Monday 29 April 2019

Project 82: Football!

Solomon had suggested 'football' as a project as we were scooting past the park one day, and we saved it for this week to include a bit of family rivalry: Peterborough United (the local team) were at home to Sunderland AFC (their mum's team).
Peterborough v. Sunderland

Although we'll have the occasional kick-about, and might watch a match on the TV, it's not particularly a big part of our family culture, so it made a nice change to go to a match: Solomon enjoyed it, and avidly watched the game; Monica watched the crowd, and then read a book for the second half. It was a good game with a noisy atmosphere thanks to the large number of raucous travelling supporters - one ran on the pitch and another set off a flare, which provided a nice introduction to a couple of videos on crowd psychology later in the week.

We also bought FIFA 19 for the Switch, and for a couple of days it even managed to overtake Fortnite as the most popular game in the house, as Solomon explored the various clubs and player skills.

The children used templates from Twinkl to design their own football kits:
Football Kits - as sponsored by Domino's and LNER!
And explored one of the more famous footballing pictures, L.S. Lowry's Going to the Match. Firstly using a Twinkl template to describe what they saw 'Inside the painting', and then drawing some of their own matchstick men:
Matchstick Men

Next week's project: Music

Monday 22 April 2019

Project 81: Easter II

As it is now our second year of home education, it is also our second Easter as home educators, and unsurprisingly there was some crossover between this year's project and last year's (see Project 29: Easter and Spring). After all, it wouldn't feel like Easter without chocolate nests!

Easter Nests (again).

The children also completed the Easter trail at Peterborough Cathedral:
Easter Trail
Decorated some blown eggs:
Blown Eggs
and made some Easter bunting (Solomon decided to make his in the style of Mondrian - Project 79: Art and Mondrian):
Easter bunting
Next week's project: Football.

Sunday 14 April 2019

Project 80: Plants and Flowers

This week's project was initiated by a home ed group on plants and pollination at Ferry Meadows, the local country park.  Luckily, unlike the last one on maps, this one wasn't cancelled.

At the Ferry Meadows group they learned about the parts of a flower, and had to label them on their own diagram. They then re-enacted the pollination process of bees and flowers outside by transferring water between buckets and putting stickers on each other. Finally they went on a nature walk around the park, identifying plants and flowers and using some to make a flower pressing.
Ferry Meadows Workshop with Solomon 'the Flower'
We planted some seeds of our own in the garden (carrots and parsnips), and put beans in jars with cotton wool to see how they grow, making notes in their 'bean diaries'.
Bean Plants and Diary
Finally they made their own symmetry prints of flowers.
Symmetry flowers
Next week's project: Easter II!  (see also Project 29: Easter and Spring)

Sunday 7 April 2019

Project 79: Art and Mondrian

This week's project was inspired by a stop-go animation where a Piet Mondrian 'painting' was created with Lego.
Although we try to ensure there's an art or craft project each week, we would like to do a bit more fine art, and Piet Mondrian seemed an ideal place to start.

The children created their own Mondrian style pieces in Lego:
Solomon (Left) and Monica's (Right) Lego Mondrian
And with crayons:
Solomon (Top) and Monica's (Bottom) Mondrian in Crayon
We visited Tate Modern, to see a couple of original Mondrians, and another work inspired by it:

Finally we finished the week with a Mondrian maths puzzle, which the children really enjoyed exploring on graph paper:

Of course no piece of art exists in isolation, and we studied a host of books and videos exploring the history of art, and what art is, and also visited the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery. By the end of trooping around three London galleries in one day everyone was exhausted!

Solomon and Monica each chose a postcard of a picture which they then had to write about, describing what was in the picture and why they liked it.

And Solomon also wanted them to create a piece in the style of Kazimer Malevich after seeing a painting in a book:
Solomon (Left) and Monica's (Right) Malevich-style pieces
Next week's project: Plants and flowers.

Monday 1 April 2019

Project 78: America!

During Project 77: Shakespeare! we watched the film West Side Story, and the song America inspired Monica to select it as the week's project (along with the fact her father declared he would never want to live in America!).

We covered American history from the 'discovery' of America by Columbus through to life just before the American civil war. We made use of the traditional American History for Kids on Amazon Prime, and supplemented it with additional videos and discussions that were more challenging to the traditional narrative, e.g., History vs. Christopher Columbus.

It was also nice that, in keeping with the previous week's Shakespeare theme where we had studied The Tempest, there was a TED-Ed  video Why Should You Read Shakespeare's the Tempest? that explored how it could be interpreted from the perspective of colonisation.

We also explored the American narrative through three stories: reading an abridged version of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and watching the animated films An American Tail and An American Tail: Fievel Goes West. 

Finally they made their own Statue of Liberty crowns and torches from paper plates and toilet rolls.
Three Statues of Liberty
Next week's project: Art and Mondrian.