Saturday, July 18, 2009

Summer School, Sneaked (Snuck?) In

This has been an amazingly educational summer for us.  Without even planning on it, we have had art lessons and sewing lessons, classic literature, the (fictional) American West, and spelling/vocab.  Let me explain -- when you are on the verge of unschooling, you count everything.   Art in the Park  (which was mercifully moved indoors) has been a great experience for us. (See a few previous posts.)  Painting with acrylics presents all sorts of problem solving objectives, such as how to mix any color, beginning only with black, white, and the primaries; how to figure out what part of the scene to paint first; how to add perspective and shadow; how to fix painting problems (with acrylics you just paint over your mistakes); and how much paint one paintbrush will hold. (*rolls eyes*)  Here are our art adventures from the past couple of weeks:

an African hut a hippo in the river
a sailboat on the shore mountains on the river
girl standing in the sea a brooding impressionist landscape

Alison tried her hand at drawing the cover of Elijah of Buxton.  Pretty good job!

Elisabeth sewed her first garment, a nightie, from an improvised pattern.  She insisted, without ever having tried it, that she HATES sewing.  With a bit of gentle coercion she agreed to try, only because there was nothing else to do anyway.  Hee hee, she says she hates sewing, but every time she sat at the machine, there was a little smile on her face.  We'll make a seamstress out of her yet.


Earlier this month I found a cheapo DVD at the Salvation Army store, and we introduced our kids to "The Lone Ranger".  Alison, especially, is particulary captivated by the how's of film and audio.   So here we got our lessons on the fictional American West (come on, the Lone Ranger and Tonto don't even hear a group of horsemen coming, or see their dust, until they are almost run over by them, ha ha!)  plus an analysis of film production.  And bad acting, lol!  It was interesting to me to see how old TV shows were set up like plays, with everyone facing the audience (camera).  Things sure have changed!

As for classic literature, Alison picked up a copy of Pride and Prejudice at the library.  We have been watching the old BBC version via YouTube, and I have to say, it is extremely tame, considering it is a British production.  I expected they would take much more liberty with ribald scenes.  My kids have been instructed to only listen to the audio part in the one objectionable scene.  It is always interesting to compare a book with the film version, and watching the film has helped my 10th grader to understand the book more clearly.  Emily said, "Mommy, watching Pride and Prejudice makes me feel so ...polite!" hee hee.  Indeed. One thing that has NOT changed though the years is women's insistence on practically popping out of their bodices...

My, this is getting to be a long post.  Okay, I'll hurry it up.  One last thing.  A dear friend gave me a box of curriculum and other educational stuff, and way in the bottom was a travel Scrabble game.  So you know what has been the rage here for several days.  Such a desire to know spelling I have never seen here.   Amy and I beat Daddy the first game, but he made a brilliant comeback and is maintaining his championship. 

So. Even though my plans to do math through our break never materialized, we did learn something.  Or, some of us did.  Now.  What ever will I post for my month-in-review?


  1. I love your summer adventures! You are a super homeschool mom! Thanks for sharing.

    Cindy Downes

  2. Wow - what a great summer you have going there!

    Their learning things they'll never forget and be able to use forever - as well as build on the practical knowledge their learning.


  3. I just love your art-not-in-the-park classes, I wish we had something like that around here. I could use a few painting lessons since I am thinking about doing a mural in our bedroom.

    Tell Elisabeth she did a great job with the nightie! I've never tried anything with sleeves before so she has me beat!

    We are not getting much "schooling" in this summer either. Although Anna is learning how to shop for a deal online - is that good or bad? Considering she has no money - I'm guessing it's a waste of time.


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