Sunday, 24 July 2016

Bugs and Camping

Camping season continues and we just got back from a homeschool camp that was full of learning activities (paper making, stomp planes, metal mobile making, bathbombs, weaving, knitting, wild walks etc) but the activity that appealed most to my girls was of their own creation - bug hunting.

They spent days with their group catching moths, butterflies, grasshoppers, beetles and even tadpoles (I know they aren't a bug but they still were super excited to catch them). Their favourite was a grasshopper who only had one of his big legs (called sir hop a lot) who they observed for hours before releasing him - we even had to look up grasshopper diets so they could feed him before his release. I love when they teach themselves :)

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

You gotta smile when....

.... discussing how some children's elbows work differently when they hold their arm straight, Lilly says 'it's because of evolution' and my reply 'how ?' results in me being told 'their environment is altering them cause they have to put their hands up so much at school, you know to ask to go to the toilet and stuff'

Her reasoning is sound apparently because all the kids she knows who go to school have weird elbows (I fall into that category too because I went to school) but her homeschool friends don't.

Monday, 11 July 2016

ArtAchieve - TOS Review

Art is not my strength but the girls love it. I've always struggled to come up with any lesson plans so I was very happy (and so were the girls) when the chance came up to review Entire Level ll  from ArtAchieve.
ArtAchieve is a complete homeschool art curriculum providing drawing lessons for kids (and adults), it was created by John Hofland (a veteran homeschooler) who firmly believes that anyone can learn to draw, that drawing is essential skill and that like math, that skill can be taught. Puling on his combined experiences of teaching in school, homeschooling and studying with the masters he has created a hassle free on line curriculum that does the teaching for you.

We received a years access to the Entire Level ll for review. Its so simple to use - you literally create an account and the lessons are all on line and available once you have logged in.

There are 14 lessons in level 2. You can opt to print a pdf of the lesson or watch a video (approx 25 mins) outlining it step by step. Each lesson starts with some tips on how to relax and prepare yourself mentally and physically for art - my favourite tip was when he said to paint/draw without talking to improve concentration and to see the girls take this on board while I sat enjoying the silence while they worked (Sunflower even told her sisters "please be quiet, I need to concentrate"). Next comes a  'warm up' which is a grid with some of the squares containing elements from the picture for you to copy, then it moves on to discussing different aspects of art like types of lines, motifs etc before showing you how to draw. Lessons also include elements of geography, history or literature which are a great addition (I love sneaking in extra lessons) and he even has a play list of inspirational music to help you.

The lessons are professional, engaging and memorable (I've spotted Rose using one of his relaxation techniques when her sisters were annoying her) - they are so easy to use and I was really impressed with how someone with no historical art skills (me) could even produce an amazing piece of art and enjoy doing it.

This really has been so simple to incorporate into our schedule, the girls have loved this and it has fast become a firm favourite in our house. Lilly has spent hours working on minute detail within her pictures and has adopted a couple of his techniques in her various doodles. Sunflower said that this was the best lesson of the week while Rose has requested to do more. Tulip summed it all up nicely when she said 'I never knew that art was so much fun - can you get me some more paints'

I loved the confidence it gave me to include art in our weekly schedule and I loved the impact it had on the girls. I was also impressed by how varied their work was even though they were working from the same instructions.

ArtAchieve Entire Level ll is available for $53 and there are various different options to buy (including single lessons).

You can see what my crew mates thought over at the TOS Blog


Sunday, 10 July 2016

Tis that time of year....

.... when we go on the home ed camps, our first this year was the craft group camp where we worked on some Viking weaving.

These are the instructions for Viking Cord Weaving 

The girls loved it and were to be found weaving all weekend - except when they made some time to practice their photography

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Spray can art

We went to a fab workshop where the girls learnt to use aerosol's to make pictures.

They started by lightly spaying black over their paper, then white over the black and used crumpled paper to texture it, next they masked off a circle (lid/plate etc) and sprayed over in black paint.

To finish they sprayed their fingers and splattered white paint to make the stars.

A few kids took it a step further and created backdrops and landscapes to go with their moon.

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