Wednesday, April 30, 2014

TOS Review - ARTistic Pursuits - Sculpture Technique: Model

ARTistic Pursuits Review
My longtime readers probably already know that we eat, breathe, and live art just about every day of our life. Grace draws nearly everyday for hours on end. Grace and her father are involved in an art guild together and it seems they are always getting together for art shows or some other art event. This semester our Cooperative offered a pottery class which Grace attended and loved. All of this evolved into our interest in reviewing Sculpture Technique: Model from ARTistic Pursuits. We did review one of their products last year and you can read the review through the link provided. We were very grateful to be chosen to review for the company again but with a different product.
ARTistic Pursuits Review
Due to Grace's new found enjoyment with pottery I felt this product would be a great fit for us and we weren't disappointed. Of course this book has more than just pottery projects. Sculpture Technique: Model has three units, including Creating Mass with Putty, Creating Scale with Clay, and Creating Surface with Fiber. An art supply list is provided in the beginning of the book. Our projects required clay and clay tools which we purchased through a local art store for very reasonable prices.

The book came to us as a spiral bound paper edition consisting of 83 pages. We concentrated our time on Unit 2: Creating Scale in Clay. Each unit contains information on safety while using the materials, what materials to use for each project, color images, examples of famous sculptures, and step by step instructions for each project. Grace chose to concentrate on the pinch method (her favorite) and coil method. Most of the instructions and tips were things she already knew from pottery class but she enjoyed reviewing the material and learning a couple of tips that were new to her.

The pinch pot method even came in handy at a local event to celebrate Good Friday. She helped children create small pinch pots to take home, so all the review was great to get her prepared for that.
Creating pinch pot

Her second project was using the coil method and she chose to leave the coils in place to create a snake that can be used as a small cup to hold paperclips or other small items. She got a little frustrated with this type of clay as it was different than the first project. She said it felt too much like dirt. In light of that I would strongly suggest you pay close attention to the type of clay you do buy because there are differences in texture and how it handles. This really only has to do with our experience with the clay and not the art book.

Grace chose to take her pinch pot a step further and gave it to her pottery teacher to fire to make it stronger.

At the end of each unit is a self-evaluation assessment. The student can do this on their own to evaluate each finished project and what they learned in the unit.

Over the summer we hope to come back to the book to do some felting. I've always found it very interesting but never took the time to learn it.

Sculpture Technique: Model retails for $47.95 and is recommended for ages 11-18. This book has nice colorful images as well as easy to follow step by step instructions that include pictures. The student could create the projects exactly as explained or use the information taught to get creative and construct an original design, which is what Grace did. I felt this program was well thought out and presented to the student. You can always rely on ARTistic Pursuits to put out a great product. Take a few minutes to check out Sculpture Technique: Model, especially if you have a child interested in fiber and clay arts. The Crew reviewed other art instruction books from the same company that you should check out too!

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The Evolution of Another Art Project

All semester Grace has worked on an art project to give to a close friend that is moving away. This close friend also happens to be my co-director for the fine arts cooperative. In the beginning we brainstormed ideas of something to give to her at the end of the semester before she was to move away. We came up with Grace drawing characters from some of our favorite plays/musicals that we all performed together. In the picture above is Alice - Grace played Alice a few years ago.

This is Willy Wonka and was probably our very favorite musical that we did with Ms. Shannnon. Willy Wonka was the first musical we did on our own and it has special memories.

In Aladdin Grace was the Genie and this would have been our second favorite musical.

This is from the Music Man and I never thought we would of enjoyed it as much as we did. The music from the play has stuck in our heads for years.

The final picture is all the kids from Willy Wonka. I love how Grace did the chocolate of Augustus' face. In this musical Grace played Veruca. Again all the music from Willy Wonka is still sung from time to time and we even still have the cd in the car to listen to when the mood strikes.
Scott cut out all the characters and created a collage. We presented the gift to our friend last night at a going away party that was held after our recital performances. I think it went over well and hopefully she will enjoy it for years to come and will have something to remember us all by when she moves.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Trim Healthy Mama Post - What To Do When You Are Too Busy To Cook Dinner

The end of each semester is always crazy busy for us as a homeschooling family. Not only are we trying to wrap up the school year ( not happening - math and science throughout the summer) but we are usually wrapping up all the Cooperative performances and business for the year as well. The next two weeks are intense with recitals, drama practices and performances and cleaning up the church areas we use. This week I knew I wouldn't be home three nights to cook meals. In the past this wasn't a big deal - fast food to the rescue, but now on THM the fast food meals are a no no. We allow ourselves one meal out a week with our weekly splurge of French fries.

This meant three hours in the kitchen yesterday afternoon preparing some ready made meals for the family. Frozen burritos from this link on pinterest. Hubby and Grace will eat those tonight. Hopefully they like them.

I also prepared some salmon patties (crabby patties) from the THM recipes in the book. We ate some last night and froze the others for later. Hubby loved them, Grace tolerated them, and I didn't really like them. Of course that was the first time I had tried any type of salmon.
My mine point is on this plan of eating you need to be prepared. Eating at home is so much easier and healthier for you.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Our Cooperative's First Spring Formal 2014

Last night was our Cooperative's first try at an annual spring formal. With about 25 kids in attendance, it went off without a hitch. We were able to pick up an entire ensemble for Grace to wear for around 60 dollars. Thanks Plato's Closet. All the kids went as a group with no dates. My sister surprised Grace with a wrist corsage before the formal.

Believe it or not just about everyone danced. We had more girls than guys but the guys really came through and asked all the girls to dance multiple times. As you can tell from the photos we had a very rustic but incredibly beautiful setting for the formal. Our theme was Country Carnival. I had some friends from church that offered us a barn on their property for the formal. It worked out perfectly.

This was a first formal for Grace and first time dancing with a partner.

We also had lots of group dances and group games to play.

What's formal without dancing to YMCA!
We love these kids and families so much! They make everything we do fun! Great memories and can't wait to do it again next year!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Weekly Wrap Up - Lots Going On

The week started off with an Easter lunch at my sister's house. Loved having my two kids under one roof.

This morning we ended the week with our volunteer time at the animal shelter. The cat above and the cat below are our friends that we see each week in the adult cat room. They are looking for their forever homes and are as sweet as can be. This morning we got up bright and early to be at the shelter in time to learn some of the clean up procedures. We were tasked with cleaning all the water and feeding bowls as well as litter pans. That took about an hour. Then we visited with the cats and a couple of puppies before heading home.


This afternoon was about decorating for the Cooperative's first Spring Formal. Grace was drawing a greeting on the chalkboard for all the attendees when they arrive tomorrow night.

Here are some of the favors that will be handed out to the attending students.
This week we were able to get a little schoolwork done. The most frustrating part is that Grace has hit a wall with Algebra. We are having to go back and review all the concepts with exponents before we can move on. I think this means Algebra II won't be happening until maybe November at this point. We were already behind and now this is moving us farther and farther behind. Grace is really enjoying one of our review products with Micro Business for Teens. She took two different surveys to the Cooperative and a small business owner in town about her ideas for her own micro business. Progeny Press is another review we are doing with the reading of Anne of Green Gables and their study guide. I really want us to watch the movie here soon. She did as a young child but doesn't remember seeing it. This is our second time reading the book but still enjoying it immensely. We went back to our Middle Ages study and learned about John of Lackland and Louis the IX. Grace finished module 5 in the General Science book and continued with her Japanese studies.
In other news I finally visited the GI and they have schedule and endoscopic exam for May 28th. I would appreciate your prayers for the procedure and any news that they may give me from the exam. My acid reflux isn't severe right now but it is always there kind of waiting to break into a bad episode.
Trim Healthy Mama is going great and now I have caught up with Grace. We weigh the exact number and have each lost 6 pounds. It doesn't even really feel like we are on a diet. Exercise has really fallen through the cracks though because it is end of the semester with Cooperative which means lots of extra practices, recital night, spring formal, and so on. This coming week is full of practices and such. In about three weeks we get to slow down some.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Current Art Projects and Easter 2014

You can probably guess the character in the above pic but if now from Frozen.

I have lots more pics of what Grace has been working on but it is a super secret project that will be unveiled next week. I will post about it next week.

After Easter church service we headed to my sister's house for lunch. So great to have everyone under one roof.

Grace's Easter dress before changing for the rest of the day. Didn't want folks thinking she went to church in her frilly skull shirt. Ha Ha.

Monday, April 21, 2014

TOS Review - Home School Adventure Co. - Philosophy Adventure

Home School Adventure Co.
Have you ever had a desire to study or teach Philosophy? How about studying Philosophy through the lens of a biblical worldview? If I am really honest I must say our answer would have been a big NO. When I saw Philosophy Adventure from Home School Adventure Co. come up for review, my first thought was we don't teach classically so what would we do with this product. My second thought was this is going to be way over Grace's head and she won't understand any of it. Who am I kidding! I thought it would be over my head too. The word philosophy is kind of scary in itself. The Webster's American Dictionary defines philosophy as the rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge, or conduct. I truly thought that I wanted to just take a pass on this review, but after more research on their website about the product I became more and more intrigued. The rest they say is history. I am sure glad we didn't skip the chance to review and use this product. Let's get into some of the details about what this product teaches and all the logistics of how to use it.
Philosophy Adventure
We received Philosophy Adventure as a digital download. There were three separate texts to download and print; main text, student workbook, and teacher resources. Being the binder queen that I am I printed everything in one shot, hole punched it, and put it in a big binder with dividers.
The main text printed out to 125 pages and is broken down into the study of 8 different philosophers, checklists, creative writing, and the appendices section. I will start off by quoting the very front of the material that Philosophy Adventure aims to teach your child to write skillfully, think critically, and speak articulately. All very important endeavors for any student. Each philosopher chapter is set up the same:
Biography and Historical Context - Each philosopher has a biographical section with a telling of their life and other historical contexts that may apply to him. What other philosophers he may have come in contact with or was influenced by their works.
Write, Think, and Speak Pages - Here is were the student will delve into writing skillfully, thinking critically, and speaking articulately through various assignments.
Geography and Mapwork - Each philosopher chapter includes a page describing where they were born and their travel destinations. This also includes a map to mark off all the areas mentioned which is found in the student workbook.
Contrast - This section includes (if available) source writings from the philosopher and information comparing and contrasting these writings to a biblical worldview.
The beginning of the main text also includes recommended ways to give credit to high school students for the work accomplished with Philosophy Adventure. Also you will find helpful information about scheduling the material throughout the week.
A wealth of information is found in the back of the main text that deals with all the information you and your child needs for the writing and speech assignments. I'm speaking specifically of the checklist and creative writing sections. Here you will find all the "meaty" information about pre-writing, brainstorming, selecting sources, polishing, critiques, and so much more.
The student workbook (142 pages long) has all the questions and writing assignments for each philosopher as well as journal pages and mapping activities.
The teacher resources download includes memory cards for each philosopher, timeline with philosopher images to glue on, the answer keys, and quizzes.

Other Available Products
 Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal
Philippians in 28 Weeks
The Wise Woman with Literary Analysis Journal
Some of the above products can be used with Philosophy Adventure. Other Crew members did review these products and you can visit the website for the TOS Review Crew to read what they thought.
How We Used the Product and What We Thought
I would like to preface this section of my review by saying that Grace is currently taking a speech class and had lots of homework in that area already. I tell you this because we chose not to do the speech writing portion of the program at this time but we did read over all the insightful advice that is given about research and writing speeches. We concentrated more on learning about each philosopher and all the corresponding activities/assignments that went along with it. I also assigned vocabulary words for each section using the bold typed words that Grace wasn't familiar with relating to each philosopher. Grace's favorite section of the product was simply learning about the philosopher's life and teachings. I found the assigned creative writing assignments very clever and really made the student think before starting to write. Some of the actual writings from the philosophers went over our heads. We stopped using our normal history program and let this take its place for the entire review period. Maybe that is why we concentrated more on historical and geographical information included in the program. The way we used it had us finish with 4 different philosophers. I really liked and enjoyed using this product and learned a ton about philosophy in the process.
You can purchase the Digital Download Version of Philosophy Adventure for $39.95. There are other options on this page as well to purchase. This product is recommended for grades 6-12. If you are interested in purchasing a product from this company they are offering 10% off your order with the coupon code CREW-10 until May 15, 2014.
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Sunday, April 20, 2014

THM Macafoni - Kind of Like Mac and Cheese

Since starting THM one thing my daughter has really missed is the old Mac and Cheese box for a side. I whipped out my trusty THM cookbook and started looking for something that might satisfy her. On pg. 359 is a recipe that replaces the pasta with cauliflower. I tweaked the recipe a bit and turned it into a baked Macafoni dish. I took some of my Joseph's Bread and put small pieces in my new coffee grinder to make bread crumbs to go on the top. I actually baked this one last night and put in the fridge. Today after church we took it to my sisters for lunch and just about all of it was gone. To me and my daughter it tastes more like a cheddar potato dish than macaroni. That is okay though because we like both. Who would have though we would be eating broccoli and cauliflower every week and actually enjoying it.

Journey to Jerusalem

About every other year our church holds a Journey to Jerusalem Event on Good Friday. So far about half of them it has rained the entire time. That doesn't slow us down though. Just about everything was moved inside, even the camel. This year Grace and her friend were old enough to man a vendor booth in the market place. Since both took pottery this semester they decided to have a pottery booth and make pinch pots with the kids.

This year I partnered with another church member and we did the pomegranate juice booth as well as dates, figs, and fig newtons for the kids.

We even had a King Herod in his palace that hosted a feast of food for all the visitors.

A church member donated the money to bring in a camel. This guy is just a year old and his name was Josiah. Very friendly and oh so soft to pet. One of the keepers had a baby Lemur on her neck the whole time and the other keeper had a baby kangaroo in a pouch. There were also petting zoo animals outside under a roofed area due to the rain. All the animals were from North Georgia Zoo and Petting Farm. Very nice folks with very nice animals. They do wolf, camel, kangaroo, reptile, and otter encounters. We are definitely going there soon to visit.

This is a picture I took right before the event started. As you can see we set up a market place. All the children an adults were given gold coins upon admittance to spend at the vendors. Plus there were thieves and beggars all trying to get the gold coins. Roman centurions were patrolling the area and we even had Pontius Pilate with his wife strolling through the market place.

This was just one of three tables of food laid out for the visitors to King Herod's palace. Lots of good food. Me and Grace were very good and didn't partake in the sweets. They did have grilled chicken wings which is on plan and Grace had some of those.
We had a great turn out from the community even with all the rain. Lots of my cooperative families attended as well. At the end of the event our pastor playing Jesus came through the crowd to collect his 12 fishers of men and they went to partake in a living Lord's supper that everyone else could participate in as well. A couple of the events didn't happen because of the rain like making the earth quake, the cross walk, and visiting the empty tomb. Regardless it was a wonderful night.