Tuesday, October 18, 2011

homeschool daybook: Madame Riviere! Texas! untold gambol and mischief!

October 18, 2011

Back to the books today:

  • reading the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 13 and journalling
  • reading a few pages from chapter 3 in Evidence That Demands A Verdict (while we're still in a bit tedious section on the historical reliability of the New Testament, Natalie is very engaged with this reading.)
  • Kingfisher History Encyclopedia, Texas and Mexico, 1835-1848.  How appropriate, right?!?  Natalie created a three-level outline and added important dates and names to her timeline.  
  • She's plowing away at Uncle Tom's Cabin with a rather long chapter 9 today ("In Which It Appears That a Senator Is but a Man")  I'm reminded the power of reading to enlarge our vocabularies.  For example: Mrs. Bird, looking the very picture of delight, was superintending the arrangements of the table, ever and anon mingling admonitory remarks to a number of frolicsome juveniles, who were effervescing in all those modes of untold gambol and mischief that have astonished mothers ever since the flood.
  • She did another math workbook page and is creating a "lesson plan" to teach me some of the algebraic concepts she is learning.  This ought to be interesting.  Believe me, you should wish to be a fly on the wall.
For the remainder of the afternoon, we spent a good chunk of time talking about how we want to learn art this year.  Really, there are three levels we want to interweave:  art appreciation, drawing/painting/sculpting and plain old fun creative projects.  For the first layer, art appreciation, Natalie is reading through the historical era of 1850 to present day in The Story of Painting by H.W. Janson.  I want Natalie to hear the story of artists' lives as part of the whole civilization.  So to hear about the work of Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1780–1867) in the context of the Napoleanic wars and the tumult of revolutionary ideals means something more than just a dry reading of a list of names in a textbook.  She is adding entries to an art appreciation journal, names of artists, art movements and specific works of art.  Today we spent a short time studying one of Ingres' works, Madame Riviere (1806).

We noticed the style of her dress as compared to the previous Baroque and Rococo-inspired billowy women's apparel.  We noted the balance of the photo and the attempt at realism (look at that sash!).  We discussed what it would mean to be a painter in the same era that the art of photography was growing in popularity.  

she caught me!
For the second layer of our art curriculum, Natalie will be practicing her skills of drawing (first term), painting (second term) and modeling/sculpting (third term).  For now, we are using the book Drawing On the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards.  Natalie spent an hour and a half sketching with pencil her self-portrait, her hand, a face of a friend from memory.  I think she had fun, but it's hard to relax when our efforts don't match the image in our minds.  I'm hoping the techniques she learns will help her gain confidence, but if any of you have a suggestion for a different method please do comment!

The third layer of our art curriculum is just the random, fun and creative project.  Last week she made posterboard signs.  In a few weeks she's going to learn some cake decorating skills from her aunt.  I'm hoping to make some thrifty, nifty Christmas gifts together.  

It was a good day.  More to share tomorrow!
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