First posted March 2007. Links updated/edited. Ponytails was in Grade Four, and Lydia (Crayons) was doing kindergarten. The Apprentice was in her second semester at public high school, but she was also doing Canadian Geography with me.
We had a picture study lesson that was kind of a transition lesson: we've been studying John Constable, and we're going to be starting Claude Monet, so I read about both of them from Hillyer and Huey's Young People's Story of Fine Art: The Last Two Hundred Years. (Basically the same as Hillyer's art book) The book talks about the problem of making something in a painting bright enough to look realistic, like trees; painters before Constable used to make their trees brown, but Constable managed to make them green by using little dabs of different colours; and that's why he was an influence on Monet and the impressionists, both in the "dab" technique and because of his interest in light and the brightness of things. We looked at a Monet calendar I have and also some prints-on-canvas I got from Hampstead House; I held them up close and then from across the room so the girls could see the difference. The prints aren't great, but you could still get the effects; "The bridge at Argenteuil" was wonderful with all its reflections in the water.
It was a good lesson because it felt like we were all discovering something together, and because it linked something we knew about (Constable) with something new.
Besides that...we finished "Les Biscuits," a story in our French book about a greedy girl who grabs a handful of dog biscuits instead of chocolate cookies from the kitchen shelf; a chapter of Sajo and the Beaver People (we're almost done, the beaver is about to be rescued); and some geography, about faults in the earth. Ponytails worked on multiplying 3 digits times 2 digits, and played a game of Math Munchers on the computer. Crayons did a Miquon Math page. And there was an ongoing game of paper dolls. Oh, also Ponytails is reading The Secret Garden to herself, and Crayons is busy with a bunch of old Ladybug magazines.
The Apprentice and I did some of her geography in the evening as well: we finished reading a Canadian Geographic article about David Keith, a Canadian environmental researcher who is also involved in public policy. Real people doing real things.
How was your day?
Related: Another post about Grade Four/Kindergarten