Saturday, July 22, 2017

How I Homeschool - Language Arts, part 1

Today will be part 1 of the whole topic of language arts.  I want to cover what we do or have done with Grammar, Literature, Poetry, and Spelling.  Next time, I will cover writing.   It seems to need a post of its own.  

First, Grammar.....

I have used a couple of things over the years depending on what works best for my kids. We gave Simply Grammar by Karen Andreola a try first since I love her Story Starters (more on that next time) and all her other books, but my kids just couldn't grasp the language or the concepts with her book.  So, my girls gave these a try.

Pictured here is the first one; there is a second one as well.  My girls adored them.  Set up how a typical day with Charlotte Mason grammar would go, it covers a wide range of grammar study from grammar itself to picture study.  My girls loved its charm and flourished under it.  I loved that it didn't include diagramming (I hate diagramming and truly find it unnecessary, my personal opinion).  If I felt that they needed a bit more to it, I would add selections from English for a Thoughtful Child. These also have 2 volumes. These were great together and were a great fit for my oldest girls.  Today, someone has developed workbooks to go along with Primary Language Lessons and Intermediate Language Lessons which you can find at this website.  There is a link there for the second book as well.  I do wish they had been around for my girls.  

However, when I had my next 2 come along, boys, these were not working for them, for whatever reason.  They also found them boring, at least for their interest needs.  Now, I know Grammar is not always interesting but I find that if a subject is the least bit interesting to a child, they tend to do better.  So, my hunt for a good fit for them began.  I wanted to keep true to my Charlotte Mason roots, so I was introduced to First Language Lessons from Peace Hill Press/Well Trained Mind.

These fit what my boys were needing right away.  They also fit my needs for a Charlotte Mason style with reading, narration, memorization, stories, and all.  My boys found these much more interesting and my youngest 2 have enjoyed them as well.  Books 1 and 2 are now separated on their website into 2 different books, but when we began, it was all one volume with a division in the middle.  These are teacher intensive, but I enjoy it.  These cover 4 years of study.  I don't usually begin Grammar until a child has a good grasp on reading, about 3rd grade.  Then, we study steady Grammar for 4 years solid.  For 7th and 8th grades, I get review books from Spectrum that they can do on their own and review the topics we have previously learned.  The downfall to First Language Lessons is it does cover diagramming.  Now, if you love to diagram, this is for you!  However, as I mentioned before, I don't, so we skip the diagramming lessons (go ahead, I give you permission to gasp).  Overall, we have been very happy with these books.  And, they stick to our love of Charlotte Mason style

Next, Literature and Poetry.....

There are loads of lists available out there all over Pinterest and the internet, but I want to share what I do and what has worked lovely for me.  I want to give my children a good grasp on good literature.  There is no end to the reading that they could get from the library and my kids have dived into plenty of popular series - Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Dork Diaries, Junie B Jones, Magic Tree House, Divergent, Hunger Games, etc.  These and much more have been read over and over.  But, I wanted my kids to experience solid good literature as well, books that have stood the test of time.  So, each year, I give them a reading list and they are required to work through it and write book reports.  

I got this idea from both Veritas and Classical Conversations (ironic that they both are Classical in style which I am not), but I loved their lists.  Veritas is quite extensive and thorough.  Classical Conversations seems to be a bit more doable.  So, I combined what I felt was the best of both worlds to formulate the lists.  Each summer, I re-evaluate them based on my child's interests, current reading level, etc and tweak them accordingly.  For high school, I have a set genre I want them to read each year (more on that in my high school posts).  These have worked well.  Once read, they have to complete within 48 hours, the book report.  Some of mine work well with a set sheet. I have used Homeschool Creations book report forms and have loved them.  Others enjoy typing up their own.  I give them a set number of words to write and they go to it.   I will be sharing more on this in a future post, so keep an eye out for it. 

A note on my dyslexic child...yes, she has a reading list as well.  I have hers set up very differently.  I wanted her acquainted with good literature, but she is unable to read it.  Here is where the blessing on audio books come in.   Our library uses a couple of different free audio book formats which we use frequently.  But, we have also use Librivox and YouTube for our audio books as well.  So, half of her reading list is audio chapter books to listen to, narrate to me her book report, and then draw a picture of her favorite scene.  The other half of her list are books that I know are on her reading level and that she can read to me.  I don't require book reports on these since her level is so low and she is reading to me anyway.  This has worked so well for her and she adores listening to her stories.

Having a good stock of poetry to fall back on is a wonderful thing. This is only part of our collection.  I enjoy adding them whenever I can.  And, I have found many wonderful others at our library.  Not all of my children enjoy poetry, but I feel it is an important part of literature so I am sure to include it as much as I can.  Hymns are always written in poetic form, so they can a healthy dose of it each Sunday as well.

Last for today, Spelling.....

And, here is where we have done a number of things.  I have a couple of children who are natural born spellers and thus have needed little to no help in that area.  They would write, I would correct the errors, they would rewrite and we would move on.  And, then I have a couple of children where spelling is a huge huge huge struggle.  I am a natural born speller, but my husband is not.  So, to have some of each kind is not really surprising.  What has surprised me is how long it has taken some of my kids to get it.  What seems so obvious to me is not so obvious to them. And, then there is the dyselxia issues.  So, we've had our challenges and still have them.  But, here are some things that I have used over the years.  

If you have a child who are natural spellers or just love memorizing lists, this is the book for you.  I have used it minimally but it works well with those types of children.  My one son will be using it next year.  He seems to do well with lists, so between this and fun times with Spelling City, he will do well.  He has struggled to learn to spell and only in the last year have we figured out his nitch.  I think this will go far with him.   We have also used the Spectrum Spelling series as well.  They are the typical spelling lesson book with lists, exercises, and a test on Friday.  Not all of mine have enjoyed these but they do make great review for a struggler.

For my big girl was struggling, Spelling Wisdom from Simply Charlotte Mason was what made life click for her.  Lots of memorizing and copywork but it did the trick and she finally got the spelling game.  There are five books in the series though I only needed to use parts of first 3 to get the ideas down for her.  But they will last you many many years of schooling if you should choose.

For my last 2 children, one of who is dyslexic, I will be using All About Spelling.  It ties in with her All About Reading which has taken to new heights of reading and I want to keep up with the consistency.  I haven't used the curriculum yet, but am excited to dive in and teach it.  She is excited to be learning to spell even though her reading level isn't that high.   I also plan to incorporate Spelling City into her day as well.

So, what is Spelling City?  Its an online spelling game site.  There are lots to do for free, if you want, but I chose to pay the yearly fee and expand the games, spelling lists, and much more for my kids.  They test drove it last year with the free stuff and thought it was the best. I plan to utilize it much more this year.

That's all for today.  Next week, we will talk about handwriting and writing which I felt go hand in hand and needed a post to themselves. Until next time......

Saturday, July 1, 2017

How I Homeschool - Science

This week I will talk about Science, which happens to be one of my favorite subjects.  There are so many fun things you can do with Science.  And, God's creation is always fascinating to study.

As any other homeschooler, I have tried a few different science curriculums - A beka, Bob Jones, Bright Ideas Press, read alouds from the library based on our current interests - but, hands down, Apologia science is my favorite for my kids younger years.   They fall in nicely with the Charlotte Mason style that I like with reading, narration, and all.  Each book covers a year and follows one of the days of creation with the addition of Physics/Chemistry.  And, they are also full of activities and fun experiments as well.  They are great as a read aloud all by themselves, or you can embelish them further with good reading from the library, which is my favorite way to approach any subject.

You can also purchase a very nice notebooking journal to go along with your study if you choose.  I enjoy getting them and then picking and choosing what we want to do to go along with it.  Also, these days, the books are also recorded onto CD for further review if you want to.  These are very new and I haven't gotten any of them so I can't testify to how good they are, but I am sure that are top notch just like all their products.  

I am also a firm believer in nature study as well.  I feel science shouldn't be just read about but explored.  A great way to explore science is through nature study.  My favorite books to rely on to spring board nature study ideas, especially if you are not a spur of the moment type are these.....

Comstock's Handbook to Nature Study - this is an absolute must and gem.  So full of ideas you need a lifetime to do them all.

Natural Science through the Seasons - a vintage book but well worth your purchase.  As the title suggests, it goes through the year.  There are even sturdy little calendars you can follow to help you along each day with studying nature.  A definite gem.

If you like a slower approach to nature study, Blog, She Wrote, has a year's worth of printable ones that are free.  They also have less per month which makes nature study a breeze to add in to your science.  

If you would like to know more of how we do that, please read my previous post here.

Back to science itself.  

I also find having some great activity books on hand are very helpful as well. I love love love the Usborne collections of experiment books.  Most do not require anything more than what you have in your own home.  They are easy and fun.  Highly recommended.  My Body has got to be one of our most favorite things to do when they are young when it comes to anatomy study.  Apologia has a nice one for older kids in their notebooking journal, but I love this one for the younger kids.   By simply tracing your child's body, they can place all their internal organs on a life size model of themselves.  Yes, it requires some wall space, but so worth it in my mind.  The last one, Giant Science by Evan Moor, is a gem if you like reinforcement pages.  I have used it off and on over the years.

Science, for me, also requires some hands on equipment to make learning more exciting.  Here is a little list of musts for our homeschooling:

Telescope or binoculars
Safety goggles, one pair for each person, including you, mom
Magnifying glass or two
A good starter chemistry kit
Star charts
Sky charts, especially the different types of clouds
A good periodical table of elements - this book comes with a fun one and is just a fun book to read
Hands on human anatomy stuff - this company has a great selection
Magnetism kit
Model of the solar system
Toobs plastic animal sets - we started these years ago, even have them for various history studies, we love them (you can also find them on Amazon or at craft stores like Michaels and A.C. Moore)

These are all in my standard science kit for teaching.  You can obviously add or take away at your discretion.  Plus, the Apologia books includes a list at the start of their books, if you are choosing to use much of their experiments.  One other fun thing I have done over the years, especially to give my kids a taste of dissection is Owl Pellets.  Its a fun thing to do even if you are digging through Owl puke.  :)  By the way, it can be virtually.  You can be a certified barfologist.  Just visit this website.

As I have mentioned in my previous posts on various homeschooling topics, I love anthologies of literature.  Sadly, I don't have one for living science books.  However, I do have a link that I reference.

Simply Charlotte Mason has a delightful list of living books broken down by grade and subject

Plus, I love having Usborne and DK books on hand that they can study and look at.  DK especially has a books for every single subject in science.  They are colorful and packed with information.  We enjoy them immensely.  

And, that about wraps it up for how we do science.  What are your favorite ways to study about science?  Do you have a favorite curriculum you love?  Tell me about it in the comments.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Books I read in June

One of my summer goals for myself was to read more.  I normally only read at night when I am in bed exhausted and drop off within 3 pages.  Seriously.  It would take me ages to complete one book this way unless it was one that was really a page turner.  Then, I would burn the midnight oil to get through it.  I wanted to change that this summer and, hopefully, it will carry on when the school year begins.

So, it may not seem like a ton to avid readers, but for me it is.  Here are the books I read this month.  I also decided to include my read alouds as well as what I have started but not quite finished.

What I read:

The Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers - this was so good, I read it in 2 days almost non-stop flat.  I have always loved Francine Rivers as a Christian author.  This was no exception.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Josephine Woodson - this was a fine autobiography but it was not my style.  It is written completely in prose.  And, while I love prose, an entire autobiography of it was too much.  But, it does give you a great look at her life. 

The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins - I wanted to read these to keep up with my kids.  I like to do that especially with the stuff that is extremely popular to see if it is worth it.  Plus, it gives me great conversation starters.  The first time I tried Hunger Games a couple of years I really didn't like all the senseless killing.  But, I decided to give it another try this month.  It is still alot of senseless killing, but I see it now with a different set of eyes.  I have not completed the trilogy yet, but am hoping for a resolution to it all.  I can so far say that I like them though and can see why they are popular with the younger generation.  

Books I read aloud:

Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics by - Yes, I still read aloud to all my children (ages 19-7) once or twice a week.  Now that they are older, it is harder to fit the times in but we treasure it each week and I miss when we are too busy to fit it in.  We loved the first one in the series, Mr. Lemoncello's Library.  So, it was natural to read the second one aloud when it came out.  This was a very fun read. You want to just keep reading to see how it turns out.  Highly recommended.

With my littles, I am reading through a variety of things:

We Both Read series, various titles - we found these books at our library and have fallen in love with them because we both get to read out loud together.  Plus, the stories are just plain fun.

Elephant and Pig books by Mo Willems - these are great first readers, some have even won the Dr. Suess award.  Great for summer reading and funny stories to boot.

Various The Lion Guard books because my son is over the top about them right now.

Penny by Ken Henkes - a favorite author

What I started reading but have not completed:

The Heart of Anger by Lou Priolo

The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald - this is our current readaloud as a family

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins - gotta finish the trilogy to see what happens, you know

Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz - I am an over the top (maybe) fan of the musical Hamilton, so this book was a read draw to me

So there you have it. I am so happy with what I got through this month both for myself and my family.  I know avid readers can swim circles around me, but I am proud of how much I did this month.  Excited for what all I will get done in July!  What have you been reading?  Inspire me!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Boys in the Sink

Today we are going to be talking about getting your boys in the kitchen, but not just the kitchen, but of all the household chores (btw, if you know Veggie Tales, you will recognize where that title came from).  I am a firm believer is making sure boys get taught all about household work.  Sometimes, we parents are archaic in our thinking.  Girls learn to do things in the house, and boys learn to do things outside the house.  While some of this should be true, not all of it need be.   When my kids were young and we knew we wanted a big family, I decided then and there my boys and my girls were going to learn things to help out.  I saw the stress other mom friends who were trying to do it all and knew that was not for me.  Do they have to do them till the day they die?  Nope, but I wanted them to be able to bless others and their future spouses by being able to do many things.   I made sure my oldest girls could run a complete household by the time they are 13.  This includes simple meal preparation, house cleaning, and laundry.  This came in so handy when my youngest 3 had to all be born by C-section due to breech presentations.  I could stay at the hospital and rest knowing my house was well taken care of it between my loving husband and oldest daughters.  When my boys were small, I began the same routine with them.  With a larger family and much more responsibility, I haven't met the 13 year old guide as quick with them.  But we are very close.  It does help, my children are older now and there are more ways to spread the work load.  Plus, my husband has things he wants the boys to learn as well, so it just takes more time.  But, the goal is still there.  I want my boys to be able to bless their future wives by being able to help out when she is sick or worn or just had a baby as well as provide.  That is my vision for my boys.

Start them while they are very young.  Teach them how to be happy while doing their work.  If you approach a job with a grumpy spirit, so will they.  Have some child size equipment on hand so they can help.  Little brooms and dust pans, kid sized work gloves and aprons, little buckets, sponges, dusting cloths, stools or stepladders for reaching, spray bottles they can hold themselves filled with non-toxic cleaners go a long way to getting the job done.  Put on some music.  We find when we are grooving, the job is so much more fun.  Expect mistakes.  Get messy (a little Ms. Frizzle here).  They will learn as they grow.  But teach nonethless.  A child can do more than pick up toys and keep their room tidy.  Way more!  As they get older, add to it slowly but surely till they can do most everything around the house from kitchen work to laundry to vacuuming and mopping.  My youngest boy is 7 and he does his entire laundry routine from start to finish, folding included (though he still is in training on the folding part).  As they get older, set expectations high.  They can handle it and is a great jumpstart for real life.  We, as adults, cannot go through life halfway.  Don't allow it from your older kids either.  If you are looking for some ways to get started, here are a couple of links for age appropriate chores.  They are a great to give you ideas to get your children moving.  You can always tweak it to fit your family.  

Focus on the Family - no printable but a good read
The Mob Society - focuses just on boys
The Flanders Family - this does have a free printable that is very good and a super springboard

The kitchen is no exception.  Start small.   We don't currently have a dishwasher, but a child at a young age, can empty the dishwasher.   When mine were small, I used mostly plastic so I didn't have to worry about breakage.  Its a season.  I had nicer stuff I would pull out for dinner and nicer occasions, but a plastic season is handy when your kids are tiny and need to learn to help.  If you don't have a dishwasher, start them out with handwashing by doing simple things like cereal bowls, sandwich plates, or plastic cups.  Teach them how to properly wash and get things clean.  You can gradually grow your routine as they get older.  My big boys can handle a decent quantity of dishes now (which is good since they help contribute to the large load).  

Expect them to help set and clear the table, put away food and condiments, refill water jugs (if you have them).  Teach them to sweep and mop.  My opinion is you helped make the mess, you can help clean it up.  Again, I want them to be a blessing to others some day.  They can easily learn these things.  They are not just a girl job.   Our current system is to have the boys do all the kitchen work one day and the girls the next.  It has been a great system and gets all involved.

I rise up and praise my husband for teaching the kids at a young age on Sundays how to meal prep.  He would start with them just making toast.  Then, he expanded to add more.  I followed his lead.   I taught them foods that they enjoy the most.  If they love to eat it, they will love to fix it.   Here is a little list of starter foods that a boy (or girl) can learn to fix:

Cooking scrambled eggs
Making toast
Simple soups, like tomato or chicken noodle, even if its just a can or ramen
Sandwiches (yes, these are good to learn so they can do it just right)
Chopping carrotts, cucumbers, or apples
Warming frozen veggies
Chicken nuggets and french fries
Macs and cheese
Warming leftovers

Notice these are all very kid friendly and super simple to do.  And, if they learn all these, they can literally feed a family for an entire day if need be even while they are young.  I don't know if any of my boys will be one to love to cook, but if they do, I won't be the one to stand in their way.  My oldest son has taken a fascination for the grill, so the last two summers he has been learning the ways of the grill and is doing well.  I will continue to teach more as he goes along inside the house and will do the same for his brothers.

There is a time and place for everything and sometimes paper plates are a wonderful thing.  Don't be afraid to use them.  And, if they allow your boys a few more minutes of training in meal prep, then by all means use them.

I hope this post was a help and blessing to you.  I am asked how do I get all that I do done, and my main reason for that is I have a good team surrounding me.  Yes, it was a ton of work when they were small, and I never thought I would do half of what I do now back then, but when you start reaping the rewards of all your hard work, you realize it was worth every single exhausting minute.  And, I hope that one day, my boys (and girls) spouses will be able to reap the benefits of their early training.  

Here are couple of other goodies from around the 'net.  

Chore Charts - if you love Pinterest, here is an entire board full of various chore charts
Blessed Beyond a Doubt (I love these and she always has fun printable "money" with it)
Do your kids adore Lego?  How about some Lego reward money?  
Proverbial Homemaker - great bunch of kitchen printables to set up a notebook, with both boy and girl themes (these are not free but so worth it)

Have a blessed weekend.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Lego freebie for you!!

We have a wedding to participate in this weekend which, of course, involves a dress rehearsal plus Father's Day and a Lego Batman Movie party to do, so our weekend is very full.  So, I thought I would post before the craziness begins and keep it short and sweet.  So, how about a Lego freebie.  I make these notebooking pages as a fun addition to my book The World of Tiny Fashion.  If you want to know more about it, visit my post here.  But, in the meantime, enjoy these FREE notebooking pages.  You can use them in whatever way you want - storytelling, history, whatever you like.  These are for your use only.

 Lego Notebooking Pages


Have a great weekend!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

How I Homeschool - Geography

Geography can be a fun subject to teach when done in the right way.  Yes, you could have them memorize maps all the live long day, but what's the complete fun in that.?  Memorization with geography has it place, but you can make the world come alive and enjoy doing it at the same time. And, as always, I love incorporating good literature into our studies.  Last week, I mentioned a core for my curriculum.  The same goes for geography.  My favorite core geography curriculum books for this are......

Cantering the Country (U.S. geography) and Galloping the Globe (world geography, though, note not every single country of the world is in it) are just plain fun for the elementary to middle grade school child.  Inside are maps, activities, literature lists, fun information, recipes and more.  We have really enjoyed working through them.  I found a little stick horse in Google images that I printed and laminated, and we use him to mark where we are studying in conjunction with whatever country or state we are learning about.  You will not be at a loss to find things to do, but if you would like even more hands on geography, I like to reference these books......

Beginning Geography is a great little book to get kids learning how a map works, different geographical terms, where the continents and oceans are, etc.  It is what the title says, the start to geography.  Hands on Geography is just plain full of hands on projects.  

National Geographic maps are the best!!!!

A must with geography are maps.  We have a set of National Geographic ones that are awesome.  Ours are beginning to look loved, so I thing I am going to FINALLY get them laminated this summer.  But, you don't have to have the ones from National Geographic.  Amazon has a nice collection of maps for sale you can easily get there.  Also, I find owning a globe to be absolutely essential.  I have found them easily at stores likes Target and Walmart but Barnes and Noble and again Amazon have them as well.

Another wonderful thing to have to study is a good collection of atlases.  My kids have poured over ours.  Again, a couple of ours are from National Geographic, but DK makes a great collection of atlases that we own a couple of the unique ones.

Map tracing its a fun thing to do as well.  Having a great set of outline maps is a must if you are going to map trace.  We own a lifetime membership to Notebooking Pages which also contains a great collection of maps to print, color, trace or whatever you would like.  But, also, Homeschool in the Woods which I mentioned with our history post last week has a set of maps as well.  There is also the free route, which is also nice, Google.  :)  (Actually as a plug for Google, Google Earth is really a fun addition to your computer.  Being able to zoom in and see parts of the world where we will never go is an amazing experience.  My kids love Google Earth!!!)  If you want to see how another homeschooler map traces, here is a post on how she does it.  Its a fun and simple way to incorporate geography, too.

If your child is a bit more computer drawn, Seterra has a free program you can download to your computer.  It is a great way to review or even learn the countries, capitals, and even flags around the world.

Lastly, Lego (surprised?) is great way to incorporate geography.  Show them a basic outline of a continent or even country and have them make it out of lego blocks.  They can even add the desert areas and major bodies of water.  This idea is not original to me.  But, I love it!

Now for literature!!!  As mentioned previously, Galloping the Globe and Cantering the Country both are full of literature lists, but I want to mention a couple of other books that I love as well.

Holling's books are wonderful living literatures which goes lovely with any U.S. geography study (we will be reading these next year).  Each one talks about a different part of our country geographically but with such vivid language and description.  These are a real feast for any child to hear or read.

These are bright and colorful little books that are great for any child to look at.  Maps and Globes give a great overview on how to read a map, what longitude and latitude are, etc.  Geography from A-Z is a great reference tool (the older ones still reference it from time time to time) with its many geographical terms - what is an island, a continent, a bluff, a river, and many many many more. 

Another great DK book is Children Just Like Me.  Kids are seen from around the world doing every day things that any kid does.  It also talks about their food, their homes, their schools, their way of dress.  As with all DK books, they are chocked full of pictures which helps a child really grasp what life is like for that child.  I love using this in conjunction with Galloping the Globe and whatever country we are learning about.  Google Earth is also wonderful to use in conjunction with this.

Give Your Child the World is a very recently published anthology of children's literature talking about the different cultures around the world.  The author is very culture conscious since all of her children are from different countries of the world.  She also enjoys globe trotting.  She has brought her love and research into this book and it is a gem to own.  Full of books divided by continent and covers all grade levels, it is worth owning in your library.  You won't lack in literature here.

Last but not least, here is fun YouTube channel which is full of fun songs and other things to help a child learn different geographical regions.  I was introduced to it by a friend.  You will also see it has way more than just geography.  Its a great little channel to subscribe to for learning period.  I will be doing a post on using YouTube for school.  What a blessing YouTube can be, but we will save that for another time.

What do you do for Geography?  Please feel free to comment.  Happy Trails!!!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Family Travels in May

Starting today, once a month, I will be posting pics of our various travels. Living approximately 30 minutes outside of Washington, DC, has its perks.  With all the free museums and art galleries not to mention the fabulous Folgers Shakespeare Library and the zoo, there is a ton to do there which cost little to no pocket money.  We travel there at least once a month to catch a special exhibition, view the art, or whatever may strike our fancy. I count it a large blessing to live so close there.  We have learned and enriched our lives as homeschoolers as a result of it!  I wouldn't change it for the world!  But, that is not all we do in our travelling.  There are other fun things we do from time to time, so I thought it would be fun to share our fun each month.  If it should be we have a month where we go nowhere (hahaha), there will be no post.

First up on our monthly activities was Free Comic Book Day!!!!  My kids are enjoy Marvel, DC, Doctor Who, anything totally geeky.  And, free comic book day is a good day to rake in some goodies, for nothing.  Our library system participated in the event, so my hubby took the boys out to library hop.  They found a cool photo booth while out.  (note-my youngest son is NOT being grouchy.  he's posing as Batman, and Batman never smiles)

Another fun thing we saw was the annual orchid display in Washington, DC.  This year it was held at the Hirshorn Gallery.  We have enjoyed their displays over the years.  This one wasn't as big as some in the past, but it was still a nice display.

But, my favorite adventure that we did was visit the Hirshorn Gallery to see the fabulous Infinity Mirrors by Yayoi Kusama.  It was a very hard exhibit to get into.  I was so happy when we were finally able to go.   You can read a bit more about her work here and here.  There were various type of her art on display.  I loved it all but my favorites were the Infinity Rooms themselves.  

The other types of art that was on display

The grand finale of the whole exhibit was the Obliteration Room.  It was totally touchable.  Before opening, Ikea donated a ton of stuff and all was painted white.  Then, as you go into the room at the end of the exhibit, you are given a sheet of stickers which you can place anywhere you like.  It was a fun colorful room.

(my mini-me went along for some fun photos, dressed in polka dots, of course)

It was a fun exhibit.  There was also a large pumpkin outside the museum which we saw back in March.  

Its debut at the Hirshorn is the start of its tour around the United States.  If you want to see if it is coming to a museum near you, check here.

And that wraps up our adventures for May.  What were you up to in May?  Leave a comment and let me know.