2.13.2006

"I want to be like Leonardo da Vinci"

The quote of the week, and that declaration by A really lifted my spirits. I feel like such a slacker at times. But I know in my heart that this is what a really good education is about. If only we could get those Metrocards that the NYC Board of Education is finally giving to homeschoolers.

I've been doing a LOT of work with A on his arts curriculum. We use Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain for fine art. The curriculum is very similar to the fine art fundamentals taught to art students in Europe. I do not recall anyone calling it "right-brained drawing" but I guess that (gimmicky) title works well our country. A's progress has been unbelievable with this particular curriculum. So, it is the one program that I highly recommend to anyone - child (from maybe age 10 or up) or adult learner.

A for the first time has asked me for something really seriously and regularly as of last week: an SLR camera. We've been checking out eBay for a certain used model Nikon. I hope we wind up the winning bidders. He returns to the darkroom with our photographer friend once he has some images to develop. No digital for us. We're so old school.

Our Algebra is coming along a little more slowly than I would have liked. We have 110-plus lessons, and we are only on Lesson Eight. Perhaps it is my fault; I am a little scared of climbing math levels too quickly. I really have to hurry up with teaching Algebra. My goal for this week: We cover lessons up to 12.

I've been hitting harder on our Genetics, and we are discussing DNA and RNA viruses, which weren't discussed in his classroom version of the same course. Microbiology is so much fun.

Interwoven with our Genetics studies have been Geography studies. We have been studying Africa and the current AIDS pandemic. We also watched the film "Yesterday" to supplement the very real life scenarios that Africans with HIV and AIDS endure.

What else - we're still working on Hamlet. Still. Taming of the Shrew is the next play in his Film Club (plays are read by the teens first, then a film is viewed the following meeting).
A otherwise attends a smattering of classes offered through NYCHEA, takes guitar lessons, joins me on occasion for knitting, and spends way too much time on MySpace.com.

7 comments:

Calletta said...

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain was part of my journalism curriculum in college. Yes, journalism. We had this crazy instructor who taught some new theory (that he'd made up) called "omniphasism." It was. . . different. But I enjoyed the drawing stuff.

L said...

Sara picked up the copy we had sitting unused and neglected on our shelf to occupy her time spent at her dad's office. I was blown away when I saw her sketchbook.

Also, for A, check out:

http://www.uelsmann.net/

and keep in mind that these were created using darkroom exposures, NOT Photoshop.

la Maitresse said...

The Uelsmann page looks like Salvador Dali on a photographic trip. Very, very cool.

We are lucky that Betty Edwards' son has a studio right in SoHo - he hosts workshops of various levels based on Edwards' curriculum, and seems to be an awfully nice guy. : )

OK, Calletta, I have to ask: What did "omniphasism" mean to your crazy instructor?

Heidi said...

My college class on Shakespeare had 10 plays in 10 weeks (5 one-hour sessions a week).

Read the play, see a film version, discuss, and one group of three students teaches the Friday class.

The previous session had 27 theatre majors and 3 English majors. My session had 27 English majors and 3 theatre folk (including me, though math was my major).

We three quickly banded together, chose Taming of the Shrew, and presented about how we would stage it. Shakespeare is meant to be seen and heard, not simply read. (or read simply - how many back then were literate anyway?)

The version we saw of Midsummer had Mickey Rooney as Puck with an odd rising laugh. The version we saw of King Lear was Out There and too symbolic or something.

Have you seen the Hamlet that was picked on by the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (MST3K) folk?

la Maitresse said...
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la Maitresse said...

Babbling, me. We loved the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version. Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet is next on our menu.

Calletta said...

Omniphasism="all in balance." The instructor was Rick Williams; I don't know if he's still at UT. We were guinea pigs in his course. Our first class was us putting our hands in paint and pressing our prints into a big piece of butcher paper. Like, 500 of us. For journalism, I believe the idea is that no matter what you leave your mark on a story when you report it. There is no such thing as "fair and balanced." Just like there is no such thing as a completely pure read of any text. Everything is filtered.

Or I could be remembering wrong. It was a long time ago.