Saturday, March 31, 2018

Cascarone Egg Hunt

Cascarone (Confetti) Filled Eggs

Disclaimer: The first three pictures are stock photos taken from google.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Carole P. Roman ~ A Review

Over the past couple of years the author Carole P. Roman has become a familiar name in our home. Her ever growing collection of books have become a favorite in our home. I recently had the opportunity to review, If You Were Me And Lived In... Australia: A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around the World, If You Were Me And Lived In... Hungary: A Child's Introduction to Culture Around the World, and If You Were Me And Lived in... France: A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around the World. This particular series of books is one of my favorite Carole P. Roman series. The age range targeted for this series is 4-9 years of age.

If You Were Me And Lived In... Australia: A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around the World

Did you know that Australia comes from Latin and means "south." The Great Barrier Reef is in Australia and is the largest reef in the world! A favorite game in Australia is cricket. No, it has nothing to do with the insect, lol. January 26th is a very significant day in Australia. Do you know why those that live in Australia are referred to as living "down under"? Well, it is because of its location on the globe. These and so many other fun facts will be learned about in this fun book all about Australia. 

If You Were Me And Lived In... France: A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around the World

Did you know that Paris was the first city in Europe to use gas lamps? The most popular sport is soccer but it is referred to as football in France. The 14th of July is known as Bastille Day and commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution. Do you like école

If You Were Me And Lived In...Hungary: A Child's Introduction to Culture Around the World

Did you know that the capital of Hungary is Budapest. Hungary is landlocked. That means that it is surrounded on all borders by other countries and no ocean. Your Nagyi (grandmother) might cook you goulash which is a thick stew of meat and veggies. Did you know that the Rubik Cube was invented in Hungary in 1974 by Professor Erno Rubik. 

Each of the books in this series has a Pronunciation guide at the end of each book so that readers can get help pronouncing some of the hard words that may be unfamiliar to them. Throughout the book when these unfamiliar words come up the words are followed by the words written out phonetically in parentheses. 

These books are perfect for giving young children an introduction of countries and cultures around the world. The length of the books are long enough to capture a good overview of the country being explored without being so long that a child looses interest. There are pictures on every odd page with some pages where the pictures cover both pages. While you read the child can be looking at the pictures. If the child is able to read the books for themselves they will enjoy how well the pictures go along with the text. 

I have had the privilege of reviewing many of Carole's other books in her other series.  Here are my other posts. 

My older kiddos absolutely love this history based series, If You Were Me And Lived In..., that is targeted for older students 8-15 years of age. 

Do you have a little pirate lover in your life. Arr, Matey! You may want to check you these books featuring Captain No Beard

Check out all of Carole's books. She has these and so many more. 

To read more reviews click here.

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Behold The Beauty

Behold the Beauty ~ Art Curriculum for Elementary Christian Education, Volume 3: Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6 is a Christian based art curriculum. This is a physical spiral bound workbook. The workbook is divided into three sections, one for each grade level. Each grade level contains twelve lessons. The cost of the workbook is $32.47.

This would be ideal for the homeschool setting but could also be used in the classroom setting as well. As referenced above this particular workbook is for grades 4-6. Art concepts taught in the curriculum focus on specific elements of art and principles of design. The elements of art are essentially the building blocks of composition which include: line, shape, texture, color, form, and value. Principles of design include: unity, focal point, variety, contrast, balance, movement, rhythm, pattern, proportion, and perspective.

Grade 4 focuses heavily on informal balance and using warm and cool colors. Past concepts that are reinforced in this level are pattern, symmetry, focal point, and perspective. Students are also given an introduction to Art History and then the last lesson culminates with a project where the objective is for the student “to see and demonstrate that art is a means of visual expression, while reviewing the principles of balance and focal point.”

Grade 5 focuses and encourages the student to practice contour drawing with animal and hand study. Students are also introduced to positive and negative space, one-point perspective, more in-depth insight into the color wheel, and Impressionism. The final lesson has the student “using the principles of balance and focal point while experimenting with oil pastel and considering how God uses creation to teach us many truths.”

Grade 6 focuses heavily on the principle of movement. Two-point perspective is introduced as well as analogous colors and the printing process. In the final lesson students will “experiment with watercolor while reviewing the principles of design.”

At the beginning of each grade level you will find a Master Supply List. Lesson numbers in which the supplies will be used are in parentheses. For example, the Master Supply List for fifth grade is broken down into the following categories:
  • Adhesives
  • Drawing and Coloring Utensils
  •  Miscellaneous
  •  Paint Supplies
  •  Paper
  •  Tools
  • Worksheets
  • Pictures/Objects for Demonstration or Reference
  • Painting References

Students are also provided with a Master Vocabulary List of important art terms with corresponding lesson in parentheses.

Each lesson has a beautiful, colorful, landscape photograph along with a framed example of the finished piece of the artwork that the student will be completing in the lesson. For example, Part 1: Lesson 12, Art Talks! looks at seventeenth-century Dutch floral paintings.

Lessons are then broken down into the following sections.

The objective in the lesson is the “demonstrate that art is a means of visual expression, while reviewing the principles of balance and focal point.”

They have students reference several seventeenth-century Dutch floral paintings. One of the painting students are asked to look at is As the Old Ones Sing, the Little Ones Twitter (1663-65) by Jan Steen. A list of various other art supplies is also given. A time tip is also given which states, “Draw and color flower picture in one session. Write out Bible text and mount picture and text in another session.”

Vocabulary and definitions for the words are given in this section.

This introduces the lesson and artistic objective that will be covered in the lessons. Biblical viewpoints are also brought into the discussion and scripture is given.

Step-by-step directions for competing the art project are given. Scripture is intertwined throughout the lesson. At the end of the lesson variations of the artwork are given such as using colored pencils instead of crayons or searching Scripture to find other text that references and illustrates similar creation perspective.

Scripture Reference
“For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: but the word of the Lord endureth forever.” I Peter 1:24-25

I used this workbook with my 4th and 6th grade daughters. They both thoroughly enjoyed the lessons. My 4th grader was hooked when in Lesson One she got to observe “Patterns and Textures on Sea Shells.” My daughter raided her brothers shell collection and found several favorite shells that she wanted to work with. After careful deliberation, she finally decided which shell she would choose to use. For the lesson, the student would use a cropping tool that they would create to observe the pattern and texture of the shell. The student is asked to look for orderly repetition (repeating lines, dots, stripes, shapes, textures). They are then asked to recreate the small magnified section of the shell as their artwork using oil pastels. The supply list did not call for this but I got out a magnifying glass so that my daughter could see the fine detail of the shell. As she worked on the artwork we had a great discussion about how awesome God’s creation was and how He took time to add so much detail to all of His creation. As my 4th grader was working on this lesson my 6th grader walked into the room and begged to get in on the lesson too. Of course, I wasn’t going to say no to her so she joined in and picked a shell and in the end, we had two beautiful works of art.

The scripture that went with this lesson was, Exodus 28:2 which says, “God even commanded a decorative pattern to be put on Aaron’s priestly robe as part of Old Testament worship: ‘And they made upon the hems of the robe pomegranates of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and twined linen. And they made bells of pure gold, and put the bells between the pomegranates; a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate, round about the hem of the robe to minister in; as the LORD commanded Moses’.”

My 4th grader said, “I really am not that good at art but I was really excited about how well I did with the lessons. Some were easier than others. I learned about symmetry, patterns, warm and cool colors, and so much more. My favorite lesson was the shell lesson. The hardest lesson was the flower cameos lesson. Drawing the fox with warm and cool colors was a fun lesson. The warm and cool color lesson where I folded the paper and then unfolded it was really neat. It was two pictures but with only one piece of paper.”

My 6th grader enjoyed working through all of the sections of this workbook. She was not deterred that two of the sections were below her grade level. In Lesson One of Grade 6: Two-Point Perspective she not only learned how to draw a three-dimensional square box but she then learned how to make the box look like it was taking up more space by using different values through various shading.

My 6th grader said, “The lesson projects are unique. The projects are time consuming but always turn out well. My favorite art project was the shell project because I like nature and the shell designs are so fascinating and intricate. It is amazing how God creating each and every shell so unique. Oh, I also really loved the Animal Study in Grade 5, Lesson 8. I really love animals and so this was definitely a favorite of mine too. I love the scripture reference that went along with this lesson, Job 12:7-9. The concepts that I learned in the lessons I have been able to use in other art projects. I enjoyed all of the lessons. There were not any that I didn’t like doing. I liked how scripture was brought into the lessons.”

I was really impressed with this curriculum. The curriculum is not intimidating for the student or parent with little to no knowledge of art. Lessons are fairly short and can be completed in one or two sessions depending on your student’s attentions span. I would definitely recommend this curriculum to others looking for an art curriculum that does not require the teacher or parent to prepare or plan ahead for the lesson. Instructions are straight forward and easy to follow. There really isn’t any about the curriculum that I dislike or feel needs improvement.

I originally reviewed this product for The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March, 2018.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Zirrly ~ A Review

Super Beads from Zirrly  are unique beads that fuze together when sprayed with water. My kiddos have had so much fun creating jungle animals with the Super Beads Jungle Animals set. Super Beads are non-toxic and are fun for all ages. 

We had so much fun making the fun animals included in the Jungle Animals Set:
  • Lion
  • Rhino
  • Elephant
  • Zebra
  • Owl
  • Monkey
  • Design Templates
  • Super Beads
  • Super Beads Work Tray 
  • 1 Spray Bottle
  • 6 Boards
  • 1 Design Tool
I am sure many remember the traditional fuse beads that you had to use an iron in order to fuse the beads together. With Super Beads kiddos can do it all by themselves from beginning to end!! 

Let the FUN begin!

Unlike normal fuze beads, Super Beads are softer. 

You are never to old to enjoy! Getting in on the action are my kiddos ages 9, 11, and 15. 

Do you hear me ROAR! 
The lion takes to puzzle boards to create. The boards simply lock together 
like a puzzle. Go figure that a mighty lion would need two boards. 

"I really like making these."

My kiddos LOVED this jungle animal set! 

"Isn't this zebra is cutest thing ever?"

After spraying you are supposed to let your creation dry for 60 minutes. 

Spray, but be sure to not overspray your creation. Don't drown it, lol. Make sure to 
stray evenly over the entire surface. 

Hoot! Hoot! HOOT!

Oops, for some reason there were not enough green beads in the kit to complete this cute
little Rhino, sniff, sniff. 

Isn't this elephant so cute! 

A true MONKEY in the making. HAHA!   

I have been sprayed. Now just waiting to dry. 

The beads are a little bit messy. The beads tend to rub off their color onto your hands. 
It isn't a big deal as it wipes of easily and doesn't stain the hands. All of my kiddos are 
older so they didn't get it on their clothes. I am not sure it if would have stained their clothing or not. 

All of the animals come with Super Beads stands so that the animals can stand up. 

Once your creation has dried and you remove it from the tray it is suggested that you spray the backside of the finished work to reinforce it. If it breaks simply spray it back together. If a design is bigger and requires more than one tray, the trays can be puzzled together. The pattern cards easily lock into place underneath the puzzle trays. 

I would definitely recommend Super Beads to others. They are a great improvement over the traditional fuze beads that we all grew up with. Super Beads would be great for camps, VBS, parties, daycare, school, home, or anytime. 

Be sure to check out there other Super Beads sets. Here are a few of there other sets.

To read more reviews click here.

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Confetti Eggs