Monday, April 06, 2009

Academic and Exhibit Fair

One of the things that concerned me about home schooling was the fact that my children would have to miss out on things such as science fairs and school plays. Thankfully, this has not proven to be true.

Because we belong to an "umbrella" school (private school covering for home school families), we are able to give our children opportunities to display their hard work, give presentations on areas of study, and even put on plays. In February, our kids had their Academic and Exhibit Night.

Glenna is so excited about science. This is the second year she has wanted to display science projects. Here's her DNA/General Science board:

She also displayed the different art forms she learned while studying Russia this year, plus a notebook of short biographies from notable persons in Russian History.

Other students gave presentations and had displays. At the end, our Russia Co-op put on a four-act version of the Nutcracker! With simple costumes and short rehearsals, they were able to gain an appreciation for what it takes to really put on a ballet.

The children have danced about and chased the naughty younger brother who kept trying to spoil their dance.

The godfather enters and presents his gift of the Nutcracker to Clara. Clara dances about.

Clara then falls asleep and begins to have the strangest dreams:

Enter the Sugarplum Fairies! (Neither of the girls had ever danced ballet.)

A leap! What fun!

After the Sugarplum fairies exit, the Russian Dancers run in!

(Here, the Russian Dancers momentarily became break-dancers. LOL)


The Russian Dancers run out, and the Chinese Dancers run in!

The Chinese Dancers have exited. The Nutcracker Soldier comes to dance with Clara.
Himself was taking the photos. He was so caught up in the Nutcracker's sword fight with the Mouse King, he forgot to take pictures!

It was such a simple production, but they did a fabulous job. We contorted their feet into the five different ballet positions, then brought them in to watch You Tube videos of Mikhail Baryshnikov as he leaped into the air and then lightly landed in fifth position. They all walked around with aching legs after trying to dance as the Russians did, squatting and kicking their legs out like in Fiddler on the Roof. Through this, they understood that ballet takes years of discipline, training, and endurance. It also takes great strength - male ballet dancers have powerful arms and legs for a reason!

They also learned that many athletes take ballet to train their bodies in strength and balance. Not for sissies after all, huh?

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