What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Museum

When I first started the school year last year, one idea I had to encourage Corynn to do a good job (and to help her get excited about schoolwork) was to dangle the opportunity to show off her work at the end of the year. Being first generation homeschoolers, I thought it might be a good way to get the grandparents' more comfortable with our education decisions by allowing them a firsthand glimpse into our work. A sortof Grandparents' Day/end-of-the-year Museum, showcasing her hardwork throughout the year.

The idea stuck and really helped motivate her, to the point where there was no turning back. ;-)

I simply kept a basket where all her finished work would go, to be sorted through at the end of the year. Only afterward did I realize it had another added benefit. Corynn is a sentimental girl and has a VERY hard time parting with anything she has done. A little slip of paper with a heart drawn on it would be tragic to throw away. This way, she could show off her work, I could "record" it through photographs and then she could give it/mail it to people without feeling as though all her work was just going up in flames.

It took a while to coordinate schedules, but two weeks ago, we were finally able to do it. Would have been nice to do it right at the years' end, since school had to be on my mind a lot longer, but ah well. Such is life.

The phonics program we used was Veritas Press' Phonics Museum, a program that introduces fine art and history while teaching basic phonics principles so I thought it fitting that the end of the year show-down be Museum themed. (We loved it by the way.)

Admission tickets were mailed in advance...

refreshments were made...

and the dining room was transformed...

It was neat to see the progress from the start of the school year to the end. From the scribbles that turned into real works of art, to the letter digraphs turned complicated reading books---I wouldn't have realized how far Corynn had come had I not saved her work to look at later.

Of course, I sought to include as much of Andrews' work as well. Maybe he is too young for "school" but he certainly worked hard at learning. He had reason to be proud too.

Andrew set up a Lincoln Log display, since he worked with those daily while Corynn did her schoolwork.

I hung the fine print alphabet cards along with the childrens' colored versions on the wall and intermingled their own individual artwork as well.

The few frames on the wall I utilized too...here is Andrews version of a thatched roof cottage.

We brought out projects like their Batiks and Geodes and put them on display as well. (So thankful to finally be able to throw those GEODES away!!!)

and shared our family read alouds and lunchtime devotional books.

There was a Nature table, where the children displayed things like Fossils and nature drawings.

It is here that I am quite sure the HIT of the entire museum was found. Corynns woodpecker watercolor. I remember her crying because she "HATED it" because "the beak is too big and the wing is all wrong." She actually cried that it wasn't good enough. My crazy, silly girl. She did a better job at six than I could likely do.

And of course, we had to make room for the CASTLE.

I think the grandparents enjoyed the Museum and I know for a *FACT* that Corynn and Andrew loved it. I was so thankful our parents' and Gram made the trip out to support us on our silly little Museum day. It meant the world to Corynn, especially.

As parting gifts, the Museum gift shop handed out ORIGINAL art signed by the artist!!

After I cleaned up the party, I realized I had never moved the Book Tree to the Museum. That's okay~ we stopped adding leaves a long time ago...basically, about the time Corynn began reading books on her own without me knowing it. I guess, then, the leaves didn't accurately portray her progress then. The number we DID record went to 78 books she had read herself.

I loved the Book Tree, but can I just say I am glad to have been able to finally take it down? The walls look strangely naked but hey, in this case that is a GOOD thing.

Now that I have finally taken down ALL the school stuff and made a clean slate, it is practically time to get my curricula around, start scheduling...its practically time for school to start again. argh.

I think summer vacation needs to be about 2 months longer. Who's with me?


Melodie said...

What a Fantastic idea! I loved seeing what y'all read and the projects you do. Tell Corynn and Andrew that their works looks fabulous! I would be proud to hang that wood pecker watercolor up on my wall = )

Tabitha said...

I've been following your blog for over a year now and appreciate it so much. I HAD to comment on this post because it was a WONDERFUL idea/day.

I know it was a lot of work (especially expecting another little one so soon!), but it is very obvious how much it made your children's day! This is just another piece of the love of learning pie ... to see all that you've accomplished and be stirred up to know more and create more! I was so excited to see all this and it made me itch to be back in teaching. I am a teacher (well, was before our kiddos came along) and I taught first grade at a Classical school. I used the Veritas Phonics Museum and LOVED it. SO wonderful to see it again in your post! Thanks for sharing this wonderful idea!!

Tabitha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bonnie said...

This is GREAT!
B. and I are both second generation homeschoolers
( (Did that come out right? We were both homeschooled)back when you didn't go near windows, outside, in public or answer the door during school hours), but I think the grandparents would still enjoy this. I'm tucking it away for next year.
And yes, summer vacation should go for another 2 months, particularly for those of us due to have babies the week after school starts....

Lindsey's Photographs said...

Oh my what a wonderful idea! We homeschool 4 little ones. Well 2, a preschooler and not the baby yet :) But they would LOVE this. And how simple and great for them to see what they have done all year as well. We will have to do this! And yes. I sooooo need like one more month of vacation :(

AntfarmMom said...

What a grand idea! I am going to take it for this year coming up. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I think that is an awesome idea!!! I think I'll try to come up with something like that for our guys this year. :) Thanks!

Mrs. Bowen said...

Love love love this idea! I am going to plan something similar for my daughter at the end of her kindergarten year. Thanks so much for sharing!

Father's Grace Ministries said...

What a wonderful idea, Rebecca!!
I especially could relate to the phrase you used about helping the Grandparents become more comfortable with your educational choice! Taking pictures like this too would be a great extra for us when it comes time to send work annually to the education dept.


Nanci said...

Wow! When you said you had a museum for the grandparents, I thought, "Oh, that was really nice." When I see the pictures, I am thinking more like, "Wow!!! that is absolutely spectacular, and what a grand idea!"

I am so happy you did this post, because it enabled me to see all that the kiddos and their mama worked so hard on all year.

Be sure to tell them I thought it was FABULOUS! Great job! And pass along a few hugs and kisses from me while you are at it.

Jenny said...

Wow! That is wonderful! Your family must be so proud of you and your little ones.

Jerelene said...

What a wonderful job you did of putting it all together :) The kids did great work and should be very proud!
Thanks for sharing this with us...