Bookmaking Arts

Winter 2015
11:00 – 12:00
Instructor: Jen Swan

Ancient art and more modern art can be very different — even in the same country! You’ll make four book projects in this study group that prove it. You’ll learn about the Four Noble Ones from ancient Japan and create a book with Japanese ink painting. Then, fast-forward to a more modern Japan and create a quirky book with anime and manga. Illuminated manuscripts dominated medieval England, so you’ll learn about that and create your own book of illumination. Then, you’ll make a Steampunk-inspired book, complete with metal gears. You’ll have an enlightened understanding of ancient and modern art from two different cultures by the end of this study group … not to mention four beautiful handmade books!

In this workshop, we will focus on the ancient and modern cultures of Japan and England as we create one of a kind artist books.

Book one: The Four Noble Ones
Format: Accordion fold with paper wrapped hard cover

We will learn the skills needed to paint the four noble ones (bamboo, orchid, plum blossom and chrysanthemum) in traditional style using bamboo brushes, sumi ink and sumi paper. These will then be presented in an accordion fold book using decorative papers and signature stamps.

Book two: Manga madness
Format: Meander book with comic book style boxes and thought bubbles

In this fun book style, we will learn how to draw characters in manga style as well as creating a storyline.

Book three: Illuminated manuscript
Format: Gilded dowel scroll with ribbon closure

Focusing on the art of illuminated letters, this manuscript scroll with be painted on parchment with decorative design work, lettering and golden illumination.

Book four: Victorian Steam Punk
Format: Hardcover Scrapbook with duct tape hinge and drilled screw posts

This book will incorporate the industrial and edgy qualities of steam punk style with the old Europe feel of luxury. This hard cover assemblage will include bits of fabric, metal and gears in addition to collaged and drawn imagery.

Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology: Dissection Lab (ages 11+)

Fall 2014
11:00 – 12:00

This study group will focus on introducing anatomy and physiology through the study of the worm, grasshopper, fish, and frog. During the course of this study group, we will work on our lab skills and learn dissection technique. We’ll learn about the central nervous system, the circulatory system, muscles and bones, and more. With the grasshopper, we’ll also take an up-close look at what makes insects such fascinating and unique creatures. This study group will also serve as a pre-cursor for a more advanced anatomy class to be offered in the winter session.

Materials fee will be approximately $20.

Hispanic Heritage (ages 9+)

Fall 2014
1:00 – 2:00

Hispanic Heritage month runs from September 15th to October 15th when Independence days in Mexico and Central America are observed. This year, we’re going to celebrate at LACI as well. This study group will learn about the hispanic culture through folk tales, craft, food, cooking, and games. Each week, we’ll explore Spanish-speaking countries and see how they have influenced our lives here in America through language, cuisine, and culture. Leave your passport at home – we’ll travel the world without leaving Shrewsbury!

Materials fee will be approximately $25.

Science Art: Optics (ages 8+)

Fall 2014
1:00 – 2:00

Explore the world of light and sight with art. Together, we’ll create geometric stained glass windows, fancy tessellations, and fun optical illusions to trick your friends and family. We’ll take a slightly more sophisticated take on optical illusions, reflection/refraction, transparency/opaqueness while combining science, math and optics. We’re going to get messy and create some art!

Other activities may include:

Materials fee will be approximately $10.

Color Art (ages 5+)

Fall 2014
1:00 – 2:00

Color is one ingredient in a recipe for beautiful artwork, and certain artists lend themselves to the study of this. We’ll look at Mondrian’s work and study primary colors, and we’ll paint in gold while studying Klimt. Andy Warhol’s lesser known flower prints are a great example of color usage, and we’ll make prints like his. There will be lots of books and pictures to help us learn about the artists and of course we’ll create our own colorful artwork using professional materials.

Other activities may include:

  • creating Fauvist self-portraits
  • exploring the sound of color through Kandinsky’s modern art
  • making stained glass ornaments

Materials fee will be approximately $10.

LACI How to Train Your Dragon (ages 8+)

Fall 2014
11:00 – 12:00

Based on the wildly fun book series, How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell, this study group will combine all that is fun about the books with studying Viking history, Norse Mythology, dragons in myth and reality, languages and more. One week, we might make a schedule for training a Gila monster while learning about the Norse contributions to the calendar. Another week, we might learn why Hiccup is so different from the stereotypical Viking and whether or not they deserve the fierce reputation they’ve acquired. Perhaps we’ll create our own Viking shields or learn to write Dragonese, too.

Other activities may include:

  •  planning a Viking meal
  • creating our own “A Hero’s Guide to Deadly Dragons” book
  • choosing the Norse god that would best fit with different dragons
  • making Viking crafts

Materials fee will be approximately $10.

Getting Ready for Winter: Cooking (ages 5+)

Fall 2014
11:00 – 12:00

How do people, plants and animals get ready for winter? In this study group, we’ll look at how people from different cultures and different time periods harvest their food and make some of their staple autumn recipes. We’ll also study how animals get ready for winter, and compare and contrast animal and human harvest habits. This study group will be a wonderful mix of history, cultural study, plant and animal study and of course, cooking!

Some other activities may include:

  • Comparing seed dormancy with animal hibernation
  • Learning how different animals prepare for winter in different ways
  • Contrasting how people from long ago prepared for winter with how we prepare for winter
  • Making recipes with staple harvest ingredients from history, different cultures and now

Materials fee will be approximately $25

Summer 2014 Programming

Read on for park days, workshops and other fun meet-ups that the LACI gang is planning for this summer. Let us know if you’d like to join us!


Tuesday, 6/10: Dean Park picnic and play, 11:00 at the North Pavilion
Meet at the North Pavilion (map of Dean Park) and bring balls, hoola-hoops or any other outdoor toys and games that your kids enjoy. Oh, and your lunch, too.

Tuesday, 6/24: Pond Analysis Workshop, 1:30 – 3:30
Dean Park Pond, Shrewsbury (park in Parking Lot #1, walk up the left side of the pond to the little white rectangle which is a groundskeeper’s building. We’ll be on the other side of that.)

members: $12 per child or $30 family (parents are free)
non-members: $17 per child or $40 family (parents are free)
Members are families that were registered for the spring 2014 session, or are registered for the fall 2014 session.
All ages welcome; there will be different activities to satisfy kids from preschool to teens
*This is not intended to be a drop-off program, but if you have children older than 8 years and you’d like that option, please contact us.*

Join us for a ponding adventure as we explore the wilds of Dean Park Pond! We’ll be discovering the ecosystem(s) of a thriving wetland environment while we collect water samples, critters and more. Plant and critter identification, examining water under microscopes and learning about protzoa and other microscopic organisms that live in water are just a few of the fun activities in store for us. We’ll also make our own water scopes, sketch and label our finds in our ponding journals, photograph specimens and wildlife, and leave with a bunch of home extension activities to continue your pond studies.

Plan to arrive around 1:20; we’ll be leaving for our tour around the pond at 1:30 and it might be hard to find us. 🙂

Please bring:
– puddle boots for the adventurers
– digital camera
– a bucket, yogurt container, jar or something to put samples in. We’ll have some collection jars with air holes and magnifiers to share but a bunch of different sizes will be nice to have.
– a half-gallon cardboard OJ or milk container (please bring extras if you have them because some people … like me … may not have these)
– chairs / blankets to sit on

To register:

– Send an email to with:
– Your name, address, email and phone number (you can leave out the contact info if we already have it on file)
– Children’s names and ages

– PayPal your registration fee to OR
– Send a check payable to “LACI Homeschoolers’ Association” to:
Debbie McDuffee
67 Oak Ave.
Northborough, MA 01532


Tuesday, July 8: Dean Park picnic and play, 11:00 at the North Pavilion


Tuesday, 8/5: Dean Park picnic and play, 11:00 at the North Pavilion
Meet at the North Pavilion (map of Dean Park) and bring balls, hoola-hoops or any other outdoor toys and games that your kids enjoy. Oh, and your lunch, too.

Thursday, 8/21: Fruitlands picnic and play, noon
Meet at Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, MA (everyone just pays their own way) for picnic, hikes, exploration and more.

Cooking Along the Silk Road

Spring 2014
1:00 – 2:00
ages 8+, 10+

This study group may run later than 2:00 on the cooking days.

Travel the historical Silk Road through cooking and hands-on projects as we learn about the exchange of goods, ideas and foods between the regions along the Silk Road. When we study China, we’ll make steamed dumplings. India brings us to some exotic spices, and we’ll make our own curry spice mix and cook up a vegetable curry. When we discuss the contributions of Rome, we’ll make hand-rolled pasta and gremolata (the recipes may change, but this gives you an idea of what to expect). You’ll get a chance to role-play and trade for the ingredients to make rice pudding. Other hands-on projects and explorations of the history and importance of the Silk Road will be included as well.

Designed for children ages 8 and up and/or who can:

  • listen quietly and discuss the information presented
  • follow multi-step directions
  • use appropriate kitchen safety
  • work in a pair or a small group
  • understand and make connections based on the historical concepts

Materials fee = approximately $20 per child to be paid directly to the instructor in CASH on the first day of the session


Probability Carnival

Spring 2014
1:00 – 2:00
ages 8+

Did you ever wonder how carnival games work? What is it about dice and spinner games that people find so fascinating … dare I say addicting? It all has to do with probability, or the chances you have of winning or losing a particular round or game. We’ll investigate probability by playing some games to learn about how probability works. Then, we’ll create some games for everyone to try out as we host a Probability Carnival on the last day of the session during the 2:00 – 3:00 hour.

Designed for children ages 8 and up and/or who can:

  • listen quietly and discuss the information presented
  • use age-appropriate motor control to construct the projects presented
  • follow directions
  • work in a pair or a small group
  • play games respectfully with a partner or small group
  • understand and make connections based on the mathematical concepts
  • apply what is learned to create their own game

Materials fee = approximately $10 per child to be paid directly to the instructor in CASH on the first day of the session