Saturday, March 26, 2016

Easter Week in Review

A little bit of what we did this week...

The Cherubs sang on Palm Sunday.
Natural History/Science/Nature Study
At Classical Conversations, the kids did the streak test with different minerals...
...and tested hardness by scratching a penny.
At the park, trees were climbed...
Art Appreciation
Our home(pre)school co-op's theme this month is Van Gogh. The mom hosting this week did a lesson on self-portraits. We looked at some of Van Gogh's self portraits, paying attention to how he painted himself in 3/4 profile. We also talked about how he used yellow in lots of his paintings, and how he used brush strokes of colors like blue and green when painting his face. Host mom found a great book to use with preschoolers - Vincent's Colors (The Metropolitan Museum of Art). This book focuses on Van Gogh's paintings, as opposed to his life (the details of which are inappropriate for preschoolers). Come to think of it, this book is more in line with Charlotte Mason's ideas about picture study than many art books for children because it doesn't tell the life story of the artist.
This is Gemma's self portrait. No, she is not ill with the blue and green chicken pox. She was painting in the style of Van Gogh.

While traveling, she colored...
That kept her busy for quite a while. Then I read her a couple of chapters of Life of Fred. After the section about Archimedes calculating the number of grains of sand it would take to fill the universe, she decided she needed to write a vigintillion... she did.

At Dollar Tree, we got sidewalk chalk and stencils to decorate Grandma and Poppa's patio...
...and a 
mosaic sticker kit...
...and a couple of coloring & activity books.
One day, we went to Imagine U, a children's museum in Visalia.
When you walk in the door, you see this treehouse...
There is also a "citrus grove." (Citrus is a large part of Central California's economy.)
The "fruit" goes into the box at the far end of the room, gets sucked up to the ceiling through tubes, and travels back to the "trees" to be "picked."
Outside, there is a solar-powered river...
One of my favorite exhibits is the mechanic shop...
There is also an arts & crafts area where Gemma made this:
I'm not an arts & craftsy person - one of the many reasons I gravitate towards CM - but just because Gemma didn't go to a traditional preschool and won't be going to kindergarten doesn't mean she won't have ample opportunities to make bulletin-board-worthy...stuff.

Another day, we played miniature golf...
...and Laser Maze.

I LOVED Laser Maze. The objective is for both players to get to their sensors, touch them at the same time, then get back to the hand scanners at the entrance and touch those at the same time, without touching a laser and setting off the alarm. It was like being in Mission Impossible, but with a four year old. I had to take Gemma across the room to her sensor (a key), leave her with her hand on the sensor, go to my sensor (a stack of money) on a different wall, then go back to get Gemma at the key, and make our way back to the entrance together, to the hand scanners. Here is a picture of us being secret agents:
My mom helped Gemma dye Easter eggs, but Gemma did the decorating all by herself...
On Sunday, we got to spend time with my uncle, aunt, cousin, dad, stepmom, brother, stepsister, and some family friends. We went to church at First Armenian Presbyterian, and then my stepmom made a huge (delicious) lunch.

Our last stop was my husband's parents' ranch. There were tias and tios and cousins, cousins, and more cousins, more food, more eggs to hunt, and a piƱata!

Here is Gemma gathering eggs (to eat, not hunt) with Tia Angie...
And here are Ito (Grandpa), Daddy, Ita (Grandma), and Gemma, standing in front of Ito's and Ita's pistachio trees.
We read the book that went with our Resurrection Eggs, and some readings from an Easter devotional. We also read Magic School Bus Gets Baked in a Cake - again (one of Gemma's favorites). 
And Gemma read aloud some more of The Magic Tree House: Dingoes at Dinnertime.

One of the stories I read aloud to Gemma from My Book House was "The Fisherman and His Wife." At dinner Friday night, Gemma surprised me by loudly reciting - out of the blue - "Fish of the sea, come listen to me, for Alice my wife, the plague of my life, has sent me to beg a boon of thee!"

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