Thursday, April 23, 2015

Traveling Thursday~ Discovery Museum

A few weeks ago, we joined another family for a fun homeschool event at a local children's museum. Every few months, the museum offers homeschoolers a half price day. My kids have been wanting to go check out the new museum for months now, so what better day than half price day.

Last year, the museum was lucky enough to be able to move into a much needed bigger space. The new building is 3 times the size of the old one. The kids now had 4 floor to explore! The top floor is outside and set up as the garden area.

On the first floor, the kids can explore levers and pulleys, ball tracks, and gears.

Dinosaurs! They could even dig in sand and pretend to be a paleontologist.

There was a maze the kids could climb in.

They even had a medical area. The kids were able to view x-rays, see what their heart rate was, learn about bones. They even had a real ambulance that the kids could explore. Thankfully only the lights worked.

After exploring the first floor, we headed up the stairs to see what the other floors had in store for us. They were able to explore a river water shed. They learned what animals would be found there.



They were able to play in a small watershed. There were even yellow rubber duckies for the younger kids to play with. 

I really like how the museum has various level of learning.They have activities geared to younger children and have fun activities available for older kids to do. It's great for families with kids of all ages. Even adults can get in on the fun.

The museum has exhibits dealing with science, nature, and history. The kids could explore a Native American village, play dress up, watch brook trout swim in a tank, package apples, and there was even a section devoted to inventions by Leonardo da Vinci. 

Hands-on learning is always the best way to learn!

Till next time, 

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Weekly Wrap Up/THMJ

In our life this week..... We are busy with spring cleaning. We have gotten the dinning room done and the schoolroom is almost done. The kids have been working on their rooms. Princess P got a new mattress for her bed, which she needed desperately. She loves it! Now she wants her room repainted and a new comforter set. She'll just have to wait a few more years. I told her when she turns 12 or 13 we will switch her room. I think by then she will be more mature and will be able to pick out a set that will last her until she goes to college. We had appointments on Friday and Princess P is getting new glasses. We also went searching for a new bike for her birthday. Grandpa is buying her a new bike for her birthday! She wanted a blue or teal bike, but settled for this one.


In our homeschool this week....Monday was an ordinary day of school. Tuesday, we finished up school early and headed outside to enjoy the beautiful day. On Wednesday, we skipped school and headed to the park to meet up with friends from our old CCM co-op. The kids hadn't seen each other since February, so they were excited to see one another.

Thursday was a fun day. We headed to a local children's museum for their homeschool days. We got to see the museums new location. The kids have been wanting to see the new museum and really enjoyed the exhibits. 

Friday, we did school. I can't believe we are slowly winding down with some of our subjects. The kids are getting excited since that means we will get to study what they want for the summer months!

What the kids are reading.... Lego Man is reading though the Redwall series by Brian Jacques. He is in the 6th book now, Martin the Warrior.

Princess P is reading the American Girl Molly books. She had started them, stopped, and is now almost done with the collection.

What I am reading....I am currently reading The Buys Homeschool Mom's Guide to Daylight by Heidi St. John.

I was given a free download for an upcoming review for The Schoolhouse Review Crew. I am really enjoying the book so far. Keep your eyes open for my upcoming review.

What I am working on....Cleaning and preparing for Princess P's birthday party. She is having a Paris themed party. 

I'll be sharing some of the fun stuff we created for the party and the fun games we played!

Till next time,

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Friday, April 17, 2015

ARTistic Pursuits Review~ Book 1: The Elements of Art & Composition

For years now, I have been wanting to explore the ARTistic Pursuits art curriculum but just never got around to trying it. So when I was picked to review this program for The Schoolhouse Review Crew, I was extremely excited.

ARTistic Pursuits Review

ARTistic Pursuits is a wonderful company that provides a homeschool art program for families and co-ops. Their goal is to make teaching art to students simple and fun. Their techniques are easy but very thorough.  They strive to combine all aspects of art in order to teach children how to create. I love how the book combines art history, art techniques, art appreciation, vocabulary, and observation in their program. This program is perfect for children to learn about art but more important to appreciate art!

We received the physical book Elementary 4-5 Book 1: The Elements of Art and Composition from ARTistic Pursuits for this review.

ARTistic Pursuits Review

The list price for this book is $47.95. The book is geared for 4th and 5th graders and recommended for ages 9 and up. They have plenty of other books ranging in grade levels from preschool to high school. If you have little ones, you can start there and build on your knowledge or you can pick you grade level and start there. We have never used this program before and it was extremely easy to jump right into the Elementary 4-5 Book 1.

Art and creating has always been a part of my kids lives. My kids have been exposed to art since they were in preschool (maybe even younger). I studied art in college, so I always made sure my kids had access to different types of media and paper. I made sure they had time to draw, paint, and create. The one area I did have problems with is trying to teach the technique. I had the knowledge in my head, but for some reason I just couldn't get it out. It was difficult for me to get certain ideas across to them. This book helped me do that. It gave me the terms I needed to get them to understand what was in my head. Art techniques are described in simple terms. This made it easy for me to teach and for them to understand what I was trying to say.

The Elementary 4-5 Book 1: The Elements of Art and Composition is all about the composition of art. By this I mean, the book talks all about how children can take different aspects of art and turn them into a whole picture. This book teaches children to draw realistically. It teaches them the importance of observing the world around them. Too often we go outside and look around, but don't really see the world around us.We think we see everything, but do we really?
Do we see how each leaf looks different?
Do we see how the petals on flowers vary in shape? Some are pointed, some are rounded.
Do we see the different hues in the shades of yellow on the daffodils?

I love how this book encourages the children to slow down and really look and observe their surroundings. It shows them to truly appreciate the world God gave us. To enjoy the beauty that God created for us. 

Getting Started
I love how the book has a section called Getting Started. It is a great way for parents/teachers to see what will be taught. The first page in the getting started section contains the table of contents and a list of art supplies needed to complete the projects. It's a great page to start on!

The rest of the Getting Started section deals with how the book is broken up, how to use the book, and how to schedule your art lessons. It is recommended to do two classes a week for an hour a day. 
I will tell you once you children get started they will not want to stop. My children wanted to have art everyday!

The Lessons
The book is broken up into Units. There are 16 units in the book. Each unit contains 4 lessons. Three of the lessons are about teaching the element and technique for the week. The final lesson is a project. With 64 lessons, parents have an entire year of art for the kids to work on!

Lesson 1
Introduces the element, art vocabulary, and has a creative exercise.

Lesson 2
Introduces a famous painting and artist. It encourages art appreciation. It also has a short history lesson to go along with the time period of the painting and artist.

Lesson 3 
Introduces the art technique. It explains the technique and shows how to accomplish it. It even gives ideas for the children to try!

Lesson 4
The Final Project. Here is where the children get to put into practice all that they have learned.

In Elementary 4-5 Book 1, the children are taught about space, line, shape, texture, value, form, contrast, and so much more. The lessons in the book teach a specific technique or element. At the end of the unit, the children create their own finished pieces of artwork that uses the elements and techniques taught in the previous lessons. 

Each lesson builds on the previous lesson. This allows the children to learn the art techniques in an easy way. The techniques are taught in a simple way making them easy for children to understand. At the end of each unit, the children create their own masterpieces. As they progress through the book, they are able to see how their artistic abilities have improved over the course of the program.
One of the best parts of the program is that the kids get to pick their own subject matter. The book doesn't dictate what they have to draw. It is left up to the children to pick their topics. What better way to encourage creativity!

In each lesson, children are exposed to art in nature and art done by famous American artists. I love how the program introduces the children to a famous painting and artist.

The children are able to view the painting in the book. They are given a short biography of the artists. If you wanted to dig deeper, you could check out books from your local library or just search the internet. Each painting is discussed as it pertains to the art technique or element that was taught. The book breaks it down so the students can see how the artist used that technique in his or her own painting. As an added bonus, the author of the book includes a brief section on what was going on at the time of the painting. A quick history lesson!

I like how the children are taught techniques that artist used and are encouraged to give them a try. I have to add this book did not focus on color. My children have a tendency to add color. They really dislike leaving their pictures in black and white. I will definitely have to look into the next levels so my kids can learn how to add color successfully.

I can't tell you enough how much I LOVED this program. The entire book is user friendly. It makes teaching art extremely easy even for non- artists. Older children could easily read the lessons themselves and work on their projects with little to no help from mom or dad. My children loved it! They have asked to do art everyday since starting this program. Right now, we are currently using the program 2-4 times a week. If we have more free time or if it was raining out, the kids have asked to do more in the book.

So if you, like so many other parents, dread teaching art or have no idea where to begin I would highly recommend the books from ARTistic Pursuits. You will find them very easy to follow and you will be absolutely amazed at your children's artistic abilities.

What to learn more about ARTistic Pursuits head on over and check out their Facebook Page.

Till next time,

ARTistic Pursuits Review

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Traveling Thursdays~ Second Time Around Art Field Trip

We were lucky enough to attend a field trip recently to a local museum for an art tour and fun class about recycling items to make art.

The exhibit was called Second Time Around. It featured art made from hubcaps! When I first heard about the exhibit, I was not that impressed. I definitely lacked imagination about what could be done with an old car hubcap.

Boy, was I wrong!
I had no idea you could create so many beautiful pieces of art work with hubcaps.

Don't believe me?

Have a look for yourself!

A variety of painted scenes.

A space ship, but I see a turtle.

This one looks like it was inspired by Georgia O'Keeffe.

A beautiful sketching.

A color wheel that actual spins!

After the tour of these creative pieces of artwork, the kids got to try their hand at making their own hubcap art.
With simple tin pie plates and various media, they got to work.



A Flower Garden

A Bubbling Creek

Till next time, 

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Spring Has Finally Arrived!!

Till next time,

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