month was into robotics. Lucy desperately wants to build a real robot, so we are digging into the worlds of electronics and computer programming. Giving this artsy mama a run for her money….
Deconstructing an old VCR for parts…
Building “Brush Bots” (like hexbugs) thanks to YouTube… (we also made straw light sabers, but forgot to photograph)
February being the cold blustery month it is, and as an ode to love poems everywhere 🙂 we did a little focus on Poetry this month. I put together this basket near our breakfast table of all of our favorite poetry books and a few new ones from the library (we fell in love with this one in particular). Each morning we took turns picking poems to read out loud as a family.
Here is the little basket graphic I made. Feel free to use it if you want to make your own poetry basket…
We also enjoyed this kids illustrated biography of the poet e.e.cummings. Look how beautiful that sky poem is…
Tried our hand at writing some typewriter poems…
As well as rhyming poems, shape poems, and acrostic poems!
Along with our normal dance classes and as many park trips as we could manage,
we practiced a little circus arts… 🙂
Gymnastics at Grandmama and Grandpapa’s house…
and Arlo and Dad watching the superbowl… Does this really count as Physical Education?
Our classic we read this month was J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan (beautifully illustrated/interactive version by Minalima). The girls LOVED it. Lucy bawled at the end and Harriet right away wanted to read the entire book again (we did not, ha).
As a finale to finishing the book, the girls and I put together our own production of Peter Pan performed on our tiny theater.
Attempting to build Eiffel towers out of toothpicks and marshmallows while learning about all sorts of 3D structures.
Coloring France on our world map
Eiffel tower drawings
Homemade crepes and french pastries for French food sampling…so….yummy….
So many fun Paris books. We really loved all of these.
But especially Paris Up Up and Away. It is filled with intricate silhouette papercuts!
Speaking of papercuts, we also made one more of these FREE printable paper structures to add to our growing collection of famous monuments.
One of the Paris books we read – Painting Pepette – is about a little girl who takes her stuffed bunny to several different famous artists to have his portrait painted (Picasso, Dali, Matisse, and Chagall). Each artist paints Pepette in his unique style. We took inspiration from the book and did our own series of bunny portraits inspired by the greats.
Speaking of bunnies… Lucy also (probably inspired by the Butter sculptures at the Kansas State Fair) made her own butter, and sculpted it into this fierce bunny.
That’s all for now folks! March is going to be all about Egypt, Passover, St. Patricks Day, Colors, and Coding… I am excited already….