Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Virtual Refrigerator Art Link Party-- Painting Like the Masters

Thanks for stopping by and joining us again this week as we host another virtual refrigerator arts and crafts link up.



Trough the years I have tried to lead the boys in studing some of the masters in painting.  We've read books about famous artists and tried to paint in their same style.  I quickly outlined the books we read and the projects we've done below but you can click on any artist name to be taken to the original blog post if you'd like some more details.

Georgia O'Keefe

We read Through Georgia's Eyes and followed up with a painting on canvas.

I encouraged the boys to look through her works of art and pick one to try and mimic.  I think they did a really great job too!



Claude Monet

We started with the story Linnea in Monet's Garden, Getting to Know The World's Greatest Artists Monet,  and also used the Usborne Children's Book of Art.   To follow- up our stories we made water lilies. 

We took our watered down blue, green, pink and purple tempera paint and made a wash of background colors.  We set those aside to dry & worked on making tissue paper lilies.  Basically the boys took tiny pieces of colored tissue paper and crumpled them into tiny little balls/ bunches to look like a small flower.  I cut out lily pad shaped pieces of green tissue paper for the pads and once our color wash was dry we glued on the pads and flowers.  I love them!



Henri Matisse

We read Matisse The King Of Color, The Iridescence of Birds, Henri's Scissor's, and Colorful Dreamer: the Story of Artist Henri Matisse. 

Then we used scissors and bright tissue paper to make some collages on watercolor paper.




Jackson Pollock

We read Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists: Jackson Pollock and Action Jackson

We then brought watered down paints, large sheets of paper and some assorted brushes, combs, leaves, sticks, etc. and let the boys create large abstract masterpieces out on our lawn.




Vincent Van Gogh

We read Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists: Van Gogh and Vincent's Colors.

I let the boys look through some samples of his work and asked them to either recreate one of his paintings or try to pain in his style.





Now without further ado I invite you to grab a "magnet" and link up your arts and crafts or how- to posts below and visit some other bloggers to see what they shared on their refrigerators.


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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Books the Boys Read in February

My boys were all sick with the flu this month and we lost more than a week of school waiting for everyone to feel healthy again.  They were unable to read when they were so under the weather and so our list is just a little bit shorter than usual this month.

That said we did read and listen to some really great books!

Magnus Chase Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan- In this final and thrilling book of the Magus Chase series Magnus is sailing to stop Loki from starting Ragnarok.


Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan-- Alec has started re- listening to all of the Percy Jackson books again while he colors in his room.  He loves this series so much and in book 2 Percy is sailing through the Bermuda triangle on a mission to save his best friend Grover.


Percy Jackson and the Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan-- In the 3rd book of the series Percy and his friends head out on a mission to find the missing goddess Artemis.


Ms. Joni is a Phony by Dan Gutman-- It's picture day at Ella Mentary School and AJ and his friends can't help but wonder in the photographer Ms. Joni is a phony. Can she really make AJ into a world famous male supermodel?


Diary of a Wimpy Kid; The Getaway by Jeff Kinney-- In this 12th book of the series Greg and his family are heading out of town for a family vacation.  Unfortunately things never seem to go right for the Heffley family... and their vacation seems doomed from the start.


The Hidden World of Changers: The Emerald Mask by HK Varian-- When Gabriella has difficulty controlling her new powers she finds a mask and a newspaper article in her own attic that lead her to believe her mom might be able to help her with her problem.


Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; Illustrated Edition by JK Rowling--  Strange things are happening at Hogwarts and students are being petrified.  If Harry can't stop it Hogwarts might close for good!  This second book in the series is packed with action.


Treasure Hunters Secret of the Forbidden City by James Patterson-- Beck and Bick are trying to rescue their mom from a band of pirates when they're asked to uncover a secret treasure-- paintings that were stolen by the Nazis.  Will they be up to the challenge? 



Defender of the Realm by Mark Huckerby-- Alfie, the crown prince and Hayley, an ordinary girl, must work together to defend their world from monsters, criminals, and dragons.


A to Z Mysteries: April Fool's Fiasco by Ron Roy-- In this super edition the kids are trying to figure out who broke into Mr. Paskey's bookstore.



Masterminds by Gordon Korman--  In our latest family read aloud we are following the story of Eli, who lives in the perfect town of Serenity, New Mexico.  Eli, age 13, has never left Serenity. In fact he's never even been to the outer limits of the town... until one day he and his friend decide to bike to the edge of the city and he falls quite suddenly, gravely ill.  Eli begins to question everything and with his friends' help they realize that Serenity may not be so serene after all.  


A to Z Mysteries Super Edition #8: Secret Admirer by Ron Roy--  The gang is not enjoying Valentine's day nearly as much nowadays as when they were kids... that is until they all start receiving some clues and messages from a secret admirer.  Will they be able to figure out who is behind it all?

A to Z Mysteries Super Edition #8: Secret Admirer by [Roy, Ron]

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Love to Learn Linky-- How My Boys "Read" So Much

I have one boy that just adores reading. He DEVOURS books and has ever since he began reading at age 4.  He taught himself to read and was reading books far beyond his level in no time.

My other two boys tolerate reading.  They enjoy listening to stories but rarely will read more than the 15 minutes of reading I require each day.  They prefer picture book and easy chapter books that are definitely considered below their level... and I let them!  I want them to love what they read and associate reading with laughing and having fun. 



Yet, there is no denying that the list of books my boys "read" each month is quite long.  So how do I get them to read so much?  By reading aloud to them, by listening to audibooks, and by allowing them to read book that they enjoy (even if they are "below their level").


  • My boys each have a chapter book that they read from each day.  
  • We have a family chapter book (or two) that we read from each day; usually at breakfast.  
  • We have a book on CD going that we listen to in the car whenever we're going anywhere. 
  •  I often read a few picture books each day at lunch; though these tend to be for geography, history, or science. 
In other words, I make sure we're immersed in books all the time!

Here is a link to the list of books my boys have read this month.

Do you read aloud with your children?  What is your favorite book to read with them?

What have you been up to?  I'd love to hear from you either in the comments or by linking up your own blog post!  Please join us!

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