Two years ago we began homeschooling Lucy (8), Hattie (6), Beatrice (3), and Arlo (1). 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.
Because of the olympics, we thought this would be a great month to learn about ancient Greece.
We read D’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths and I made these peg doll representations of each of the main greek gods with help from the girls.
We also read Lightning Thief for the first time.
And enjoyed tasting Mediterranean food courtesy of our TopMunch subscription
Coloring Greek god and goddess trading cards
Drawing mythical monsters
For our making this month, we explored the Book Arts – Marbled paper and Book Binding!
Making marbled paper for the end papers of our books –
Working on the covers for Asian stab-bound sketchbooks we made –
Harriet made an “un-tearable” tiny baby book for Arlo out of packing tape and her own illustrations
For science/nature this month, we learned about constellations (which tied in beautifully to our Greek Myth studies)
Magnets, Math, and Money:
In our little impromptu science club, we tried our hand at making Magnetic Slime
Played with fractions
Learning about money – “Count It and Keep It!” was a big hit with the kids.
The Olympics are my favorite! So fun to get to share this with the kids. We made tiny flags and olympic ring shirts for the opening ceremony.
Lots of USA spirit over here!
Watched Cool Runnings too just for fun
Learning about color mixing using air dry clay and “Do You Know Colors”
Lots of help from Buzzy getting this art piece ready to deliver to Houston
The table for valentines morning –
We participated in a Homeschool Valentine Exchange. So much fun!
Lots of love notes were written to each other
A very chilly Valentine tea party out in the tree house
Some of our homemade Valentines we made –
While in Kansas, we got to learn about wood carving from my Grandpa Fritz. So beautiful to watch.
We always like to get a little creative with our Valentine making around here. This year we played with sorting old stamps (duplicates from my childhood stamp collection) by color. We used vintage stamps, but you could just as easily do this by collecting them from your mail. I love how these turned out. Pretty simple to put together too.
For more Valentine making inspiration, here are last years stitched valentines.
My Valentines for this year are still in the works, but I thought you might enjoy seeing these sewn Valentines I’ve made the last couple of years (see that old tank of a sewing machine? It is no more, sigh…). Basically I cut out cardstock hearts, traced them onto various papers (scrapbooking paper would work great), fabric, and even leather (basically use whatever you have on hand. Have fun making different combinations. I then sewed the two layers together – sometimes with either fun trim or a ruffled ribbon sandwiched in between using various stitches.
Love songs can be pithy, schmoltzy; full of sentiment and cliche’. We’ve tried to avoid all that with these playlists.
Here are two playlists full of earnest, beautiful, and creative songs that strike to the core of love in such a way that we can believe it.
The first playlist, “Modern/Soul”, is on Betony Coons’ spotify. We’ll post it on her Facebook.
The second playlist is from just throwing the question out there on Facebook, “What song would you/ did you play at your wedding?” The answers were really beautiful to hear! The long playlist called “Our Song” is on spotify too!
Valentine’s Day Playlist “Modern/ Soul”:
Retrograde • James Blake
This Magic Moment • Lou Reed
Suzanne • Leonard Cohen
Here Comes Your Man • Pixies
Daydream Believer • The Monkeys
These Arms of Mine • Otis Redding
Son of a Preacher Man • Dusty Springfield
Falling Slowly • Swell Season
I Want to Hold Your Hand • Across the Universe Soundtrack
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face • Roberta Flack
Unforgettable • Nat King Cole & Natalie Cole
When a Man Loves a Woman • Percy Sledge
Skinny Love • Bon Iver
I’ve Been Loving you too Long • Otis Redding
Lay, Lady, Lay • Bob Dylan
Anyone Else but you • Moldy Peaches
Someone to Watch Over me • Ella Fitzgerald
Don’t Cry • Edith Piaf
Valentine’s Day Playlist “Our Song” (Curated by Crowd-Sourcing!):
So are You to Me- Eastmountainsouth
Every Day- Jill Phillips
All My Life- David Wilcox
Stay with You- John Legend
These arms of Mine- Otis Redding
Cheek to Cheek- Fred Astaire
At Last- Etta James
Walking After You- Foo Fighters
Come What May- Moulin Rouge
You Belong to Me- Carla Bruni
What a Wonderful World- Louis Armstrong
You Go to My Head- Louis Armstrong
Signed, Sealed, Delivered- Stevie Wonder
Rainbow Connection- Kermit the Frog
The Luckiest- Ben Folds
The Story- Brandi Carlisle
When You Love Someone- Bryan Adams
Home to Me- Josh Kelley
Just the Way You Look Tonight- Fred Astaire
When You Say Nothing at All- Allison Krauss
Northern Sky – NIck Drake
You are the Best Thing – Ray LaMontagne
You Have Me- Gungor
Ten Thousand Angels- Caedmon’s Call
Shower the People- James Taylor
Love Song- The Cure
She Lit a Fire- Lord Huron
Harvest Moon- Neil Young
Pistol- Dustin Kensrue
Out of the Woods- Nickel Creek
I Can’t Wait- Runner, Runner
Secret Message- Rasputina
God Only Knows- Beach Boys
I Wanna Love You at Ours- Bob Marley
Dream a Little Dream- Momma’s and the Papa’s
Canon in D- Pachebel
First Day of My Life- Bright Eyes
La, la, la, Love You- the PIxies
All I Want is You- U2
Me and You- Kenny Chesney
Both of Us Feel the Blast- Waterdeep
Can’t Help Falling in Love- Ingrid Michelson
Children of Our Time- Jason Upton
Heat Wave- Martha Reeves & the Vandellas
A Thousand Years
Our Love in Christ- Kelly Willard
I Will Always Love You- Whitney Houston
All I Want is You- Tristan Prettyman
Forever- Ben Harper
Look After You- The Fray
Dig Down Dip- Marc Cohn
I’ll Be Your Love Too- Van Morrison
Love of My Life- Jim Brickman
Lean on Me- Bill Withers
I’ll Back You Up – DMB
Somebody- Depeche Mode
We Danced to Blue Sky- Allman Brothers
Sunday Kind of Love- Etta James
Fall in Love at a Coffee Shop- Landon Pigg
Marry Me- Train
No Other Place- 77’s
Blue Skies- Ella Fitzgerald
Turning Page- Sleeping at Last
I Remember – Whitly
Between the Raindrops- Lifehouse
Stolen- Dashboard Confessional
Somewhere Over the Rainbow- Iz
To Make You Feel My Love- Bob Dylan
La Vie En Rose- Louis Armstrong
Gymnopodie- Eric Satie
Fields of Gold- Sting
Come to Me- Goo Goo Dolls
We’ve Only Just Begun- Carpenters