Archive for July, 2015
Hailey’s favorite subject during this last school year was most definitely history. She loves it best when I read to her about the topic we are learning about while she colors or works on a project. She learns best that way- she needs to have some sort of project she is working on related to our topic of learning. The funny thing is that while I was in school I never liked history, but it has become my favorite subject now too.
I was so excited when given the chance to do a review for Home School in the Woods! Their unit studies are planned out exactly how Hailey learns- lots of hands on activities. We looked over the choices in the Project Passport World History Studies and Hailey decided she was most interested in checking out Project Passport World History Study: Renaissance & Reformation.
Home School in the Woods was developed by homeschooling mom, Amy Pak. She understands the importance of having hands on projects and activities to go along with the information you are studying. The activities that go along with the time period will make you and your children feel like they are really living at that time. There are activities for cooking food from the time period, dressing up, making 3-D projects, and more. In addition there are history readings, maps, and timelines.
Project Passport World History has three different studies you can pick from. There is Ancient Egypt, The Middle Ages, and the one we picked- Renaissance & Reformation. The studies each have 25 stops- at each stop there are different historical figures or interesting events that you learn more about. There are more than 50 hands on activities to pick from in each study- so there is definitely something for everyone!
The Project Passport World History studies are for children in grades 3-8 and can be purchased as a download or as a CD. I reviewed the downloaded version, which can be used on a PC or a Mac.
So, how did we use it?
When I first downloaded Renaissance & Reformation, I have to admit feeling a bit overwhelmed. There is so much to look through. Once I took the time, when the kids were all in bed, to really look it over and read through the introduction and the travel tips, it made a lot more sense to me. It took a while to go through the first few stops to get everything ready to start teaching. There was a lot of printing to be done, on different kinds of paper (white paper, colored paper, white card stock, colored card stock, etc), and it took quite a bit of time.
At first I wanted to do all of the projects, but I realized very soon that was not possible. I tend to feel like I have to do it all rather than picking the ones that are the best fit for us, but it would take a long time to do everything! Since we are on summer vacation right now, we decided to do more of the scrapbook activities and 3-D projects that Hailey really loves to do. There were some days that we were able to complete more than one stop and there were other times when we had to stretch one stop out over a couple of days. Here are some of the activities we did:
Hailey started out by making a passport to take on her journey through the Renaissance & Reformation.
Hailey made a postcard of Florence, Italy after learning about Cosimo de Medici.
Hailey tried a few different art techniques she learned about from the Renaissance era. Here she worked on making a fresco.
Hunter thought it looked fun and decided he wanted to join in and make one too.
Hunter working on his fresco.
Hailey decided to make a self portrait for her fresco.
Hailey learned about the different social classes during the Renaissance.
She also worked on a chalk pastel.
The finished artwork.
Another kind of art she learned about was Chiaroscuro, which means light-dark.
Hailey enjoyed working on a masquerade mask.
Hailey’s favorite project was definitely Shakespeare’s Globe.
She worked very hard coloring and putting together the playhouse.
Then she entertained us with a little performance.
I asked Hailey what she thought of Project Passport World History Study: Renaissance & Reformation. She said it was a lot of fun and she liked doing the projects. She definitely wants to do more! I think the hands on projects are perfect for her learning style. She is at the younger end of the recommended age range (she just finished 3rd grade) and some of the readings were over her head. I would like to add in some of my own choices of historical fiction for me to read to her while she colors and works on the activities. I also wish there was an option to buy everything already printed out- the printing takes a lot of time. That being said, I really enjoyed using Home School in the Woods and would absolutely use more of their unit studies! Both of us learned a lot and had fun creating projects and memories together. I highly recommend it!
Want to learn more about Home School in the Woods?
We had another busy but fun week!
We have circle time each day and on this particular day Anthony decided he wanted to be the teacher. So, he led us through circle time.
Since it’s summer I am really trying to keep things fun, so we had a Scooby Doo themed week since the boys both love Scooby Doo. We read lots of Scooby Doo books.
Anthony and Hunter practiced cutting.
They cut out these Scooby Doo pictures and then glued them onto a piece of paper.
They also colored some Scooby Doo coloring pages.
We practiced shapes.
One of their favorite times seems to be table toys. This week we used counting bears,
and legos for our table toys. Legos was the definite favorite!
Hailey sharing one of her creations she made.
We made ghost lollipops- simply a tissue taped onto a lollipop. They thought this simple activity was great!
We made mummies too. The kids covered a cut in half paper towel tube with glue. Then they wrapped it up and added googly eyes.
The completed mummies
We used dog bone shaped cookie cutters to paint.
Each day we do a little bit of writing practice.
A few other fun things we did:
Hunter dressed up like a mummy
Hailey was a scary mummy.
Shaggy and Scooby (Anthony and Hunter) unwrapped the mummy to find out who the bad guy was.
We had mummy hot dogs for lunch one day.
Hailey pretended to be Velma- and she misplaced her glasses like Velma is always doing.
Then Shaggy and Scooby (Anthony and Hunter) helped Velma find her glasses. They loved this game!
We played a matching memory game with Scooby cards, while eating Scooby snacks.
I am reviewing Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers and we have had lots of fun learning about the 5 senses. I’ll be posting more about it in a couple of weeks- but this is just a sneak peek at the fun we’re having.
It was definitely a fun filled week!
I was just looking through my pictures and I realized that I never posted this.
This was the last letter we did during our preschool school year- the letter R. So, here are some of the activities we did for the letter R:
Hunter painted some rocks
He used a foam letter R to stamp the letter R onto his paper.
Hunter loved playing in the rice. I am so thankful I set it up on our deck because he made a big mess! But he had a lot of fun.
Hunter stamped Rs onto the R.
He glued ribbons onto the letter R.
He used rubber bands to paint a letter R.
Hunter loved playing with this homemade road!
He worked very carefully using Q-Tips to paint the letter R.
He made an R2D2 (using printables from here).
R is for R2D2.
Hunter practiced his colors by coloring raccoons.
Hunter pretended to be a rocket blasting off.
Then we made a rocket using a soda bottle. We put paint inside and then Hunter shook the bottle.
Then we added some pieces to the outside of the bottle, for a fun rocket.
Hunter used his do-a-dot markers to make a letter R.
We had lots of fun with the letter R!
We’ll be back to working on letters in the fall, but for now we’re just doing some summer activities.
We have been busy having fun this summer! We need to keep a routine and have some structure, otherwise it gets a little crazy around here. Plus, I don’t want anyone to forget what they learned last year. So, here is what we’ve been up to:
Every day we do a short circle time. A lot of times, Hailey likes to be in charge of doing circle time. We do the pledge, calendar, days of the week, months, and weather. We also go over numbers, ABCs, and shapes. We usually have a story during circle time too. Here they were watching a 4th of July story that I found on YouTube, becuase I don’t have any books about the 4th of July. (As you can see, sometimes Harper joins in for circle time.)
Last week we sang some 4th of July songs and danced around waving flags.
Then the blasted off like rockets- they had to start on the couch, of course.
I used several July 4th printables from This Reading Mama. This book was one of the printables. It was perfect! Hunter was able to “read” it all by himself!
Anthony could “read” it too! They were both so proud of themselves for being able to read the book.
On this paper, I called out a number and they had to use a do-a-dot marker to stamp the number I said.
Every day we have table toys time. I get out a different toy, that is not normally played with, and they sit at the table and use the toy. This is one of their favorite times of the day! On Monday they used letters with pegs.
On Tuesday they built with Widgets.
On Wednesday they used playdough.
On Thursday they built with blocks.
On Friday they were able to pick their favorite from the week and do that again- they agreed that playdough was their favorite.
We also do a little writing each day. This is definitely not their favorite part, but we get it done. On this day they were decorating folders to keep all of their summer writing in.
We do art a few times each week too. One of the projects we made was a Chicka-Chicka-Boom-Boom tree with their names.
Since it was the week before the 4th of July, they made a fireworks painting. They used forks and dipped them into the paint, then made fireworks on their papers.
They also made flags using popsicle sticks and paint.
Of course, there is also lots of free time to play, go outside, and relax. So far, we’re having a great summer!