I heard such positive feedback about January (you can find it here) as well as requests for our February plans, so here we are. While I’m sharing to assist in inspiring others, please remember to follow your child and where they are at in interests and development. E and V still greatly enjoy ballet and enjoy participating in the art we explore, so you may notice that influence continues. I recently heard an interview on NRP with an Albanian citizen who talked about how smaller countires are overlooked and ignored. I realized that I am guilty of this and will be more conscious of what countires we choose as weekly themes.

February is Black history month. While we will be celebrating and supporting the Black community, I’m proud to say that it won’t seem that much different than any other month as I’m raising anti-racists. The only way to accomplish that is by supporting diversity year ’round. Due to limited time (sleep regression and under the weather) I chose to focus on some suggested countries a little later, when I could give them the attention they deserve. Researching Nigeria and Haiti made me realize that there are so many amazing people who aren’t given the recognition they deserve–the only way to change that is to educate ourselves and future generations.

Valentine’s Day will be on the 14th, so stay tuned for some activities that will be setup to celebrate.

Week one (began in January): Russia. 

Monday: Tchaikovsky. Particularly Swan Lake; Pages 26 and 27 in this book as well as read this book. We will talk about how he is well known for putting music to ballet similar to Kanno and soundtracks.

Tuesday: Kandinsky and abstract art and music. I love this children’s book and we will display and read about Yellow-Red-Blue and then create our own while listening to music. 

Wednesday: An outing and fifth position.

Thursday:  Blini.

Friday: Dance. We tried watching a ballet instructional video (5-10 minutes) as E and V are unable to attend a class, but they prefer to create their own dances that include the ballet positions they have learned.

Week Two: Mexico.

Monday: Carlos Chavez. Unfortunately, I was unable to find any children’s books about this influential composer, which is even more of a reason we need to study him. A modernist inspired by the Aztecs, he combined traditional folk music with modern techniques. We will be listening to his pieces as well as reading about him from the internet.

Tuesday: Frida Kahlo. We will talk about the art of self-portraits as well as read this book, displaying a card from this set of one of her art pieces, reading about her on pages 74 and 75 in this book. We will then try our hand at our own self-portrait using a mirror, paper, and pencils.  

Wednesday: An outing, learn a new ballet pose, and learning about Guillermo del Toro. While we won’t be watching his movies, instead of talking about how he uses what he creates to tell his stories, if you feel so inclined, he did produce a children’s movie, “The Book of Life“.

“We tell stories because we have a hollow place in our heart. You don’t fill that with success. You fill it by finding yourself in the stories you tell.”

— Guillermo del Toro

Thursday: Huevos rancheros.

Friday: Ballet.

Week Three: Nigeria.  

Monday: Fela Sowande. Known as the father of Nigerian art music, I was able to locate this book (excitedly found to be written by a Nigerian author) allowing us to read about his contributions to music while listening.

Tuesday:  Chief Nike Davies-Okundaye and her influnce in the art and textile world as well us learning and appreciating adire eleko. You can find some of her artwork here. Find a book written about her life here and an interview with her here.

Wednesday: An outing and position. Learning about Chief Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, an educator and women’s rights activist, we will be reading this book about her life.

Thursday:  Jollof rice.

Friday: Ballet.

Week Four: Haiti.

Monday: Ludovic Lamothe. The Black Chopin of Haiti, as Lamothe was nicknamesd for his reputation of reciting Chopin, he would compase music exclusivly for his own instrument. I’m particualry excited to have E and V listen to his piece “Nibo”.

Tuesday:  Hector Hyppolite. I found one book of his art, but it’s a bit out of our price range so we will rely on this site to learn about him. HE liked to paint with pruches made from chicken feathers, so we will create and use feathers, as well. Albiet it with artificial ones, like these.

Wednesday: An outing and position. François-Dominique Toussaint Louverture, the Father of Haiti. He fought to end slavery, trained those who followed him in guerrilla warfare–not only successfully ending slavery but gaining Haiti’s independace.

Thursday:  Pen patat.

Friday: Ballet.

Week Five: Isreal. 

Monday: Lior Navok. A classical composer and pianist, you can read his blog here where you can hear pieces and he talks about the influences and such of some of his work. He has created operas, one being “The Bet” story by Anton Chekhov, whcih Im trying to locate (I’m a huge Chekhov fan).

Tuesday: Menashe Kadishman. Painter and sculpter, while he had a wide variety of styles he was best known for his paintings of sheep. We will focus on his popart sheep, particularly Sheep Head 2012. Bold paint will be available.

Wednesday: An outing and position. Jesus of Nazareth.

Thursday:  Falafel.

Friday: Ballet.

I hope you enjoy following along with us and, if all is well, I’ll share March.




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