The Duck Pond by Claude Monet
End-of-the-Schoolyear Edition (2009-2010):
1) We had our last Socratic Discussion Group meeting this morning, and we topped it off with a little end-of-the-schoolyear party at Melissa's house! Thanks to Faith and Melissa for generously providing their homes for our weekly meetings. We met almost every week since I had set up the group last October, and we discussed interesting highschool readings from the Touchstones Discussion Project. Our last reading today was a passage from Immanuel Kant's "The Metaphysics of Morals." It was Honey's and Mary's turn (both in 11th grade) to lead the group, and they had a very good discussion. Even the 4 middle schoolers were hooked! Will elaborate more in a separate post.
2) Our homeschooling co-op had its annual Fine Arts Festival last Tuesday. D'Lisa, Honey and I went to put up a display of my Art History students' projects. I decided to combine the works of my 2 Art History classes into one sweeping panorama of art works, spanning the art of Ancient Greece up to Modern Art. (I had already displayed my Art History I students' works, depicting Pre-Historic to Ancient Egyptian art, last semester.) It turned out to be better than I expected -- thank you, dear Lord! Despite the difficulties I encountered during the schoolyear (like having a classroom that was far from the co-op's Art Room and having to lug all the art materials and those volumes of heavy Art History books in my crate), seeing all my students' art work in one big, chronological display was very rewarding. Many of the moms were so kind and supportive. They told me how much they appreciated the display and what their kids had learned from the classes. I am so thankful!
3) SLED (age 13), who was in my Art History class, enjoyed his art works so much that he took them down from the display at the end of the Festival and put them all up at home on his bedside wall. His favorite work was his portrayal of the Muppet Show's two ornery and disagreeable old men, Statler and Waldorf, for our Raphael project. =) Here is his work below.
Muddee was proud of the art works he did this year as well and eagerly added them on the wall beside his bed. =) Here are a couple of them: a watercolor painting of Japan's Mount Fuji that he did at home and a collage of the Iwo Jima Memorial that he made in Faith's "Christian Heritage Art" class, a wonderful program produced by Catholic Heritage Curricula. Faith introduced it to our kids this year, and they enjoyed learning about Art History from a Catholic perspective.
5) Muddee also performed his cello solo at the Fine Arts Festival. He, too, was a little nervous at first. But after days of practicing, he played an expressive rendition of Handel's Bourree. The moms were very supportive and mentioned how much they enjoyed his musicality. Thank You for the gift of music, dear Lord!
6) Honey spent the day finishing her quilt at Donna's home yesterday and had a wonderful time with Beth, her daughter. It's such a pity that their family will not be in the co-op anymore next schoolyear, as Beth will be going to college. She and Honey were classmates at Quilting class this schoolyear.
7) Robs and the kids had a great time last Wednesday at the National Archives in DC with Mom Ameling and Miriam, who were visiting from Manila. They can't wait to go back and see the other exhibits with me in tow. (They said that the queue for the Declaration of Independence was so long!) Can't wait myself!
Thank you, Lord, for the benefits of home education and the hands-on learning the kids get by going to museums and visiting places. What a privilege it is to have these places as their classrooms! It's so much healthier than having them stuck the whole day in the confines of a school, using dry-as-dust textbooks and other artificial means of learning.
It's been a wonderful week and a terrific way to end the schoolyear. Thank you for these gifts, dear Lord! I chose Claude Monet's endearing painting above, "The Duck Pond," to portray how I feel -- grateful and happy! So glad it's summer!