TH Art Guild – Nevelson – Aug. 17, 2016

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Every 6 weeks, our group meets for Art Guild, a hands-on art class based on the book, ‘Discovering Great Artists‘ that provides easy to do art projects in the style of the artist the lesson is focused on. This month, our subject was Louise Nevelson, whose massive monochromatic found-art sculptures are both interesting and inspired. We took a page from her book and gathered all kinds of junk, from paper and plastic tubes and bottles to keys and other bits of metal and bric-a-brak. The kids used a combination of school glue, hot glue and tape to create a single, stand alone work of sculpture and then spray-painted it to mimic Nevelson’s style. Once all the pieces were painted, we assembled them all into a somewhat uniform larger piece. Though our work was not quite as impressive as Nevelson’s, it was a great introduction to modern art, and hopefully gave the kids a glimpse of what is possible for their own experimentation with art.

 

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TH STEM-Egg Drop Contest – April 27, 2016

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Today, we hosted an ‘egg drop’ contest! Everyone brought all kinds of things from home to build a capsule capable of protecting an egg from a 10′ drop. We had so many neat ideas! From a cradle of straws, to a fully-insulated cup; foam, paper, fabric and everything in between. If you’re looking for a neat science-focused activity, this one was a winner!

TH Art Guild – Mary Cassatt – April 13, 2016

 

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Each month, we get together for our Art Guild. We’re using the book ‘Discovering Great Artists‘ as our guide, and so far, it’s been great! Several of our families have the book, and work lessons into their personal curriculum during the interval between art classes. This month, we’re studying Mary Cassatt, and the kids made art prints that were inspired by her method of creating prints.

If you’re interested in joining us for our next class, visit our group on Facebook!
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San Jacinto & Battleship TEXAS – March 2, 2016

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TH Art Guild – Landscape Art – February 17, 2016

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At this meeting of the TH Art Guild we were focusing on the work of a contemporary sculptor and photographer, Andy Goldsworthy. His site-specific, environmental and land art has contributed greatly to the emergence of a new movement in the world of art, which utilizes the natural environment, both large and small, as a medium of creation.

Another important element of his work, and one that we also experimented with (as you can see in the gallery below) is the use of photography in the documentation of ephemeral works of art. Because such creations can’t be transported and won’t withstand the ravages of the natural environment, our photographs were the final, documentary step in the artistic process.

Unfortunately, Andy Goldsworthy isn’t in our text, Discovering Great Artists, but you can learn more about him and his art here.

No supplies were needed for this project (other than a cell phone camera), as we gathered our materials from the environment. If you’d like to try something like this, a knife might be useful (though it definitely isn’t a requirement), and we would actually discourage bringing any materials with you or attempting to formulate any preconceived plans for your creation. One of the foundations of site-specific, land art is the artist’s ability to connect with the specific environment, become inspired by it, and utilize the unique materials it offers.

 

Teen Homeschool Book Club – February 10, 2016

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Every month during the school year, the Beaumont Public Library hosts a homeschool book club. The club is divided into three sections on two days, based on age/grade. The Children’s Book Club is usually on the second Friday of the month, and the Teen Book Club is on the second Wednesday. Each month for the teens, Librarian Robin Smith chooses a selection of books for the students to choose between. Her selections represent several categories, including contemporary fiction, sci-fi/fantasy, humor, and classics. They’re also allowed to choose a book from the College Recommended Reading list.

At the discussion, the kids have a list of questions that are generic and applicable to any book, dealing with the setting, plot, thematic elements, conflict and personal opinions. Sometimes after, sometimes before, we team up and play a game to break the ice. Mind Trap was this month’s game, but we’ve played Apples of Apples, Mad Gab and others as well.

Since we’re so close to Valentine’s Day, one of the moms brought cupcakes and toppings, and had the kids decorate their cupcakes to represent something from the books they read.

 

For more info on the book clubs, please contact Robin Smith, children’s librarian at the Beaumont Public Library.
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Symphony of SETX: Mozart Experience – February 3, 2016

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Every spring, the Symphony of Southeast Texas hosts a Youth Concert for students. This year, the SOST partnered with Magic Circle Mime Co. to create a unique program featuring the life and music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Mime musicians Maggie & Doug sneak into the theater to perform, only to be joined by the symphony, and finally Maestro Chelsea Tipton II, who invites Maggie to become Mozart for the concert. Lamar musicians Catelyn Gentry and Eric Gonzales joined Maggie and Doug and the symphony to perform as well.

If you have the opportunity to see Magic Circle Mime Co., and the Mozart Experience, please do! We had a great time, and look forward to future performances.

 

 

 

TH Art Guild: Picasso – January 2016

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This year, we started an art-focused class, held every 6 weeks, based on the book Discovering Great Artists by Kohl and Solga. This was our first class, and we had an awesome turnout! The kids brought their completed self-portraits, and after the lesson on Picasso’s life and style, the kids (and a couple of the moms) cut the pictures apart and re-assembled them, Picasso-style. After embellishing them with other craft supplies, we called them masterpieces.

Our next lesson will be on Toulouse-Lautrec, and impressionism. If you’re interested in joining us, check out our Facebook group and plan on joining us at our next Park Day!

 

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TH Science Fair 2015

This week, our group hosted our annual homeschool science fair. We had 15 students participating, with 11 projects (some siblings did group projects), with students ranging in age from pre-school through high school.

We met under the pavilion at Village Creek State Park in Lumberton, which is a great place for outdoor group events (if you’ve never been there). They have plenty of tables, a large grill and a playground all within a few feet of one another. If it had been warmer, we’d have planned lunch out there, but since it was so cold, we didn’t stay long.

The kids all bundled up and presented their projects one by one. There was quite the spectacle when it came to demonstrations, from the rainbow effect that fluid viscosity creates, to self-inflating balloons hat demonstrated carbon dioxide, dancing raisins, and non-Newtonian fluids with oobleck – they had a great time and showed off their scientist’s skills with flair.

From the older students, there was a great display of research-based thinking and psychology, from a project centered on meditation, to communicating with dogs, and several great experiment-based entries on hydrophobic sand, wind resistance and parachute design and a really cool experiment that floated water on top of water!

We were really proud of our students, and the effort and ingenuity that they put into their projects this year.

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Sea Center – Lake Jackson, TX – January 2014

Today, we took the kids out to Sea Center in Lake Jackson to visit the hatchery. What we thought was going to be a ‘tour’ was actually a full behind the scenes look at just how intricate and scientific growing a million fish really is!

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When you walk in, one of the first things to see is a giant ‘touch tank’. Filled with crabs of all kinds (hermit, blue, spider and more), sea anemones, urchins and other things to feel and explore, the touch tank dominated the kids’ attention for a good long while. There’s also a table with plates to make crayon rubbings of different sea creatures, and several big aquariums to check out.

CAM01433To keep the kids interested, we split into two groups with a guide for each group – Mr. Andy for the littles, and Mr. Jerry for the bigs. We took a walk outside to check out the water systems, from the created wetlands, to the big holding pond, outdoor filters and tanks, to the indoor pump and filtering system inside. Then we went through the big tank room where there were giant tubs filled with red drum and flounder. Then we toured CAM01436the incubation room, where we learned about eggs and how the ‘fry’ look when they’ve hatched, and what they eat for the few days before they’re gathered up and brought to the grow ponds outside. We also got a run-down of what types of education the kids might need to pursue if they wanted to have a career with one of the three hatcheries in Texas.

 

 

 

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We also got to hang out on the pier of the learning pond and feed the fish – and saw a variety of giants in the water, then took a stroll down the boardwalk over the wetlands that were built to replace some that were destroyed when the hatchery opened.

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If you get a chance, call them to schedule a tour. It’s well worth the drive!
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