And speaking of caterpillars and frogs

I thought I’d write a quick, separate post on what we’re learning around here this lovely end of September/beginning of October.  We’ve been moving along with our collages, and paintings.  J especially has just been floored by the whole idea that she can work on a layer of her art, leave it alone, and add to it later. Image

(notice that she wrote the word “cow” instead of drawing grass?  mama was *thrilled* about that decision)

I think we’re going to have to try more of this multi-step stuff.

Also, since it’s caterpillar season around here, we’ve been doing caterpillar study, with National Geographic Readers and our garden Swallowtails.  We brought one inside (we’ve been feeding it leaves from the Meyer lemon we removed it from).  So far so good, but we left the majority outside just in case this one meets an untimely end. Hopefully our diligent garden wasps don’t get to them all first (in which case, we’ll have to switch our lesson to the food web).


j has been working intensely with standard sized legos, which is kind of amazing to me.  I switched J to them in an effort to build some of her quant/spatial skills, and he has sort of taken them over.


Here we are taking turns filling in spaces to build a cube.  He caught right on, which, for a 23 month old isn’t bad.  We made it 5 levels before he got bored and started using it as a mini-fig command base.  🙂


Ok, not such a quick post, but other than that, it’s practicing letters (worksheets – I know, I know), numbers, adding and counting (oddly J is getting addition although she has trouble saying her numbers in order), letters, and starting to sound out words.  Slow and steady. Slow and steady.

Also, I defend my dissertation in 2 weeks! *GAH*


Collages and Trains and paper and things: A unit on the work of Romare Bearden

I’m back to blogging. I’ve been extremely busy, but I’ve found that blogging is a good way to organize and document my plans (and the rationale behind them) and my progress.  So here I am again. Hopefully, this time I can do it in a way that is helpful to anyone else who is interested in some of the crazy (and mundane) things that interest me.  And away we go!


Starting Sunday, the J team will delve into a week* of collage and trains, via the work of Romare Bearden.  We’ve already started by borrowing and listening to the audiobook version of My Hands Sing the Blues: Romare Bearden’s Childhood Journey from our local library.  Did I mention that the Leon County Public Library has an awesome ebook and audiobook service?


We’ll look at some works @ the Met’s Bearden Centennial website and make some collages of our own.  After a few days of Bearden, we’ll move on to Matisse, and do some comparisons between the two styles.


(Henri Matisse, The Snail, 1953, Gouache on paper, cut and pasted, on white paper, collection Tate Modern, via Wikipedia)


(Romare Bearden, Sunset Limited, 1975, watercolor, photograph, printed paper and fabric collage on panel, via Christies)


We’ll also focus a bit on trains, which Bearden used repeatedly in his work.  We have the DK Big Book of Trains at home, so we’ll start by talking about different kinds of trains and what they do.  We’ll probably collage some trains, or build some out of boxes, or playdough, or some other such nonsense.  😉

A trip to Railroad Square Art Park, to see the Tallahassee Amtrak station, and the 1920s caboose at the Tallahassee Museum should round out our unit.  I may call CSX and see if someone can tell me approximately what time the train rolls through the station near Railroad Square.  j would be thrilled to see a train in real life.

Because our days are pretty full, this unit may take 2 weeks or more, but that’s ok.  I’d like to slow down and give the opportunity to do some deep exploration anyhow.

I’ll try and post some pics as we go along!