Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Florence Nightingale

It was Hannah's turn yesterday to give her presentation during our Terrific Tuesday!  This a day where our group of homeschooled families share what they've been learning about a particular historical person.  Hannah decided in the fall that she'd like to study Florence Nightingale (FN) -- so since then, we've been furiously reading a lot of books, poetry, watched a video and reasearched this noble woman in history.  Hannah began her presentation with a trifold layout of FN photos, medical instruments, important dates and a map of her journeys.  Then we reinacted a hospital scene in Scutari, Turkey where FN served as a nurse at a crude place to take care of the injured soldiers during the Crimean War.  This 'hospital' was called the Barracks Hospital.  She had all the boys act as soldiers and they drew out of a hat what their particular injury they had.  The girls all had aprons and acted the part of the FN Nurses.  The kids had a lot of fun and I think learned a lot from the experience. 

Serving water to the wounded.

Hannah and I made the apron together ~ she's a whiz on the sewing machine :)

Treating the wounded soldiers!



More wounded soldiers ~ glad they survived!

I think we managed to check out every book in the libary system on FN.
The video we watched was:
Florence Nightingale Interactive DVD
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow also wrote a poem about her, which I won't share in this post.  The title of the poem is "Saint Filomena" where he refers to her as being the Lady With the Lamp. One of the books many books we enjoyed was: 
Product Details

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

"The Greatest Gift of All" (2010)

A friend of ours, Erin Twiss is our children's choir director as well as a wonderful musician and song writer.  She wrote this song, "The Greatest Gift of All" for our annual children's Christmas play. Each year, she chooses one child to sing the solo.  In 2010, Hannah was the soloist and when I was filming her, my camera died!!  I know, I felt like the worst mother in the world....didn't charge the camera before the children's Christmas play!  Arghhh!  Anyhow, a friend of ours videoed it and recently burned it onto a DVD for us.  I was so excited that I had to post it, even though it was 2 years ago.  So, Hannah would have been 7 years old at the time.  She played Mary in the play and got right up in front of a large group of people and sang so confidently :)   Although this is an old video, it's kind of fun to post it during the holiday season. 

Monday, November 12, 2012


Our homeschool group meets every other week and decided to have each child present a historical figure.  Mark chose to present FDR.  When we learned that he would be presenting on Election Day, he decided that a mock election would be fun to do with the group of kids.  We looked through what we had at home and asked friends to borrow certain things for their outfits.  My Aunt who passed away a couple of years ago gave us some items from that era...we found pince ne glasses for Mark & Hannah, borrowed a hat and wheelchair & cane from Nonna, coat from Dad and we made the long cigarette out of a straw (colored black) and paper to complete the look. Hannah borrowed the faux fur from her Nonna and we fixed her long hair in an Eleanor Roosevelt 'updo'!  She was perfect.
So here are the photos and different activities that went on...

President and First Lady Roosevelt

As the children entered the fellowship hall, the Roosevelts handed out candy and political campaign buttons for each child to wear. 

Then Mark conducted his presentation on FDR with dates of important events, photos and interesting facts.

Eleanor Roosevelt wheeled him around wherever he needed to go.
This a 'ration line' where the kids could ask for items for their families...toilet paper, food, soap, etc.

We set up an election booth where everyone got to vote for either FDR or Hoover.  Guess who won?
You guessed it, FDR! (aka Mark)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Drawing and Watercolors

I finally re-checked out "Drawing With Children" at the library and have found the beginning drawing lessons so enlightening.  I admit that it isn't easy trying to teach art to your children, when you are not very artistic!  I began 'googling' phrases like: 'how can a non-artistic homeschooler teach art lessons'?  I found some interesting and helpful blogs, but so far the book has helped the most.  I am learning to accept that what we are doing currently is our best work and that we have 'arrived' artistically already.  There is nothing to wish for here in the future; we are enjoying what we do with art and creating our own expression of what we see and feel right now! It is satisfying to lose yourself in an art project and think about nothing else.  OK ~ here are today's still life drawings with watercolors... I love how H used brighter colors...she is so free and uninhibited.
 Mark is getting into the shading here...
 Me ~ I'm just enjoying the colors...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Microscopes 101

Today we broke out the microscope and began looking at slides of all kinds of parts: frog tongues, cricket legs, insect wings and grasshopper legs!  We then started to get creative by looking at our own hair, skin cells, flower petals, saliva and a fish scale from our fish caught in the Chesapeake!  Wow ~ it's so amazing seeing the detail underneath a microscope.  We learned the parts of a microscope (ours was one borrowed from a friend; a old unit with a mirror as the light source). Thanks Steffan for loaning it to us...what a precious item to own! 

We watched a video on this website:

Here are some more ideas to look at under the microscope:

The kids drew the microscope:

Tomorrow we will label a diagram to see what we learned.

Pottery is complete!

This is the 'haul' we made after finishing pottery class! The kids were so excited, that they had to have a bowl of cereal that night out of their favorite far no leaks!  See the photos below of their completed projects.... the colors turned so beautifully vibrant.  Here we have two pinch pots, two coiled pots, two slabs, and three pots from the wheel. We have one more from the wheel that we forgot to glaze, so back to the studio this Thursday for our last pot.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pottery ~ fun & functional

We had the opportunity to partcipate in a local pottery class for the last 8 weeks.  The kids enjoyed the class and found that it isn't an exact 'art.'  The art of pottery making is so much fun AND you end up with a functional piece that can be anything from a cereal bowl to a beautiful vase for a table centerpiece.  The class covered the following aspects of clay and pottery:

  • Clay and it's different properties
  • Scoring the clay for pottery
  • Coiling clay for bowls, cups and vases
  • Pinching clay to make pottery
  • Use of the pottery wheel for small pots and bowls
  • Sanding, Glazing and Firing for a finished product!

  •                                                    At the Potter's Wheel!
                                                                  Finished pot

                                                     Sanding before glazing ~ hard at work!
                         Melted wax for bottom of pot so it won't stick to the kiln during firing.
                                            He double-dipped pot in two different colors
                            Oh ~ so MANY colors and so LITTLE time... what to choose??

                                         Pots are all dipped and drying for firing the next day.
                                The Kiln ~ must be heated to 2000 degrees to fire each pot. 
                                            We can hardly wait for the results...stay tuned!