School Days 2012 ~ Week 23

Here's what we've been up to:

~Learning about Raphael:  The masterful painter of Madonna and Child, who some say was a bit of a copy-cat of Leo & Mike, was born April 6, 1483 and died on April 6, 1520.  Art I-Spy:  Check out the Sistine Madonna.  Do you notice anything unusual about the clouds overhead?

~Studying the life and music of Chopin:  His musical genius showed up early.  As a young child (about 4), he would sit under the piano while his sister played and sometimes was moved to tears by the beauty of the music.


The Adventures of Robin Hood (Puffin Classics) The Adventures of Robin Hood   aloud with 3rd grader & 5th grader

 The Hobbit   8th grader  using Progeny Press Downloadable Study Guide

Product DetailsMacbeth  10th grader using Progeny Press Downloadable Study Guide

    ~Something New:  

    For the Spring Term, our 10th grader is working through Real Food Nutrition & Health by Kristen Michaelis.  She follows up her reading using this discussion & activity guide.

    Weekly Worship Theme:  Continuing to learn about the names of God, this week we focused on
    Jehovah-Raah, The Lord My Shepherd.  We memorized Psalm 23 and used this simple guide for our daily discussions.  We sang "Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us".

    Just For Fun:

    I purchased this last summer for our cross-country car trip.  It now resides in the Busy Box where our 5th grader finally found it and took an interest.

    Artist Study ~ Rembrandt

    Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606~1669)  Dutch painter & printmaker ~ Baroque

    Christ in the Storm on the Lake of Galilee, oil on canvas, 1633 


    • Artist Profile Pages ~ a tool I created to help organize our Charlotte Mason-style artist studies


    • Living Books
    Product DetailsGetting to Know the World's Greatest Artists; Rembrandt | Mike Venezia

    Product DetailsWhat Makes a Rembrandt a Rembrandt? | Richard Muhlberger

    Product DetailsLives of the Artists; Rembrandt | Anthony Mason

     Art For Children Series; Rembrandt | Ernest Raboff
                                         *This series is out of print.  Look of used copies or check your library!
    • Images to print ~ I will hang these on our school room (dining room) wall for picture study.

    Abraham and Isaac, oil on canvas, 1634

    The Feast of Belshazzar, oil on canvas, 1635

    David and Jonathan, oil on panel, 1642

    The Little Children Being Brought to Jesus ("The 100 Guilder Print"),  etching & drypoint, 1647-49

    Joseph Accused by Potiphar's Wife, oil on canvas, 1665 

    Rembrandt and Saskia in the Scene of the Prodigal Son in the Tavern, oil on canvas, 1635  

    For more general information on   how we do artist studies visit   HERE.

    Visit the School Room for other fine arts studies and more CM ideas.

    Also, visit the Gallery for examples of our picture studies and original works inspired by the masters.

    Out of This World Living Books

    This year we have been supplementing our Astronomy study with biographies of famous astronomers as well as some other "out of this world" resources.


    Exploring Creation with Astronomy, Textbook WITH      Exploring Creation with Astronomy: Notebooking Journal

    I love this Apologia book with accompanying CM style journal!  I am currently using them with my 5th and 3rd grader.  We read the text aloud together, then they work on the journal themselves (sometimes the 3rd grader needs a little help).  The boys LOVE the great mini-books at the end of each chapter.  By working in this book twice a week, we will finish in one school year (Aug-May).


    • Biographies~

    Johannes Kepler, Sower Series  -     
        By: John Hudson TinerA 17th-century astronomer and mathematician, Johannes Kepler, was also a devout Christian.  This biography beautifully portrays how God wove Kepler's life, work, and faith into a display of His glory.

    Scheduling the Heavens: The Story of Edmond Halley (Profiles in Science)The famous sky-watcher who recognized that comets traveled by a predictable schedule through space, Edmond Halley, saw the comet that would later bear his name as a young man and predicted the comet's return 75 years from that time.  The comet returned, right on schedule 75 years later, but unfortunately Halley did not live to see his prediction fulfilled.  Still, his life was filled with amazing circumstances and relationships.  His accomplishments went beyond uncovering the secret to comets' orbits.  Halley was an inventor, mathematician, mapmaker, and a good friend of Issac Newton.  Halley was instrumental in encouraging the naturally shy and reserved Newton to publish his groundbreaking findings on gravity.  Scheduling the Heavens is not written in as engaging a manner as the Giant of Faith and Science series, but it is a good read aloud for elementary age.  Be prepared to skim over some very wordy parts as well as do some censoring on subject matter according to age.

    NOTE:  We are studying Copernicus & Galileo as part of our History, so we won't study them here.

    More to Come:  Biographies on Caroline Herschel and Edwin Hubble

    • Field Guides & Other Helps~

    Product DetailsThis is a charming book by Curious George author, H.A. Rey, originally published in 1954.  The illustrations will remind you of those from the classic storybooks, but this guide to the stars is certainly not monkey business!  Packed full of information about stars, constellations, and the solar system, Rey informs readers about the heavens in a simple and engaging style.  The drawings and explanations of major constellations are easy to understand.  The book also contains North-facing and South-facing sky views for all four seasons (as seen from the middle and northern United States, or about lat. 40°).  We will use this book as a read-aloud to extend the chapter on stars & galaxies.  My older 2 used this book when they were in elementary school and really learned a lot about the constellations.

    "There's an App for That!"

    Check out all of the great constellation apps for smartphones and iPads.  Point your device anywhere in the sky and the constellations' shapes and names will appear on your screen!  These are really handy tools!

    Happy Sky Watching!


    Recycled "Lucky" Door Decoration

    Super-easy and totally free St. Patrick's Day Door Decoration

    • cardboard or foam core board
    • re-usable grocery bags in shades of green
    • hot glue gun & glue sticks
    • scissors
    • Duck tape
    • green ribbon

    How To:

    1.  Cut out 3 heart shapes from cardboard.  Or  cut 1 clover shape.

    2.  If using 3 heart shapes, layer them in a clover shape and tape together with Duck tape (this will be the back, so it doesn't have to look pretty).

    3.  Cut grocery bags into strips about 1.5-inch wide and 2.5-inch long (this is not an exact science, variation is good)

    4.  Using hot glue attach strips to cardboard in a scrunched-up, ruffly manner until entire surface is covered.  My method:  put several dots of glue, attach several strips (repeat).

    5.  For the stem, cut a piece of cardboard in the desired shape.  Wrap with green ribbon and attach to back of shamrock with Duck tape.

    6.  Using a pencil, poke a hole through the cardboard and the center top of the shamrock, about 1.5-inch down.  Thread a piece of ribbon through, tie into a loop, and use to hang shamrock.

    • Safety First:  If you do this with kids, be careful with the hot glue!!
    • Alternative Materials:  You could use tissue paper, wrapping paper, or fabric for a similar effect.


    If you try this project, please share a picture with us!  Email JPG to addingtothebeauty (at) gmail (dot) com

    Artist Study ~ "My Masterpiece" Samples

    Our monthly artist studies culminate in a kids'-choice project to reflect the style of the master we have been studying.

    Here are a few examples of their work:

    3rd grader, "Momma Lisa", (yes, that's me!); crayon on paper

    5th Grader, "Modern Lisa"; pencil & marker on paper

    8th Grader, Self-Portrait in style of Mona Lisa; pencil on paper

    3rd Grader, "Nativity"; marker on paper

    5th Grader, "Nativity"; marker, pencil, construction paper

    8th Grader, "Nativity"; charcoal, construction paper


    • See how we do Artist Studies, and get our notebook sheets  HERE

    • Some Great Books to Inspire Art projects based on the Masters:
    Product DetailsDiscovering Great Artists | MaryAnn Kohl & Kim Solga

    This is one of my favorite books for creative ideas inspired by the Masters.  It covers artist from Giotto to the modern masters, from all over the world.  There's a short bio for each artist and at least one project related to their style, subject matter, or technique.  The book also has a chapter of games you can create to test your knowledge of art history.  GREAT BOOK!

    Product Details Great American Artists for Kids | MaryAnn Kohl & Kim Solga

    Similar to the above title, this one highlights 75 American artists from colonial times to the modern era.

    Have you done projects inspired by the great masters of art?  Please tell us about it in Comments!

    Boys, Handwriting, & Legos

    photo credit Semevent via Pixabay

    Handwriting has always been a necessary evil to my 3 boys.  My oldest, Dear Daughter, never had any issues with it.  After talking with other moms I've decided it is just a boy thing.

    Now that I'm teaching handwriting to my 3rd son, I have the experience to know not to sweat the messy scrawl he passes off as his "best writing" to me.  As long as he makes an effort to be neat and he completes the assignment I will be satisfied.

    Here's why...I have seen both of my older boys go from chicken scratch to very nice handwriting seemingly overnight.

    Artist Study ~ Raphael

    Raphael Sanzio ( 1483~1520), Italian artist, High Renaissance

    Probable self-portrait, sketched by artist in his teens


    • Artist Profile Pages ~ a tool I created to help organize our Charlotte Mason-style artist studies


    • Living Books
    Product DetailsGetting to Know the World's Greatest Artists; Raphael | Mike Venezia

    Product DetailsThree Masters of the Renaissance; Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael | Claudio Merlo

    Product DetailsArt Profiles for Kids; Raphael  | Juliet Mofford

    On the Web:

    Images for Picture Study:

    St. Michael and the Dragon, oil on wood (1503 ~1505)

    Allegory (The Knight's Dream), oil on wood, c. 1504

    Sistine Madonna, oil on canvas, 1513-14

    Woman with a Veil, oil on canvas, 1516

    The Transfiguration, oil on wood, 1518-20