Category Archives: arts and crafts

Week 14

Memory Verse: I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. -Philippians 4:12-13

Hymn: O Holy Night

Artist: Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn

Composer: Ludwig Van Beethoven

Five in a Row: The Duchess Bakes a Cake by Virginia Kahl (studying the medieval period)

Pre-K Literature: Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco (studying weather and storms)

Read Aloud:The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne

Photos from the Last Week:

He was able to watch the election results for a while and color in states on his map as they were won.


He usually comes up with his own ideas for creative writing, but every now and then he gets stuck. I got this great little story starter flip book at Mardel that gives him ideas for different characters, setting and plot of a story.
She’s got number order down pat.


She’s getting close to finishing book one of Explode the Code.

Though I’m not a big fan of frequent sweets, I decided we’d do something special and bake a cake since both of their books have a cake theme. In Elliot’s book, the duchess gets herself into trouble by haphazardly throwing ingredients together and not following a recipe or measuring things out, so we talked about how important that is and practiced doing the measuring of ingredients.



Caroline got her chance to help as well. Her book, Thunder Cake, is all about overcoming fears, and she faced a fear of her own as she used the beater. She’s not a fan of loud things!



Here is our finished Thunder Cake/ Lovely, Light (ok, maybe not at all light), Luscious, Delectable Cake. Boy was it good!

We have enjoyed these as read aloud books so much! They are simply adorable and my kids have never rolled around the floor giggling as much as they have with these. They’ve just strengthened our Winnie the Pooh love even more. Caroline is dying to go back to Disney World to have breakfast with Pooh and friends again!


Josh, who is the artist of the family has been wanting to do some painting with the kids for a while now. The kids have been very inspired by the artists we’ve studied so they’re been eager to do “real paintings” with Daddy, so we got some canvases and let them go for it. Josh also taught them all about making new colors since we only had the three primary colors and black and white.






1 Comment

Nature Study, Art and Music Appreciation, Read Alouds and Bible

I’ve been planning for next year while at the same time really looking more into the methods of Charlotte Mason and there’s so much that she valued that I want to be including in our school routine. We’ve done lots of reading aloud, but other than that, I wouldn’t say we’re strictly following the guidelines she suggested, even though I have loved much of what I read about how she taught children. A phrase I found myself repeating a lot was “someday we’ll do more of that type of thing….” but recently I’ve realized that now, while my children are still young and fascinated by their world, is the perfect time to introduce this stuff.

Charlotte Mason emphasized letting children be outside as much as possible and letting them learn from their surroundings so we’re going to try to do frequent nature walks. I got the perfect little bag (bought it on etsy…isn’t it cute?) that I can keep our journals, pencils and things we’ll need when we head out for some outside time. I want to be more purposeful about encouraging the kids to be observant about what they see around them. We’ll be able to easily grab our nature bag to bring along during trips to the park, walks around the neighborhood, or even just out into our backyard when we can’t spare the time to go far.



Another thing we’ll be doing next year is studying a few artists and composers. We’ll be doing several eight week studies on one artist and one composer at a time, for a total of four artists and four composers for the entire year.

I came across this great series that has tons of the greatest artists and composers. We’ll also be taking out lots of books from the library to learn as much as we can during each eight-week period.



The kids will each have an art and music notebook. We’ll study specific pieces of art from each artist and the kids will have a chance to try to do their own versions of the artwork.

I found several other fun things to add to our music section, while we enjoy listening to the music from these composers.

We have loved reading aloud this year and have completed about eight books together, so I wanted to make sure I picked out some good ones for next year. Both of the kids have been dying to know about what we’re going to read and they want to know how soon we can begin!

Here are a few of our read alouds for next year that I was able to snag from Half Price Books. There are a couple others that go along with Elliot’s Five in A Row books that I plan to borrow from the library.


We found ourselves coming across some great new words in our read alouds and occasionally Elliot would tell me a word he came across in one of his books, and I found myself looking up words all the time, so I decided we needed to keep track of these words in a journal. The kids are really excited about finding new words to add!


We’ve come across a few great ones already, just since yesterday.

I also came across some great printables on this blog recently and founds his one that will compliment our word journal nicely. I laminated it so we can reuse it with dry erase markers. We’ll choose one word from our journal each week as our “Word of the Week”.


Another thing I’d like to do much better at next year is reading to the kids from the Bible…not a children’s story Bible, not a devotional, but the Bible! Not that those other things are bad at all, but I think I’ve relied on them too much and assumed my kids can’t handle the Bible. When I was looking for what we’d use for our morning devotional time this year, God really spoke to me and convicted me that His Word was enough! From what I had read about Charlotte Mason, I knew she was also emphasized reading to your children from the Bible often and from an early age.
There was still that question in my mind of “Okay, but where do I being and how will I choose what we read each day?” and a good friend of mine pointed me in the direction of Penny Gardner’s Bible Reading Plan. She has a long list, for both the Old and New Testament, broken up into “episodes”. It’s exactly what I was looking for! I tweeked it a little bit, printed it off and laminated it. We’re going to alternate between Old and New Testament reading and check off with a dry erase marker what we’ve covered.



Comments Off

What’s New For Next Year

I’ve been super busy planning for next year these last few weeks. We’re keeping a lot of our favorites from this year (such as Math-U-See, Explode the Code, A Reason for Handwriting, Growing with Grammar, Pathway Readers, Christian Liberty Press Nature Readers, and Five in a Row) but we’re also going to be trying out a few new things as well. Here’s what’s new for next year.

We’re adding art because the kids have shown a real interest in doing more art work. This is a new curriculum written by How Great Thou Art. There are around sixty Bible stories in it with discussion questions and an art lesson for each one. I love that it’s so much more than just art!


In addition to the book, you get all of the pages for the art lessons that you can copy as needed to use with however many students you have.

I’m starting Caroline on a math curriculum next year. I wanted something gentle, fun and effective and I came across this. It’s a Charlotte Mason style curriculum, so it’s written in story-form (which is extremely unique for a math curriculum). It’s the story of a set of twins who go visit their grandparent’s farm for the summer and all of their adventures.

All the extras you need are included in the back of the book and need only to be laminated for durability.

How cute is this?!


We’ll also be adding a Worldview curriculum for the three of us to do together. This is a new series written by Apologia (well-known for their excellent science curriculum). There are four books in the entire series and we’ll be covering one per year. We’ll also be keeping a notebook together where we’ll jot down memory verses, key terms, and answers to discussion questions. I think the kids will really grow in their understanding of the Bible and the Christian faith. I’m super excited!


And last, I’ve had a lot of people ask me what I am doing for literature next year. Elliot and I will be continuing our beloved Five in A Row. I am going to be using titles from both volume three and four with him because I think he will be ready to move on to a more challenging literature program in third grade (I’m looking at a Total Language Plus or Progeny Press). We’ll be doing a total of eighteen FIAR books next year! For Caroline, I’ve come up with something on my own. We’re doing a family theme throughout the whole year and we’ll be reading a variety of books written about different family relationships. We’ll cover mother, father, siblings, grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles, and cousins. I’ll also be using those books as a starting point for unit studies on a variety of topics like seasons, weather, money, etc.

Here are some of the books her and I will be reading together next year. She will also have eighteen total books for the year.


Comments Off

Art for Harold and the Purple Crayon

Today for art we learned about perspective and how we can use this technique when drawing to reflect how things far away look smaller than things up close. We also learned about the horizon line (which also led us to discuss the difference between horizontal and vertical) and the vanishing point.

Here’s our example from the book.


We looked up some examples of pictures that exhibit a perspective view.

Elliot then set to work on his own drawing with a horizon line and a vanishing point.



We added “perspective” to our Choices Artists Can Make to Add Interest notebook page.

Comments Off

Art for Owl Moon

For science we learned about what causes shadows and for art we took notice of all the shadows the artist included in the illustrations of this book. We also discussed how since the story takes place during the night of a full moon, it would have had to been the light of the moon causing the shadows and not the sunlight. Then Elliot made his own drawing in which he attempted to give things shadows.

Here’s an example of one of the pages with several shadows in the illustration.


Elliot thought it would be a good idea to actually show how the light of the sun was stretching all the way to the objects in his picture, creating a shadow on the other side of them.

We also added Owl Moon to our Caldecott winner list.

Comments Off

Art for The Tale of Peter Rabbit

Today we talked about how the illustrations in The Tale of Peter Rabbit are naturalistic. The plants and animals in the book closely resemble those in real life (minus the shoes and jacket on Peter!). We talked about how Beatrix Potter owned and observed many animals growing up and as a result of that she was able to draw them very realistically. We compared and contrasted the illustrations in the book with drawings from a Peter Rabbit coloring book that we have that are not naturalistic but instead very cartoon-like.

Here’s an illustration from the book. Peter Rabbit, though dressed in clothes, looks very much like a real rabbit in his body shape and features. The vegetation also looks very realistic.

In contrast, here’s the coloring book drawing from the same passage in the book. Notice the cartoon eyes and unrealistic body shape (such as the paws that look more like hands). And the flowers are ridiculously perfect and unrealistic.

Elliot attempted to make a realistic drawing by looking at the illustrations in the book. He commented how hard it was. I reminded him that Beatrix Potter practiced for years to be able to draw so well.


We ended our lesson by enjoying some little Peter Rabbit crackers (Annie’s Organic Whole Wheat Bunnies).

Elliot re-told the story with his “props”.

He made a “rabbit pie”. He said it represented how Peter Rabbit’s father got caught and put into a pie by Mrs. McGregor.

Comments Off

Art for The Story of Ferdinand

Today was our art day. We took notice of all the humor in the illustrations (such as little bottle corks growing off the branches of the cork trees, as if that’s how we get cork). Elliot did his own illustration with humor. He also acted out a scene from the book.

We added “humor” to our Choices Artists Can Make to Add Interest page.


This is Elliot’s humorous drawing. He included bulls talking with words that aren’t even really words, a hammer that is frowning, a clock that is growing out of the ground like a flower, and lots of other crazy things.

This is Elliot acting out the scene where Ferdinand sits down under the cork trees to smell the flowers but then sits right on a bumblebee that stings him.


Art for Make Way For Ducklings

Today was art day for Make Way For Duckings. We learned the neat story about how Robert McCloskey actually bought two Mallard ducks and brought them back to his studio apartment so he could observe them and learn to draw them accurately. He even put them in his bathtub so he could observe what they look like in water! Elliot was very amused by this and we were able to talk about how preparation and determination can pay off. We also discussed the technique of shading that is used a lot in the illustrations. Though the pictures are not colored, they are still very interesting due to the details and shading.

He worked diligently to make his own artwork with shading.



We added “shading” to our Choices Artists Can Make to Add Interest page.

We also added Make Way For Ducklings to our Caldecott Medal book list.

Comments Off

Craft Day

I had a craft for each of the kids today and I let them also do the other one’s craft. I predicted correctly that they would be very disappointed if they didn’t get to do a craft that the other one was doing. They really enjoyed both of them.




Two little red lighthouses. Elliot mistakenly wrote his name on the cup when it was right-side up, forgetting that we were turning them upside-down.





Two happy little caterpillars.

Comments Off

Art for The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge

Today was our art day. We enjoyed the many interesting pictures in the book that show the contrast in size between the lighthouse and the bridge. Elliot’s assignment was to draw his own picture where there are two (or more) things that have a big contrast in size.

Here is our inspiration from the book.

Elliot drew a picture of one of the World Trade Center towers next to another building, a lighthouse, and lots of cars. He got an idea to add measurement on the side so we could actually see how drastically different in size these things are.

We added “contrast in size” to our Choices Artists Can Make to Add Interest page.

1 Comment