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Homeschool Rocks

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Picture from Pinterest

Each year our church fellowship has a week-long camping event with food, fun, campfires, and families. With almost half of our small group being children, activities throughout the week are something that we need to have for them to do. I saw a facebook group called Homeschool Rocks and thought decorating and hiding rocks with encouraging words or pictures would be a fabulous idea for our campout. Perhaps you might like to do it with your children too. I have included academic areas for you in parentheses so you can see how it applies to school. 🙂

You Will Need:

rocks

a bucket of warm, soapy water

paper towels

a pencil

outdoor acrylic paints

paint brushes

newspaper

waterproof markers

Elmer’s glue

Modge Podge or some type of outdoor sealant

paper

a plastic jar or another container

plastic grocery bags- one per person

Instructions: 

  1. Collect First of all, you and the children collect rocks that you want to paint. The best kinds are smooth, especially for younger children since they will paint more easily.  (PE is covered since you are getting exercise hunting for rocks.)
  2. Clean After you have determined which rocks you would like to paint, clean them in a bucket filled with warm, soapy water. Rinse them and place on some paper towels to dry. The paint will adhere much better to a clean surface, and your children will be getting their dirty hands clean at the same time. (Health- Getting all that dirt and grime off is part of a healthy routine.)
  3. Paint Now it’s time to bring some life to those rocks! Cover a table with newspapers, and if you have small children who might get paint in more places than the rock, cover them too (an old shirt and pants will do the trick). Depending on what design you want to create, you may want to sketch lightly on the rock before applying the paint.  If details are being added, then a waterproof marker would be helpful to use. Outdoor patio paints are preferred so the rock weathers well. Allow to dry for several hours. (art)

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  1. Seal  In order for your awesome rocks to be enjoyed for a long time, a sealant such as Modge Podge should be used. This will make the designs weather resistant and shiny. NOTE: If you have used permanent markers on the rocks, apply a thin layer of glue before applying the sealant to prevent smudging. Allow to dry according to the directions on the jar. 41O7V5Vq2FL
  2. Hide No, not you, the rocks! Since we will be camping, the children will go and hide their rocks so that fellow campers can find them. Each person that has hidden a rock can write a clue for others to find their treasure, thus creating a scavenger hunt.  (clues- writing;  directions- math, social studies)
  3. Find Put all of the clues in a plastic jar or other container and have each participant draw out a clue until they are all gone.Give each person a plastic grocery bag. Tell everyone to see if they can locate that rock based upon the clue. Help little ones who can’t read.
  4. Display Have a rock show so that everyone can enjoy the decorated creations.

I think everyone is going to enjoy doing this activity that it can be repeated as many times as you like. I would love to have you post your pictures if you do this.

~Lisa 

Coloring for a Purpose

Some children just love to color! If you have a child like that, chances are you can’t possibly showcase all of the coloring pages that your artist has colored. I bet you even wonder how you could share those works with others. I would like to introduce to you a website called Follow The Good King. You sign up for a subscription and every week you will receive a coloring sheet through your email. The cool thing is that there is a purpose for these coloring pages.

After your daughter or son colors them, you mail them back to a P.O. box and they are then sent on to a featured individual that has been selected by The Good King to receive these colorful masterpieces as encouragement. You see, when you receive your coloring sheet, you also receive a short bio on the person who needs a bit of cheering up. You can also nominate an individual to receive other children’s coloring pages.  This is also a terrific way of incorporating language arts because each mission has you write a short note to the recipient. 🙂

Here is an excerpt of the first mission and the coloring page. Do not color this one, but rather go to the website listed below for the current mission. Each mission is a week in length, so if you are not able to complete it, that is fine, just go on to the next one. The important thing to remember is that each mission is only for that current week and you cannot go back to a different mission and choose to send it to that person at a later date.

Mission 1:

Ryan is pretty much a rockstar. He mentors young guys, recently finished his college degree, just married the woman of his dreams, and encourages people all over the world through his blog…all this while unable to move his arms and legs. I won’t sugarcoat it…life is TOUGH for Ryan. But he is strong. VERY strong.

Ryan is teaching us about perseverance. He’s teaching us about hope. He’s teaching us that, no matter what our circumstances are, we can do GREAT good because we follow The Good King. So let’s thank Ryan for his example and encourage him to keep on keeping on.

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If you are interested in this amazing idea, go to Follow the Good King

American Art History

As you begin to plan for next year’s curricula I wanted to share with you a series that I love! I think you will want to add this to your list of books to purchase.

American Art History by Kristin Draeger is a unique curriculum since it is written from a perspective of  fictional newspaper reporters.  Some lessons are presented as though the artists are interviewed, others, as if the reporters discovered details of the artist’s works and life through historical documents and careful study of their work.

Each volume has sixteen artists and is designed to be used once a week for students in grades 3-8, but you could adapt it for  younger and older students too. Because of the wealth of information and fun activities that are given for each lesson, I believe one lesson could be studied for two weeks. The lessons are suggested to supplement your American history curriculum and considered to take two hours, but you could do a little each day if you don’t have that much time. This curriculum would also be a fantastic co-op class. There are three books that are part of the American Art History volumes.

American Art History Volume II begins with Federal architecture and finishes with Georgia O’Keefe. Lesson one features the White House and its architect, James Hoban. This particular study interviews Mr. Hoban and has a treasure trove of information that I never knew before! The lesson has facts, photographs, and entertaining cartoons as well as a Spot the Forgery activity. Here your child looks at the forgery and compares it to the original. The purpose is for him to become familiar with the works of art and study them in greater detail in a fun and engaging manner. Here are pictures from the study of  Winslow Homer:

American History Art Bingo is a review game for the artwork you study throughout the year. Each student is given a unique bingo card with individual works as the bingo mat. You hold up the larger image of the artwork and call out the artist’s name, location, and date of the piece. The cool thing is that students memorize these facts without even realizing it! 🙂 You know what is remarkable? Once you have studied these pieces,  she will start seeing them all over,  in advertisements, movies, museums…

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Drawing American Art Your child by this time will be itching to reproduce the artwork that you have been studying. He can interact with the artwork and can repeatedly practice if he enjoys a particular style. This book gives step-by-step instructions for a drawing project that corresponds to each chapter. You begin with a template that can be located on the website: artk12.com/downloads or photocopy the templates that are in the book. After the drawing  is completed, place the artwork in a plastic sheet protector and file them in a three-ring binder. Label your binder along with the year. This is a great keepsake and if you repeat the course in a few years you can look at the previous year’s binder to see the improvement that has occurred.

* All pictures are from the ARTK12 website.

I have received a free copy of these books from ArtK12 in order to review them and did not need to write a favorable review. Please go to their site to see more fantastic products! ARTK12 You can save as much as $54.00 if you order the book sets directly from their website. 

Peter and the Wolf

Peter and the Wolf was one of the first introductions to classical music that my sons received, and what a great piece it is for children! Sergei Prokofiev, who wrote this piece for Russia’s Central Children’s Theatre, tells the story through music of a boy who leaves the house and goes into the woods, unbeknownst to his sleeping grandfather.

The animals he encounters, and the trouble and he and his animal friends find themselves in, are told through text and music. Each character is represented by a different instrument. The strings were chosen for Peter, while the flute represents the  bird, and the french horn is the low and scary sounding wolf. No need to worry though, the townsmen (timpani section) and Peter’s grandfather (bassoon) come to help.

The book I have featured here includes a CD of the story and the music. The music is actually recorded by the Cincinnati Pops, which I found interesting since this is one of our local symphonies. If you are familiar with the original story, this book has a different ending. You can click on the book to take you to the Amazon link to purchase it or listen to an excerpt of the CD.

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If you are interested in exploring the instruments more with your student, then check out these free instruments worksheets. Just click on the pictures and it will take you to the activity pages that are found on myfavoritekindofcrazy.com

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You can incorporate art and language arts by having your student complete the worksheet I created. An example of the worksheet is below.  peter-and-the-wolf 

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Sample- click on link above

Enjoy!

~Lisa

Online Music Game

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Music is something that I appreciate, but do not feel qualified to teach. Since that is not one of my strengths and I suspect some others may feel this way, I’d like to give you an online resource to help. It is called the Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra that has been produced by the Weill Music Institute ay Carnegie Hall.

This is a comprehensive overview of the instruments of the orchestra and would certainly meet the requirement of teaching music to your elementary student. It is interactive, interesting, and well done. I found myself wanting to continue on with the adventure as I think your pupil will as well.  The adventures center around a young lady helping her eccentric uncle locate the instruments to fill an ancient amphitheater.  There are activities the children must complete that test their knowledge as they go on a treasure hunt to find the lost instruments.  I would suggest that you create an account if you wish to use this throughout the year.  I believe you and your child are going to visit here often as part of your music studies. To see for yourself CLICK HERE