Thursday, April 21, 2011

Teaching Art

You don't have to love art, have a degree in art or even know what you're doing to teach art for your children.  This is a great resource to help you out with the techinal issues of teaching art up to 6th grade.  We have children ages 4-11 and all participate and do well with this. 
 The lesson I'm including in this post is on form.  The children were to use clay (we used homemade play-doh) to make solid forms ( and meanwhile, learn their names).  So, here we have our handshaped pyramids, cubes, spheres and boxes.

 Another wonderful thing about this resource is that it gives you wonderful color pictures of what the end product should look like (in case yours should fail). 
 And, on this rainy day, this activity lead into other "creative" play-doh play, like the beheaded gingerbread man you see below.  Free time to create is just as important as guided time, in my opinion. 

So, if art is an area you struggle in, this resource makes it very easy  and you feel like you actually "taught" art :).

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

TOS Review: Download 'N' Go: Mother's Day


The Mother's Day Download 'n' Go  is a unit study created by Amanda Bennett in e-book format. It is very simple to use; the only preparation required is to search out optional library books to read along during the week for enrichment. This already contains indepth studies in every subject in this lineup:

Day 1: What Is Mother's Day

Day 2: The History of Mother's Day

Day 3: Celebrating Mother's Day

Day 4: Preparations for Mother's Day

Day 5: Goodies for Mother's Day

I used this study with my four children, ages 10, 8, 7, 4.   Our family lives in a small town and our library has limited titles.  So, I did not bother to try to find specific titles from the recommended reading.  We just used the unit as it was written. I gather my children round the computer and we read through them, taking one activity at a time. Also, to save a little money, I just keep the e-book saved on a flash drive and do not print out the entire book. I only print out the activity pages. For those who lapbook, the components are linked within the book and are found at the end of the study.

I'm the Mom -and Mother's Day surprised me!  The unit includes studies across all the subject areas and was very easy to use.  The entire e-book is beautiful and if you enjoy lapbooking, this would make a beautiful keepsake lapbook. We particularly enjoyed learning the history of Mother's Day.  My children's favorite part of the study was learning about Mother's Day around the world.  They were particularly interested in Scotland's traditions. 

After having done the study, we decided that we would make Mother's Day cards for others we could think of who would be blessed by them.  We made one for my great aunt who is in a nursing home, a family member who has had miscarriages but no living children, as well as our own mothers and grandmothers. 

We tried our best to make our "antique" Mother's Day cards look like the ones we saw in the study, but they were just far beyond what we could produce.  We used oil pastels to try it:

If you are interested in seeing what others think of the unit, click here to take the blog tour.
Happy Mother's Day to you all!!

I have been provided one free copy of the Mother's Day  Download 'N' Go to review in exchange for my honest opinion on the product.