Things That Are Working

January 30, 2013 @ 10:24 am | Filed under: , ,

larsson detail

detail from “Girl at Desk,” Carl Larsson

1) I like to pull out a bunch of our poetry books and let each kid (from Rose on down) pick one, and while I’m busy with something else, the kids each choose a poem to read to the rest of us. They enjoy the hunt, and I love hearing which poems have captured their hearts.

2) The Art Puzzle HD app. Another mom on my local homeschooling list mentioned it—we were sharing our favorites—and I love love love this app. You select a puzzle  from paintings by artists like Van Gogh, Klimt, Bruegel*, Picasso, Renoir, and Dali. (More paintings are available via in-app purchase.) There are four levels of complexity and I’m finding even the second-easiest level to be challenging in some of these pieces—all Monet’s little dabs of color make for a puzzling puzzle indeed. There’s a gentle soundtrack of classical music (limited in repertoire but lovely choices—The Four Seasons, Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, Clair de Lune, the Elgar cello concerto I love—things I’m happy to listen to over and over, and am happy to have my kids hear). You can toggle the music off whenever you like. If you like (or wanted to like but the kids’ interest flagged) Mommy, That’s a Renoir, you’ll like this app. Best picture study resource I’ve seen in a long time. My only complaint is: no Carl Larsson!

*Wikipedia tells me he dropped the H from his name at some point. Who knew?

3) Earworms continues to be a hit with my older girls. Rose and Bean are nearly done with German Volume 2 now. Rilla and Huck have picked up a lot along the way. Jane is enjoying the Japanese version.

4) A liberal dose of fairy tales and nursery rhymes for my younger set. Nothing new here, just noting it because it’s bringing me so much joy these days.

5) Winter Holiday as a read-aloud. Though I do still hanker after the Gabriel Woolf audio recordings that Alice’s gang fell in love with ages ago. (Scroll down to the final comment on that post—hilarious!)

6) Sunday family Shakespeare readings. Still working our way through The Tempest. Sunday can’t come fast enough.

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11 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. GeekLady says:

    Speaking of fairy tales, what’s your favorite volume/edition to read from? I got the Calla edition illustrated by Arthur Rackham for Christmas, and it’s just one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever held.

  2. Melanie B says:

    Oh I’ve got to get that art puzzle app. Bella will be in heaven.

    I’m trying to get more poetry into our days. Right now Bella’s working on memorizing Sphinx by Deborah Chandra (In Eric Carle’s Dragons, Dragons) What are your favorite poetry books?

  3. Elizabeth H. says:

    So happy to be the bearer of hilarity in that long-ago comment!

  4. Andromeda Jazmon says:

    I love the links you share. I am going to find that art puzzle app for my boys – I think they will enjoy it!

  5. mamacrow says:

    oh dear, I’m sure I’m displaying my ignorance, but what is the picture you’ve used at the top of this post? It’s lovely.

  6. Melissa Wiley says:

    @mamacrow, I’m glad you asked—I meant to put a caption below the picture! It’s by my favorite painter, Carl Larsson–a detail from the January picture on my Larsson calendar. 🙂

    @Elizabeth, hard to believe that was SEVEN YEARS AGO, eh?

    @GeekLady, the Rackham tales are gorgeous. We have a copy but it’s quite battered and the print is so tiny I find it difficult. Right now I’m using, and really enjoying, a Barnes & Noble edition, of all things! My Book of Old-Time Fairy Tales. Excellent retelling and lovely vintage illustrations.

    @Melanie, we’re fond of the Poetry for Young People series; we have a bunch of those and they’re very inviting when strewn about the house. Also love the Ferris collection, Favorite Poems Old and New (indispensable), a Random House children’s treasury, and various picture-book style anthologies we’ve accumulated over the years. Maybe I’ll have to do a post of just poetry books. Oh, and Joyful Noise, the Fleischman collection! Poems for two voices. Huge fun.

  7. Beth says:

    I’m so jealous that your crowd enjoys poetry. That was one thing I could never get my boys to appreciate. I’m always happy when the Cybils suggestions find something they like — “Mirror Mirror” for example.

  8. Ellie says:

    **looks askance**

    This post was so not here yesterday.

    I grew up in a family that adored Carl Larsson’s art. Bless. You’ve taken me right back to the 70s *whoosh*

  9. Christine says:

    I wanted the Gabriel Woolf audiobooks too, but then I learned that they are abridged recordings of the actual Swallows and Amazon series. Your children are benefiting not only from hearing you read, but also from hearing the entire story. 🙂

  10. Alice Gunther says:

    OK, ROFL! Thanks so much for the reminder of that comment from long ago.