Friday, March 15, 2019

Congo, Chemical Reactions, Soup Challenge and Zoo Interview

Caty and Brayden have been wanting to cook more and more.  Joey is also slowly joining in and wanting to make food also.  He volunteers once a week at least.  Caty asked to make her favorite meal from Panda Express, Teriyaki Chicken and Chow Mein noodles.  The only one who didn't like the chicken was Brayden.  Joey didn't like the carrots, but I reminded him that he could pick them out.

I made and froze some keto peppers for Joe.

Enjoying Caty's dinner and watching From Acts to Revelation from Drive Thru History.

Working on our Bible reading.  I love this feature of our Apple TV.  I can project my screens on the TV so the kids can all see it around the room.  I LOVE THIS!!  We use it daily.

This week we spent time learning about the Congo region of Africa.  We watched the Geography Now series on why the Congo is actually two separate countries.  I made Chicken Moambe Stew for lunch.  Brayden is the only one who did not care for it.

The girls last basketball practice of this season.  We have two more mini-games next week they will be playing in.

While they were practicing, I hid in the gym for 30 minutes.  I took a phone call and did some casual work on the elliptical.  3 miles done in no time.  I need to find time to train more.

In Science this week, they worked on how chemicals react to heat/flame.  They used our gas stove instead of a bunsen burner.  It was very cool to see the various colors change depending on the chemical.

I let Brayden start this for American Government.  I really like this book.  It does a great job explaining things to him, and it includes comprehension questions.  It's actually quite perfect for him.  I have the Abeka American Government curriculum, but he was struggling so bad.  This works out.

Caty had to look in our cabinet/freezer and make a soup for dinner.  So she made a tortellini soup with turkey sausage.  It was a hit.

Lydia was found to have some folate acid deficiencies in a gene test we had done.  So we went to have an iris scan done to check for her vitamin deficiencies and what supplements would be best for her.  We left a bit overwhelmed...and loaded up.  Here's hoping that this helps...

In History this week, we started our study of World War 1.  We are using the World War 1 study from Classroom Complete Press.  I used this book the last time we studied World War 1 with the boys.  I think it does a great job of explaining several areas of the war.  But I also supplement with other materials, including the Simple History series that I found on Youtube.

The Month of March is Developmental Disabilities month.  In our county, a few years ago the Henry County Board of DD started a Soup Challenge.  Various services from the county take turns to have a soup making competition.  We helped out Special Olympics this year.  We made 200 mini-corn muffins.  And 200 - 1/2 cup servings of Cincinnati Chili.  It was the first time I have ever done something like that.  It was fun that night.

My van is going to smell like soup for a year!

Friday I spent trying to recover from the spices int he chili.  I'm actually allergic to cinnamon/clove and guess what is a massive ingredient in cincinnati chili is??!?!  Making it in small batches for our family is one thing, but on such a massive scale....yeah.  It took two days for my histamine levels to balance out.  If we are asked to help next year, I am going to suggest my Great-grandma's chicken rival soup or something much safer to make.

We had a last minute change in our schedule this week....Lydia had her interview for Zooteens at Toledo Zoo.  Now we wait to hear from them.

It was another busy week....hoping for a little downtime next week, but it's not looking good.  I need to get a spring break in our schedule, but need to figure that out.

Hope you all had a great week!!  See you next week!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

ARTistic Pursuit Inc. - Art of the Modern Age Curriculum Review

We recently had the opportunity to review the Art of the Modern Age from the K-3rd Grade Level - Volumes 1 - 8 series from ARTtistic Pursuits Inc.  ARTistic Pursuits Inc. has taken the work out of teaching art! 

Art of the Modern Age (Volume 7) is written for Grades K-3.  It is part of the elementary art series.  In Art of the Modern Age, students are introduced to the medium of acrylic paints.  The 18 lessons invite student's to learn more about modern artists such as Van Gogh, Picasso, Kandinsky and Georgia O'Keefe.  Mixed throughout the lessons are six different video instructions (on two DVDs included in the book) that give extra visual display to students.

The amount of time that each lesson takes really depends on your artist in training.  The first video lesson in Art of the Modern Age introduced the kids to mixing colors.  There are no expensive art supplies needed for this curriculum.  Thicker watercolor/acrylic paper is recommended, good set of art paint brushes and inexpensive acrylic paints.  I find those on clearance or stock up when they are on sale.  They use thick paper plates or we used cardboard cereal box panels as their paint mixing palates.

The video was roughly 15 minutes long, and set the stage for the girls first project.

Since Art of the Modern Age is Volume 7 in the series, drawing/sketching skills were something that your would want your student to already have a basic understanding of prior to starting.  There are several projects that center around basic drawing/sketching skills.  In the project below, the girls were supposed to find something in the kitchen to sketch and paint.

They learned about Paul Cezanne and his work with still life painting.  So they gathered fruit and got started on another project.

Georges-Pierre Seurat

Each lesson includes information about the artist and some examples of their artwork.  The pages are easy to understand and meant to not be overwhelming to younger students.   You can see below how simple, yet informative the beginning lesson pages are on Van Gogh.  There is not a video for every lesson.  The video emphasize skills your student will be learning as they work their way through the book.  Van Gogh was still in the area of mixing paint for various colors, and also brush strokes.  You could easily re-watch the video if your student does need reminders about those skills.

The project for each lesson is easily explained and examples are given for the student to see and give them ideas on what they could potentially create.  Caty opted to really try to re-create Starry Night.  First she sketched an outline....

Then started adding her color in short strokes. 

Almost finished, but we had another discussion about the stroke style of Van Gogh.

And she added more detail, while the paint was still wet (just like Van Gogh), giving the painting more of a flowing feeling.

Like I mentioned earlier, the instructions and learning materials easily work with those who love art and even with those who are not fans of art.  If you have a student who has short attention span, the lesson may take 10-15 minutes to teach.  The amount of time to complete the assignment for each lesson really does vary depending on your student's creativity level.  Caty loves art, but some days her attention is better than others.  She would sometimes come back and split a project over two sessions.  Both girls really enjoyed all the projects that we have completed, and we look forward to the others as we keep working our way through Art of the Modern Age each week.

We have had the privilege to review other levels of the K-3rd grade level series from ARTistic Pursuits, and I absolutely love all of that we have tried.  Minus gathering supplies, most of the work is done for your to make planning easier.  If you really do not want to shop for supplies, you can even purchase supply kits directly from ARTistic Pursuits when you purchase your curriculum levels. 

Art of the Middle Ages

ARTistic Pursuits definitely has taken the strain out of teaching art for the non-creative parent/teacher.  With everything laid out and so easy to use, I cannot recommend this budget-friendly program enough.  Lydia will soon be starting the middle school level composition program to help fine-tune her drawing. 

The Schoolhouse Review Crew were given the opportunity to review several of the levels in the K-3rd Grade level series.  Click on the link below to read more about the different levels and how families used these products with their children.

Kindergarten to Third Grade Art following History in Chronological Order {ARTistic Pursuits Inc. Reviews}
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Friday, March 8, 2019

Homeschool Complete Unit Studies Review - Studying Asia and Baseball

We recently had the opportunity to review two Unit Studies from Homeschool Complete.  Caty reviewed Asia (Grades 3-4), and Lydia reviewed Baseball (Grades 4-6).

Asia, the Complete Unit Study takes you and your student to the continent of Asia.  You explore the various countries of this region.  We read about China, Japan, Russia, India, and many other countries.  We watched videos about their geographic features, animals and cultural traditions.  

But the really great thing about using Asia, the Complete Unit Study, was that all the planning was done for me.  I simply collected books from the library or searched for videos on the topics we would be covering that day.  I also printed the worksheets.  Asia, the Complete Unit Study, includes math, language arts/writing skills, history, art, and geography to give your student a full daily learning experience.  

Many of the activities in the Asia unit study are hands on.  Some examples including using note cards to make a map of the continents.  Caty wrote all the continent names on cards and then spent the week practicing laying them where they would be located on a flat map.

One art project was learning about Chinese paper art and lanterns.

Daily math lessons are included.  This day Caty needed to make change.

Some of the books she read during the week.  She absolutely loved all the books.

I don't have a picture, but she also made a egg recipe from this book.  The typical way that the Japanese serve eggs in the morning.  Caty wasn't a fan of the sweet scramble eggs.

Lydia studied the Baseball, the Complete Unit Study.  She loves to play softball every summer, so I thought this study would expand her understanding.  She really enjoyed studying the history of baseball and its historic players.  Her math included figuring percentages and working on statistics.  One of her language arts activities included Spelling Baseball.

This was another activity which was a great hands-on learning.  She had to identify which form of there, their, or they're to complete the sentence.

We learned about many historical baseball figures and baseball skills using the Baseball Complete Unit Study.  

Each day's lesson plan is completely laid out.  I could read the script or go off the script as needed with the girls.  Depending on the reading or videos we decided to watch that day would adjust the time we were working on school.  Some days lessons could last a couple hours, others were done pretty quickly and gave them extra exploration time. 

We received the PDF digital download files for our review.  They were very easily downloaded and printable from Adobe.   

Book lists and suggestions are included.  I was able to find many of them, some though I couldn't get through out system.  I did find a few on Youtube that were videos of the books being read aloud.  

Homeschool Complete has done a great job creating an all-inclusive homeschool curriculum and unit studies.  With the girls learning disabilities, sometimes it's hard to find material that will work out or adjust to their needs.  I had to make very little adjustments for each of the girls in their studies.  The grade level suggestions for both the Unit Studies we have completed were spot on in my opinion.  I can't wait to do a few more of these Unit Studies in the future and give a little change to our homeschool learning style.

Click on the link below to read what other products the Homeschool Review Crew reviewed from Homeschool Complete.  

Homeschool Complete K - 4th Grade & Unit Studies {Homeschool Complete Reviews}
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