As many of you have seen on facebook, the Bradbury boys have been to their share of museums lately. What you may not see is how it is being tied into lessons. Lessons that sometimes last days. We have also brought our remaining thematic books for the school year with us and in between living lessons, museums and monuments we are still reading and learning from those books as well.
Our first stop was the Van Gogh Museum, I have four favorite painters, two of them are from the Netherlands. Yay! The Van Gogh Museum itself was nothing to write home about, but for a young child to be able to see artwork with vivid brush strokes that give a sense of its creation, it was a good place to start. When we are “unschooling” through tourism we always go back to our in home classroom and revisit it. For my boys that typically looks like this;
“What do you remember from the Van Gogh Museum?”
Lux: “I remember. . .
- Wheat fields
- his tombstone
- Orange Hair
- Brush Strokes
- Letters (from his brother Theo)
- Clumbs of paint (texturing)
From Lux’s list he rattled off we now have our vocabulary words for that 48 hours. Both boys then write them. Lux writes them himself, Rhodes sometimes writes them himself and sometimes traces my handwriting just depending on his mood. If a geographical location was mentioned in the list we discuss its proximity with a map. Any questions that arise are answered with research, sometimes videos, articles, etc. After this portion of it we then do a drawing or craft. Because our craft supplies are non-existent at this point, we tried to draw a portrait of Van Gogh.
This same exact process was followed after the Rembrandt museum as well, except there we got to help make an etching and essentially took a class on how to etch. That in and of itself was an incredible experience and it very much made the lesson richer. The museum also catered to the needs of its youngest visitors very well. Each child had a (FREE) hand held audio tour device and they were able to get so much more from that museum because of it.
After visiting two art based museums our oldest ‘Lux’ is now very into looking at art books and photography. He has so many questions and is surrounded by people with answers. Such a lovely spot to be.
We also do what I refer to as ‘Daily Maintenance’ school work. A page or five of letter recognition for Rhodes. Spelling and writing for Lux. Lux is reading small books now so a book is usually thrown into the mix and we finish with math. Lux typically does a page of long addition and subtraction and Rhodes is working on writing and recognizing his numbers 1-20. On our thematic books; we are almost finished with the Beatrix Potter collection, which I will loudly admit, my boys weren’t even remotely interested in it, so there. Not all things that I would like for them to enjoy and find inspiration in take root. They can barely make it through a Peter Rabbit story, they just do not care for it, but because mom drug it a million miles we are finishing it. Not a single lesson will proceed from this series of books though. I can’t win them all folks!
Being in Amsterdam has triggered many questions about electricity and public transportation, but most recently about how windmills work. We discussed it briefly today as this was our lunch time view;
But I am working on a little science lesson over the windmills for tomorrow. Tomorrow we will also see many more and different types as we make our way to the Kuekenhof Flower Festival.
Keep learning friends and if this week was rough in your corner of the world please know you are not alone. There will be a truths of traveling post to follow that will reassure you that we are human and have our struggles.