Sunday, May 29, 2016

Museum of California in Oakland

So Ian goes off to Scout camp in a few weeks and I am trying to get in a few of prerequisites for some of the badges he signed up to do while at camp.  I know he is not going to get them all done before he leaves. Infact some of the things are better done after camp once he learns about the topic.  But he has signed up to complete the Art Badge, which requires a trip to an art museum, as well as the Indian Lore badge, so Indian artifacts needed to be found, so while at camp he can complete the rest of those badges and have them completely done.  

I found a museum nearby that we had never visited before.  I didn't even know Oakland had a museum of art but they do and they also have a Natural History museum and a California History museum.  So this was a great place to find artifacts from the native indians from our area as well as look at some art (which ended up being mostly about CA)

 Here is Ian looking at some of the Indian woven baskets in the part of the exhibit that starts the history of CA.  We then wandered through the conquistador period and saw how the Spanish settled here in CA and what they brought to the California mix.

The exhibit continued on through the Gold rush and becoming a state and then spent a lot of time on the history associated with Hollywood and movie making.

 Sophie loved some the dresses on display.
 Here Henry and Molly enjoy a game of checkers in the 1940's living room. I should have framed the shot better and got the large 1940's radio in the shot as well.
 This was a fun part of the museum for the kids.
 Here they got to do come costume design.
 And even some stop motion animation
I was rather lax on taking pictures but the exhibit went all the way into the present day with modern events and inventions that are part of California's history. They had a Garage like shed that looked like the Hewlet Packard shed and inside was all sorts computers. Many of these were computers I remembered having and using as a child. My kids thought they looked ancient and couldn't believe that I used those when I was a kid.

We then headed to the natural history part of the museum and looked at the native wildlife of California.

 This part of the museum was interesting but not a whole lot of new information.  There were interesting ways they displayed things.  They had cabinets where you could pull out drawers. The drawers were full of snakes (not alive of course). Not my favorite thing but the kids liked looking at them.
 There were several stations where there were microscopes set up so the kids could look closely at butterfly wings, shells or what ever was on display. These were nice breaks for the kids since they get tired of just walking through getting to look at things. This more hands on parts of the exhibits were a welcome change.

 We went outside for a bit to take a short brake and get a little snack before heading to the art.

 Hey that is a petrified tree we were sitting on. That isn't from California. It was labeled as being from the petrified forest in Arizona.  Who knows why it was here in the Museum of California.

 This turtle wandered by while we enjoyed the sunshine. He quickly made his way across the courtyard and found a shady spot somewhere. Fun to see a live animal after just seeing so many stuffed ones.

 On to the art. Most of the artwork was paintings or artists that worked in California.
 Here the kids could draw a self portrait.
 We saw art in all sorts of styles.
 And some sculpture too.

 We liked the Arts and Crafts room where they had some furniture, stained glass and fabrics from this style.

 Here was a table of pieces of wood that the kids could put together to see how the Arts and Crafts designers would create joints and somewhat jigsaw the pieces together.

This was a quick visit to a museum and well worth the time and effort to go. It wasn't our favorite place and we are not likely to head back any time soon. We saw what we wanted and needed to see.  Ian is happy to have just that much more completed on these two badges.  It kept everyone from being bored at home, if nothing else!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Being Bored

The kids' online classes ended early in May and each week another of our outside activities seems to come to its end of term as well.  It has been very difficult to keep them interested in doing school work. There was still some Math lessons to make it through and Molly always needs more work on reading and writing.  But mostly the kids have been bored. 

 They would love to watch movies or play computer games all day long. Henry did buy himself a Kindle and the game Terraria which is the latest game to talk and fight about around this house.

I on the other had have other ideas. I am trying really hard to keep them to just one hour a day and only after the few school assignments and some chores get done. 
 So I hear "I'm bored" quite a bit and lots of begging for movies. But I am a big meanie and tell them to go play.
Molly has spent more time outdoors. The weather hasn't been too warm yet so she goes out and moves rocks and sticks around quite a bit. Here is her garden Dalek that she created on day. 

 The play mobile guys have come out more often.

 Peezy gets more attention even if she doesn't really want it.

 Even the pattern blocks are out most days, scattered about on the floor.

 I think that is a Millennial Falcon
 The kids did have their end of term piano recital. Henry played  Court Dance (rock version) from his book and the actual Moonlight Sonata. He is pretty proud of the fact that it is the version by Beethoven and not an arrangement.
 Molly played Young Hunter and Classic Dance. Both from her lesson book.
 Ian played The Spinning Song and In Dreams from the Lord of the Rings.
 Sophia played Merida's Home from Brave and Apples to the Core which is from My Little Pony.

I have tried to introduce my kids to some good books they may enjoy.

We are listened to Tom Sawyer and started Huckleberry Finn but gave up on Huck for a bit. The kids started to think it was not nearly as fun as Tom Sawyer.

 Sophie has been enjoying the audio version of Pride and Prejudice but isn't getting through it fast enough. We are going to watch the movie when she finishes it. But she has been reading The Selection series which I told her she might enjoy. She is quickly making her way through those.
The boys were introduced to Michael Vey and have been quickly making their way through the whole series.  I have only read the first two books but they are on the third and forth now. They fight over the copy we got from the library. I guess we need to somehow get two copies of them but Ian has been reading them almost all in one sitting so Henry is able to get the book rather quickly.  
Molly is always trying out new books but she still has me read most books to her. Reading is still not totally an easy thing for her and certainly not something she chooses to do for fun. It is still work!

 At the last day of our P.E. Class we spent some extra time climbing the trees at the park.
 My kids are sad when the school year ends. Summer is rather boring for them. They prefer having classes to go to and friends to do things with. Everyone seems to be busy or it is too hot to play outside. We will have to find ways to entertain these kids over the next few weeks so I don't have to hear how bored they are.