automatons and music makers

this is only our second time there,
but i really like KID museum.
my girls are always engaged during the classes
and they always come home with a project
that is a manifestation of their focus and efforts.

at this most recent homeschool workshop
signGirl made an automaton
— a device that uses cams, cranks, gears and axles to make it move —
from cardboard and other art supplies.


prayerGirl was in the wood shop
(i love it when kids use tools)
making musical instruments out of everyday materials.


all the while,
goodNewsGirl enjoyed the marble run in the play area.

i can’t wait to see what other ways
KID museum will help homeschoolers
“explore the world and invent the future”.

exploring portraiture at artReach

during the fall 2015 session at ArtReach
students explored portraiture,
learned about eight community leaders
and then created unique portraits of them.

here were just a few that my daughters had a hand in:


these portraits, student’s self portraits,
along with those of a few historical figures,
were on display at a fabulous exhibit last december.


ArtReach always seems to come up with
artful ways to strengthen community ties.
the community portrait project
will be going back on display in the ArtReach gallery
in February and, i’m told, will travel to
the corcoran school of the arts
a little later in the year.

classic egg challenge

when you come to homeschool day at the navy museum
you get access to a small collection of experiments & projects
within an area of study.

this past december,
signGirl decided to do the classic egg challenge with a twist:
design something using either
all pipe cleaners
or all paper
that will protect an egg if dropped from 50 feet (or so).

this was signGirl’s creation.


her egg ended up like humpty dumpty…

but, it’s the problem-solving design process that matters most.
i’m sure we’ll encounter this challenge again.

bumrush the boards

radianceGirl and mercyGirl competed in the
10th annual bumrush the boards hip hop chess tournament
with their teammates from p.g. county homeschool chess club.


this is how you do a chess tournament!
breakfast and lunch was provided
and between matches there were sessions on nutrition, dance and more
that everyone could attend.
their sisters and i were well-entertained and enlightened
rather than bored to tears
since the tournament lasted the better part of
a working woman’s day, 10AM – 4PM.

sail into seascapes

mercyGirl, prayerGirl and I attended a family workshop
at the national gallery of art for the first time.
i thought the stories in art programs for ages 4 – 7 were great,
but this family workshop for children ages 8 – 11 (and their parents)
was an amazing experience.

in sail into seascapes, we explored 17th–century Dutch seascapes,
learned about the symbolism behind different weather conditions,
and afterward the girls created monotypes.



i love how this workshop expanded their art vocabulary.