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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

ARTistic Pursuits Sculpture Technique:Model Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2015 #hsreviews #hsmommas #homeschoolart

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ARTistic Pursuits Review

What happens when you have an Art Curriculum that your kids just cannot get enough of? You get more, that's what! My sons quickly fell in love with ARTistic Pursuits when we reviewed it the first time, and we have been blessed to be chosen to review it several times. This time though we continued in the land of 3-D art away from flat paper, drawing, painting and sketching and expanded sculpting with the Model book. We were given one of the brand new books Sculpture Technique: Model.
ARTistic Pursuits Review

    Let's start with the basic information, Sculpture Technique:Model is geared for students 11-18, my boys being 15 and 16 are smack dab in the middle of this age range and did fantastic with it. The book, is just like all of the ARTistic Pursuits books, meaning they are comb-bound notebook style that lay flat nicely on the table for easy viewing while working on projects. This book is 83 pages full of hands on ART. Selling for $47.95 some may find this pricey but let me tell you, I being Miss Frugal Fran would buy it in a heartbeat. Coming from me that is saying everything. This is not a book that your kids will get through in a week, and they will also just do one project per unit and be done with. Your kids, as mine do, will go back time and time again. My boys still go back and use all of the books we have used in the past. Perfecting the various techniques over and over.

  One of the nice aspects of the Sculpture Technique:Model book is you can work out of sequence, this is wonderful if your kids are like mine and have a particular interest to get them started and excited and then they can continue in any direction that they would like to go. This book though we decided to start at unit 1 and go in order, Unit one talks about creating mass with putty. It is so funny to me as years ago I could not have gotten my boys to use putty because of the texture but now they find if soothing to work it through their hands. For projects that use clay or putty you want to be sure to have plastic containers on hand so you are not washing it down the drain when you go to clean up. Empty Butter tubs are used for things like this in our home. They are free and then we can just toss them in the recycle bin or trash when they are finished. The measuring cups that were needed I picked up at the local dollar store. As far as supplies I tend to use coupons and head to Michael's or JoAnn's as it really helps stretch the Art budget. This is where I purchased the Durham's Rock Hard water putty for our first lesson. Some of the tools we already had since Art is done quite often around here.  The important thing the boys have learned when doing art projects that require many items is to gather the items all together before getting started. This helps make sure you have everything you need otherwise you may be in the middle of mixing and realize you do not have all you need and then you will be scrapping your putty instead of putting it to use.

  The boys learned quickly that working with putty takes patience and time. You can not rush this process and sometimes it takes some fiddling with the recipe to get the consistency just right for the project you are working on. It takes time and patience to get it just right. There were many projects scrapped and restarted until they got the hang of it but that is all part of the artistic process. Airplanes and dragons are not just built in a day or so I have been told. Flowers from felt need to look realistic and that takes time as well. No matter what the medium they were using they learned that all modeling takes time and patience. You cannot always expect things to turn out the way you envision but practice makes somewhat perfect and in the end after many trials and tribulations you will end up with something you are proud to call a gift for a special someone.

    The boys learned about all different techniques such as pinch method and the coil method for short and tall models. They have worked with putty, clay and wax as well as paper mache'. They have gotten the opportunity to paint and glaze their creations and will be giving their newest creations to some very special people this coming Mother's Day. They learned wet felting and made flower masterpieces to give to a dear friend who has nobody to call her Mom. I know she will just melt when she gets it.

   I love how my boys are so proud of what they create and they are confident in their artistic abilities that they want to give them away as gifts. My mother especially treasures all of the masterpieces she has been given over the years but especially those in the years since we have been homeschooling and using ARTistic Pursuits. I have seen such an improvement in their artistic abilities and it has been wonderful to learn right along with them.

   I love being able to give my boys a fully enriched Art class right from the comfort of our home. This is not an arts and crafts book by any means this is true ART education. Fully faceted from beginning to end. Teaching all aspects of the topic of Art in each unit. This is not boring but hands on and lends to the kids excitement about getting creative and producing a project to be proud of and fit for gift giving. If you complete and entire book from ARTistic Pursuits you can gain a complete Art credit for High School level. This has been great as I know they are getting the complete package when they sit down and get to work.  I love telling our local homeschool friends about our "art classes". I speak nothing but high praises for ARTistic Pursuits and especially love visiting their booth at the homeshool convention I attend each year in Cinci. As a matter of fact I was just there a couple weekends ago. I love watching the children passing by as they get excited about what they see at the booth. Knowing I see the same awe and excitement in my boys as they complete their projects and units.

   Do you have a budding Artist in your homeschool, do you want to teach art but are not a creative, artsy mom? If you have answered yes to either of these questions then you have found the answer to your Art class prayers.

    Start with the one we received or one of the other art books from any of the titles below... for students as young as preschool or as old as High School, there is an art book for everyone.

The Way They See It
Early Elementary K-3, Book 1: Introduction to the Visual Arts
Early Elementary K-3, Book 2: Stories of Artists and Their Art
Early Elementary K-3, Book 3: Modern Painting and Sculpture
Elementary 4-5, Book 1: The Elements of Art and Composition
Elementary 4-5, Book 2: Color and Composition
Middle School 6-8, Book 1: The Elements of Art and Composition
Middle School 6-8, Book 2:  Color and Composition
High School 9-12, Book 1: The Elements of Art and Composition
High School 9-12, Book 2: Color and Composition
Sculpture Technique: Construct
Sculpture Technique: Model


 Be sure to follow ARTistic Pursuits on Facebook
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArtisticPursuitsInc

  As always do not just take my word for it, visit all of the crew members that were given the opportunity to review ARTistic Pursuits and see what they have to say about it, just simply click on the banner below.


ARTistic Pursuits Review
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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wordless Wednesday Back to Geocaching

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Wordless Wednesday New CAP pictures

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Ready to Teach Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2015 #hsreviews #hsmommas

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Ready to Teach Review


   We love to learn new things, some would say out of the box learning. How many students do you know that study the Greek roots of words? My kids and I thought it would be fun to review Greek Morphemes Lessons (It's  NOT Greek to Me!) from Ready to Teach. So we could learn more of where most of our Science words came from. My boys love anything to do with Science so if I can find away to intertwine their least favorite subject of English with their favorite, you bet I will.
Ready to Teach Review


   We received the Teacher's Manual, Student book and CD or in our case flash drive. These lessons are geared for secondary students meaning middle and high school grades. My boys are in 10th and 11th so this was perfect. My boys do not really struggle with vocabulary or comprehension but they loved to learn. This is good for students on either end of the spectrum. If you have a student who is struggling and maybe learning the how and why and where of how the words came to be would help then this is for you. If your kids just love learning something new this is for you. If your kids are in the middle of those two examples then this is for you. See it is truly for anyone in this age range.

   In the Teacher's manual you get so much more than a book. There are black line masters to make copies for worksheets, 12 lessons covering over 200 Greek Morphemes, and background info on all of the lessons as well as the list of all the words covered. Then of course you have your tests and answer keys.

  The Student manual is a place where the student can take notes, analyze words, make flash cards and create sentences. They also will go through the CD(flash drive) for their lessons which is set up like a power point presentations. These two things complement each other perfectly. I loved how this is set up for all types of learners, Visual and Auditory by using the book and the CD(flash drive)power point and kinesthetic by using hands on manipulatives like the flash cards and transparencies. It worked for both my boys so well who are very different learners. I was happy to see no struggles and they enjoyed doing the lessons.

  If your kids are not a power point on the computer learner, you can use the teacher's manual and work through the lessons with them. For us we are more independent learning style now that the boys are nearing the end of high school, we want to prepare them for what college will be like and so a program such as this that allows independence and yet I can step in if I need to with the help of my teacher's manual is perfect for our style right now.

  My boys quickly figured out they could incorporate our google chromecast into their lessons by plugging the flash drive into one of their laptops and watching their lesson from the comfort of the couch on the big living room tv. Homeschooling at it's finest folks, we keep it real around here. As they watch the power point it walks them through the student manual step by step. I liked this way of teaching and I found myself often sitting down and learning right along with them. It defeated the purpose of giving them independence but I just could not help myself. After the power point they worked through the workbook pages and made flash cards to study. I love watching my boys learning together and working as a team to complete their work and study for tests. My boys are acing this program and are sad that we are almost done. They only have a couple left, this has been nice that it only takes up one day a week to complete in 12 weeks but the boys enjoyed it so much they worked on 2 lessons some weeks.  I will definitely be looking for more Greek for next year.

   We enjoyed learning about the greek roots of words we use on a regular basis and did not even think about it. We have spent most of our time focusing on latin and their roots but it was definitely a nice change of pace to focus on the Greek. Since both the boys are interested in a Science field this well definitely come in handy for them in the upcoming years of schooling. I am so glad we are out of the box learners who are not afraid to try something new. This was such a fun experience and we look forward to exploring more of the Greek language.

  Please check out all of the crew reviews by clicking the banner below.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Thick as Thieves Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2015 #hsreviews #hsmommas

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Thick as Thieves Book Review



A book review, I have not done one of these in a while but I am excited to bring Thick as Thieves a Circle C Milestones book to you today!! A book that you as an adult as well as your kids 12 and up can enjoy together or apart. The first thing that sparked my interested was that this book is about horses. Alyx started horseback riding this year and has fallen head over heals for horses. He liked them before but now he loves them.

 I figured if I could get a book that has a storyline about something he really likes, other than cars that is then I should jump at it. Boy was I right! The best part is it also has a free downloadable Study Guide. So I could give him some credit for English  class as well.  All this for $9.99

  This is the first book in the brand new series from Susan K. Marlow, her other series center around the same character  but are geared for ages younger than this series. The good news is you can start with this one if you are older like Alyx and I. Although I warn you it may leave you wanting more AND you may run out and get the earlier series just because you want to learn more about Andrea Carter(Andi) and Circle C Ranch which all books take place in the 1800's. It is neat to read about what life would have been like back in those days, somewhat simpler but still full of surprise and adventure.

  Alyx and I both long to live on a Ranch in Texas so this book fed into our dream perfectly. We often wonder why we are still living in Michigan. Anyway, back to the book. Andi is now 14 years old and is on the verge of becoming a young woman, she is always up for adventure and is not a fan of school, she would much rather be back at home on the ranch tending to her animals, especially her pregnant mare. Who during the story happens to have twin foals. This is both rare and exciting.

  This is not the only interesting thing to happen, Andi meets a new student at school, whom at first she doesn't like but ends up befriending her as she learns a friend is just what she needs. This story touches on so many aspects one of them being bullying. This subject particularly hits home with Alyx and I as Alyx was bullied in middle school. It is not a subject we look at lightly.

  I loved how as a Christian young lady Andi becomes a witness to her new friend Macy. This new girl is being raised by her older brothers and doesn't have very good hygiene and just seems different which is why Andi did not "like" her at the beginning. Macy soon realizes that Andi and her family are different than most folks she has met before and comes to realize that this is because they are Christian.

  The book is full of valuable lesson, as well as high stakes adventure when cattle hustlers come into town and start stealing horses as well. Andi is in for the ride of her life and isn't afraid to fight for what is hers.

  I read the book first and for me it was enjoyable easy read, one that was hard to put down. You just have to keep reading to see what happens next. Alyx read it after me and he used the study guide as well. 40 pages of english and recall from the book. The study guide has sections and each section covers a few chapters. Alyx read the book through first and then went back and did the study guide but you could easily just read as far as each section the study guide covers then do the work and then continue reading. It is all dependent on how best your students work. Not only are their vocab and discussion questions like traditional study guides for books but there are so many ways to dive in deeper such as a horse training guide which Alyx found invaluable and put some of the thing he learned to use during his horseback riding lessons. He enjoyed this study guide which is in sharp contrast to other study guides that I have had to argue with him to finish and I think that is partly due to the fact that A. This was a topic he is passionate about and B. It was more than just questions it was things like the horse training guide that he could put to action and he is all about action.

  Alyx and I cannot wait until the next book in the series comes out this Summer to see what happens in the life of Andi and her friend Macy as well as the Circle C Ranch.
 Be sure to check out the social media for more about Circle C Milestones series and Susan K. Marlow. Be sure to click the banner below to read all of the Crew Reviews and see how other families enjoyed this book.

https://www.facebook.com/CircleCAdventures
http://twitter.com/SuzyScribbles
Circle C Milestones Review

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Lord Heritage: Homeschool Office Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2015 #hsreviews #hsmommas

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HomeSchool Office Review



               The key to successful homeschooling is organization, or so it seems. I have been searching for the answer to my organized chaos since we began homeschooling 5 years ago. Probably for as long as I have been a parent but that is a whole other conversation. I was recently given a chance to review HomeSchool Office from Lord Heritage. Our review is for one year access to their online organizational system.

    Not only do we homeschool but I run a business out of my home, blog, and the kids have many classes outside of the home as well as Alyx has a job and we all have various appointments. This is a big task to wrangle and I was praying HomeSchool Office was the answer to my prayers.

  Could it be possible to have a task manager that could help me balance all aspects of our chaotic but fun filled life? I actually think there is.... Lord Heritage has created the HomeSchool Office and I think it does just what I had hoped and so much more.

  So this is an online management system so the first thing you need to do after buying your membership is... set up your account.


This means the main administrator, which is you! If you have a name for your homeschool then you can add this when you begin setting up your account. My kids love that we have an official school name. Then adding your students and family members. 



The only downfall for this program that I saw right off the bat is it took quite a bit of time to get it all set up. For a household that is running on empty already as far as time is concerned I was a bit overwhelmed. Once I carved out a chunk of time and devoted it to setting our system up I was so glad I did. 
There are places for everything as you can see by the tabs in the turquoise. I took screenshots before I inputted all of our information, I am not too comfortable sharing such personal info with the world if you know what I mean. 
The one tedious thing was picking myself for the kids teacher for each subject that we do at home. Although I found this feature extremely helpful so I can input the info of the teachers of the classes the kids take outside of our home. The boys take, guitar, horseback riding and field biology to name a few. This was helpful in that I could put all the contact info for each teacher in there all in the same place. So if I need to email or call them and do not have my phone handy it is right on my computer. 

There is also spots to put important contact info for people such as my vendors that I use for my business and my customers that order on a regular basis. I loved having all aspects of our life all in one login. That in itself made my life so much easier and I prefer to type than write so being computer based was very helpful to me. 

Now I aleady use a transcript service so I am not entirely sure I will continue to use it to input grades and such on a regular basis but semester grades and final grades just to keep them in the same location as everything else seems like a great idea. 

Having the calendar as well as a to do list along with all of the other features is a handy tool as well. There are so many aspects offered with your subscription that even if you did not use one or two it is still worth the price you pay. I love that I can log on to my account on the go. If I needed to add an appointment or a note to one of the kids then I could do that from my meeting I was attending or sitting at my off hour at co-op. Then the kids could log in with their username and see what tasks they needed to complete or activities they had on tap for that day or week. 

I call it Central Communications System, I think it suits it better than HomeSchool Office but that is strictly my opinion. You can have this too for just $79 a year.
I am so thankful for some organization to our chaotic life. Some days I feel like I am spinning out of control and not sure which end is up but thanks to Lord Heritage and their Homeschool Office I can feel a little better knowing we can all glance at our account and see what is on tap for each day and week. If I need to change something I just go in and change it and then we can all see the changes. 
I love it!! Plain and Simple. I love it! I am sure you will love it too, but do not just take my word for it please click the banner below and check out all of the crew reviews and see what they have to say about Homeschool Office. 
Be sure to use your  30 day free trial to get a feel for it yourself as well. 


HomeSchool Office Review

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY I AM A WINNER

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