Archive for the ‘Curriculum’ Category

ArtAchieve Review

13
Jul

ArtAchieve

Without a doubt, Hailey’s favorite subject is art.  She is also very good at it.  Me?  Not so much.  I can find cute activities for her to recreate, but as far as actually teaching art and art techniques- I don’t have a clue.  For most of the school year we attend a weekly co-op and she takes an art class there.  But, that ended at the end of April and Hailey has been asking me if she can take some art classes. For the past several weeks she has been using the Entire Level II from ArtAchieve for her weekly art lessons.

Art Lessons for Children ArtAchieve Review

ArtAchieve is an online resource of art lessons for kids.  The lessons are very complete and there isn’t much you as the teacher will have to do, other than gather supplies.  There are 5 different levels available at ArtAchieve.  The lessons can be used for any age from kindergarten on up.  Even adults can use these lessons!  You will just need to choose the best level to start at depending on the ability of the your art student.  Within each level there are several different art lessons.  We reviewed the Entire Level II and there are 14 different lessons on that level.

Art Lessons for Children ArtAchieve Review
The lessons are available as a video where your child will watch a teacher and follow the instructions.  The lessons are also available as a PowerPoint, which is how we chose to use the program so that Hailey could do the lessons at her own pace.

ArtAchieve

Each lesson starts out by showing the art standards that the lesson will meet.

ArtAchieve

 Then there will be a picture of the object that the lesson is about.  This picture is from the Japanese Goldfish lesson.  There are several slides with information about the object.  Not actually included in the PowerPoint presentation, but given on the website for each lesson, are ideas to make cross-curricular connections.  With the Japanese Goldfish lesson there are ideas to connect it to Social Studies, Science, Writing, Literature, Geography, and of course, art.

ArtAchieve

 Next you will find a slide with the materials that will be needed within the lesson.

ArtAchieve

 Next up will be a relaxation technique to help get your child ready to create art.

ArtAchieve

Relaxation is followed by a drawing warm up that will need to printed out ahead of time.  Music is also an important part of these lessons and students should listen to some quiet music to while they work.  Finally there are a few rules to go over before starting the drawing part of the lesson.

ArtAchieve

Now it is time to draw.  There are step by step directions to guide your child through the drawing.

ArtAchieve

When the drawing is finished there will be instructions to color or paint the drawing, depending on what is being used for that particular lesson.  There are some suggestions given, but the rest is up to your child.

ArtAchieve

Hailey’s finished fish.

 Here are a few other projects that Hailey worked on:

ArtAchieve

This lesson about the Czech Cat is available for free, so you are able to see how this homeschool art curriculum works and see if it would be a good fit for you.

ArtAchieve

Hailey’s finished cat.

ArtAchieve

Hailey also worked on the Swedish Dala Horse.

ArtAchieve

The completed horse. 

ArtAchieve

 Another lesson Hailey did was the German Nutcracker.

This art curriculum is perfect for us!  For the most part, the lessons are easy enough that Hailey can actually complete them without any help from me.  She has learned a lot and even asks to do the lessons during her summer vacation :-)  That is a sign of a fun curriculum!!

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Art Lessons for Children ArtAchieve Review

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Veritas Bible Review

28
Jun

I have really struggled with finding a Bible curriculum that works really well for us.  We have tried many different kinds but I just couldn’t find the right fit.  I wanted something that didn’t require a lot of prep work on my part.  I wanted it to be more in the form of a story, rather than a study since my kids are still young. And a huge bonus would be if Hailey (going into 5th grade) and Hunter (going into kindergarten) could use the same program.

Old and New Testament Online Self-Paced Bible Veritas Review
Then I was given the opportunity to review VeritasBible.com from Veritas Press.  This was one Bible curriculum I had not looked into yet.  We have reviewed Veritas Press in the past, and it was a big hit with Hailey, so I was really hopeful as we gave this Bible curriculum a try.

Old and New Testament Online Self-Paced Bible Veritas Review
We were given a one year family subscription to VeritasBible.com, which is an online Bible curriculum.  There are three courses to choose from if you get the one year family subscription: Genesis to Joshua, Judges to Kings, and The Gospels.  Each of those courses covers 32 different Biblical events.  Each of the Biblical events has three lessons which include things like music to help memorize the different events in order, games, activities, and other tools to help remember names and dates of different events, plus more!  At the end of the three lessons there is a short quiz.  Once the lessons and the quiz are completed your child can move on to the next Biblical event.  With the family subscription you can have more than one child using the course.  Each child will have his/her own sign in and can move along at his/her own pace.

Old and New Testament Online Self-Paced Bible Veritas Review
So, how did we use VeritasBible.com?  I decided to start with Genesis to Joshua (although we could have started with Judges to Kings or The Gospels if I had decided to do that).

Veritas Press

As soon as Hailey (age 9) started her lesson, Hunter (age 4), and Harper (22 months) joined her right away.

Veritas Press

Bible stories are told using Abigail and her brother Asher along with a silly cat named Teb.

Veritas Press

They were very interested in the lessons!

Veritas Press

There are several funny interactions between Asher and Abigail, and they keep the children engaged.

Veritas Press

This screen shows that Hailey had completed all of the lessons about The Flood.  The first three blue flags were her lessons and the last flag was her quiz for that section.

Veritas Press

There are many games and activities added in during the lessons to keep the kids engaged.  Hailey made this rainbow while learning about Noah and the flood.

Veritas Press

This screen shows lessons that have not been completed yet.  The first circle, that is white, is the lesson that needs to be completed.  The lessons have to be completed in order and your child has to answer questions correctly in order to move on to the next lesson.

Veritas Press

There are a lot of fun games in the middle of the lessons.  In this particular game Hailey had to answer questions correctly and then she would get access to the drawers so that she could decorate a cake.

So far we have completed 25% of Genesis to Joshua.  We have covered the following Biblical events:

Creation
The Fall in the Garden
Cain and Abel
Enoch and Methuselah
The Flood
God’s Covenant with Noah
Tower of Babel
Call of Abram

And we still have lots more to go!

At first I had set up Hunter with his own account, but some of the games were too hard for him to do.  He is still working on using a laptop and being able to click and drag.  So, I had Hailey and Hunter do the lessons together, which worked really well.  Harper enjoyed sitting in on the lessons too, especially during the music. We all (me included) learned a lot from VeritasBible.com. I remember sitting in church one week listening to the message and thinking- hey, I learned about that this week during Bible! :-)

Old and New Testament Online Self-Paced Bible Veritas Review

Hailey really enjoyed using VeritasBible.com.  She said she liked it a lot.  One thing she said she did not like was that some of the games were kind of hard and took a long time to complete.  I definitely agree with her opinion.  The only thing I did not like was that some days the lessons could take 40-50 minutes depending on how many games there were and how hard they were.  Other days, on the quiz days, it would only take about 10 minutes at the most to complete the lesson.  That would definitely not prevent us from using VeritasBible.com though- we really loved the program.  It is exactly what I was looking for and had not been able to find anywhere else.  We will continue using it next year as our Bible curriculum and I highly recommend it!!

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Old and New Testament Online Self-Paced Bible Veritas Review
 

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Curriculum 2015-2016

19
Mar

So, I never posted about the curriculum we are using this school year.  I thought that now that the school year is winding down I could post about what we used and how we have liked what we are using.

Preschool:

curriculum3

For Hunter this year, I am using Sonlight P 3/4.  This isn’t an actual curriculum with lesson plans though, it’s just a list of books with an activity suggested for each book.  You can do it in any order you wish to do it.

curriculum

These are the books that came with Hunter’s curriculum.  We have not read all of them, but so far he has enjoyed all of the ones we have read.  We tend to spend several days reading and rereading one book, so more than likely we won’t finish everything this year.  They are all great, classic books that every child should have.  I also add in lots of other books to go with whatever theme I am currently using for Hunter.

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These are the other things that came with Sonlight P3/4.  We absolutely love the Colorix- they are so neat!

For the most part it’s hard to consider Sonlight P3/4 an actual curriculum.  It’s really just a lot of great books that I use and then build my own curriculum around those books.

Fourth Grade:

curriculum5

For science this year we have been using Elemental Science, the Zoology Sassafras Science Adventures.  Hailey reads a portion of the book (which is written as a story and is very interesting!)  and then there are notebooking assignments to do.  We both absolutely loved it at the beginning.  Sometime after Christmas time Hailey got really tired of doing the notebooking/logbook assignments.  They were the same thing for every unit and I think she just got bored with doing the exact same thing for each animal.  There were a lot of hands on activities that I added in, but she begged not to do the logbook anymore.  So, right now she is still reading the book, but I am not making her complete the logbook.

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For Language Arts we started out using:

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For history we are using Sonlight Core D.  I love the books that are included in this history curriculum.  The only thing I don’t like is that there aren’t any hands on activities, so I have been adding them in on my own.  Hailey loves doing hands on projects and that is what helps her remember what she is learning about.  As much as I love this curriculum I am going to switch next year to something that has hands on activities included.

curriculum10

These are the readers and read alouds we are using, also part of the Sonlight curriculum.  Both of us have really enjoyed all of the books.  The books all have to do with what we are learning about in history, which was great at the beginning of the school year.  About a month ago Hailey mentioned that it felt like we were doing history all the time and she wanted to read books that are not all historical fiction.  So, for right now I am reading the readers and read alouds and letting Hailey read non-history related books.  Right now she is reading The Candymakers (the only book in our curriculum that is not a historical fiction book) and both of us LOVE this book!  I think it’s our favorite book of the whole year!

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We use Teaching Textbooks for math.  It’s not Hailey’s favorite subject, but it is working, so we will continue to use it.

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These are a few other things we are using.

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Hailey was excited about her tall pile of books!

Let the Planning Begin

02
Sep

Our Crafts N Things
We’re starting school soon, so I definitely need to get to work on my planning.  I usually have my planning done by now, but for some reason summer just got away from me.  Anyway, I’ll be busy planning for a while.  I’ll have a more detailed post showing what curriculum I’m using very soon.

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