Monday, February 27, 2012

Who Is this Man??

This morning the girls and I were reading about Flemish artist, Jan Van Eyck. Upon viewing The Man With The Red Turban we all laughed when we realized that the subject of this portrait looks like a famous British actor whom we love, Charles Dance.

What do you think? Did Van Eyck have visions of Charles Dance or is Charles Dance trying to resemble The Man With the Red Turbin? LOL

Movies we have enjoyed featuring Charles Dance:
Bleak House
Foyle's War episode: The White Feather
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickelby
Murder Rooms: Mysteries of the Real Sherlock Holmes
Michael Collins

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Why I LOVE Right Start Math!

Cutting out Regular Polygons from Paper: Book D, Lesson 13

If you homeschool and are not using Right Start Math, you are missing a real treat. YES.... I said it! Math can be a treat! I have been 7 years in this struggle with math curriculum after math curriculum, drudgery upon drudgery, grumble upon grumble.

Sound familiar?

I found Right Start Math when my 11 1/2 year old daughter was one LONG year into struggling with memorizing her multiplication tables and could not master any math concepts. I started her on Level D and she is almost done a year and a half later! I am happy to say she has mastered everything that she has learned.

Right Start Math has a yahoo support group. I sometimes found myself getting discouraged when I read that there were 9 year olds in level D. But, I kept pressing on confident that this was the right program for our daughter. I am only sad that I did not begin this program 8 years ago when I first began homeschooling.

It does require a little more involvement from the teacher than some other popular homeschool math programs, but the joy in helping her, without tears, was well worth my time and effort. I also learned  many new concepts and ways to "think" and process how to do math. We had great conversations each day and many of the exercises and warm ups are to build critical thinking skills. There is no need for an extra "critical thinking" curriculum; it is woven very nicely into Right Start Math.

This program has many fun geometry and metric activities that most of the other math programs do not have. This program will build them with a strong foundation in measuring and using rulers. The fraction lessons are fabulous!  I could go on and on and on about all the great activities, but I will suffice to say, if you are thinking about switching an older ( pre-teen) from an elementary math program because they are just NOT getting it....DO IT. Right Start Math is the BEST hands on VISUAL math curriculum available. It really covers all the learning styles and will work for any student.

Using the cut out shapes to measure in Tenths of a centimeter, and find the perimeter
 Book D, Lesson 134

Monday, February 20, 2012

Picture and Art Study: Art Appreciation for kids

I love using the Charlotte Mason method for picture study. It is so simple and yet, it makes such a profound impact on the students. My girls are teens, and we just recently started picture study. I have been using AmblesideOnline for our picture study, but recently discovered a very EASY and affordable way to to do picture study.

Simply Charlotte Mason has put together six wonderful artist studies. We just finished studying Giotto. It sparked some good dialogue and we learned about frescos, and learned to tell the difference between Byzantine and Medieval art techniques.

I highly recommend this curriculum, even if you do not homeschool. This is a simple way to introduce your children to art appreciation.