I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:4

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Planning for Summer: Music, Art, Cooking, and Sewing School

I have found that it is beneficial for us to not take a long summer break from school; but rather, to change the subjects we are studying and take a more relaxed and casual pace with them.  The break in routine and change of pace is fun for us and starting something new is always exciting.  This approach offers the flexibility we need to join in other summer fun activities, when and if they present themselves. It also makes my school year a little easier, if I can just concentrate on the more academic subjects and not worry about these areas that are more time consuming.

I am working on getting my curriculum for music, art, cooking, and sewing in order.  Investing time organizing everythings, making all photocopies and gathering supplies ahead of time will help things go a lot smoother.  The kids all like these subjects.  Part of my plan is to pick up where we left off next summer and add to what they've learned each year. 

MUSIC

Even though all our children have taken piano lessons from an early age, and we touch on music periods during our history studies, I like to spend some time learning about the composers that have shaped our musical heritage.  Familiarizing ourselves with their history, biographies, and music is important in developing a sense of what good music is, especially in the world we live in today.

Classics for Kids
Provides a list of composers by period and also sorted by country with brief biographies.  The classics for kids site also has sample music from each composer to listen to.

The Voki Lesson Plan database has several lesson plans that use their tool to enhance lessons.  I like this, especially for Michael.  He will use it to make a Power Point presentation of his projects by the end of summer.

Homeschool in the Woods
I am using the lapbook unit study for structure. These are the topics covered:

* Periods of Music
* Keyboard Vocabulary
* Composers Collection
* Pieces with a Purpose
* Composers Timeline
* Music Appreciation


ART

I'll be using Masterpiece Art Instruction's The Phonics of Drawing course.  I ordered the art materials from Blick Art Materials.  After shopping around I found they have the best prices and everything we need is there.  The prismacolor pencils, my favorite, were more expensive at JoAnne's even after a 50% off coupon! 

One convenience to shopping at Blick's was that the Masterpiece's site has each course's required materials linked to the Blick site, so all you need gets put in your cart automatically.  We did an inventory of all our art materials last Friday, so I deleted those things from the list that we already owned.  Easy!

COOKING

Michael loves to cook, and eat, so he will also be doing this subject with us.  I will be focusing on making individual, organized notebooks (cookbooks) for the recipes they have learned. 

We will be using Sue Gregg's cookbooks.  They are written with the idea of teaching children in mind, though that is not their main purpose.  Here is a quote from their website:
    Recipes written by the numbers help avoid confusion. Nutrition questions for discussion highlight the value of key ingredients. Help your children discover how to satisfy appetites with quality alternatives to refined flours, sugar and hydrogenated shortening. 
I like the idea of using Sue Gregg's cookbooks because she is health conscious and teaches the importance of using a variety of nutritious ingredients.  She has sections in her books describing the properties of differeng foods and why we should eat them, so it's not just a cookbook but a book about nutrition as well.

SEWING

The girls are very excited and looking forward to learning to make their own clothes.  Perhaps by the end of summer, they will each have make a skirt with the skills I hope to teach them.  Michael, of course, has no interest in sewing, so he'll be off doing something outside while I teach the girls.

I'll be using Sewing School, 21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to Make.  It comes with all the patterns needed, and I like how it touches on the basics. 

It teaches how to make 21 projects including:

*Pillow
*Apron
*Coasters
*Skirt

I like that the book is both product and process oriented.  It emphasizes hand-sewing skills, which is what I want at this point - basic sewing skills.  We will use the sewing machine a few times, just to familiarize them with it.

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