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Father's DayTravel - CookingLatin WW2

Tuesday, March 27

Painter Song (Norah Jones)

Recently, we had the opportunity to review a fantastic art curriculum, AND we're starting a unit on the Renaissance immediately following Spring Break.  So, since it was supposed to rain for most of break, we decided to take a stay-cation, and visited several art museums in the Tulsa area.  They ran the gamut from religious to historical to modern, and the boys definitely had preferences...   Here is an art museum unit study, with lots of free resources!

Art Museum Resources

If you're planning your own art museum trip, here are a few resources to create a unit study...

Philbrick Art Museum

We visited the Philbrick Museum on St. Patrick's Day (hence the green mustache), and this was the favorite museum out of them all.  Kids under 12 are free, and the admission for adults is quite reasonable.  Since we were studying the Renaissance, we started in that section of the museum.
The museum also has an "art box" program.  On their first visit, kids get a very nice box to hold art supplies, along with several starter supplies.  Each time that they return to the museum, they will get whatever is the 'supply of the month' to add to their kit.  And it's all free!  Even if the museum hadn't been so great, it would have been worth the admission for the art boxes alone.
We headed upstairs to see the art from ancient history.  There is only one room dedicated to Egypt, Rome, and Greece, which was kind of a bummer, but they did have some great medieval weaponry!
Can we just take a moment to appreciate the gorgeous gardens out back of this home?!?  This home belonged to the Phillips family (think : Conoco Phillips) back in the 1930's, before they donated it to the museum society.  Imagine having this to stroll around in the evening!
We headed down the rock path to the ponds and gazebo.  There is also a river that runs around the perimeter of the property.  Such a fantastic walk!  There are several sculptures around this path that range from the beautiful to the bizarre...

Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art

The next day, we visited the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art, where we learned about Judaism and the history of the Jewish faith.
The entryway has beautiful stained glass windows with an intriguing Star of David chandelier.  There is a replica synagogue inside, and my youngest (our little preach-in-training) immediately headed up to the altar to give a sermon!
There is a large section of the museum dedicated to the Holocaust, and while we visited that area, we did not stay very long.  When the boys are older, we will spend more time on this topic.  Until then, I answered what few questions they had and we moved forth.  It should be noted, though, that the section is great for older kids and adults.
The art in the museum ranges from traditional to fantastic.  There is a beautiful cross-stitch representing many Jewish symbols, and then there are the chairs, where you can actually sit in the hand of Yahweh.  (Only metaphorically, since no one is allowed to touch.)
I liked how there were areas of the museum dedicated to each of the holidays and events on the Jewish calendar.  The kids recognized many of the Chanukah symbols, as they have been hooked on the dreidal game for years.  (Quite the little chocolate gamblers, actually...)  They were also very interested in the Passover section, since we recently finished a unit on Ancient Egypt.
Finally, we hit the mezzanine, where the current exhibit is Purim masks made by local school children.  The masks were part of a contest, and each of the boys picked out their favorite.  You can learn more about the history and symbolism of Purim at Jewish Kids.

Philbrick Downtown

Our last stop was at the Philbrick Museum's downtown affiliate.  This was the most disappointing of the three that we visited, mostly because it was so small.  Though there are two floors to this museum, it was filled primarily with modern art.  I suppose the dislike of modern and abstract art is inherited, because the kids didn't appreciate it anymore than my husband or I did.  One said, "He got paid to paint a black rectangle?  I could do THAT!"

Virtual Curriculum Fair : The Arts

Monday, March 26

If You Were Me & Lived In.... {Review}

 I love finding a good read-aloud book about what the kids are interested in and curling up on the couch for an evening together. When we saw some read-alouds coming our way to review from Carole P. Roman, we were excited…new books! One of the first things we noticed about these books was how well-illustrated they are….the bright colors and vivid pictures are very engaging!

We received three books from the Carole P. Roman books and collections, including If You Were Me and Lived in…Ancient Mali, Colonial America, and the American West. These books help children to understand other cultures and historical eras. They’re told from a child’s point of view, are fairly easy reads, and are full of fantastic facts and illustrations. The books cover food, clothing, daily routines, family, celebrations, jobs, and school. Each book ends with definitions and ideas for further learning. They are most appropriate for children aged 8-15, and are great conversation starters among older children!
Books include text, illustration, famous people, and a glossary of terms

If You Were Me and Lived in…Colonial America
The book begins with the Mayflower voyage and follows the pilgrims through their hardships. The descriptions are fabulous for helping to feel like you’re right there with the children narrating the story! It covers some notable people of the era, such as Miles Standish, John Smith, and Pocahontas, as well as many others. At the end of the story are suggestions for further reading and discovery. While it’s not anywhere near Thanksgiving, we pulled out some of our Thanksgiving resources to use with this one. Also, we stumbled upon the blog that accompanies this book, and it includes additional resources like worksheets, coloring pages, and more. It’s perfect for using this book as a jumping-off point for a complete unit study!

If You Were Me and Lived in…Ancient Mali
The book talks of how Mali broke off from Ghana to form its own country, and includes many of the country’s traditions. We learn about traditional clothing and walk the road to Mecca, learning about culture and geography of the region. There are crafts and trades featured in the book as the characters barter for trade, and there is a comprehensive glossary at the end. The boys were surprised to find out that Timbuktu was a real place, and I was surprised at how much I, the teacher, did NOT know about this country! I have to admit that we had nothing here to add to the book…it definitely pointed out a hole in my curriculum that I will be working to fill in the upcoming months…but we’ve already learned quite a bit just from reading this. For these reasons, this was our favorite book.

If You Were Me and Lived in…the American West
While many things come to mind when I think of the American West, this book focuses primarily on the Oregon Trail. It follows the children who traveled west during the Great Migration of 1843, and covers daily life, geography, clothing, jobs, food, famous people, and a glossary of terms. We re-visited our Oregon Trail trip while reading this one.

Captain No Beard
Another series by Carole P. Roman is the Captain No Beard series. This series is most appropriate for children aged 3-8, and each book focuses on a specific character trait.

In Being a Captain is Hard Work, the captain learns that he must listen to the other crew members in order to be a better leader. I have to be honest here and say that this story did not go at all like we thought it would…it seemed at first like a parable for trusting God, and then at the very end, turned into the captain needing to listen to his crew. It was a strange twist for us.

In the past, we have also checked out the Cultural Series, learning about places like Australia and China.  These are a great way to introduce geography in a Charlotte Mason-esque manner.  They are appropriate for children aged 8-15, but can be appreciated by younger children as well.

See what others are saying about Carole P. Roman books at the Homeschool Review Crew!

Carole P. Roman books and collections {Carole P. Roman Reviews}

Wednesday, March 21

Play (Jennifer Lopez)

I don't know about your house, but our boys are all about the Legos!  We try to incorporate them into as many subjects as possible, including history, science, language arts, math, and even Latin and Spanish!  

Today, we're using them with geography.  Specifically, we're studying the 50 states right now, along with abbreviations, capitals, and nicknames.

You will need :

Print the page.  Cut the labels and affix to Legos.  You don't have to do any particular color scheme, but if you're going to do the entire state in a singular color, I recommend cutting the strips off horizontally and doing them state by state.  It takes a bit longer, but leaves less room for error. 
We chose to make each state in one color to assist our special needs son with completing the activity.  (It also makes it easier to check.) 

If you want to make it harder, just randomly affix the stickers to various colors!

Store them in a gallon-sized bag for a quick & easy pick up.  They're also great for taking on the road for some quiet, hotel room fun!

Monday, March 19

Home School in the Woods {review}

From the maker of Project Passport and History Through the Ages, a new line of a la carte products is being released by Home School in the Woods. Two of the new products include 'Get Your Kicks on Route 66' and 'New Figures of the 20th and 21st Century.'

Get Your Kicks on Route 66 - board game

Get Your Kicks on Route 66 is a simple cut & go game designed for 3rd-8th graders. You print it out (there are directions for both single and double sided printing), cut out the game cards, and go!

We chose to color the game board, since we'll be laminating it for future use, and had a little bit of fun along the way. Here I am, rocking out to the Eagles' "Take it Easy,".....'standin' on a corner in Winslow, Arizona....' 😉

Examples of cards include : questions & circumstances, challenges, and some of the more advanced questions. Also, the board itself has facts and trivia related to Route 66 scattered across it.

When we started the game, the players stayed fairly on target with each other. As the questions progressed, however, the oldest knew so many more (from his history studies), leaving the youngest one eating his dust... (Literally, on the old, unpaved Route 66!) I ended up screening questions for the youngest and weeding out some that he had zero shot of answering, just to even things up a bit.

New Figures of the 20th and 21st Century
New Figures of the 20th and 21st Century is an add-on pack for your standard timeline.  It includes twenty-four figures depicting notable people and / or events from this era.  There are two formats offered : figures with and figures without text below them (these two are shown above in the Haiti example).  They come in an easy print PDF format, or you have the option of pulling them up one picture at a time in JPG format.  There are no accompanying timeline pages, so you will need to make some or add to your own pre-existing set.

We do maintain a timeline of historical events, but our pages did not go all the way up to this era, so we simply made a new set of pages for this set.  While aimed at students in 3rd to 12th grade, I've always found timelines to be something that even kindergartners can do and enjoy.  We prefer the figures with text beneath them, and my son reads aloud about each figure.
One thing I noticed about this set is that it is missing several important events from era.  A few we noticed were missing included :
  • Black Tuesday
  • World War I
  • Great Depression
  • birth of any US Presidents other than Obama
  • Pearl Harbor
  • World War II
  • Elvis / Birth of Rock & Roll
  • the Kennedys
  • Martin Luther King Jr. / segretation
  • Vietnam War
  • Women's Rights
  • Berlin Wall
  • Iraq / Desert Storm
  • September 11th
  • Afghanistan
I consider all of these to be fairly important in the realm of US History, and cannot understand why some of the twenty-four figures would make the cut, but not one of these did.  While we were very pleased with the board game, we will probably look to another source for our modern history timeline figures.

  • The timeline add-on includes pieces not typically found with your standard timeline.
  • The game offers a chance for older kids to play while reinforcing new knowledge. It can be difficult to find educational games for older children.
  • The a la carte products are all reasonably priced, at $5 for Get Your Kicks on Route 66 and $3 for New Figures of the 20th and 21st Century.
  • Several important events seem to be missing from timeline add-on.
  • Game is difficult to play (fairly) with children of various stages.
A Few More Notes…
  • Visit Home School in the Woods to see all the other products they have available.
  • These dovetail nicely with our Modern History studies...focusing on the 20th century.
See what others are saying about Home School in the Woods over at the Schoolhouse Review Crew!

À La Carte Projects - Individual projects designed to enhance your studies! {Home School in the Woods Reviews}