Saturday, October 22, 2011

Brooks Museum

Ciao, from Liz and me! Here are some pictures of the day our group went to the Brooks Museum.  They had an exhibit of the Impressionist Period.  This term we decided to study Monet in order to appreciate this exhibit a little more.  Unfortunately, I was unable to be with the kids during the walk-through as I had a tired baby and a rambunctious two-year-old. They did not allow photography in the art exhibit, so the photos below are what we took in the room following the exhibit. It had fun things for the kids to do like hats, wood food chopping, mystery smell boxes, coloring, and art books.
Liz may be able to tell you more on what the children actually discovered and experienced when looking at the art.    

Hey there! Liz here now,  Well I have to say walking through an art exhibit with a group of children is a special experience. One of the first things I realized was that the children formed an opinion of  liking or disliking a piece of art almost the moment they approached it. Their opinions were not easily swayed by their peers, and I kept my opinions to myself most of the time. There were, for example, a few different portraits that a couple children might label "creepy" or "ugly" yet other children labeled it "happy" and "good". Also I noticed that the trend of a positive or negative perspective was not evident in any one child.  That is, that a child who negatively labeled painting "A" while the majority looked positively on painting "A" may have been the first to like painting "B" when there were several who disliked it.
       The children were also quick to notice brush strokes where applicable and seemed especially intrigued by some of the pointillism pieces they saw.  Next time I plan to take notes on some of their comments. It was a wonderful chance for me to observe these children with their creativity flowing! What an amazing group of children!

Coming up from Tamara will be photos and descriptions of one of our Mae Days in action.  Stay tuned!

Saturday, October 8, 2011



Just wanted to piggy back on Liz's post about the Hummingbird Festival.  Here are some more great photos of the educational event highlighting bats. 

I think the above bat's name was Congo.  The speaker talked about how bats have a very bat er, I mean, bad reputation.  Bats play a huge role in our ecosystem (they consume lots of nasty bugs, they pollinate, and spread seeds) we should give them much more credit than that of scary, blood-sucking varmints.  (American bats are not this big, I can't recall where Congo was from, but bats in the U.S. are much smaller.) For more information on bats go here.  Bats are fascinating little creatures, get informed!  We've talked about possibly making bat houses for one of our handicrafts.

People were not allowed to touch them, but he was sure to let the children see the bats up close.

He told us that he was able to train them like any other animal.  Here he told the bat to spread his wings.  This particular bat I believe was from South Africa (not 100% sure on that one, Liz?) and they primarily eat fruit.

Resting from all the festivities.

This was taken on our way in, I was walking with the baby in the stroller, the kids hitched a ride on the golf cart shuttle.

Caleb getting some Miss Liz time.

That's all for now. 

We have some great photos and stories from the art museum we visited last week.  Stay tuned, we'll get them up soon!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Humming Bird Migration Festival

A Few weeks ago we journeyed  down to Mississippi to The Strawberry Plains Audubon Center for their annual hummingbird migration festival. This is a truly special event and an equally special location. Even with the crowds of people who gather to witness these tiny amazing creatures the atmosphere is still calm yet exciting. It becomes obvious very quickly that people of all ages are fascinated by these tiny, humming-birds.

 There was a separate tent for children which hosted face painting, real animal furs, skulls and bones (for touching of course), microscopes, glassed specimens and a coloring table.

        Fynneus and Sophia had important things to talk about during the snake presentation.

 The humming birds are gently captured and banded for research and then released back into the wild. This entire process is performed in the open where it can be viewed by all. While we were there,  a knowledgeable gentleman was showing off the birds and answering questions before he helped a volunteer from the crowd to let the bird go. Some of our very own Mae Day children were lucky enough to help.

 The birds heartbeat can be heard if it is placed near an ear, I am told it sounds a bit like a purr, rather than single beats.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Who We Are

Well, here goes, the first post on our Mae Day blog. Let me first start off by giving a brief description of what MAE stands for.
  • M -- Mason, Charlotte Mason that is.
  • A -- Activities
  • E -- Enrichment
All together now, Mason Activities and Enrichment. Simple and sweet and devised by one of our very own Mae Day moms, who is also very simple and sweet and you will meet her a bit later. (I mean "simple" in a good way, like free from guile or vanity, humble, and presenting no difficulty.) :)Anyway....

I should introduce myself. My name is Tamara and I am one of the three moms in our Mae Day group. Ever since learning about Charlotte Mason I have had a desire to incorporate her methods in educating my children. I won't get into her methods or philosophy here, but you can find some great information about her on the web and in her six volume set titled, Charlotte Mason's Original Homeschooling Series.

I am one of two moms in our Mae Day group who use Charlotte Mason's methods in educating my children by utilizing the free and volunteer based curriculum found on Ambleside Online.   I would love to spend time here sharing what an amazing curriculum this is, however this site is for Mae Day, so I will stick with that. 

We started this group because as homeschoolers we tend to leave out all of the fun, enriching stuff that children should have in their education.  We get the math done, the phonics done, the copywork done, the weeks selected readings done and then it's time to do laundry, feed the baby, make dinner or what have you and the fun stuff gets pushed under the rug for another day that never comes. 

The activities we include currently in our Mae Day are:

Nature Study/Notebooks
Artist Study
Composer Study
Show and Tell
Drill (organized energetic play)
Field Trips
Four monthly activities:
     Character Qualities
     Current Affairs
     Culture Studies

Our group consists of three moms, a sweet volunteer art teacher, one 3rd grader, four 2nd graders, one 1st grader, one kindergartner, one pre-k, one toddler and one baby.

We meet every Thursday from 10:45 to 3:30. 

We started this blog because we wanted to share with our family and friends part of our homeschool journey.  We also hope to be an encouragement to those desiring to incorporate Charlotte Mason's enrichment activities in their homeschool environment.

I will sign off and let the other moms fill in.  Since my husband and I lived and met in Italy and I am slowly teaching myself and children Italian you'll always know it's me when I begin or end my posts with,