Thursday, June 6, 2013

What to bring if you are a movie extra (for kids)

The boys after hair, wardrobe, and "makeup".
The boys just wrapped their first movie background extra work tonight! Something is always being filmed here in NOLA. This time it was for the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. It was great because all 4 boys were hired to work and we got to spend time together. They've already decided they are all buying iPod touches with their earnings.

 Several of the boys' friends have showed an interest in getting some background work, so I decided to make this post letting moms know what is a good idea to bring to the set. Keep in mind this is based off of my experience with the entertainment industry so far. This movie was the first time that the production company was actually nice to the parents and didn't act they were big pains in the booty. When Colby did the music video and the HBO cop show pilot they were just so annoyed that the parents wanted to see and check on their kids and to be nearby to them, even though insurance requires us to be there! Tonight they were more than welcoming and even thanked us for bringing the kids. It was great!

Here is my list of things to bring:
 -A large tote to carry all this stuff in!
-Whatever paperwork they have asked for. Usually you have to sign some releases and consents for a minor to work as well as have a copy of the child's birth certificate and social security card. I've always had to scan and email these documents to the casting office before the shoot but I also bring a paper copy to the set just in case. I keep all the paperwork we might need in an over-sized plastic see through envelope. 
- Something to do! They can only keep kids for 8 hours (adults can be on the set for 12 hours or more). Our experience is that you work about 1/4 of that time, and wait the rest. So bring your phone, your iPod, iPad, Kindle, portable dvd player with dvds and headphones, books, board games, cards,or whatever else can can fit into your bag to keep yourself and your kids entertained. Your kids will make fast friends with the other child extras and keep themselves busy!
This checkers game was a big hit!
-If you have brought electronics, make sure you bring their chargers. Very important! If you are using your phone for entertainment that whole time you will run out of battery quickly. 
-Snacks. Every set we have been on has had snacks and drinks for the crew, actors, and background. But sometimes the snacks get put out at random times so its always good to have a little something on hand for your child or stock up when they do bring out the snacks.
-A portable chair with a carrier. Most of the time the crew has set up an area specifically for background extras to sit and to eat while they are waiting to be called on set. But when you go on set with your child you may be outside and need a place to sit and wait until they are done.
-A blanket and jacket. I generally bring a jacket anytime I go anywhere because you can rarely control the temperature of where you end up! This week we were in "kiddy corner" which was a little conference room in a Holiday Inn. It was freezing in there! I wore shorts because I knew we may have to stand outside in the sun if they got called to set. But I had my jacket and blanket on while we were inside!
-A small first aid kit is handy as well, headaches, belly-aches from eating all the snacks, or the occasional scrape from rough housing with the other kids is possible. There are medics on the set, but sometimes the wait for non-emergency assistance can take a while.
-Hmmm...what else? That's all I can think of right now. If you have something to add, just let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Looking back over the past homeschool year...

Here is a link to the curriculum I chose last year: Homeschool Curriculum 2012/2013. I'd like to go over what liked/disliked and also share what I am planning on using for  the 2013/2014 school year.

Mystery of History: I chose this history curriculum so that I could use it with all 4 boys and not have to teach them separately. Also I got it for free from our local homeschool co-op! Pros:  I liked the timeline poster that went with it and also the way they kids wrote out important points out on index cards after reading the material. Cons: My little's (2nd and 3rd grade) didn't get as much out of it as I'd hoped.

Apologia Science: I chose this science because I wanted my kids to learn more about God's creation and how He is the Creator of everything on this earth! Not some big explosion or a tiny microbe that evolved! I did Astronomy and half of Flying Creatures with the younger two. Colby did General Science and Tyler did Biology. We were blessed to have another mom in the co-op volunteer to do the experiments with several other kids Tyler's age that were also doing Biology. Pros: Creation based! Lapbooks and notebooking available that goes along with textbook. Cons: Was over the little ones heads sometimes, was more suitable for upper elementary/middle school.

Math U See: Still loving this curriculum and will continue to use it with Aidan and Jackson!

Learning Language Arts: I did like this curriculum for Tyler and Colby. I think they enjoyed it too. Pros: Literature based! Cons: I didn't think they had enough writing instruction, like for essays and such.

First Language Lessons: I will be using this with Aidan and Jackson again this year. Pros: short and and easy to follow lessons, memorization, scripted lessons. Cons: Some of the poetry selections are weird and harder to memorize.

Vocabulary: I did not find that Wordly Wise helped the boys. Pros: inexpensive. Cons: hard! For the 7th grade work sometimes even I couldn't figure out  the answer without the teachers book. Doesn't make learning fun. Very textbook-y. No likie!

Handwriting: Getty Dubai didn't help all that much. Jackson's handwriting is not improved and Aidan did not like the way they taught cursive. Will have to find something else for next year. Pros: inexpensive. Cons: a strange way of doing cursive!

First Form Latin: My husband and I taught this to our 2 oldest as well as 2 other co-op students. Pros: Having a dvd instuctor! Cons:  Moved rather quickly, not enough time on one concept before moving on to another.

So during this past year, Tyler and Colby majorly slacked off on their school work, doing the bare minimum and not finishing things. I think only having to answer to me and not getting "grades" really affected their work. SO Kyle and I decided to have them do K12 this next school year, where they will essentially be doing public school at home. They will have teachers, and have to send in their work every week and spend a certain number of hours doing school work. K12 provides them with their own laptops and printers. I really hope this helps them! Tyler will be in high school this year and Colby is not far behind!

I decided to not to do K12 for Aidan and Jackson this year. It would result in a lot more work for me, with all 4 boys doing different grades. I will be using My Father's World: Exploring Countries and Cultures. I used this exact curriculum with Tyler and Colby when we first moved here, so I am already familiar with how it works. They have changed a few things since then and I am excited to try it with the little boys.

We really considered doing Classical Conversations, but we could not see paying $1200 for someone else to teach my kids for 3 hours a week. Even if we could have afforded that, the tuition skyrockets after the elementary years, costing almost as much as it does for my husbands tuition at seminary!

We've still got a little math to finish for this school year, but the past 2 weeks have been kind of crazy so we've gotten a little behind on that. The boys have been on the set of a movie (as background extras)  that is filming in New Orleans this week so we haven't gotten anything done! Hopefully we can finish everything up in June and be done for July!