Friday, February 25, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up: "Winter Break" and Rembrandt

Happy Friday! Our local schools, public and private, were on "winter break" this week. Despite the girls' irritation, I saw no need to take a frivolous break, but did designate a bit lighter than normal week. In fact, we took Wednesday off because it was Tiny Girl's tenth birthday (read all about our day here). Our celebration of her first decade continues, since my folks arrive later today to spend the night, and we're all going out to eat tonight. The handyman at the barn where she rides gave her this little nosegay and a glass horse ornament:

We took a break from spelling and our math lessons were shortened, but other than that we operated normally. Bible, poetry (Dickinson), copywork, grammar (still adverbs), piano, French, and literature continued smoothly. Miss Priss is in the final third of Anne of Green Gables, reading aloud to us the best parts. Tiny Girl began The Princess and Curdie, by George Macdonald. They continue to grouse about Robinson Crusoe, and have asked that I begin reading it aloud to them instead of their listening to an audio version. I'd rather not, but in the interest of promoting this work as a Good Thing, I will do so.

In our history and biography lessons, we enjoyed more from George Washington's World; chapter two of Abigail Adams: Witness to a Revolution; and This Country of Ours, specifically, the origins of Carolina. We're nearing the end of Plutarch's Julius Caesar. This week, we came to his famous declaration: "Veni, vidi, vici"; which means, "I came, I saw, I conquered." Pretty much sums up Caesar, in my mind. The girls also completed a project for the Homes and Villages pocket of History Pockets' Colonial America: diagrams of a colonial village:

I have to feature both or suffer the consequences.

Much to everyone's delight, we were able to spend some time considering two Rembrandt works from our What Makes a Rembrandt a Rembrandt? book. Both works are remarkable examples of Rembrandt's use of chiaroscuro (light and dark). To hear how this is pronounced, click here.

The first we studied was Anslo and His Wife. Click here to view this painting on the Art Project website. The small window at the right of the painting allows you to zoom in closer to examine parts of the work in marvelous detail. If you don't see this window, move your mouse cursor over the area where it should be, and it will pop up.

Before we considered the painting Belshazzar's Feast itself, we read the story in the book of Daniel. Click here to view this painting on The National Gallery (London) website, which also offers a wonderful zoom feature. What amazed us about this particular work is how Rembrandt depicts the luster and richness of the gold objects and Belshazzar's robe without the benefit of metallic paint. Zoom in on the painting to see what I mean.

We had a great time with the Great Backyard Bird Count. The species with the most representatives in our backyard was the goldfinch. They sucked down the nyjer seed in a matter of days!

Jasper completed his beginning obedience class and earned a certificate. Yay! We plan to take the intermediate course in March and earn his AKC Canine Good Citizen award.

Well, that's our week. I hope yours was lively, educational, and enjoyable!


  1. 'ch'? nope, 'k'... ? Lol I was doing my best to pronounce chiaroscuro before I listened to the pronunciation and I had it wrong.
    Nice colonial villages! We need to do more 'fun' things such as this in our school... I've looked at History Pockets before...perhaps I will again.
    Btw, if you are in need of Abraham Lincoln's World for next year, let me know ;)
    Have a great weekend!

  2. "I have to feature both or suffer the consequences." :) I so enjoy your weekly wraps!

  3. Sounds like a great week! Last semester we read an abridged version of Robinson Crusoe that was with my daughter's phonics/grammar and we really enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to reading through the Anne series with my kids, too.


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