American Modernism

The latest exhibition to come to our local museum, the Ashmolean, is ‘America’s Cool Modernism’.

So for our ‘artist of the term’ we have expanded that to a broad sweep of a movement.  The tag line for the exhibition is ‘O’Keefe to Hopper’. Quite a spectrum! Whilst we have not delved deeply into American Modernism before going to the exhibition, I have tried to introduce the children to a very different flavour of paintings to what they are used to. We have benefited from browsing through the catalogue to familiarise ourselves with the works, ideas and concepts. The Ashmolean have also produced some helpful notes for teachers, which have given us some insights too.

These short picture books about Georgia O’Keefe have been enjoyable.

We finally managed to get to the exhibition today and it really did not disappoint.  It is truly wonderful to see the children maturing in their appreciation for art.  I do still keep the visit short and sweet but whilst we are there they are really engaging with the work. The children and I were excited to see familiar friends hanging on the walls and get a better feel for the movement.  Edward Hopper was definitely a favourite.

Charles Demuth’s I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold, 1928.

If you are passing through Oxford, the exhibition is on until 22nd July.

Nature and Wildlife Games

Board games, card games and dice games are played a lot in our house. Winter seems to be when games really come into their own, but they are equally perfect for a quiet summer afternoon when trying to get respite from the heat. Continue reading

What do you do with your preschooler?

Homeschooling is always a great conversation starter. I am pretty good at anticipating people thinking that I’m mad, so I normally preempt the look of surprise by saying, “Yes I know – I’m crazy aren’t I?!”

The questions very quickly come to, “How can you teach your older two with your little toddler around?”, or often more bluntly phrased as, “What do you do with her when you are teaching?”  Continue reading

Audiobooks for the Summer

I don’t know what your summer holiday is looking like, but we will be visiting family and friends in the Lake District and on the coast of Spain. Good audiobooks will definitely be our companions both when travelling and for down time during the days.   Continue reading

Stories for Animal Lovers

Part I: Cats and Dogs

Last night we had fun over supper remembering all the stories we had read with pigs in! The conversation flowed from there as we darted from rabbit stories to mice and onto cats.  It was the children that suggested we jot them all down and added “Put the books on the blog Mummy.” So over the next few weeks you can have a browse as I publish various animal instalments from pigs to rabbits to foxes. Continue reading

Over 40 Children’s Books for the Summer

The summer holidays are on their way.  A wonderful chance for us all to get stuck into a book for that bit longer each day.  So, if you are looking for ideas for your children, Continue reading

Butterflies

“Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.”

— Hans Christian Anderson

With spring in full bloom here in Oxford, the bees and butterflies are now out in the garden. They add a wonderful sense of beauty, productivity, life and purpose.  When it comes to butterflies, we are very much amateurs, but loving learning all the same as we spend time outdoors.

IMG_1205 Continue reading

Artist of the Term: Michelangelo

Every child should leave school with at least a couple of hundred pictures by great masters hanging permanently in the halls of his imagination . . . 

— Charlotte Mason

Last term our ‘artist of the term’ was the magnificent Michelangelo di Ludovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475-1564).  This was a treat, if a little brief for such an artistic giant – sculptor, painter, architect and poet.

51pbvyz5ozl-_sx436_bo1204203200_ Continue reading

Getting Ready for the Ballet

The fine arts find their origin in God, the Creator of language, color and music. Fine arts reveal within us an intrinsic need for beauty that is a part of God’s image stamped on our being.

— Clay and Sally Clarkson, Educating the Wholehearted Child

The Ballet

Tchaikovsky’s ballet of  ‘Swan Lake’ is coming to our city next week.   Continue reading

Dolls and Stories

Our 8 year old daughter was given a beautiful doll for Christmas. She is absolutely besotted with her, and takes great care dressing her, brushing her hair and including her in all that she is up to. It’s very special to watch. She has even written a story all about her.  Of course now she is scouring the bookshelves at home and at the library for stories about dolls.  So I thought I’d share those that she has enjoyed in case there are other readers out there that would appreciate them too.

61gnvf-qmrl-_sx324_bo1204203200_ Continue reading