Well, look who came visiting. This gorgeous hawk swooped down yesterday and perched on our fence for some 20 minutes. So, of course we had to read about hawks last night. Most interesting fact: the people of ancient Egypt believed the hawk (Horus) to be a guardian of the pharaoh, and therefore was considered sacred.
We continue to read: “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. As of last night, Dorothy and crew had just entered the territory of the Wicked Witch of the West. So entertaining, and like all books that become movies, so different from the movie.
We continue our study of cats: we are reading from another DK Eyewitness book, “CATS”, and it is another well done effort. Maybe too well done? If there is one thing our book stresses (seriously, page after page), it is how much cats are interested in spreading their scent around. (Like I want to keep reading about THAT) (but I act like it is no big deal/part of nature’s plan/circle of life, etc.) (even though it is gross).
Because it is January: we talked about New Year’s Resolutions, so our Farmer Brown Story Problem revolved around such resolutions. Here comes a semi-troublesome division problem – there are 15 adults in Farmer Brown’s extended family and they have each made a New Year’s Resolution for the past 10 years. If only one person kept one resolution one year, what percentage of the total efforts were successful?
Our Music Theme: Putting an illustration to music – “Pirate Chief”. This is the first time we’ve tried this: I had my son select one of the posters on his wall, then we put together a music program that would bring the artwork to life. He chose the kicking-butt-and-taking-names “Pirate Chief” by Howard Pyle (Howard Pyle was not only a most important American illustrator, he was also an influential teacher/mentor of the likes of N.C. Wyeth). Hey! This was fun! I think we will set another poster to music in a few weeks.
- “The Maid of Amsterdam” (sometimes known as “A-Roving”), a lusty sea chantey, just the type of thing that pirates, or anyone with access to a bottle of rum, would want to sing.
- Overture to “The Flying Dutchman”, by Richard Wagner. This is a fave for children’s orchestras. The story of the opera (cursed man on a ghost ship) is intriguing, the music is motivating, and every instrument gets a crucial part to play
- “Pirates of the Caribbean Suite”, by Klaus Badelt. This is consummate sea storms-and-skullduggery pirate music. The video footage of a performance in Vienna has an added bonus – composer Klaus Badelt is seated in the audience.
Welcome to the best part of my day!
– Jane BH