Saturday, November 22, 2014

Romulus and Remus

Field trips that tie-in to a study on Ancient Rome can be hard to come by. I was delighted to take the boys to see this statue of Rome's founders, Romulus and Remus being cared for by their adoptive mom!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Washington DC field trip, part 2

 This was a flying trip (we had about a day and a half) but since everything we wanted to see is so close together, we were able to see an amazing amount in that short time.
 We ALL loved the conservatory at the Botanical Gardens. They had a display of all the major buildings, constructed out of all natural material like bark and pine cones. Amazing!

 We hadn't planned to visit the Museum of Natural History, but I'm glad we did. Evolutionary content abounds, but the Hall of Mammals and the Ocean Hall were spectacular.

 Z Man and Easter Island friend.

 The Library of Congress was stunning. Easily the most elaborate building we saw. Tile mosaics everywhere, murals, stained glass. Stunning.

 On display is one of only three perfect Gutenberg Bibles in the world. Their other bibles, most hand-lettered and painted, can be explored using the interactive display.

 Moses oversees the research room along with Shakespeare, Plato, Heroditus and others.

Look, this is where Riley and Ben sat in National Treasure!

With just a couple hours left until we had to leave, we decided to split up. Mark and the boys went to the Air and Space museum, which they all LOVED, and I went to the National Gallery. All I could do was thank God for allowing me to be there. I saw Rembrandts, Vermeers, Monets, Van Goghs, and the only Leonardo DaVinci painting in the western hemisphere - oh, it was glorious. Overwhelming. In a good way. We can't wait to go back!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Washington DC field trip

We were blessed to be able to go to Washington DC last weekend. Little Man competed in a flag football tournament nearby and, even though they didn't win, we all had a wonderful time. 

 World War II Memorial

 Museum of American History
I loved finding all the places where the faith of our founding fathers is carved in stone.

 The Capitol, all dressed in scaffolding

Fun with the Washington Monument

Possibly my favorite picture of the trip. It was a perfect day, we were walking along the reflecting pool in the sunshine toward the Lincoln Memorial, deep in discussion. A moment. So glad I have a picture of it. And, yes, he is officially taller than me now.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Colorful Language

Or, Why Language Arts lessons with creative kids sometimes take a while.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


We are so blessed to live relatively close to the Adirondack Mountains. So blessed to be healthy and able to climb and all together. So blessed.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Corning Museum of Glass

When Little Man graduated from kindergarten, he told the audience that he wanted to be an NFL player and a glass blower. Ever since then, we've wanted to take him to the Corning Museum of Glass. Last weekend, we finally made that happen.

We didn't get any pictures of the Hot Glass Show, which was our favorite - we attended two shows, watching the artists make a gorgeous vase and punchbowl out of molten glass. We also watched the Breaking Glass Show and the Lampworking Show, where an artist made an intricate reindeer from a bar of clear glass. We decorated gingerbread men, listened to an all-tuba orchestra play Christmas carols and explored the science of glass - there's more than you might think!

The pictures don't really do this tree justice. It was so striking.

This is a magnifying glass water ball.  

Love the work of Dale Chihuly!

Yes, these are glass.

Me and Little Man and Tiffany
More Tiffany

Definitely a day well spent!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Our "One subject per day" experiment

Little Man has had some, uh, motivational difficulties with his schoolwork lately. I decided to try an experiment one day and do just one subject.

 Our first day was a great success. It was an all-math day. If you don't feel that those two sentences should appear in close proximity to one another, read on!

 First, we did some mental math using this book - The Verbal Math Lesson Level 2 -which I just discovered and Love (as much as one can love a math book)

 Little Man loves this because we make the lessons short AND he can do it all orally - no writing. He's a talker. Laboriously scrawling things on paper is worse than having to go to the pink Barbie/princess aisle at WalMart to buy a birthday present. He does a little better on the white board.

 Next, we got out the Fraction manipulatives and worked with those for a bit, then made random designs with them, while I took every opportunity to say, "Oh look, two of the one quarter pieces are the same as a half," and so on.

 My kids love pretty much anything they can do on the computer, so we next went to Khan Academy and he did some three-digit addition with carrying. The videos have always been great, but I love the fact that you can now do math problems and get instant feedback on your answers.

 Finally, we got out the toy cash register and "played." I used Department Store Math   which is great because it has a price list of items by department and pages of problems. The customers come in with all sorts of random needs, for instance: Sam comes in to buy a skateboard and frisbee to take to a picnic this afternoon. Little Man has to look up the prices, add them and then figure out the change to give back. We use real money too. That's a big motivator for him. Not that he gets to keep it or anything. I do the voices of the customers, who are usually so grateful for the help that they invite Little Man to the picnic, or tell him what a great employee he is, or "what a nice young man," if they're the grandmotherly type. Good fun! 

 And there you have it! It was a nice way to mix things up a bit and we both really enjoyed it.