Exploring education through books, travel, and adventure

Month: May 2017

Amazing Artists – Introduction to our Unit Study!

Amazing Artists – Introduction to our Unit Study!

I am so excited to share a brand-new Art unit that I have been working on!! Do you have children that love creating art? I know I do! My kids are obsessed with all things art! Whenever they have a free minute they can be […]

My Top 10 Usborne Books for Homeschooling- Part 1

My Top 10 Usborne Books for Homeschooling- Part 1

  My obsession with Usborne books came long before our decision to homeschool! I fell in love with these amazing books. My home has always been filled with books…picture books, fiction books, poetry…but never non-fiction! I am not sure why I was just always drawn […]

Visiting 6 Countries in 1 Day!!

Visiting 6 Countries in 1 Day!!

disney, epcot, homeschool

 

Have you ever wished you could visit 6 countries in 1 day? Yesterday we visited Mexico, Norway, Germany, Italy, China, and the USA…all in one day!!! Impossible you say? Not if you live in the great state of Florida…and have an Annual Pass to Walt Disney World! Yesterday we visited one of my favorite places on the planet…Epcot! Our goal was to visit all 11 of the countries featured in The World Showcase at Epcot…but it was HOT, and crowded, and HOT…so our goal fell short! BUT, we did get to visit 6 countries and it was a blast!

For those of you who have never visited Epcot, it is just the best experience. When you travel through each of the 11 countries, you truly feel like you are a part of that country. The sights, the smells, the sounds, the tastes…amazing. It is one of the most beautifully themed places in all of Walt Disney World…and that is saying something! It is even more magical after dark…everything is so beautifully lit…I just love it.

Yesterday our goal was to finally get stamps in the Epcot Passports our kids got for Christmas! If you haven’t seen these, they are fantastic! Each country has its own page and the goal is to visit each country and earn a stamp. These feel like actual passports…my kids loved it! In addition to getting stamps at each country, the passport also comes with various stickers that the child can decorate each page with, The stickers show different parts of the country in Epcot as well as the flag of the country.  To earn your stamps all you have to do is visit the Kidcot stops located in each country. These are great places for the kids to stop and catch their breath, even if you aren’t collecting stamps for your passport. The Cast Member that works at the station will help the child put the stamp in their book and will usually add a drawing or the child’s name or a saying in the language of their country. We had so much fun! Many of the Cast Member’s will teach the kids a word or phrase from their country as well. Such an awesome learning experience! If you don’t have a passport, don’t worry!! You can either purchase one right at Epcot, OR each Kidcot stop has a paper version that you can get for FREE to put stamps in!!!

epcot, homeschool, disney

 

We can’t wait to return in a couple of weeks to collect the remaining 5 passport stamps! This is such an awesome addition to any world geography unit! Each country has an opportunity to learn about the culture, hear the music, meet the people, see art, try the food, and so much more! I may have had to taste a hibiscus margarita in Mexico…for educational purposes of course!! Two thumbs way up! I am looking forward to many more visits to Epcot in the future…especially as we begin to study all of the countries! If you have ever been to Epcot, which is your favorite country to visit?

 

epcot, homeschool, disney

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State Park Family Pass for the Win!

State Park Family Pass for the Win!

My fellow Floridians…are you aware of the sheer number of State Parks in this state?? My mind is seriously blown! They  are everywhere!! Not only are they everywhere…but they are amazing! Whether you are looking for a place to go biking, birding, snorkeling, camping, shelling, […]

My Why…

My Why…

This picture? THIS, is my why. Those 3 little beach bums right there. Getting to watch them learn and explore has made for a pretty amazing year. Is it always easy? Heck NO! Are there days where I want to hide? You betcha! Those hard […]

Amazing Artists Week 2- Becoming Jackson Pollock

Amazing Artists Week 2- Becoming Jackson Pollock

Art Unit, Pollock, homeschool

Much like Pablo Picasso, my kids were so intrigued by the works of Jackson Pollock! They absolutely love seeing his artwork…it is so full of splatters, splashes, and drips of paint! We couldn’t wait to jump right in and get started!! This week I was so excited to have found an amazing YouTube video! This video serves as an awesome look into the life of Pollock…complete with a tour through his NY home. My kids were so excited that we could see the floor of the barn that he once worked on…it is still covered in splashes and blobs of paint. It is like a work of art itself! So, lets begin Week 2!

Here’s what you’ll need:

The Usborne Art Treasury

Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists– Jackson Pollock by Mike Venezia

-Paper, brushes of various sizes, paint (we used watercolors and tempera), yarn, marbles, and a box or tin pan to roll marbles in!

Like all of our artist units, we begin by reading the book by Mike Venezia. I just adore these books. The kids love seeing the pictures and learning about the artists in a way they can understand.

We then jumped right in to this amazing video…watch straight through the end for an amazing art project  the kids on the video complete…and also a smaller scale project you can do right at home!! This video was seriously impressive…the creator even gives a lesson on paint viscosity! We LOVED it! We had a blast playing with different thicknesses of paint!!

 

For our next project we watched another YouTube video!! We were SO excited to try this next project…because it involved paint and MARBLES! This was a blast and we absolutely LOVE how our pieces turned out! Thought Pollock didn’t work with marbles himself, we were able to create very Jackson-esque paintings this way!

Here is the marble painting YouTube video:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our next project was also done after watching a YouTube video, SURPRISE! 😉 We watched the following video and created our own masterpieces by using YARN dipped in  paint! Again, not a medium that Pollock used, but was such a fun way to create some interesting lines and dribbles that were very “Pollock-esque”

Our final project came directly from The Usborne Art Treasury! This was a super fun lesson on splattering…we made a MESS! I highly recommend newspapers and smocks for this part! Thank goodness for washable tempera paint! Usborne Art Treasury, Pollock, Paint

Some of our finished pieces…:)

Homeschool art, pollock, gallery

 

Stay tuned for our next amazing artist…Paul Klee! Have fun and happy painting!!!

 

 

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My Top 10 Homeschool Must-Haves!!

My Top 10 Homeschool Must-Haves!!

1.) Coffee…yes, I am totally serious! My kiddos know that before we can start anything, Mama needs to have her coffee…with a side of quiet. I am not a morning person…at all. Coffee is the only thing that makes me feel like a human in […]

Year-round Homeschooling…say whaaat?

Year-round Homeschooling…say whaaat?

  With summer right around the corner (or perhaps already here for those of us who live on the sun…er…Florida) I have noticed a lot more discussions on whether or not to homeschool year round. Just like every other homeschool related topic, there are some […]

Discount School Supply for your Artsy Needs!

Discount School Supply for your Artsy Needs!

art, supplies, homeschool, review

As a homeschool Mom, I always love hearing about tips, tricks, favorite supplies, and deals from other homeschoolers! I have found some of my favorite things based on the recommendations of others. So, I want to share with YOU my go-to online supplier of all things artsy!

When I was planning my first year of homeschooling I discovered Discount School Supply. I was busily ordering catalogs from any and every source I could get my hands on. When the catalog from Discount School Supply arrived I was excited to see what a wide variety of art supplies they had! Great selection and all different sizes to choose from. So I decided to place a small order to check them out! I ordered several liquid watercolors and some watercolor paper. They shipped extremely fast! Unfortunately when I opened my package, one of the bottles of liquid watercolor had leaked and gotten all over that bottle and seeped into the top several pieces of watercolor paper. I sent out a quick email just to let them know and to see if I could get the watercolor paper replaced. I received an immediate response asking which color leaked and which paper I had purchased. They were extremely apologetic and I had a brand new package of paper and a new bottle of watercolor within just a few days. That is A+ service in my book!

They carry very high quality products at really good prices! I just placed another order and was able to find a coupon code to save $10. You can even earn free shipping on all orders of $99 or more! Who doesn’t love free shipping?!?!

I am so excited for my new order to come in…they carry my favorite liquid watercolors, Colorations (stay tuned for another post about these!). I wasn’t able to find these paints on Amazon…which is my go-to for most things…I am an Amazon Prime addict. I was so happy to see that Discount School Supply not only had them, but at a really great price. So many sizes and SO many colors!

I will absolutely continue to use this company in the future…great products and wonderful customer service…that’s a winning combination in my book!

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Amazing Artists Week 1- Becoming Picasso!

Amazing Artists Week 1- Becoming Picasso!

(The following links go to my personal Usborne Books & More website, as a consultant I do receive commission on purchases) Welcome to the first installment of our Amazing Artists unit!! I am so excited to get started! Like many of the other projects we […]