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.
Today, our group took a trip to Galveston to visit the NOAA Fisheries Sea Turtle Lab. If you’ve never been before, this is a really cool place to visit!
NOAA Fisheries, also known as the National Marine Fisheries Service, is an office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration within the Department of Commerce. Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act, NOAA Fisheries works to recover protected marine species while allowing economic and recreational opportunities. Their sea turtle lab is part of a conservation/research and development project to create turtle-safe fishing nets. The facility in Galveston hosts a class to help educate the public about sea turtles, and offers a tour of the lab where the turtles are housed for two years as they grow, to be released back in the location they were taken from.
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!
Something new we’ll be trying out this summer is LARP-ing, or ‘live action role playing’ for PE. One of our families are frequent LARPers, and offered to work with the kids to make foam swords, and go over basic safety and combat rules. The kids spent a lot of time on their creations, and we can’t wait to put them to good use at our next Park Day!
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.
This week, we took off for Lufkin, TX to visit the Ellen Trout Zoo, home to the biggest ostentation of peacocks I have ever seen running free through the grounds. The kids had fun checking out all the different areas of the zoo – one of the best things about this zoo is that it’s a breeding zoo, so the enclosures are small, which means that the animals are REALLY close and have few hiding places. Thankfully, this zoo is only a temporary stop for most of the animals there until they go back to their home zoos after recovering from pregnancy and birth.
If you get a chance, check them out – Lufkin is about the same distance travel-wise as Houston, it’s smaller, so you can definitely see everything in one day, and it’s shady (perfect for the upcoming summer heat)!
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 Henri Toulouse Latrec, and the kids made event posters inspired by his style.
We spent our morning in the Big Thicket National Preserve, Texas-Big Sandy/Centennial Forest (or what will be!) with our homeschool group. Our group of 19 kids and adults, plus 8 Park Rangers and a few other volunteers spent the morning putting 800 longleaf pine saplings in the ground. Afterwards, we went on a half-mile hike through an older part of Centennial Forest where they were experimenting with different techniques for clearing some of the underbrush to promote the growth and return of the longleaf as the predominant species of pine in this area.
The Big Thicket is celebrating 100 years through the Centennial Initiative, which encourages the public to take an active role in visiting and preserving the forests in our area. If you’re interested in getting involved, contact the Big Thicket Visitor’s Center to find out how you can help. The next public planting day will be Saturday, March 12, but there are groups that go out each week. If you’d like to join us next time we go as a group, join us on Facebook!
almost all 800 in the ground!
scouting a good spot
the cool kids’ table
learning about the long leaf
baby longleaf pine – needles and fire make the longleaf endure!