Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday, June 5, 2009

Art Study

We've been studying Vincent Van Gogh's work the last few months.  About a week ago hubby took R grocery shopping and they came home with some sunflowers.  Since Van Gogh Sunflowers are one of the prints we're studying, I thought it would be fun for the kids to create their own paintings with our sunflowers. 

We read Camille and the Sunflowers by Laurence Anholt, a story that is based on an actual encounter and real people.  It tells the story of Vincent coming to Camille's small town and Camille's family befriending the lonely artist.

After reading the story we broke out the watercolor paper, some pencils and the paints.  I turned on some Beethoven and let the kids create.  Here are their creations:

A view of my busy artists w/ our wilting sunflowers

Another shot of the artists and flowers

Finished Product

S's age 5

R's age 8

E's age 11

A's age 9

What I love about this type of activity is to see what part of the object the kids focus on the most.  Some focus in on the flowers, some on the vase.  In R's case, she drew all the people she saw around the flower at the time. :)  I love to see their creativity shine through. 

Just one more reason I love having them home, I get to see all this creativity come to fruition.  By the time I was R's age, art was a class I dreaded in school.  One too many art teacher had let me know that I was not artistic by the age of 8, that I gave up trying because I knew I wasn't good at it.  So glad my kids haven't learned that they aren't artistic because they couldn't make their project look like the teachers!

Not to be left out, here's J's creation:


J age 3

Hope you enjoyed our art project. 

Carob Tree

S. chose our Carob tree for his study.  He was worried that he wouldn't be able to draw it "really well".  I told him not to worry and just do the best he could. :)  He was also worried because he can't write stories or poems yet (he can't write! LOL).  Again, no worries.  If there's something in particular he feels like sharing, let me know and he can dictate the prose to me and I will be his scribe. :)

He did a sketch of the tree and then decided to do a bark rubbing.
Way to go S.!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Poor Little Orange Tree

R chose our very sad little orange tree.  My sister and bil gave us this tree as a house warming gift.  Citrus trees don’t like to be transplanted and this poor guy was transplanted a couple of times before finding it’s final resting place (and I’m afraid it truly is a "resting" place).  It only gets watered from our sprinklers, which isn’t nearly enough.  You’ll also notice the lovely gray guard around the trunk.  That’s there to keep the weed wacker from hacking away any more of the trunk!

Poor, poor little tree.

For whatever reason, that’s the tree she picked so here is her drawing and songs and poems to this poor little tree!

Her song sung to the tune of "Found a Peanut" or Clementine, if you prefer (sortof LOL)  (:

My little orange tree,
my little orange tree
is so cute and soon it will be
a big orange tree
but now it is a little, o little orange tree.
Little orange tree, little orange tree
you are so very cute
and I know you will make yummy oranges someday.
but right now you are still little, my little orange tree.

I have a little orange tree,
it is so very cute.
In the morning I go to see it
grow little orange.

When I spy
a little orange
I will be so happy
I will jump up in the air and scream so loudly
I will knock the orange right off.
So I love you little orange tree.

Story of the Orange tree:

The Story of My Orange Tree!
This is my orange tree.  (note there are illustrations to this story not included  )
It was brought to us by our cousins.  It began to die but it has some leaves now.  We try to water it but sometimes we forget to.  But, I still love it.
The End

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Lemon Tree

A. chose our Lemon Tree to study over the summer.  I mentioned our lemon tree the other day, the one that gives us the most incredible juicy lemons. :)

Here she's conducting to the music that's playing instead of drawing. LOL

Her story (middle left):

     Home to Birds
Our lemon tree
is home to so many birds.
It can hide them from the hawks
and in the storms,
it's leaves protect them
from the rain like God
protects us.

Come back tomorrow to see R.'s pick for tree study this summer!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Nature Study

As I mentioned in my last post, we did some nature studying today. :)

Here's what my kiddo's did:
E picked our Eucalyptus tree to study for the summer.

She also wrote a poem (lower right corner of picture):

Arizona Eucalyptus
Waving in the breeze,
Green in all seasons,
and giving different birds a home
to raise their eggs into
things that fly.
Whether it is under the hot summer sun,
Or in the winter's
cold rain, it's green
scented leaves are
always waving against
the blue desert sky
In praise to God.

Some observations:
Height:  It can get up to 30 ft
Trunk:  One and a half feet thick at the bottom, tapers off and separates into branches at the top.  It is mostly gray brown but some places can be light gray.
Thickness:  The leaves are thickest near the ground.
Leaves:  Some are shaped like circles, some like pears, and the color is from lime green to mint green and some leaves are tinted with purple.
Bark:  The bark is rough

(I'm going to have her do some research on the tree then check her observations and see if she was accurate).

Stay tuned tomorrow for A's drawings.  She painted our Lemon tree. :)

Monday, June 1, 2009

My Boys

And while the girls were quietly drawing and listening to the classical music, here were my boys, having a sword/gun fight out of something they made!  You can see S.'s paper on the ground behind him. LOL

My girls


Great Day!

I love the simple days, where things just flow one into the other, don't you?  We had one of those days today.   We're taking a brief summer break, probably starting back in July.  With nothing, or very little, on our plate right now, I'm enjoying some lazy, laid back time with my kids.

Today we started what I hope will be our daily routine.  We headed out the door for a walk around the neighborhood followed by swimming in our pool.  After swimming, we had a simple lunch and the kids went off to do their own thing for awhile. 

Leanne, on the FIAR boards, posted a Nature challenge to get outside and study your trees.  I thought this would be a perfect day for such a study.  I had the kids gather up their pencils (colored and regular) and some paper.  I grabbed my camera, the cd player and a classical music CD (and the baby of course ;- ) ) and followed them outside.  Their assignment was to pick one of the trees in our yard and document the changes it goes through throughout the summer.  They could document the tree throughout the months through drawings, poems, songs, pictures, whatever inspired them the most.  I encouraged them to look at all aspects of the tree.  Check out the bark, the leaves, the canopy, the color, the animals, etc.  Then I set them loose. 

One of our trees happens to be a lemon tree, which has provided us with so much wonderful lemonade this past spring.  I'm going to miss all those fresh lemons here pretty soon.  I grabbed five of our very ripe lemons and made some fresh squeezed lemonade.  Yum!  I filled up 6 glasses with ice, poured in the golden elixir and brought it out, along with some gingersnap cookies, to my budding naturalists.

What a beautiful picture to see all my little treasures out there enjoying God's glorious creation, in all its varied facets.

I'll share their drawings and poems as they come in throughout the summer, so stay tuned.

Fresh Squeezed Lemonade
16 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 5 lemons)
48 oz filtered water
~ 1.5 cups sugar

Stir and serve over glasses filled with ice.  Enjoy!

What did you do today to celebrate and rejoice in God's creation?