“Since 1998, bird watchers across North America have come together for the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC). This February 16th- 18th is your chance to participate in the GBBC as a citizen scientist! In 2017 “an estimated 240,418 bird watchers from more than 100 countries submitted 181,606 bird checklists reporting 6,259 species-more than half the known bird species in the world,” according to the February 7th GBBC news release. Participating only takes 15 minutes outside with your little one to record the birds you see. All the materials you need to get started are provided below. So, grab some binoculars and a bird book, and get started!” -Dallas Arboretum
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!
Microsoft Store Class Time!
Building a Robotic Finger
First watching the ‘How To’
It is almost done!
with our friend Ella
Learning about the bones in the fingers.
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.
Finding hidden life stages
Touching the ADULT stage!
Perot Science Class
Ella & friends with us at Perot Homeschool 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.
Exploring the drilling floor.
Taking the ‘tour’ down the drilling rig.
Sebastian built a ‘creeper’.
Building with friends on the robotics floor.
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!
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.
Language of Flowers
Edward Steichen: In Exultation of Flowers
In the studio, Jennifer taught us how to make art using paint, flowers… and gold!
Painting with Flowers
Adding some brush features
The final product with gold leaf.
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.
Starting from Scratch
Day 1’s progress
The Original: The Loneliness of Autumn by Leonid Afremov
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.
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!
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.
The week’s highlight was right in our backyard at Northpark Mall, the Microsoft Store. One of my fellow smart, homeschooling moms, Andrea, was resourceful and booked a class at the NP Microsoft Store for our group.
They taught the kids all about the ‘Hour of Coding‘ website and the kids went through the beginner’s Minecraft module, Minecraft Adventurer. You can access the same program right from your own computer since it is web-based. There are lots of other popular themes besides Minecraft too. Sebastian and his friend, Ella pounded through all 14 lessons.
The each received their completion certificates and then got to access the actual Minecraft game from the Surface Pros they were using.
Sebastian even went to the front of the class to demonstrate coding for one of the lessons. <proud momma> I can’t thank REBECCA enough for capturing that moment in permanent digital bliss for me!
The Microsoft education coordinator, Ashley agreed to host more classes for our group and everyone is SUPER excited. Since our classes are in the middle of the week, the mall is not so crowded and after class who doesn’t LOVE lunch at La Duni where the kids can run in the CenterPark Garden.
While at the MS coding hour, I also learned from another mom, Robin about two great coding resources. The first is for learning about coding for apps and it is called TouchDevelop. The second is access to Scratch (a coding language) via MIT’s website found here. We haven’t had a chance to dig into those yet but will report back when we do.
On our fine art day at Zhen art, we were able to start a new painting. I could not be more pleased with the instruction Sebastian receives from Zhen the owner/teacher.
We have been studying Salvador Dali and his exotic, mind-bending work. Sebastian chose to replicate The Persistence of Memory painted by Dali in 1931.
Sometimes you have that ‘kind’ of day and the greatest thing about homeschooling is that you make the rules so why not have a DOCUMENTARY day! We had one of those days and ended up learning all kinds of cool things about the Hubble telescope in a piece called VAST. Then we moved on to Journey in Space, HD 4k……We are SOOOO tiny! There are more galaxies than grains of sand on earth. Unbelievable! We enjoyed these films so much we went out one evening star gazing and dreaming up plans for future star watching nights. We stayed up WAY too late for a school night! These are the moments childhood should be made of.
This was the week for our monthly skate date at Thunderbird Roller Rink. Sebastian only used the ‘walker’ about 10 minutes, in the beginning, to get reacclimated and then he was on his own.
We found ourselves at the Dallas Arboretum to meet-up with friends from our homeschool group and I decided to knock out my fall photo shoot with Sebastian and the Arboretum’s gorgeous pumpkin displays. Here are a few of my favorites of my muse, Sebastian. #SRP
Into the Looking Glass
Sweet pumpkin boy.
Over the weekend we attended a Minecraft swim party at the Allen natatorium. What a fun indoor pool! I may have to inquire and see if we can set up something in the week for our homeschool group! 😉