Home Education~Ministry Moments~Hearth and Home

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Survey says....Top 6 Book Picks from our Homeschool

     Every year I like to look back over the books my boys have read to themselves or that I have read to them.  I then give them a chance to pick their favorites.  So, out of the 31(assigned) books from this school year, here are their favs (in no particular order):
The Samurai's Tale
Phantom Tollbooth
Shakespeare Stealer
(My youngest just found the sequel to this at a used booksale!)
The Ghost in Tokaido Inn
The Westing Game
(The only mystery to ever win a Newberry)
The Sherwood Ring


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sunday School with my 4's and 5's~~~Father's Day/The Ten Commandments

This past Sunday we learned about Moses and the Ten Commandments.  We learned that God loves us...and that is why he gave us rules to live by.  He knows we need help in knowing how to live.  One of the Ten Commandments we talked about especially was to "Honor you father and mother...".

"10" is the number in the Block Center to help us remember there are 10 Commandments!

10 Duplo blocks, 10 Lego bricks and 10 wooden blocks

What can you build with 10 blocks?  Very creative!

The boys and girls really enjoyed making these gifts for dads!

Art Center: Tags for dads and grandpas!

Puzzle Center: Bible Verse puzzle and Moses w/ the Ten Commandments puzzle

Why did God give us the Ten Commandments??  Because He loves us!!

"God loves us."  Psalm 107:1

Saturday, June 15, 2013

TOS Review: Memoria Press~~~Geography I


     Our homeschool recently had the opportunity to review the Geography I curriculum by Memoria Press.  Geography I covers the regions of the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.  There are 3 books that come with Geography I: Student Text, Student Workbook and Teacher Guide.  Our homeschool also received the recommended supplemental material to accompany the Geography I texts.  The additional books we received focused on the United States (states, capitals) and was a review from what is recommended to be taught the previous year.
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      My 6th grader is the one who is using the Geography materials.  He really likes them.  I think one of reasons he likes them so much is that they are so straightforward to use.  I basically just gave him the student texts and workbooks and told him to get started.  We have covered most of the geographical locations in the curriculum, so this was a wonderful review. 
     The basic idea is for your child to read a portion of the student text (Israel for example).  He or she would then go to the "Israel" page in the workbook and fill in the blanks and map.  Each section begins with an overview of all the countries in a particular area.  Then, you move on to study the countries in more detail.  One of my favorite aspects about the maps is the overlap.  Each time you study a country, you mark that country and all the surrounding countries on the map.  Therefore,  several countries are labeled again and again.  Good repetition.  At the end of the study of a particular region, there is a review map where the student labels and colors each country.  A review of countries and their capitals is also given.  (Turkey has been in the news a lot recently.  While watching the news the other day, Ankara was mentioned.  My son immediately said, "That's the capital of Turkey!") 
     The United States (States and Capitals Review) curriculum worked a bit differently. Included in this package is a Student Workbook and a Teacher Key, Quizzes and Tests book.   There is no text, since it assumes your child learned all of the information the previous year.  This review worked well for us, even thought we had not used the Memoria Press United States curriculum previously.  It worked perfectly as a review from our own homeschool studies on the United States.  Since there is no text, your child works straight out of the workbook.  What worked best for us was for my son to fill in as much as he knew, and then look at a map for the rest of the information.  The workbook has your child filling in blanks and working with maps.  My son enjoyed this very much.  (While at the dentist, an adult came and looked over his shoulder and asked, "Where did you get those great books?"  We told them, and then they went on to say that they just figured out recently that New Mexico was a state.  She said, "I think I need to get me a book like yours!")
Reading from the Student Text
The desk map comes in handy!

Grade Range:
This curriculum is for 4th grade and up. 

 Cost of Product: 
$48.00 for the total package pictured at the top of the page.  
Each item can also be purchased separately.

Similar Products:
States and Capitals
Geography II

You may want to check out Other Crew Reviews on Memoria Press!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Free June Issue~~~The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

Go HERE to read the June issue.
I just LOVE the article, "Collage--Turning Scraps into Art"...and I just realized that the author (Pat Kneply) of that article is the same artist that I just reviewed HERE.  I especially like the idea of a collage based on a book.  Good idea!  My wheels are turning! 
The Old Schoolhouse Magazine June 2013

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

TOS Review: Birdcage Press (Go Fish for Impressionist Artists)

     Do you find that it's many times difficult to fit in Art Education with all the other subjects and interests in your homeschool? What if you could make it a part of your family time?  Birdcage Press has made that easy with their Go Fish for Art Cards.  Our family received the Go Fish for Impressionist Artists cards to review.  We have enjoyed the game, and are learning about Impressionist art by "osmosis"!

What's Included:
     The 36 Go Fish cards come in a sturdy box.  The box holds the cards and has a pocket for the 28 page fact book that tells about each artist represented in the game. 
The Cards:
     There are 9 sets with 4 cards each.  8 of the sets are about a particular Impressionist artist.  One of the sets is just about Impressionist art itself.  Each card is numbered.  Each artist has all of one number.  For example, Berthe Morisot is number "4". (This numbering system really helps with recognizing and organizing one's cards.)  On each card there is a picture.  Beneath the picture is listed all works of art one must collect to complete a set.  The title at the top and in bold is that particular work of art.
Go Fish - Impressionist Artists photo birdcage-gofishforimpressionistartists_zpsacca0576.jpg

The Game:
     This game is for 2-3 players.  You do not need any prior knowledge about art to play.  You learn as you go.  How much you know or don't know about art does not determine the winner.  One plays by the basic rules of "Go Fish".  The goal is to collect as many sets of  particular artists as you can. (There are other options of how to use these cards.  We just played "Go Fish", but you could play a matching game with these cards, for example.)
Age Range:
 Go Fish Impressionist artists is recommended for ages 7+. 
Cost of Product/Similar Products:
The cost is $11.95 for the Impressionist Artists Go Fish Cards. 
Our "Impressions":
*There are difficult words to read and coordination is needed to find which part of art you are looking for, so some children may need assistance.  Because of this, I would say that ages 10+ could play this game independently.
*We wish that the book included pronunciations of all the artists' names and art titles.  I think we may have butchered some of them!
*Our 12 and 14 year-olds loved this game...as did mom and dad!  Definitely not just a kids' game!
*We tried this game with 2, 3 and 4 players.  4 players may not be ideal, but it worked for us!
*The cards were a bit larger than usual, and very sturdy.  This makes for nice playing and a long-lasting product, but shuffling was difficult.
*What a GREAT way to learn!  I love how they combined a simple game like "Go Fish" with Impressionist art...clever!
*Note: There is a nude picture of a woman on one of the cards.  (Edgar Degas, "Woman Bathing in a Shallow Tub")  We played one round without the Degas set, and it worked fine.  I then decided to give the woman a bathing suit via our handy "Sharpie"!
*On a funny note: The first time we played this, I had my eyes dilated.  Let me tell you...that made the game 10 times more fun for everyone!  Hilarious!! 
Go HERE  to read more from reviews Birdcage Press.  There's more than just "Go Fish"!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Pinned it/Did it! (Felt Monogrammed Pillow)

This was the picture I pinned from Pinterest.  It is from the blog, The Sweet Survival. I just loved the simplicity of it...and it even had my initial!
I found the letter "P" I liked from THIS WEBSITE.  I had to enlarge it.  I used very sharp, small scissors to cut it out.  The original "pin" said to sew the letter on by machine after gluing it with felt/fabric glue.  I didn't have any glue and I was afraid my machine sewing would not turn out great, so I opted to sew it by hand.  (Plus I was reading one of my Beverly Lewis Amish books, and was feeling in the mood for doing things the old-fahioned way!)  I was happy with how the hand-sewing turned out.
I was making the pillow for this wingback I had recovered.  I first made the pillow with just a white front and the green fabric on the back.  I didn't like it, so I ripped out the seams and added a ruffle to match the fabric on the back (and my curtains, etc. in the living room).  Much better.  I had not made a ruffle in ages, so this was a bit of trial and error. 

I made this monogrammed pillow for about a $1!  The original pinner said she made hers for $18, which beat the Etsy price of $79.  The only thing I had to purchase was the felt. WoooHooo!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

TOS Review: "See the Light"~~Dreams of Joseph Art Project

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     They say that a picture is worth a thousand words.  The story of "Joseph and His Coat of Many Colors" is one that is familiar to many children, but a story that came to life as my children painted a vibrant scene of Joseph wearing his coat of many colors along with the dream sequence.  See The Light and their product, Dreams of Joseph gave our homeschool a unique opportunity to see a familiar Bible story in a new way.  It also helped us to learn art history along with art elements and art principles.
     The Basics
     See the Light "Art Projects" comes in the form of a DVD.  My family received the "Dreams of Joseph" project.  There are 4 lessons on the DVD: 1) Outline Key Elements in Black  2) Paint the Background  3) Paint Joseph's Robe  4) Finish Your Painting with Joseph's Dream Details.  Each lesson was approximately 25 minutes.  (This was DVD time.  We paused the DVD often as suggested by the instructor.)  The lessons start-to-finish were about an hour. 
     "Dreams of Joseph" is for ages 10+.  I would not recommend this for younger than 10.  My 12 year-old and  nearly 15 year old thoroughly enjoyed it.  (In fact, I can't wait to paint the picture myself!  I had planned to do that when my children painted, but found out they needed lots of room, and I wanted to watch/supervise/encourage/get water, etc.)  
     Materials needed to complete the Dreams of Joseph project:
*A 12"x 16" piece of white or manilla bristol board or poster board
*Craft or tempera paint-white, yellow, red, orange, blue, green, violet, black, brown
*Several waxy coated white paper plates
*Several sizes of paintbrushes (from 1/2" flat to very small round)
*Newspapers or an old tablecloth to protect the table
*A bowl of water or a sink nearby
 A few notes from us:
I accidentally bought canvas, but it worked just fine. 
We used craft paint...only had to buy a few colors.
We found it very important to use quality brushes, especially for the smaller details.
You will also need a mom to run to the sink often to get clean water and more paper towels! (hehe!)
The Instructor
Master Artist, Pat Knepley
My kids really liked her.  They said she was like a "mom" and that they learned a lot from her. 
I liked her manner.  She was very thorough, yet easy-going. 
The Artist:
     The "Art Projects, Dreams of Joseph" teaches your child to paint in the style of the Russian artist, Marc Chagall.   Throughout the four lessons, pictures of his work are shown. Interesting facts about his life are also shared. The instructor, Pat Knepley, does a wonderful job incorporating his unique style into the "Dreams of Joseph" project. (For example, the use of bright colors.)  What better way to get to know an artist than to try to paint like him/her?  We had never heard of Marc Chagall before this project.  Now, we have a great appreciation for him and his work!
Our Favorite Aspects:
*My kids learned tons of technique. 
*You were expected to paint in the style of Marc Chagall and to keep in meaning with the Bible Story, but beyond that you could be creative.
*Pat Kneply opened her Bible during each lesson and read to the students. She related something from each lesson to scripture.

Lesson 1: Just the beginning!
 A screen shot
 Lesson 2
Lesson 3
 Lesson 4
The Final Product
In seeing my two sons' paintings side-by-side, one can see that each child can create their own unique masterpiece!
Cost of Product/Similar Products:
     Dreams of Joseph Art Project can be purchased for $14.99.  There are also lots of other "Art Projects" to choose from: Tiffany Window, Paper Jungle and Poppy Collage to name a few.  Go HERE to read more reviews of these and other products from "See the Light".  (A boxed set of 9 Art Project DVD's can be purchased for $99.99.)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Preschool Sunday School: Noah's Ark

Today we studied the story of Noah and the Ark.  What a fun story...but one that still touches us today and teaches us that God cares for us!
Art Center: Painting with water.  Yes, just water.  They loved it.  (The small water bowls are used applesauce containers.)

Reminded me of when I was a little girl.  My sister and I had the best time painting the deck with my dad's old brushes and a bucket of water.

Rainbows were a popular thing to paint, which related well with our story.
Puzzle Center: Animal Matching Game

Block Center: Building Noah's Ark

Waiting for parents to arrive: we looked at Noah's Ark story books and Ranger Rick/Big Backyard Magazines.
"God Cares for You" 1 Peter 5:7