Sunday, March 24, 2013

Visit to Booth Western Art Museum

Since we've wrapped up reading about the western expansion movement, this was the perfect week to drive up to the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, GA. I fully intended to enjoy the visit, but the museum exceeded all of my expectations! Amazing artwork across many styles, authentic Native American artifacts, thoughtful and dramatic presentation of the art with great respect for conveying the historical significance in a stunning building all made for the perfect field trip destination.

There are several Western Galleries, a sculpture court, temporary exhibit areas, a Civil War gallery, and the Hall of Presidents. Cullen especially enjoyed the chance to see a sample of each President's handwriting. The authentic coaches on display were an extra treat.

In the basement, we found a special hands-on area for kids. While this is really targeted toward the younger set, my oh-so-grown-up ten-year-old couldn't get enough of this life-sized play horse.

We plan to visit again, especially when Cullen gets a little farther along in learning about the Civil War. In the meantime, I think I'll find a nearby horse ranch to go riding!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Weekly Update with an Epic Science Experiment

I am finally resolved that our days will never be as structured and scripted as most people think school should be. As long as the learning is happening and the little neurons are firing, that is enough.

History this week covered topics of slavery, which will be picked up on again later, and western expansion with readings from A History of U.S., The New Nation, a book on The Oregon Trail, and a handful of BrainPop videos.

Reading history lesson aloud in the voice of an old pioneer woman while wearing your pajamas and wallowing around on the floor with your dog is just one of many advantages to learning at home.

Cullen is reading A Wrinkle in Time, which was one of his big sister's favorites at his age. (I still have to read this myself. Maybe I'll borrow his copy after he goes to bed.) The highlight from language arts learning this week has to be a session of taking turns creating sentences with direct objects, indirect objects and subject complements, then identifying those elements in the other's sentences. The subject matter got sillier as we went along.

The biggest news from our week is shown in this video from Cullen's experiment in science class:


Friday, March 1, 2013

Weekly Wrap-up

Things are clipping along here in most areas. My focus is now on encouraging and enabling Cullen to take more responsibilty for his own learning. Baby steps are still progress and will be celebrated as such! There are, of course, things that we will continue to do together because they work better that way AND because I like spending time with this young man of mine. He seems to really enjoy our discussion-driven MCT language arts, asking for it nearly every day. Truth is, he'd rather talk than read or write any day. Now that I know this, I am not above taking full advantage of it!

Snapped this while he was watching and listening to today's math lesson. Thinking cap??

Kid Coder Windows Programming is new to our curriculum mix this past week. (My cousin, Jamie, reviewed this recently on her blog.) Cullen has been pointing out things he already knows, that he picked up on his own for scripting games on Roblox. Those were his words; I am only loosely understanding what that means. He has the gumption to go find out what he needs to know, which is terrific! Hopefully he can fill in the gaps with this and move on to learning Java soon. He is eager to learn to "make mods" for Minecraft. Again, I think I know what that means.

We really enjoyed seeing Black Violin with Drums in concert last week. I say concert, but it was really more of a giant violin party. Giant, as in 3000+ screaming kids who were seriously loving what they were hearing. These classically trained musicians have developed their own mash-up of classical music with an infusion of hip-hop for a terrific high-energy sound. If you get the chance to see them in your town, don't miss it. Cullen already downloaded their album from iTunes and now wants to learn to play the violin. (grin)

Linking up this week with Kris at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers!