Friday, March 15, 2019

Art of the Ancients REVIEW

Both my kids just love art so we were excited when we had another chance to review a homeschool art product from ARTistic Pursuits Inc.  I received a physical copy of Art of the Ancients, K-3 Vol. 2 from the K-3rd Grade Level, Volumes 1-8 series.  Each book in the series covers one semester and they span 4 years of curriculum for K-3rd grades.  It is suggested to complete 1 lesson per week.  Included with the book are both DVD and Blu-ray video instructions for 6 of the 18 art lessons.  The other 12 art lessons are text lessons with step by step instructions in the book. The book has a very nice hardcover with semi-glossy heavy duty pages (64 pages).

Both DVD and Blu-ray included

For some reason, the DVD disc did not autoplay in my laptop DVD drive, but I was able to play it just fine after opening up my media player and watching it from there.  It played on our DVD player just fine.  I really like that both formats are included.  They only contain the 6 video lessons and the other 12 lessons are in the book.  I also love that a master materials list is included at the beginning of the book.  We found this so helpful when we reviewed Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary, K-3 Vol. 1. It definitely helps to prepare for the lessons ahead of time.  If you already have the materials from Vol 1 then you are ahead of the game.  The materials are easy to obtain and you will find that you have most of them already in your homeschool stash.  All other items can be easily found online or at a local art and craft store.  Each individual lesson has a list of materials (from the master list) needed for that specific project.

Materials list for all 18 lessons

Quick Guide for time periods covered in history

The lessons are set up to only take about 10 minutes of your time in teaching.  We spend a little more time talking about the lesson but the point is that it takes very little of your time.  The rest is up to the kids!  The book is well organized and has ancient history woven throughout the pages.  Some topics covered include:
  • European Cave Drawings
  • Near-Eastern Clay Works
  • Minoan Fresco Painting
  • Egyptian Murals
  • Egyptian Wall Painting
  • Near Eastern Relief
  • Greek Pillars
  • Greek Poetry
  • Etruscan Wall Painting
  • Roman Carvings
  • Roman Portrait Paintings
  • Roman Mosaics
  • Roman Early Christian Painting

Projects in Art of the Ancients, K-3 Vol. 2 include pastels, clay, and paper mosaics.  The instructions are easy to follow and the woven in history lesson in just wonderful.  The pages have nice colorful pictures that help to captivate my Kindergartner (did I say she just loves art?).  Teaching art couldn't be any easier and with the extra history lesson, you get a bonus!

Colorful pages, step by step instructions

Little Bug has her own style and can actually draw pretty good for her age, but following instructions and trying to copy a picture prove to be a little challenging for her, but she had fun!  We didn't try any of the clay lessons so that will be our next challenge (oh my!).

Having fun albeit messy with chalk pastels!

Finished product

Don't be intimidated and think you can't teach art.  With ARTistic Pursuits, you can!  We really enjoyed Art of the Ancients, K-3 Vol. 2 and can't wait to try out some of the clay projects.  We also look forward to trying out some other books in the series.  You can connect with ARTistic Pursuits Inc. on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, and INSTAGRAM.

Won't win any art contests but we had fun!

My fellow Homeschool Review Crew members all reviewed different books in the K-3rd Grade Level, Volumes 1-8 series so be sure to click the link below to see what they have to say about other books in this series. We reviewed Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary, K-3 Vol. 1 last year so check that review out also.

Kindergarten to Third Grade Art following History in Chronological Order {ARTistic Pursuits Inc. Reviews}

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Thursday, March 14, 2019

It's Chick Time Again

It's that time again!  Chick days!  All you chicken lovers out there have no doubt either placed your orders for chicks, already have them or are anxiously awaiting for your hens to go broody.  I am hoping I have at least one broody hen this spring but I am still waiting.  Mine tend to brood about April/May.

I did give 25 hatching eggs to a friend who lost her flock to predators and she has started incubating them.  Can't wait to see what hatches!  I will, of course, follow up with a blog post when the time comes. Chicken eggs incubate for 21 days to hatch.  Stay tuned for updates!

Friday, March 8, 2019

Homeschool Complete REVIEW

Homeschool Complete provides all-inclusive homeschool complete curriculum and we were excited to try out their First Grade Complete curriculum.  I received a digital download of both the Teacher Manual and the Student Workbook.  The PDF file downloads were quick and easy but the books are large!  The Teacher Manual is 600 pages and the Student Workbook contains 300 pages.  Both have color in them so if you can print that much in color they are nice.  I printed the cover pages in color and plan to print most, if not all, of the pages in black and white.  I printed a week at a time just to keep it simple.

Working hard on our writing skills

Little Bug is still in Kindergarten and I had hoped to get that level but getting the First Grade Complete level was not so bad considering it is only the Semester 1 book and she is in her second semester of kindergarten and doing quite well.  We have a kindergartner reader which is a HUGE difference from my son who wasn't reading until the middle of second grade.  I have become aware that we need help with our writing as we have worked on the lessons.  Once downloaded the files are viewable and printable from the free Adobe Reader program.

She just loves math!

The Teacher Manual is very detailed and pretty much walks you through your lessons.  It includes copies of the worksheets that are in the Student Manual and includes an appendix of additional resources to use in the lessons.  I really like that it included the three pledges (The Pledge of Allegiance, The Pledge to the Christian Flag, and The Pledge to the Bible) and a list of materials needed for the different lessons.  The lessons are broken into units that include Family, Seasons, Graphing, Animals, Geometry, Safety, Measurement, American Government, My Body, Pilgrims, Manners, The Life of Jesus, Money, Benjamin Franklin, Transportation, Hibernation, U.S. Symbols, and Water.

When they say "all-inclusive" and "complete," they mean it!  The Teacher Manual is just packed with information, resources, and guidelines.  You can see from the Table of Contents what is provided and as you read through the introduction you will find the following also covered:
  • School Year Overview
  • Subject Area Content and Skills List
  • Daily Lesson Plans
  • Organization and Planning
  • Teaching Procedure
  • Calendar Skills
  • Handwriting Guidelines

Suggested school year schedule

Extensive skills list divided by subject area
It walks you through your daily lesson plans

This is really nice if you are new to teaching, it gives you sample scripts

For each unit there is a suggested list of books to read.  Each day's lesson includes a list of skills learned, materials needed, and a calendar exercise.  The rest of the lesson includes the following or a mixture depending on that day's lesson plan (not all subjects are covered every day):
  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies
  • Math
  • Bible
  • Art
  • Physical Education
The time it takes to complete a lesson depends on the day and the skills covered.  For Little Bug, it could often take an hour or so if the lesson went well.  Remember, she is in Kindergarten and even though she is reading, I read the books as read-alouds (especially since this is a first-grade curriculum).  There are 18 Units that include 72 lessons so you would need to work through a lesson a day to get through the lessons in a semester.  Since she has her other work to do and this is currently a review our plan was to work on it 3 days per week.

I like that this is literature-based and that it is so organized and easy to use.  I also appreciated that it is geared toward a Christian worldview which is important in our household.  It might not be a good fit if you have a child at different levels in different subjects, but it also works great as a supplement if that were the case.  Little Bug found it fun and engaging (who doesn't like play-doh!) so it is a pretty good fit for her (although sometimes above the level she is at).  The curriculum as written is good at covering all subjects in a variety of ways that allows different learning styles to easily gain knowledge through the lessons.  There are plenty of hands-on activities and manipulatives.

Plenty of hands-on activities

We plan to continue working on this and it is a possibility that we will use this for our curriculum next school year.  We give First Grade Complete a thumbs up and recommend that you visit their website and check out their other complete grade curriculums (grades K-4), unit studies (grades K-6), and resources.  You can even download sample lessons.

You can connect with Homeschool Complete on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, PINTEREST, and YOUTUBE.  Be sure to also check out my fellow crew member reviews, especially since everyone reviewed different resources.

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