Thursday, March 23, 2017

Art Project #79-- Minecraft Digital Art

I asked my boys what they wanted to do for art and mostly I got a lot of grumbling and complaining.  When the boys mentioned that they wished they could do art on the computer or the Xbox.

My response: "Oh, you mean digital art?"



That was all it took.  They were off and running each deciding to build something for me to photograph in Minecraft.

There is a time when I might have reminded them that we don't play video games during the school day.  A time when I might have directed them to something that fit my definition of art; but I try as often as I can to let them lead us in our school day.

My boys love Minecraft and I've found that I don't mind them playing since they use a lot of creativity to build new houses, new furniture, tunnels, tracks, boats, and more.

Yet, it wasn't until they asked that I really thought; Hey, that's ART!  I just knew it would be the perfect addition to our 100 Days of Art Challenge! 

Alec made a rainbow with a pot of gold:


Evan made an island suspended above his world; complete with waterfall, trees and stable:


Ian made a pirate ship and asked his brothers to help him (when they were done their own pictures):


Did you notice his figureheads?
Alec decided to go back and add a giant leprechaun standing in front of his rainbow; holding a 4 leaf clover and a golden coin:


This was the most excited I have ever seen all three boys get at the idea of art. It amazes me how fast they can build this stuff too!  I know I need to embrace the digital resources we have and use them more often.



Our other art projects:
Project 3: Star Wars Crafts
Project 5: Floral pens
Project 6: Watercolor outlines
Project 13: Water gun art
Project 14: Watercolor Kits
Project 15: Dragonfly Silhouettes 
Project 16: Painting pet rocks 
Project 17: Spray Paint Resist
Project 18: Water bottle windsock
Project 20: Tin can windsock 
Project 21: Firework glue art
Project 22: Qixel art kit
Project 26: Spray Painted Canvas
Project 28: Tin Foil Art
Project 29: Oil Pastel Bubbles 
Project 32: Drip Painted Pots
Project 33: Sun Art 
Project 36: Art Museum field trip. 
Project 39: Painting Pikachu 
Project 40: How to Draw Books
Project 42: Splatter Paint Canvas
Project 46: Tissue Paper Leaf Art
Project 50: Drawing Cat Faces 
Project 51: Making Homemade cards
Project 53: 3-D printing 
Project 54: Gingerbread Train
Project 57: Candy trees 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Homeschooling Through the Alphabet: J is for Journey

While I had been thinking that J is for Joy; it only made since that I finally settle on J being for Journey!  After all I did name my blog Our Unschooling Journey for a reason.



While homeschooling is fun and work I am doing is important, I continually remind myself that no matter what our typical days might look like that this is OUR journey and every families journey is going to different.

When we first started homeschooling I felt called to lead my boys into the waters of unschooling.  We tried to just have fun, focus on play and exploration, and learn through discovering the world around us.  We used books to read about topics that interested us, we went on LOTS and lots of field trips, and we left the workbooks behind.

It was very freeing and we enjoyed science project together, creating with art, telling stories, and just learning to connect with one another on a deeper level.

And yet every time I tried to hand over the reigns and focus on the fundamentals of unschooling-- following the boys' lead and leaving all structured schoolwork behind; they balked.

They begged for me to plan lessons, they cheered when we started using just a few worksheets here and there.

They groaned when  offered to play board games with them...

And through the years we've tried out just about every form of homeschooling there is.  We've found what works for us and while we most definitely do not look like an unschooling family that's OK; because this is our journey and this is where we want to be right now.

When I had kids I never saw myself homeschooling.  I'm not even sure I knew there were homeschooling people in our area.  When our private school shut down and Ian asked to homeschool I scoffed at him and told him that was NEVER going to happen.

Two years later we ready to give it a try.

We can never determine what path our lives will take.  We can never see around every bend in the road and know without a doubt what our final destination will be or how we are going to get there.  I would have laughed out right and said there was no way my boys would be willing to sit at the table and work in spelling, math, cursive, and grammar books each day... and yet that is what the last year of our life looks like!



In fact, my boys often groan or complain now when I try to plan field trips or fun games; they'd prefer working in their books and staying at home!

So for now we're embracing the workbooks and our quiet time at home; for however long it lasts.  The boys are happy and thriving and I know that in a few years we'll probably have turned another corner in our journey and things will have changed once again.

 My boys are continually growing and changing and our homeschooling journey changes right along with them.

Life is a journey and I focus on teaching my boys that they should make their journey as enjoyable as they can. I try to model a life where we focus on the here and now, plan for the future, but remain flexible knowing things are always changing..

So just remember, don't compare your journey to anyone else's; you can't see where they've been or where they hope to get to.  Their journey might be ending at this road while yours might be starting.

Others in the series:

Homeschooling Through the Alphabet:

A is for Awe
E is for Expectations
F is for Fun
G is for Games
H is for Heart
I is for Independent 

Linking Up With:



Hopkins Homeschool

Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

Coffee and Conversation button



Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Love to Learn Tuesdays Linky Party

We've spent the last week digging ourselves out of the snow.  We've been spending lots of time at home and I have been making a conscious effort to add more science experiments back into our days.  I feel like we've spent so much time focusing on history, geography, and art that we've kind of been neglecting the sciences a bit.  Now we're making up for lost time.  What are some of your favorite experiments?

Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you'll join us in linking up to fun some blog posts and social media shares!

Playful learning games, educational activities, printables and homeschool curriculum, parenting tips and more on the Learn Through play blog hop

Welcome to the Love to Learn Blog Hop

A collection of educational activities to instill a life long love of learning in our children.

Enjoy learning through play, nature, crafts, and many other educational activities.

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Featured Favorite

Gratitude is not something to just talk about during Thanksgiving season, but a life long practice. Tips for living an attitude of gratitude for both you and your kids at Family Focus Blog
 
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Linking Up With:

JENerally Informed



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Monday, March 20, 2017

Our 4th Grade Curriculum

It boggles my mind that my YOUNGEST is going to be in 4th grade this year.  He is now older than my oldest was when I pulled them out of school.  That to me is just amazing!

He has struggled to gain skills in reading, spelling and writing, but has shown tremendous progress this past school year.  Math, however, just seems to click and he happily goes through spurts where he'll even work on extra pages.

I am so proud of him and of how hard he works.

We worked together to pick out his books and materials for the coming year.



Math:  Evan will continue working on his multiplication facts, he'll be taking math minutes, filling out the grids in Multiplication Games and applying facts as often as we can to real life.  He's excited to go back to the Marvel Heroes Math Made Easy.  Evan has enjoyed these series of books the past few years and just loves the addition of the Marvel superheroes.





Spelling:  Evan has been doing real well with the Evan- Moor Building Spelling Skills book and will go onto grade 2 (and since we're finishing up the grade 1 book very soon) we'll start grade 2 over the summer and will most likely be ending with grade 3 by next summer.


Reading:  We'll continue reading books, magazines, and graphic novels together; letting him choose WHAT to read each day.  He has started the first Harry Potter book and while it was quite a challenge for him I'd like to encourage him to keep working his way through the series. We're also working our way trough the Dragon Masters series and The Weird School books as well as sprinkling in fun picture books every now and then.

English/ Grammar:  This will be a new subject for Evan this year but since he has finished up his word family book I thought this might be a nice quick, and easy addition to our days for a couple of days a week reviewing things like noun, pronoun, other parts of speech.  We'll be using English Grade 4. 


Writing:  Evan will continue to do a variety of writing projects using his journal, the Draw Write Now books, his cursive workbook. and whatever else interests him.



Geography:  We're finishing up our Africa unit soon and have been talking about turning back to the 50 states for geography this year.  We're hoping to "visit" all 50 states through the use of books, recipes, and craft projects and the use of the Thinking Tree United States Journal. 


Science:  We'll continue to play games, use our snap circuits and building kits, as well as partake in science experiments.  We're planning to use Evan's oldest brother's 8th Grade Science by the Grade book to guide us in our experiments.  But at this age Evan is free to join us or do his own thing.  He often reads Ranger Rick magazines, goes for lots of nature hikes in the woods, and loves reading about various animals so I don't worry much about formal science education.

Science by the Grade: Grade 8 | Main photo (Cover)

Some of our curriculum round up posts from previous years:

2nd grade curriculum
3rd Grade Curriculum
4th Grade Curriculum
5th Grade Curriculum
6th Grade Curriculum
7th Grade Curriculum
This Year's 8th Grade Curriculum
This Year's 6th Grade Curriculum

Linking Up With:
“Mrs.AOK,

Country Mouse City Spouse Monday Mish Mash Link Party #61

Hip Homeschool Moms


Chaotic Bliss Homeschooling

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Rice Krispie Treats; Perfect for Spring!

My boys love Rice Krispie treats but I rarely think to buy them.  I offered to help Alec make a batch for his brothers the other day and suggested we add a few fun spring additions.

Additions like pale yellow Wilton chocolate melts and fun sprinkles!



He was thrilled and set to work.

We followed the recipe for the Original Treats found on the Kellogg's website.

6 cups rice cereal
3 Tablespoons butter
4 Cups mini marshmallows
1 Cup Wilton chocolate melts
Various spring colored sprinkles; orange, blue, and green.

In a large pot, Alec melted the butter and marshmallow together over low heat until smooth.




Then we added in the chocolate melts (ours was one big glob since it was leftover from another candy making job and had been in the fridge).  Continuing to stir over low heat until it was completely melted.




We added in the rice cereal and mixed until everything was combined.  We pressed the rice mixture into a 13 x 9 glass pan that had been well sprayed with non- stick spray.  We also used a sheet of wax paper sprayed with non- stick spray to help us pack it down and smooth it out into the pan without the rice mixture sticking to us or our spoon.

Once we had them nice and flat the boys began decorating.



We melted some more yellow melts and using spoons the boys drizzled melted chocolate over the top.  They then sprinkled liberally with the colorful sprinkles.





We followed the recipe for the Original Treats found on the Kellogg's website:
6 cups rice cereal
3 Tablespoons butter
4 Cups mini marshmallows
1 Cup Wilton chocolate melts
Various spring colored sprinkles; orange, blue, and green.

Step 1: In a large pot, Alec melted the butter and marshmallow together over low heat until smooth.
Step 2: Then we added in the chocolate melts (ours was one big glob since it was leftover from another candy making job and had been in the fridge).  Continuing to stir over low heat until it was completely melted.
Step 3: We added in the rice cereal and mixed until everything was combined.
Step 4: We pressed the rice mixture into a 13 x 9 glass pan that had been well sprayed with non- stick spray.  We also used a sheet of wax paper sprayed with non- stick spray to help us pack it down and smooth it out into the pan without the rice mixture sticking to us or our spoon.
Step 5: Once we had them nice and flat the boys began decorating. We melted some more yellow melts and using spoons the boys drizzled melted chocolate over the top.  They then sprinkled liberally with the colorful sprinkles.


Linking Up With:



hishlogo

Rp share it one more time new logo with bird barb and i update.jpg
apinchofjoy.com




Marilyns Treats