Thursday, February 8, 2018

Learning to be a Designer

For over a year now my youngest child has stated she wants to be a designer. More specifically, she is referring to a clothes designer.


When she was five years old she met Denise DeMarchis, creator of the Matilda Jane clothing company. At the same time she met three other individuals connected to Matilda Jane. Shortly after that she began talking about becoming a designer, and for the last year she seems quite convinced that is what she would like to do.

My daughter is a creative child who loves art and would create and sew the entire day if possible. Because she wants to be a designer, at least for now, we are doing as much as possible to incorporate that into her education. For her computer work, she is learning how to draw using the free vector graphics program Inkscape. She watched a Netflix series on Art and Design and we are sewing again this year.

Sewing has been the highlight of her school week for two years now. My mom is a sewing fanatic and has been teaching my daughter and I everything she knows. Here is a glimpse of a few of the projects she has completed this year.

Snowman Potholder: This project involved sewing machine in-the-hoop applique and the chenille technique of fraying appliqued fabric, as well as incorporating heat protective layers into sewing projects.

 Christmas Tree Pillow: Paper piecing is a quilting technique for creating detailed designs with a pattern.

 Snowman and Christmas Tree Wall Hangings: These projects involved sewing with the blanket stitch, fusible wonder under for applique, applying rhinestones, and sewing on buttons with the sewing machine.

Flower Pillow: This pillow was sewing on the serger sewing machine and incorporated piping and unique fabric tucks.

Puffy Pillow: This pillow used texture magic, a heat sensitive product that puffs up when exposed to the heat from an iron. The iron actually never touches the material.


Batik Fabric Dying: These two pieces of fabric were created in a class to learn techniques of Batik Fabric creation. Wax was used as a resist and ironed off to remove from the fabric.

Design is a field that can go in many directions and there is an endless supply of machines and techniques to learn. Projects are varied and endless. Sewing day is not only the favorite day of the week for my youngest, but it is my favorite school day as well. I love learning and creating along with her.


Thursday, February 1, 2018

Life of Fred Chemistry

While candy and bread making were tasty fun for chemistry, we also studied the Life of Fred Chemistry book and memorized the periodic table.


I LOVE the Life of Fred Chemistry book! Studying chemistry with my oldest child a few years ago was easy with Life of Fred. Chemistry was put into a context that made sense and was perfect for an in-depth introduction. Now my fifth and eighth graders are getting the same chemistry experience. Since they are both well into algebra, the math portion of chemistry is within their capabilities.

My favorite part so far this time around is the song.... "Johnny was a student, but Johnny is no more, what Johnny thought was H2O was H2SO4."

If you're not familiar with Life of Fred know that it is a series that teaches through story with a heavy emphasis on application. We really like all of the Life of Fred books we have experienced including the entire math series, first to book of the Language arts series and the Chemistry book.

Along with studying Life of Fred Chemistry, we took some time to memorize the periodic table. We did this by learning the Periodic Table Song below.

It took quite a while to memorize the entire song, but we only spent a few minutes a week working on it. By learning around three new elements each time we went slow, but steady. I think the memorization work will make studying higher level chemistry so much easier.

Science has been a fun subject this year as we have been able to incorporate lots of hands on studying of bread making, candy making and microscope work, with memorizing the periodic table and book work from Life of Fred. The kids and I have really enjoyed it.


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