Showing posts with label Charlotte Mason Info. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Charlotte Mason Info. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Art Puzzle Wall decor/activity Idea

So we were tagging along with the hubby on one of his business trips and the gracious folks he was working with, asked us if we'd like to visit their museum (their family started an art museum based mainly around birds) which is open to the public free of charge.  Being that we love art and birds it wasn't a hard decision to make.

The museum recently opened a large, new section and part of it is a great area for children.  Frankly, it was adorable!  Anyway, as I make my way through it (mind you I do not have littles anymore but it was fun to look about), my eyes spied the cleverly done art/puzzle wall. I had to investigate and thought I would share this cute idea.

Basically, it is an art easel [theirs were from Dick Blick, but any good easel would work] with a magnetic sheet mounted behind a painted art frame. This was all securely attached to the wall.  I wish the people who put this together were there for me to get more details on how they found/did this.  I would have been able to get a better grasp of how they constructed it all-esp. the magnetic board.  I will do some research (and of course let you know what I find) to see if I can find some already painted white. I guess if it's not white-one could paint it that to give the whole thing a "white paper" on an easel look.  Then off to the side they had a picture that was a visual guide for the child to follow. I would actually have the picture printed a bit larger, it seemed a wee bit too small but alas-that is my unsolicited suggestion on that.  Then below the easel was a large box (presumably made by someone-but there are tons of storage pockets like this on the market so one could wing it a bit) that held the puzzle pieces.  The parrot picture was printed right on the magnetic sheet, with the birds being the puzzle part.


I think they just had a larger version printed out or used a poster of it, to make the puzzle.  I know you can go to most photo places and get larger prints made of whatever picture you desire.  Then they attached it to either wood or a very sturdy foam board.  I cannot recall exactly now-but I think two were wood.  Whatever you decide to do (should you make this) just be sure it can withstand the kids putting it up and taking it down repeatedly.  My guess is that they were Modge Podged to it (?) That would be a simple and effective way for us folks to pull this off anyway.  Then someone cut out puzzle pieces to form a giant puzzle of the art work.  To hold the project, they put magnets on the back.  Very securely.  One had magnetic strips which I felt stayed up better.  The others had something I haven't seen before (but again, I am not routinely searching out magnetic devices such as this)-it was like a dual magnetic bar strip (sorry no pic) where it had a magnet on each end sunk into this plastic strip thingy.  Sorry, not real good description.  Go with the self-sticking magnetic strips.  Easier to use and less likely to be swallowed.

This one had pieces that were slipping (two magnet on plastic strip backing) 
so I pointed that out and they promptly sent their fix-it man to take care of that. 

Then when not in use, they were stored in that "easel" pocket.  Very adorable.  I would assume they change out the pictures occasionally too.  And there you have it-a great way to invite children to look at and build a piece of art. You could do so much with this actually, but the puzzle is just an adorable idea.

Basic Supply List

*Art easel that is large enough to hold your framed magnetic piece
*Frame of your choosing that is slightly larger than your magnetic board
*Magnetic board -painted if it is not already white
*Paint for the magnetic board (be sure it will adhere to it, and for the wood backing for the puzzle-if you go that route)
*Box to attach below that is large enough to hold big puzzle pieces
*Magnetic strip that is self-sticking
*Art work that can be cut up (or there are some big sized puzzles that you could simply attach magnets to and cut the cover out as their guide)
*Smaller print of the artwork for the guide
*Backing-whether it is a thinner wood or sturdy foam board (wood should be painted for a more finished look and to prevent slivers and such)
*Modge Podge to attach the puzzle to the board
*Someone to cut the pieces, my guess is a band saw would do the job perfectly or some very sharp, precise cutting tool that will give you nice clean puzzle edges.

If you decide to do this project, please come back here with a link to your picture so we can all see how yours turned out!

Thanks to the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Museum for this great experience!
Info on the children's activities is found here.

The museum is located in Wausau, Wisconsin.  If you are nearby, be sure to check it out.  There are some really nice pieces of art, and the kid area is fun too!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Artist Study: Charlotte Mason Style

If you are unsure of how to do an artist study or just need some other ideas to add to your repertoire,  hopefully this post can help you out.

I really love how Charlotte Mason incorporated the study of famous artists into the children's education.  The nice thing is that one does not have to go into some super, in depth investigation in order to learn about them.  Basically, you give it about 6 weeks of coverage.  That is all.  Folks have different ideas of how to go about it, but following the basic CM way-you do a brief intro to the artist (life/style/time frame), then have the student choose 6 pictures to study.  They will then narrate to you what they remember about the painting, along with stating it's title and when it was made.  Not too difficult.

How we study an artist:

I get a boat load of books via the library and pull what I have from my shelves/supplies. After reading a few of the more informative books on the life of the artist, I then have the student fill out a notebook page noting general life info, what their favorite media/techniques were and then have them add 3 little pics of different pieces to the page. When completes, we file that into our Artist study notebook.

During that time, the student will have already selected 6 prints to focus on.  Their task is to really look at it.  Study it and note any details they find. Also, they have to learn it's title and when it was made. Each week, they do one print. Of course, if they want to do more, they can. They will simply come to me at the end of the week and tell me everything they can recall about the painting (I will have the print in front of me to confirm the existence of said details) then place the print on a wall somewhere in our classroom. 
We also try to do an art project that reflects one of their well-known or more commonly recognized styles. Thankfully, I won (via a blog giveaway) a whole set of art projects from See the Light that we are currently using.  I also have the Spears Art Studio CD series with several different art project ideas that we can do as well. Usually I can find a craft/art project book (check your library first) that pertains to the artist  which I can pull an idea from, if the project sets do not have something that will work.  And for heaven's sake what would I do without Pinterest? Yes, I get oodles of ideas from there too.  If the project is small enough to fit the page protector pocket, that too will go into the Artist Ntbk when the study is over-otherwise, we proudly display it until we move to our next artist. 

So where do I find the pictures for the study? I mainly use the library because they usually have some big artist books to choose from. Helpful tip here: be sure to go thru it first and see how much nudity is in it. Some are more child friendly than others. I also go to sites like Amazon to find stickers, coloring books, and calendars highlighting the artist of study.  There are also some nice online sites too. Usually I go to Olga's gallery to print the wee little pics we place on our notebook pages, and Wikipedia for a pic of the artist.

In a perfect world, I would do two artists a semester.  But life happens.  So usually I do two per year. Which for us is actually perfect.  I try to choose folks that coincide with the era of history we are studying but that doesn't always work out.  Since I have that DVD set, we are simply going to study the artists she focuses on. I have done quite a few of these studies-so I can pull together a unit fairly quickly without much effort-even without having a base to start with, like the DVDs. There are plenty of dudes and dudettes out there to ponder so finding one or two to match what history we are covering isn't too difficult. Of course, as you go further back in time-it's a bit more challenging to find artists/material, but I know I do not have to have them correspond to do this. The kids (OK so I am down to one 'kid now) will eventually come to that time and place in their/his studies and it will just be one of those, "Oh yeah!  I remember him/her." moments of recollection. Studying even just a few here and there [some years we simply didn't do so swell covering artists] has proven to be beneficial.  I cannot even count the amount of times we will see a pic or ad that is from one the artists we explored, and my children will go, "Hey that's a ...." One of those 'ah yes' smiles will cross my face then. It's all good really, it truly is.

Anyhoo-for detailed posts on a particular artist, go to the artist tab at the top and click it.  I have a run down of the ones we have covered so far. It highlights what we used for the study, including supplies books and ideas.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Supply Tote for Nature Study in the field

I was shocked that I didn't have a post highlighting the tote that we carry our nature study art supplies in.  Well, I may have had one but may have failed to transfer it before I closed down my Charlotte Mason blog.  So after filming that area of the classroom, I figured I best get an info/link post up on it.

Let it be said that I do not get paid by any of these companies (say for Amazon), altho I should.  I do have my Amazon Affiliate links for those items found there, and you can read more about that disclaimer at the bottom of the blog.

Nature Study Tote Box Supply List:

You can put whatever supplies you'd like in your tote-
this is just what we use the most.  


The price has gone up a bit since I bought these
 but they are worth the money-very sturdy!
And you can always re-purpose them later.
Otherwise, look for totes that have
a secure top/lid and are not flimsy.
USE your discount coupon!

Magnifying glasses/compass/etc.:

our Optic Wonder is by Navir but I see it is hard to come by now.
These companies make the exact same thing.


Small sliding magnifying glass from Dollar Tree

Art Supplies:

through Joann, Amazon and other art stores

General Pencils Drawing Kit 12 pc set 

Prang Watercolors 8 ct
Prang Watercolors 16 ct
or any school supply section of your local store

Assorted Paint Brushes-15 ct

Paint cup
I bought mine years and years ago from ??
But I know you can usually find them by
the paint palettes in the art section
of most supply stores.
Otherwise, a plastic cup or old food dish works too

Prismacolor pencils 12 ct
Prismacolor Verithin pencils 12 ct
USE YOUR JoAnns/Michaels COUPON to help save $$
if purchasing from there

3 pk white erasers (from Dollar Tree?)

Micellaneous Items:

pretty much any store
*smaller ones with a sharper point work nicely for
older kids so that they can snip specimens, etc.
Obviously, blunt points are best for younger kids

look at your local dollar stores for these
our plastic one came from one of those giant magnifying
glasses and/or a bug kit from the Dollar Tree

Pencil sharpener
check the school supply area and esp. the dollar store

Tree Identifying Cards
Cards by thesnailstrail on Scribd

Paper towel or other absorbent cloth

Small pack of baby wipes/Wet Wipes
great for cleaning off that sticky residue from plants
and or to clean their hands/paint off

Monday, March 23, 2009

Charlotte Mason sites

I came across a couple new sites today and wanted to post some others I know of that utilize Charlotte Mason's philosophies.

I have not yet purchased from these folks, but from what I see, they have some great materials that play in nicely to Charlotte's way of thinking and teaching. Check them out. (fellow Michiganders and Christians to boot-awesome) (nature study helps via online ) (info on CM and free ebook) (notebooking ideas and more) (many products geared toward CM style-good info) (mother of all CM sites, has complete book lists and ideas for all grades)

Another great little ditty I found-uses scrapbooking and notebooking and copywork to create nice scrap-notebooks. Follows the same idea of lapbooks.

Have fun checking these out!

Charlotte Mason Books

Since I posted the web sites that refer to CM...thought I might as well add the books that I love that explain her and her philosophies too!


If there is a book about her, I most likely have read it...'cept for maybe one or two I could not get a hold of.
These are the ones that I find best describe CM, have practical and helpful ideas on how to implement them as well.

Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola (first one I read and refer to the most-very good coverage and explanations)

Charlotte Mason Education and More Charlotte Mason Education by Catherine Levison
(these are not thick books and could be easily read in one sesson, but they are packed with info-I am constantlly picking them up to click the "refresh button" in my brain)

Charlotte Mason Study Guide by Penny Gardner

Another good go along with these are books that list CM style living books.

For the Love of Learning by Jenny Sockey is a decent find. Not too thick and yet, lists what is essential for your library (mixes both CM and Classical)

I have also read and recommend reading Sally Clarkson's, Educating the Wholehearted Child
and The Mission of Motherhood.

Some very good Summer Reads for you to refresh and rejuvie your homeschooling spirit!