Tuesday, April 22, 2014

in which we see lots of Matisse.

So where we were supposed to go last week, for a little family trip up north here in MN, got something like 18" of snow the day we were to travel there... I'm so sorry we couldn't go, but so happy we changed our plans.

I had found discount tickets to the Matisse exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, they needed to be used by May, and I had no idea when we could go.  Our thwarted holiday away meant we could take a whole day to go down to the city and visit the museum and some other favorite haunts we don't visit as much as the girls would like.  Jeff, busy as he is at work, could work two days he would have been gone, and could still take the day off with us!  Lovely!

The girls have been taking some art classes at a studio that hosts weekly homeschool art, only a few block from us.  (Ironic, I know, me being the art major and not "teaching" them art myself.  We do plenty of art here at home, trust me, but I like turning over the structured environment to an outside source once in a while.)  They looked at Matisse in class, and were thrilled to see his work here.  I was impressed by their enthusiasm!  They liked the whole tour and even happily wandered through more of the museum.

I come back, over and over as a homeschooler of elementary ages, to "better late than early"... that is, if the interest is not there, the understanding - the enthusiasm - the ah-ha! is missing, if there are struggles, try:  Waiting.  Come back to it later.  Explore all the time, a little here, a little there, ideas build up and come together.  We dragged poor Greta through art museum after art museum (it seemed to her) two years ago in the Netherlands and Germany, now she enjoyed exploring the museum.  (Caveat:  I'm also the homeschooler of a pre-teen.  We "make" her do things all the time, of course, or she might just choose to spend her days lying around, letting us know how bored she is... the sweet girl she is!)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

two of us take one short trip

The Christian homeschoolers association in Minnesota does a yearly convention, alternately located in three spots throughout the state.  Jeff and I have attended the Duluth convention twice;  it's not too far away, it's a pretty area, and it gives us an excuse to take a few days by ourselves.  (We like the convention here in the Cities, too, but don't "get away" like this, as we come home each evening.)

We didn't have a major agenda this year.  I started out at the exhibitors' fair telling Jeff "Don't let me buy anything," quickly amending, "Don't let me buy any new curriculum."  We're quite happy with what we're doing, but I'm always on the look out for deals on games, books, and projects (of which we found many).

The convention has a theme each year, which we mostly ignore.  We've never attended the keynote (we get faithful preaching twice each week at church, and sometimes the keynotes are awfully close to sermons), but always find some workshops to attend, some better than others.  I enjoyed hearing Steve Demme a couple times, better known around here as "Greta's math teacher," (Greta does MathUSee, where Mr. Demme appears on the teaching videos).  He's a fun speaker and an enjoyable man.  I also heard "Mr. Michele Bachmann" speak (sorry Dr. Marcus!) which was refreshing. 

Truly, one of the best parts of attending things like this is the freeing feeling in the sharing of ideas, and the like-minded discussions.  A vast majority of the hundreds of attenders are conservative Christians, in workshops and at the exhibit booths each topic is given with the understanding every family is different but every family's goal is raising Christian children first and foremost.  A comfort indeed!

This week was supposed to be a small family-get-away trip, but the weather conspires against us again with snowstorms forecast for our destination.  We postponed, so now we'll tuck in here with our new games and projects and keep on waiting for those warm days promised ahead!