Sebastian's Stories

Microsoft

My ​Microsoft class is so much fun. We did coding at Microsoft. Another time at Microsoft, we made a robotic finger. It was cool. My friend Ella was there too. When we go back to Microsoft, I want to do a challenge on the game Minecraft. The person that finds diamonds first, wins the game. I went to go eat after Microsoft at La Duni in Northpark Mall with my friend.

Microsoft
Sebastian's Stories

Jake Makes a World

Book by Sharifa Rhodes Pitts 

This book is about Jake. He moved to New York City. People on Jake’s street are going to work and  do other stuff like play games. Jake goes to Utopia children’s house after school.  At Utopia he makes art. This boy grew up to be the famous artist Jacob Lawrence.

Jacob Lawrence
Leaving the Flock

The singing has returned.

Wow has November flown by! I can’t believe we have almost completed our first semester of homeschooling. This has been such a rewarding and amazing few months.

I adore the classes at the Microsoft store in Northpark. They host these for our homeschool group and the kids just love them! This time we learned how to build a flex sensor that lets you control a robotic finger with your finger. VERY cool!

 

On this day we enjoyed learning about a bug’s life cycle and stages at the Perot Museum during one of their homeschool science days.

Taking time to re-investigate the robotics and gem floors of the Perot…we stumbled into the (oil) drilling section and took the ‘tour’ of a rig. Being my husband’s industry made it that much more interesting to learn about.

We were riding scooters near where we live in the city when we stumbled upon this fine shop called Jackson Armory. They were incredibly kind to take time to show us a few of their oldest weapons. Since I would never remember the name of this impressive piece photoed, I noted the tag info:  AR Code MG42, Berlin-Borsigwalde, Mauser-Werke. The clerk told us that it had already sold and was going to its new home in Mass. They also have a tiny room of antique, rare books. We had the good fortune to see a Fore-Edge Book. If you are in Snider Plaza, I highly recommend taking in well-behaved children to see their treasures…..and it doesn’t hurt that Yummylicious is across the street!

AR Code MG42, Berlin-Borsigwalde, Mauser-Werke.
AR Code MG42, Berlin-Borsigwalde, Mauser-Werke at Jackson Armory, Snider Plaza, Dallas TX

This month at the DMA we learned about the secret language of flowers through the big, beautiful murals of Edward Steichen: In Exultation of Flowers.

In the studio, Jennifer taught us how to make art using paint, flowers… and gold!

It was that time again…..time to start from scratch with Zhen! This time Sebastian and I decided to use google to find a landscape image that he really liked and wanted to be inspired by. We discovered this painting, The Loneliness of Autumn by Leonid Afremov. It will be an 18″ by 36″ and I can’t wait to frame and hang it with the other two he has completed.

Sebastian is still loving his coding time with friends once a week at Techie Factory and Thanksgiving week he even got to attend a Techie Factory day camp with several more friends that were out of public school. They are having all kinds of winter camps too….should you be interested!

The Thanksgiving holiday was good to us. We spent time with extended family and friends. What a treat to have so many loved ones around us.

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My nieces, Sebastian’s cousins spent the Thanksgiving weekend with us. We took them to Spark, Farmer’s Market, the big AMC ‘with the good chairs’ and Yummylicious too many times!

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This month the beatboxing and music making from my son’s mind & soul came home. I don’t know where it has been over the last 24 months. This month it returned. 🙂 I am so thankful to get to work with and teach this joyous and loving creature.

Happy to Learn Math
The joy has returned to learning.
Sebastian's Stories

Letter to Santa

I’m so thankful that I have a mommy & daddy. How are the reindeer doing, good? Can I please have a  computer, PS4, a phone by Samsung Galaxy, 4 free day passes from school, a super cool fidget spinner, pop socket for the phone, an amethyst rug & two amethyst pillows, orbez, and last but not least a Dash. I hope you have a careful Christmas!

Love,

Sebastian.

Sebastian's Stories

Snakes, a Book Report

There are more than 20 kinds of cobras that live in Africa & Asia. Cobras are cold-blooded. Cobras are carnivours because thay eat meat. They have very sharp and venomous fangs. Cobras only need to eat once a month. Cobras hach from eggs and can live 20 years. A cobra’s enemy is a mongoose.

Cobra
Leaving the Flock

Yayoi Kasuma, Warhol & note on Health

Well if you haven’t made it to the DMA yet to see the Yayoi Kusama exhibit, you should take 45 seconds of your life and go check it out. 😉 Yep, that’s what you get once inside, 45 seconds. Spend the first 20 or 25 just taking in the infinity of pumpkins and make sure to have your camera app open before you enter. Then your last bit of time can be spent snapping a few photos.

Yayoi Kusama Pumpkin Exhibit
Yayoi Kusama Pumpkin Exhibit

We found ourselves at the DMA for a homeschooler’s class on art and the senses.  The class discussed pieces of the collection found on the 3rd floor made of silver.

John Bramblitt, an artist joined the class to offer his unique perspective on ‘viewing’ art when one has lost the sense of sight. The kids discussed the other four senses and how art can still be enjoyed even when it can’t be seen.

John Bramblitt
Discussing how he ‘Views’ art.

John shared that when he eats different things he ‘sees’ various colors. He then uses this ‘sight’ to create his paintings. The hamburger painting represented all the colors he ‘tastes’. The kids then used scented watercolors to create their own paintings. Jennifer Sheppard in charge of this program does such a wonderful job at pulling together multiple concepts into these lessons. We appreciate her so much!

In our own art world, Sebastian is making rapid progress on the Dali. I expect it to be complete in another week or two. Here are photos for two weeks worth of progress.

When Sebastian finishes the Dali, we are trying to decide what the next replica will be and our search took us to learn about Andy Warhol. Sebastian and I read this book about Warhol and Sebastian wrote a short book report about it.

Reporting on Warhol

Meanwhile, coding at Techie Factory proceeds on with friends. They love programming Dash the robot.

 

These past weeks have been full of fun October festivities. Birthdays, carnivals, cold, cozy nights visiting friends and of course Halloween!

If the craziness of October wasn’t enough, we MOVED. Ugh! It was a short move just a few streets over to a new, modern flat in the city, but I FORGOT how painful moves can be. All in all, it’s over and we all survived. Sebastian was a HUGE help and got to use his measuring skills as well as handyman skills doing little projects for his dad and me.  These are the days that I am especially thankful for the flexibility of homeschooling. Time for us to do the things life requires as a family without external pressures is such a blessing.

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Since I want the focus of our blog to be on homeschooling, Sebastian, and our education journey, I don’t touch on my other interests or hobbies, but I am an avid researcher and advocate for alternative health. I could start/write a whole other blog about my journey, experiences, and research on the topic. In relation to homeschooling, I want to share a component that involves health. Over the summer I discovered that Sebastian had very high lymph blockage and really needed to focus on detoxing. He has learned so much about his own health and is an active, willing participant in improving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. He dry-brushes, saunas, detoxes via ionic footbaths, sits through Rife sessions, takes time to reflect/meditate in nature, and makes a choice to abstain from wheat, gluten, and GMO food at every opportunity. Homeschooling gives us the opportunity to see that these lifestyle choices are supported every day. We are choosing to detach from ‘mainstream living’ and engage in a more aware, stressfree and ‘dis-ease’ free existence. I encourage everyone to re-evaluate their life’s pace, consumption habits (both food and stuff) and be sure you prioritize for your best mental and physical health.

Leaving the Flock

Geocaching, Nighttime Hiking & the Crow

Mondays have started to turn into one of my favorite days of the week. They are typically quiet since we don’t return to the city until Tuesdays and it is nice to have this almost forced ‘scheduled-activities break’ day. This week we filled it with soaking in as much of the warm, fresh air and radiant sunlight as possible.


I have been adding to Sebastian’s academic load and boy, has he caught on! By that I mean, he wakes up, immediately brushes his teeth, comes to find me and ask for the day’s work. He now flies through double-digit addition & subtraction, that used to weigh him down. It is clearly time to move on to new math topics but it has been exciting for me to see his confidence skyrocket as he grasps and excels at these previously challenging subjects. We finished our unit on measuring (cm. vs in.) and will move into fluid & temperature measurement. In science this week, he learned all the planets as we have been reading and studying the solar system. We are also studying the basic functions & identifying of all the major organs and systems in the body.  As a science major, this stuff is right up my alley! A few weeks back we incorporated an app into our Spanish studies called Duolingo. This helps push him a little farther in sentences & grammar than just translating our spelling words. He also finished book 3 of the Diary of Minecraft Zombie series and will start book 4 in the new week. Please keep in mind this boy was still in kindergarten easy readers at the end of his first-grade year. To say I’m excited about his growth in reading and comprehension would an understatement.

This week there was progress made on the Dali! I’m starting to see the resemblance to the original, The Persistence of Memory.

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This is who I pick up post art class. Happy excited Sebastian, ready for dinner with his family.

On this day we were at the Crow Collection of Asian Art for a homeschool class about art installation with Danny Skinner.

At the Crow
At the Crow

This beautiful sculpture by Soheap Pich was made from rattan and bamboo in Cambodia.  The cannonball tree was the inspiration. Danny found the piece in New York when he secured it for display in Dallas. It comes apart into five pieces and was transported by truck to the Crow.

We heard inside stories about how works of art in the museum were installed. This piece of hand-carved red sandstone is the facade of a residence from the Mughal period, 18th Century India. Danny was telling us about its incredible weight (equivalent to four elephants) and how it is specially secured and supported on the second floor of the Crow.

Then students built sculptures of their own and used different tools art handlers use to install their works of art. This was very exciting for all the kids as they were able to display their pieces in the Crow’s display cases. Sebastian named his art ‘The Phone Coming Alive.’ He said the black pipe cleaner is the frame of the phone and the colorful pieces are the ‘Alive’ part. 😉

Coding class at Techie Factory included a STEM building challenge. They constructed structures to support this box from sticks & tape.

STEM Building at Techie Factory
STEM Building at Techie Factory

Another unit of study took us geocaching! We started with a lesson about the compass and how it works. Then we hopped in the cart and took off to find TREASURE.

Off to go Geocaching!
Off to go Geocaching!

While we didn’t find any treasure at either of two spots we went to, we did ALMOST find it at a third spot. We have learned a lot about how we need to dress and supplies we need to take when hunting. Long pants, sleeves, bug spray, and flashlights are a must if hunting in the woods while the foliage is still thick. We DID find a friend to join us AND some amazing views!!

I learned that “Native Americans would bend trees in order to create trail markers that formed an early routing system, which served multiple purposes. From indicating that water and food was nearby, to warning travelers of rough country ahead, these landmarks were important features in navigating the early Americas.” We saw one while geocaching!

Native American Trail Marker Tree
Native American Trail Marker Tree

To my delight, Sebastian was invited to attend a mile, nighttime trail walk at the Hagerman Wildlife Refuge. Afterward, they learned about the night sky & constellations. Thanks again to Nicole, Penelope & Pierce for inviting Sebastian!

Night at Hagerman
Night at Hagerman

 

Thanks for stopping by and have a GREAT week! ~Natalie