Thursday, February 3, 2011

text me

As we enter the final countdown for the fair, Alexei is getting busy finishing up his myriad of projects - if you recall, he decided to enter thirteen categories this year. Nothing like ambition. On Sunday he has to turn in his photographs, his tabletop, his drawing, his woodwork, and his model. Thankfully we have a few days to recoup from the weekend and bake a boatload of goodies to be turned in for next Thursday's judging. Next week is going to be crazy! Well, every week here is crazy, but next week is going to be crazy and gooey. I can't wait.

This week, however, he's been putting together all the components of his rabbit tabletop. His next step was to add the various photos to his rabbit project chart, since we went out and bought a new ink cartridge for the printer. Yay! I let him pull the photos from Google images, and then showed him how to take the first photo, drag it into Photoshop, and resize the canvas, crop to the dimensions he needed, type text onto the photo, flatten the image, and drag it onto a new file so we could print 8 photos on one piece of paper instead of using 16 pieces of paper (because while we remembered to buy ink, we forgot to buy paper. Boo!)

One of my favorite aspects of homeschooling is teaching my kids skills using programs that are useful and relevant. And I find Photoshop to be both useful and relevant. Using layers? Totally useful. Practicing spelling and typing with text? Completely relevant. Duplicating layer effects? You betcha.

You get to a point in school, or when creating projects, that it would be a thousand times easier to simply do the computer work yourself, and let your child simply cut out and paste. You know, the old-fashioned way, with scissors and glue. It can be tedious letting them take the reins and complete a complex task on the computer, but it leaves them with a sense of accomplishment and real skills that they can build on. Plus I haven't met a kid yet that wasn't instantly in love with a computer.

Here was one of the sheets he created, ready to cut apart.

The finished product, awaiting the glue to affix it to the tabletop tri-fold board.

Only a week left until the fair starts!

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