Art Gallery: A Library of Creativity

September 8th, 2020

art-gallery-creativity

If a picture is worth a thousand words, an art gallery is like a library of intricate creativity. It makes an intriguing field trip for your kids to be exposed to greatness. Most art galleries in large cities have rotating exhibits that feature famous works of art from well-known and loved painters and sculptors of all time. Recently my family went to a Norman Rockwell exhibit, where row upon row of Life Magazine covers were displayed, capturing the essence of many decades of history.

My kids pointed out intricate details in the sketches. They noticed humorous and emotional scenes of various kinds. We saw presidents from the past 70 years or more, all with the themes of the day behind them, depicting wars, mundane life (hanging clothes to dry on the line), and the mischief of children.

I have taken my children to many different exhibits over the years. Two of our favorite artist displays were a collection of paintings of Rembrandt and the inventions of Leonardo Da Vinci.

When my children were very small, I had a large packet of postcards of famous works of art, so my children were already familiar with the artists before we went to the exhibits. This made the exhibits even more meaningful to our kids. I highly recommend taking your family to a local art museum so that you, too, can experience some of the most creative minds of all time.

advantages-of-art-galleries

I would like to leave you with a poem I recently wrote about an art gallery:

Art Gallery

The eyes of a portrait
Peer out from a canvas
Hanging larger than life
In a hall where people pass

Suspended in time
People from long ago
In elaborate costumes
In row upon row

Framed in splendor
Trapped in stone
Each masterpiece
Cries out to be known

Looking closer
Details can be seen
Inside the masterpieces
That look like a dream

Leaving the gallery
No longer night
Back to reality
Blinking in light

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More posts about classical art:

  1. Da Vinci
  2. Rembrandt
  3. Monet
  4. Van Gogh
  5. Picasso
  6. O’Keeffe

Mixing-with-the-Masters-600

Best of the School Year | Homeschool High School

July 22nd, 2020

best-of-the-school-year

Today I will be sharing with you the “best of the school year,” including some of our favorite activities, field trips, and curriculum that we used for homeschooling high school this year. This will include unique and interesting field trips for geography and astronomy, and some fun psychology skits. Even through the quarantine, I will show you some activities that we did to tie our homeschooling to current events.

Best of the School Year | Homeschooling High School

Watch the following video to hear about some of the most memorable highlights for our 2020 homeschool year:

The math curriculum we are using is Teaching Textbooks because there is no teaching or grading required by the parent, since all of it is done on the computer. This was especially helpful for higher math.

If you want to see all of the curriculum books we used for all the other subjects this year, I wrote a blog post earlier this year to show what we would be using:

high-school-homeschool-geography

We made up our own geography, which I show you in the video. We made a scrapbook for each country of the world, coloring a map, writing a paragraph about the country from a video about that country, and gluing down a flag of each country. We went on a field trip to Canada, and while we were there, my daughter spent a day immersed in the culture of North and South Korea:

high-school-homeschool-astronomy

High school astronomy was also incredibly fascinating. We attended a star party put on by the local Astronomy Society. During that time, we identified many constellations, the rings of Saturn, and the moons of Jupiter. We attended a workshop put on by a NASA representative, where we saw a real space suit, Shuttle EVA suit glove, small rocket steering thruster, a Martian meteorite, etc. We looked through a special telescope during the day to look for solar flares and sunspots, and we went to a planetarium. If you would like to see the entire set of books we used this year, here it is:

high-school-psychology

Probably my favorite subject to teach this year was psychology. We used 7 Sisters homeschool curriculum, and we brought it to life in this set of videos and blog posts:

Near the end of the school year (in April and May), while in quarantine, we did a lot of gardening:

We also cooked and baked many delicious foods for home economics. Here is a British cake my daughter made:

British-cake

We went on many walks, too, in order to get out of the house and get some exercise for PE. Here is a goofy walk that my daughter and I went on:

This school year is one of my favorite years of homeschooling. Yes, it can still be fun to homeschool high school!

back-to-homeschool-giveaway

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:
$200 to spend on homeschooling curriculum at Rainbow Resource!

I’ve teamed up with a group of homeschool bloggers that would like to bless a few homeschool families this year.  We will be giving THREE families $200 to spend at Rainbow Resource Center to buy curriculum, resources, and supplies for their homeschools.

To enter for your chance to win, simply use the Rafflecopter form below.  Now I know this is quite a few entries, but each of these bloggers has generously chipped in their own money to make this giveaway possible, so I hope you will take the time to do all of the entries.  And hey, the more entries you do, the better your odds are of winning!

Giveaway ends July 31, 2020 at 11:59pm ET.  Must be at least 18 years of age.  Must be a resident of U.S. or Canada to enter.  Selected winners will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prizes or another winner will be drawn.  By entering this giveaway, you agree to be added to the email lists of the participating bloggers (see the Terms & Conditions on the Rafflecopter form for the complete list).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Gardening: Your Backyard Oasis

May 29th, 2020

gardening-your-backyard-oasis

How would you like to create a backyard oasis? Everyone needs more of nature, and gardening is calming for your body and mind. When you sit on your porch, what do you see? With a little effort and a few tips, I will show you how to improve your outdoor space.

Gardening: Your Backyard Oasis (video demonstration)

Make a beautiful haven where you can sit and pray or think about life, and get away from it all. I started filming this video near the end of April, and now it’s the end of May. So I show the progression of the backyard, awakening from the winter, and blooming into the spring and summer.

We also hung lights around the backyard deck for the first time, changing the atmosphere in the evenings to a festive experience, which I will show you by the end of the video.

Vegetable Garden Tips

The first tip for vegetable gardens is to have raised beds so that you can dump really good soil into them. When I first moved into this property 20 years ago, I didn’t know that the soil was not good for growing anything. Not only was it too sandy with rocks (look at the dirt that I’m sitting on in the video), but the 23 pine trees on our property make the soil acidic. Furthermore, most of my backyard is in shade because of the trees.

I love the fact that my backyard looks like the woods. But eventually I realized that the only way to improve my yard was to grow mostly shaded plants. Tip #2 for a vegetable garden, then, is to try to find a place where there is sun. We finally found a place (that used to be a dirt pile) to the right of our deck.

vegetable-garden

Last year we only had one raised bed, as you can see in the picture below. I didn’t know how large the plants would grow, so I overcrowded it. For this reason, even though there were lots of leaves, the plants didn’t produce much fruit.

So tip #3 for a vegetable garden is not to overcrowd the plants. Leave space between the plants. Then the roots won’t be competing for the nutrients in the soil with any other plants, and the sun can shine on all the leaves of each plant.

Tip #4 would be to give the vegetable garden a good watering every day, especially when the plants are young.

Tip #5 is to have tomato cages for the tomatoes, and if you are growing beans or other vines, place the raised bed next to a fence so they have something to crawl up. Next year I might add a third bed next to the chain link fence just for this purpose. This year all I needed was the tomato cages to re-enforce the stems of the tomato plants, so they don’t topple over or break with the wind.

Tip #6 is to pick off any dead leaves that you see. This keeps the plants healthy.

overcrowded-garden

Perennial Garden Tips

At the beginning, the perennial garden didn’t look like much. When removing the pine needles and dead leaves, we saw a few green perennials coming up. (Perennials are flowers that come up year after year.) We trimmed the bushes, pulled some weeds, and amended with good soil. After a month of watering the garden, it looked beautiful!

This perennial garden is right outside the bay window of my dining room, so it can be enjoyed every time we sit down to eat a meal.

perennial-garden

Rose Garden Tips

My rose garden is in the front yard, but I thought I would include it in the gardening that we do. I show you in the video how to prune the rose bushes after uncovering them from the winter. We also put rose fertilizer on each bush. Roses are my favorite flower, so I really love this garden!

rose-garden

The back porch looks lovelier this year than ever, since my husband hung lights on poles bolted down to blocks of cement. (I show you a close-up of the base of these poles in the video.) My husband placed a hook on the top of each pole, and strung white lights. It feels like I am in Europe, where I traveled and lived before I was married. It makes me feel so much joy!

garden-evening

Here are some other gardening posts you might like:

High School Psychology Series

April 17th, 2020

high-school-psychology-series

What a fun time we’ve had learning high school psychology! We’ve done so many hands-on activities, including: making a vegetable brain, a play doh brain, and a play doh neuron; placing foods on a tongue map; doing a perception activity involving snapping pictures of being chased by a car; drawing a large colorful chart of our basic needs; moving stuffed animals to re-enact various concepts; and performing many fascinating skits–sometimes involving costumes and props, and in one instance, a live cat.

We have thoroughly enjoyed using the psychology curriculum from 7 Sisters that you can find here: {affiliate link} Introduction to Psychology from a Christian Perspective.

Hands-on Psychology Activities

I thought I would make it easier for you by creating an index or table of contents for all these fun psychology activities you can do:

Psychology Bloopers

We also have some psychology blooper videos, if you need some merriment in your life:

Since homeschool parents need to buy curriculum for their high school students anyway, and psychology is one of your standard half-credit high school electives (it’s a one-semester course), you might as well purchase the curriculum here: {affiliate link} Introduction to Psychology from a Christian Perspective.