I have lots of photos for my readers this week! We had a fun week this week leading up to Valentine’s Day, making valentines for family and friends and doing some math with M&M’s. Elizabeth was really excited about Valentine’s Day this year, as we had been working on the valentines and had gotten a cute little petite rose bush for Chepe which we kept secret in her bedroom until the morning of, and she was tickled pink to have the secret. I especially liked how excited she was about the holiday, especially as she was not expecting gifts herself, but was anxious to give hers out. This is a step in the right direction from where I felt we were at Christmas-time.
The Moving Beyond The Page curriculum has a “February Holidays” unit which centers on Valentine’s Day as well as Black History Month and President’s Day. I think that this is one of my favorite units so far; I decided that the unit met all of my subject goals without modifications, so that was easy. This week, I merely focused on the Valentine’s portion and tried to get the valentines made and out before the 14th.
I also got Elizabeth interested in a bit of math by having her add some color and chocolate! The unit had a little math game of equations written in hearts, meant to be cut out and then cut in half. The child would then do the addition to find the solution, thereby matching up both halves of the hearts. Elizabeth color-coded hers, and then I ripped out the M&M’s and she did a thorough job of counting out candies for each number to be added, and then counted them all together. It doesn’t sound extremely impressive, but it’s one of the first times since we started the curriculum in which she put her brain into the addition and did each part of the equation separately as is necessary. I was very happy with her effort.
On Chepe’s day off, we also made a non-Valentine’s-Day-themed trip to an art museum. The weather here in Upstate New York is bitter, bitter cold, so in thinking about fun things to do out of the house I was obligated to come up with an idea that would keep us indoors. The day that we went birding for snowy owls, there had been abstract art for sale at the café we stopped at for lunch and Elizabeth was very interested in it, so I was thinking of doing something art-related. Finally, I came up with a few ideas, and with Chepe’s input, we decided upon the Rockwell Museum of Art of America in Corning because it was about art and cowboys.
The trip turned out to be a fun one. I hadn’t been to the museum in over ten years, and they have made an effort to be kid-friendly, with a kid’s art and activity room, as well as scavenger hunt pages for each floor. I wish now I had taken a picture of the scavenger hunt sheet, but I didn’t. It was actually so much fun that as we left, I thought to myself that even without children I could have wanted to do it! The scavenger hunt helped all of us (except hyper Paul) take a look at each picture or the majority of the pottery, and to look for little details to find the images on the sheet. It was fun.
As a lover of horses and the spirituality of the American Indians, some of my favorite art that we saw was 3-D:
Lastly, I have some funny photos of our last activity to finish up the owl unit from last week: peanut butter cookies. Elizabeth had a good time decorating them (and eating the decorations).
If you have been following Seed To Seedling, you might have noticed that we have not taken a single vacation week since we began in July. I contemplated it – I had contemplated taking a week off every 6th week – but once we got into the flow, school seemed so non-invasive and fun and easy that I just never did. As well, Elizabeth asks almost daily to do school, and we occasionally do school activities on the weekends if she/we are not out and about with family. But the weeks around holidays in which I feel like I have deadlines, like with making the valentines, kind of stress me out, and I have decided that we will take a break this next week. I have some housekeeping things that need to get done while Paul is napping, and though school doesn’t have to be done while he is asleep, it is a lot easier. I think a little break will do me some good, though I have my doubts about Elizabeth. I am anticipating that it will make her sour to start back up, or to do my organized activities again. We shall see, I guess.
Well, I hope you all have a nice February break if you are taking one.
Share your thoughts: What special projects did you do leading up to Valentine’s Day? What kind of school break schedule do you plan?