Sunday, June 13, 2010

Hands On Homeschool Blog Carnival- Summer Kick Off Edition

Welcome to the June 14, 2010 edition of the Hands On Homeschool Blog Carnival.

I am so very honored to be the host for this edition. Please accept my sincere apologies for this late edition. But better late than never, right? At least that's what I keep telling myself(and almost everyone else now that I have four kids!) God bless families like the Duggar's. How do they ever get anywhere on time I wonder? That being said, please take your time enjoying the offerings of this carnival. You're sure to find something great to fill your summer days. And just like great scenery is part of any great summer trip, please enjoy the great eye candy I have posted along the way for you...

GrrlScientist presents How Will You Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day? posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, "A list of things you can do to help birds and other native wildlife, from small day-to-day changes to becoming a citizen activist."

Denise presents 20 Best Math Games and Puzzles posted at Let's Play Math!, saying, "Take a break from textbook math and enjoy yourself. I like to use games as a warm-up at Math Club meetings. My students love puzzles and will work much harder at such a challenge than they ever would do on a textbooky worksheet. Try your hand at a few of these, and let me know what you think."

Nikki Olivier presents We play and learn a little more every day. posted at Our Journey in Him, saying, "We're a South African family living and learning together-these are some of the things which keep us busy during the day."

Nikki Olivier presents A Nature Walk in Winter. posted at Our Journey in Him, saying, "This is how we have combined living books and nature study on a recent Nature Walk."

Nadene presents Paper Dolls of Ancient History « Practical Pages posted at PracticalPages, saying, "Children will enjoy colouring in, cutting out and playing with these historical paper dolls. They are excellent for hands-on narrations, dramatizations and plays for History."

Tracy Beach presents New Teacher Downloadable: Give Parents Ideas to Avoid the “Summer Slide” posted at Math Learning, Fun & Education Blog : Dreambox Learning.

Angie in GA presents Weekly Wrap Up « TheOneThing posted at TheOneThing, saying, "Here is a link to my weekly Up date post I thought it might be helpful or inspiring to see how a HS family does it week to week"

Angie in GA presents Life Never Stops therefore Habit Training Shouldn?t Either posted at Habits for a Happy Home.

presents Printable Fathers Day Cards posted at Home Life Weekly, saying, "A great art project make your own printable Fathers Day cards is really easy."

Nadene presents Sniff and find your baby! posted at PracticalPages, saying, "Fun activity for Science, using all our senses to learn."

Though these last three are not from the homeschool community, I decided to include them. One gives us a summer perspective from a family with five kids who are facing the summer together without school as a buffer and the other two are resources you may find helpful this season to supplement your summer learning.

OurBlogs presents Summer Plans, Again posted at A Guide to Raising Great Kids.

Though these last three are not from the homeschool community, I decided to include them. One gives us a summer perspective from a family with five kids who are facing the summer together without school as a buffer and the other two are resources you may find helpful this to supplement your summer learning.

Tracy Beach presents Use DreamBox Learning K-3 Math Free in Summer School Classes! posted at Math Learning, Fun & Education Blog : Dreambox Learning.

Kevin Poulis presents – Discipleship Curriculum for Kids posted at

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
hands on homeschool blog carnival
using our
carnival submission form.
Past posts and future hosts can be found on our

blog carnival index page

Technorati tags:

, .

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Very Vermeer

This is the lesson I am presenting to my students this week.
It's sort of a challenge to for them as it doesn't teach them to draw anything.
The point is to draw what they can based on the given criteria.

Jan Vermeer

(1632- 1675)

Jan Vermeer was born to an art dealer father in the city of Delft in the Netherlands. His father's position afforded him an early advantage of contact with artists and art buyers. Vermeer painted mostly portraits, completing only 40 or so paintings in his lifetime. More have been attributed to him, but their authenticity can not be established. Other painters so admired his work that they tried to paint exactly like him and this has confused many art historians. It was some 200 years after his death however that the general public took any notice of his work and began to realize its importance.

Vermeer was very much a "starving artist". He worked hard to support his wife Catherina and their 15 children(only ten survived childhood), though it was never enough. The family lived with Catherina's mother Maria Thins and Vermeer still had to borrow money just to feed his children. Financial devastation overtook the family when the government allowed widespread flooding in order to rid the country of the Spanish that had overtaken their country. The family farm was destroyed, as was Vermeer's health and he died a short time later, leaving his wife a widow with ten children to care for all alone.

There was a time when his portrait work was in demand and evidence of this can be found in his paintings that have blue in them. The main ingredient used to make blue paint in this period was extremely expensive and most artists couldn't afford to use it. Another clue to a period of prosperity lay in the maps that frequented the backgrounds of his works. Having a map in one's home was an indicator of wealth, education, and possible world travel.

Only a few of Vermeer's paintings were not of people. Most were of indoor scenes with women, a window to the left of the frame casting a strong light on it's subjects.

How Very Vermeer- The Lesson Plan

Materials Needed
watercolor or cardstock paper
black Sharpie@ markers
oil pastels
baby oil
Examples of Vermeer's Paintings

Vermeer tended to paint indoor scenes. There was usually a woman or two strongly lit from the left by a large window. In some of the paintings he did there was a map on the wall and a diamond shaped tile pattern on the floor. In his most famous painting, Girl with a Pearl Earring, the subject is wearing a pearl earning (obviously) and has the color blue in her headdress.
These will be what the project needs to be based on.
The end result should be a a project with these criteria:
1. An indoor scene
2. One or more figures in the scene
3. A large window in the left hand side of your picture
4. A map of some kind in the picture
5. Include a pattern of diamond shapes somewhere in the picture.
6. Include jewelry somewhere in the picture.
7. Include the color blue in the picture somehow.

My suggestion is to look at as many Vermeer pieces as you can beforehand. Ask the students if they notice any other patterns in Vermeer's work that they may want to include in the guidelines.
If your students require more direction, then you can print out a Vermeer print and have them trace it to a blackline. From there they can create their own version on a new piece of paper(or they can use it as a homemade coloring page) and personalize it to her satisfaction. For the faint of heart in the drawing department, never fear, the desired result of this lesson can also be achieved through making a collage from Vermeer prints or even from magazines. This lesson is all about the "criteria". If your student has met all of the requirements in the guidelines, then their pieces are successful.
After they are satisfied with their drawings, they should outline all the pencil marks in Sharpie. Then they should color the pictures in with oil pastel. Once all the color is on, have then take a Q-tip dipped in just a little baby oil onto the oil pastel and rub it around. The oil breaks down the pastel into a more liquid, spreadable, and bendable form. Try to use a new Q-tip for each color and to use the oil sparingly as the picture can get greasy quickly. If it has too much oil, simply blot the page with a paper towel until the oil is absorbed. The Q-tips offer much more control than a brush for student hands. This is a great technique and I use it a lot in my classes.

Hopefully your students will love their pieces and they will probably be able to tell you and everyone you know for a very long time the specific elements that help make a Vermeer standout!