Friday, June 17, 2011

Painting the Sistine Chapel

After six months, I can say that I'm finally finding my homeschooling groove once again! It's certainly different this time around ... older children, more children, a variety of ages and interests and talents. Coupled with moving and sick husband and kids who were used to public or private school settings, it has taken me several months to figure out how to do this, and as a former homeschooling mom I was not expecting such a long transition.

I'm finding my groove once again with a marvelous curriculum: Five in a Row. It's the same curriculum that I used before. Joel, Nathan and I loved it then. Once again, we are all loving learning with FIAR lessons. Each week, we read a book. From that book, we spin our language arts, history, geography, science, art, music, Bible, cooking and even math lessons for five days in a row.

And the kids are learning and the kids are engaged and the kids love school and I love teaching ... and all of this makes our home a happy place of learning.

This week our book is Angelo, written and illustrated by David Macaulay. From this story, we have discussed personification, birds, the process of restoring something old (like a building or painting), Opera, working diligently even in hard circumstances and as unto the Lord instead of for men. We've cooked spaghetti together. We've discussed showing kindness to the widows and respecting the elderly. The story takes place in Rome, so we are learning a lot about Italy.

As we talked about Italy and Rome, we discussed Michelangelo ... looked at his sculptures and paintings, and talked about his importance in art and history. As a fun activity, I let the kids paint Michelangelo style ... lying down! It's actually a legend that Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel while lying on his back. In a letter to a friend, Michelangelo actually wrote a funny little verse (talking about how his neck ached and paint dripped in his beard and how he struggled to maintain his balance) and he sketched himself painting ... standing up and leaned backwards! However, the kids still loved the experience. Here are some pictures of our fun afternoon of painting.

Meg, Julia and Nathan paint on their backs under the dining table. It was an afternoon of summertime fun, but none of us thought we'd like doing it for four years, which was how long it took Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel!

Maddie works on her painting while lying under a chair.

Joel's finished product ... "Paint in My Eye." I loved the title he gave his painting! He did indeed get paint drips in his eye, while paint dripped on Julia's hands, onto Meg's leg and hair, and all over my dining room floor. No matter how you go about it, painting on a ceiling isn't easy!

For more photos of our Michelangelo painting fun, please see my facebook album "Painting the Sistine Chapel."

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