Today's Wisdom

Friday, July 22, 2016

Review of Aquarelle Monet


Our summer has been amazing and we are really enjoying relaxing and being laid back more than we ever have before. Even though it is summer, we still like to incorporate what I call fun learning especially anything to do with art. Today's review falls into that category perfectly. We were sent the Aquarelle Monet set from Timberdoodle to review. We thought it was the perfect way to pass a hot summer day!
The Aquarelle Monet set includes the following items:
  • three pictures on thick card stock with beautiful landscape scenes from Monet's line of water lillies
  • washable liquid watercolor paints
  • a standard pipette plus a sturdy dropper (love that Timberdoodle added the sturdy dropper because they felt the one included did not hold up well - I agree!)
  • paint palette
  • a double ended paintbrush
  • a color mixing guide
I found myself really interested in the name when I first saw this set and loved the fact that it included landscape scences from Monet's line of water lillies.  Aquarelle is a style of painting using thin, typically transparent, watercolors.  I explained that to my daughter before beginning the fun. 


Getting started is really simple and easy - all you need is water!  The color mixing guide makes obtaining the color you want even easier.  Sarah really enjoyed mixing her own colors using the guide and playing around with her own combinations.  


The pictures have a wax lining that remains clear as you paint over them giving such a fantastic dimension to your painting and really making it easy to make a great water color painting. 
 

Here are some of our finished projects.  We experimented with adding just a little water to the picture after we finished and liked the effect it left too.  It was so fun to play around with - we had a blast making it our own.  



I didn't realize before hand that many of Claude Monet's final and most famous pieces feature the water lilies in Giverny. So, not only was this a fun activity it sparked our interest into finding more about the artist as well. 

Aquarelle Monet is recommended for ages 8 and up but with a parent's help in mixing the colors I think it would be okay to use with younger children.  The great part is the paints are easily washable because we dripped some ourselves as we were mixing and had no problems at all with clean up.  We would highly recommend this fun activity! This set currently sells for $28.50 and can be purchased here.

This set is also a part of Timberdoodle's 4th Grade 2016 Curriculum Kit.

**I received a free copy of this product through Timberdoodle in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Tenacious Thursday - Weeks 11, 12, & 13



It's hot, it's summer, I'm lazy, I'm slacking...and on and on.

My steps are falling behind because I am not intentionally focusing on them and pushing myself.  I am moving our school room into a new area and that is my current focus along with selling last year's curriculum and making sure I have all of this year's curriculum.  It is what it is but I don't like what I'm seeing in my steps and my weight is staying the exact same which is a good thing at this point because it's not going up!

Week 11 - not even half of my goal



Week 12 - pattern continues



Week 13 - forgot to even put my fitbit on half the time!  If it wasn't for Monday, this week would have been a total wash.



It's ironic that these weeks are following one of my best weeks yet.  

Thanks for those of you joining in with me and keeping me accountable!  How was your week?  What were your accomplishments?  Let me know!  It's never too late to join in! Let's keep each other accountable!

Friend me on Fitbit  - melissa@gchomeschool.com



Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Review of Beric The Briton

Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions  Review

If you have been a reader here long you already know that we are a huge fan of Heirloom Audio Productions. Their line of audio dramas make you feel like you are right there in the moment of history. The latest radio adventure from their lineup is Beric The Briton.

Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions  Review

Beric The Briton, the audio drama, is based on the book, Beric The Briton, by G.A. Henty.  In this historical fiction adventure, you will be transmitted back to ancient times in Rome when Nero was the Roman Emperor. You will be taken all the way to the times of the great Roman fire where Nero blames Christians for the disaster. Only you will be following a couple of Britons from the land of Brittania who were captured by the Romans and trained to be gladiators. As the background story unfolds of Beric and friend Bodouc and their struggles with revenge for themselves and country, Paulus which is Latin for Paul is out sharing about the love and sacrifice of an unknown God to them, Christus which is Latin for Christ. As the worlds of war and forgiveness collide, Beric is faced to examine himself and his beliefs.

It still amazes me the range of emotions that this time period brings to me as I read about it. You can only imagine the emotions that emerge as you not only read what happened but hear it come to life with shouting crowds, roaring lions, fierce gladiator fights, and brave Christian men and women willing to die for their beliefs. I found the hairs on the back of my neck standing up! Although, this story is fiction it is based on the true historical times of this period.

We also received access to special bonuses as well as the CDs. We received a Study Guide and discussion, a mp3 soundtrack, 2 mp3 files of the audio drama, Beric the Briton ebook, a behind-the-scenes video, and a couple of posters including this beautiful poster. 
 

What I love most about Beric The Briton is its portability factor. Our resources arrived just as we were heading to Alaska for vacation. I transferred the mp3 files to my tablet and I was all set. Let me just tell you that these audio adventures are the perfect resource for passing the long hours on a plane. I only wish I had brought the other ones along to listen to again. With about 8 hours of flight time one way, we were all able to enjoy this great story. The drama lasts approximately 2 1/2 hours in total. Our entire family loved this audio drama!



The study guide has always been a favorite for us when we are home. We did not use it this time however I did look over it and was very pleased with what it had to offer. First of all, it is in color making it very pleasing to the eye. Each track is clearly defined including the time stamp. Each track has its own set of questions broken down into 3 sets - The Listening Well questions, The Thinking Further questions, and The Defining Words. On some tracks were additional activities that students could do to enhance their studies further such as recipes, additional resource links, pictures of the historical period, and more. I really loved the background the questions were included on.


Our entire family loved this audio drama and would highly recommend any of the audio dramas produced so far! I remember hating history when I was in school. Oh, how I wish these were around then! I am so glad they are available for my children to help them love history. You can also see our reviews of With Lee In Virginia, In Freedom's Cause, and Under Drake's Flag from Heirloom Audio Productions. Be sure to visit the Facebook page for Beric the Briton too.

Visit Heirloom Audio Productions on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.


Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions  Review
Crew Disclaimer

Monday, July 18, 2016

Menu Plan Monday


I try to plan 6 meals but I do not assign them specific days because it is just easier to plug them in the week as I go.  

Here's what is planned for the week:

  1. Italian Pasta Salad (per request again :)
  2. Salmon, slaw, sweet potato fries
  3. Chicken pot pie (didn't have last week )
  4. out on Thursday
  5. pizza, salads
  6. BLT's, summer veggies

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Review of Economics For Everybody


Economics - admittedly a word that scares me. Especially as we approach an election year, I want my children to understand the flow of how our country works and that is definitely not an area of expertise for me! I know I need to learn more about Economics as well and I am so grateful for those who share their wealth of knowledge. Today's review, Economics for Everybody from Timberdoodle is one I am greatly thankful for.


Economics for Everybody takes a somewhat complicated subject and breaks it down so students can understand how the world was formed and how God ordered us to be productive in it. The set includes a 2 DVD set and 200+ page study guide. The DVDs include the topics lasting for over 4 hours of teachings with a fun unconditional twist from teacher, Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr. There are 12 lessons in total with Lessons 1-5 introducing key economic principles; Lessons 6-10 explaining the relationship between theology, philosophy, and economics; and Lessons 9-12 examine the application of economics in real-life system.
  1. And God Created Economics - Stewardship in God's Image 
  2. The Economic Problem of Sin - Law, Liberty, and Government 
  3. The Path from Work to Wealth - Production, Property, and Tools 
  4. The Route From Scarcity to Plenty - Money, Markets, and Trade 
  5. The Role of the Entrepreneur - Capital, Calculation, and Profit 
  6. A Tale of Two Theologies Part 1 - From God to Politics 
  7. A Tale of Two Theologies Part 2 - Economic Philosophies and Education 
  8. Government Intervention - Basic Principles and Education 
  9. The Two Mysteries of Monetary Policy - Inflation and Depressions 
  10. The Welfare and Corporate States of America - Cost of Redistribution 
  11. Economics Has Consequences - The Real Effects of Sin 
  12. Kingdom Economics
All lessons begin with what Scripture says and then applies those principles to how our country is to be run and shows examples of when those principles are not followed the destruction and downfall that occurs. There are so many principles taught in this series that I had never even thought of and I was glad that I was going through the lesson with my son. You are never too old to learn. For instance, I had never even had the thought that ultimately studying economics helps us to fulfill the Great Commission.  I also appreciated the fact that there is a warning that some lessons could bother younger children. 

I also really loved the combination of the book and the DVD together. The DVD teaching brought the lessons to life with fun animations and comparisons with cartoon clips and even Charlie Chaplin. (see photo above for a few clips)

The book included several great bonuses not available on the the DVD. Each lesson began with the message introduction, Scripture reading passages (another favorite), and learning objectives. It also included the lecture given on the DVD in an outline format which is perfect to show students great note taking techniques. That is an area that we are currently working on with my high school son. It also included multiple choice questions, short answer questions, discussion questions, and additional resources to further enhance your Economics study. The multiple choice questions did include the answers but the other questions did not. I know these are open ended questions but would love to have seen some examples of answers to those questions as well.

The suggested schedule for middle and high school students was to complete one lesson per week which is how we are tackling the lessons.  However, I did watch all the videos beforehand hoping to gain a little insight as we went through the study together. I would highly recommend this resource to high school students and adults.
This set currently sells for $42.25 and can be purchased here.

This set is also a part of Timberdoodle's 12th Grade 2016 Curriculum Kit.


**I received a free copy of this product through Timberdoodle in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Review of Extreme Dot to Dots: Spectacular Places


Raise your hand if you love dot to dot pictures! If so, I have a fantastic resource for you. Only thing though - this one is extreme and I do mean extreme! We were sent Extreme Dot-to-Dots: Spectacular Places from Timberdoodle to review and we have all had a blast trying our hand at it.


One of the things I loved most were the famous places and facts included. Part of the fun was looking at the fact and dots and trying to guess what the place was before finishing.

Now, these are not for young children by any means. The pictures are complex and the numbers head into the thousands so these are not for the faint of heart but these are great if you are looking for a fun challenge. Each of the 42 different puzzles contains a minimum of 1200 dots!  I even had to pull out the magnifying glass which really helped me see those tiny numbers. The only part I found a little extra tedious were numbers in a very light font color. I think the light color meant you could skip those numbers without effecting the picture too much but I found it easier to follow the sequence of numbers. Here you can see the clue and the picture about half way through. Can you guess the place?






If you just cannot figure out what the place is, there is a finished answer key in the back of the book to make it easier.

Some of the places you will visit include The Great Wall of China, The Great Sphinx (in case you couldn't tell :), The Grand Canyon, The Eiffel Tower, The Panama Canal, and so many more!

All of the pages are perforated which makes it easier for the whole family to enjoy at once. Stephen and Sarah are both still working on their final projects but they love them too! They have really enjoyed trying their hand at these during our hot summer days.  These would also make a great resource to kick off a history study or as you finish one. This book currently sells for $12.50 and can be purchased here. We think that is a great price for a combination of history and art!



This book is also a part of Timberdoodle's Eighth Grade 2016 Curriculum Kit.

**I received a free copy of this product through Timberdoodle in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Review of Daily Geography Grade 6

I have another great resource to share with you today that is simple to implement and helps students enhance their geography skills. We were sent Daily Geography Grade 6 from Timberdoodle to review. I used this with an older student who is heading into grade 8 but needed some refreshment on reading maps and especially geography vocabulary terms.


Daily Geography is available in a beginners level and for grades 1-6. Our review will focus on Daily Geography Grade 6. This is another one of Evan-Moor's wonderful quick and simple productions. I loved that lessons can be completed in as little as 15 minutes per day making it so simple to implement into our already full day. If you'd prefer, you could certainly do an entire week's worth of lessons in one sitting. We did that on occasion as well and since I was dealing with an older student didn't find it overwhelming at all. However, it was better for us to break the vocabulary terms down into days since that was a strong area of focus for us. This 160 paperback book contains 36 lessons broken down each week into 5 daily lessons. 

Each weekly lesson contains a page to introduce the weekly concept, a black line map, geography vocabulary terms, student question sheets broken down by days, and an answer key.





Students will learn elements on a map, how to read coordinates, mountain ranges, deserts, and rivers of the world, time zones and so much more. They will be exposed to city maps, tourist maps, ancient maps and taught how to read them, implement them, and even design their own. Included in the back of the book is a Geography glossary with all of the terms taught in the lessons.


All of the pages are perforated allowing for easy copying.  Copies can be made for all students in a single classroom.  There is also a free PDF downloadable file accessible by registering at the Evan-Moor website and using a code available in the front of your book.  The file contains all of the black line maps to make it even easier for you to print for each of your children. 

As I stated earlier, I used Daily Geography Grade 6 with my daughter who will be entering 8th grade in the fall. Most of the map work and questions were a great review for her and fairly easy but the vocabulary terms was where she needed the most review and the glossary was a great bonus for us. This book currently sells for $26.99 and can be purchased here.  If you are looking for a simple and quick solution to complement your history, geography, or social studies curriculum this might be a great fit for you.

This book is also a part of Timberdoodle's Sixth Grade 2016 Curriculum Kit.

**I received a free copy of this product through Timberdoodle in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.