join the student sit-in

the greensboro 4:
joseph mcNeil, franklin mcCain, ezell blair, jr. (later known as jibreel khazan), and david richmond.

we should be able to roll their names off our tongue
just like m.l.k. jr and rosa parks.
four college freshman from north carolina A&T
marked a change in the civil rights movement in 1960s.
they faced the discouragement, shame, violence and hate of others
with the inner-strength of non-violence,
encouraging young people to get more involved
in creating a more just future for america.

join the student sit-ins was presented right in front of the
woolworth’s counter at the national museum of american history,
where blacks were forbidden to be served,
and instead had to stand and eat their food
while whites sat at the counter.
it was a thought provoking 20 or so minutes
where we stepped back into 1960 to imagine that we were attending a meeting
to be trained on how to sit-in,
to meet injustice with dignified, peaceful, bold non-violence.

we remember their names as well as the countless unnamed others,
and are thankful for the people like them who sat down in order to stand up.

catch the show every friday and sunday until the end of february.

great reads before and after this performance are:
sit-in: how four friends stood up by sitting down, by andrea davis pinkney

freedom on the menu: the greensboro sit-ins, by carole boston weatherford.

who are your favorite african-american historical heroes?

at jim dine’s gate

we attended part two of the national gallery of art‘s
family program investigating modern and contemporary art
as a part of their winter stories in art series.

after reading how an old man uses discarded scrap metal to create a forest
in helen ward’s the tin forest,

we examined jim dine’s assemblages sculpture, the gate, goodbye vermont
made of tools, steel and wood.

jim dine makes art that allows him to pay homage
to the people he loves and places he’s been.
he used to play in his father’s paint store
and grandfather’s hardware store while growing up.
later, as an artist, he would often travel to get inspiration for his work.
while in france, he had a view of an ornate gate from the window of his room
where he did his sketches.

after examining dine’s piece from top to bottom and left to right
and listening to marjorie — our guide — read his explanation of the work,
the kids took that inspiration and,
using colorful chenille pipe cleaners and flower foam,
created a modern masterpiece of their own.

here is radianceGirl’s assemblage installed on her window sill at home:

"garden of horse" by radianceGirl

navy aerodynamics: balloons, kites, bubbles and planes

karen and laura at the navy yard’s national museum of the US navy
effortlessly pulled off another wonderful homeschool day.
this month the subject was aerodynamics.

while the older kids discussed the fundamentals of aerodynamics,
made gliders and took turns on the flight simulator…

mercyGirl gets training from a real navy pilot!

…the youngins read how people learned to fly by fran hodgkins,
did a short science experiment based on bernoulli’s principal,
the faster moving air above the balloon made it lift!

made their own kites,
the navy used to use target kites to help train their anti-aircraft gunners.

and examined the effects of high and low pressure on bubbles.

this time we took metro, although the trip was a bit longer,
it only added to the day’s adventure.
they’ve been encouraging folks who drive to park
in the washington nationals “W” lot at 600 L Street SE ($10 fee).

i don’t know what they’ll have in store next month
on the second monday or thursday,
but we don’t want to miss it.

where do you go to get your homeschool science fix?

discovering the lions of industry and mothers of invention

discovery theater put on another excellent program
called lions of industry, mothers of invention
which profiled four great personalities in american history:
booker t. washington, madame c.j. walker, george washington carver and george crum.
these young actors made history literally come alive
with their lively, interactive show.

speaking to the actors after the show

the girls’ unanimous favorite was the young woman who portrayed
the entrepreneurial madame c.j. walker.

while there are abundant books on walker, b.t. washington and g.w. carver,
george crum was a new one for me.
george crum and the saratoga chip by gaylia taylor
george crum and the saratoga chip by gaylia taylor
is a great intro to this colorful personality who invented the potato chip.

what discover theater shows are you planning on checking out?

quick-start montessori homeschooling with NAMC

even a homeschooling-rookie like me is often asked:
“where do i start?”

North American Montessori Center (NAMC) is providing another option
for those who want to get rolling quickly.
NAMC has been on my montessori homeschooling radar
even before they offered this new
comprehensive and quick-start primary homeschooling program
providing the step-by-step curriculum AND the montessori materials.
check em out:

NAMC Montessori Homeschooling