Thursday, November 23, 2017

F is for Football

We did this last month, and I never got around to posting about it, but it fits perfectly into my abc blogging this week for the letter F.

We have been learning about football through Amanda Bennett's Unit Studies, and had some fun activities after our official "day 1" of the study.

One of her suggestions for a fun project to go along with the study is to get a sheet, and decorate it with all the things we learn throughout the unit study. I have done this with some of our previous studies, and the kids just love it. So, I picked up a cheap sheet from Walmart, set out the sharpies and let the kids have fun.

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We made paper footballs...

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Alex chose to color his pink, and we of course loved using the thin stix for these.

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Aric's was orange...

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Aaron went with the classic brown...

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I made a little "football field" with a tablecloth I found at Walmart. The boys had fun flicking them to see how far they could go.

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We tried some different techniques. If you want a great video to watch try this one. This Dad is funny, and has some great tips.


Also, if you'd like to have some fun with football too, Football Frenzy is on special right now, only $4!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Wordless Wednesday: New church shoes

One Sunday (literally) all the boys declared their church shoes were too small, so we took them all out to see what would work for the next size up, and if the bigger shoes could be passed down, nothing! Nothing fit right on any boy.

So, out with the old... (saving some for Alex later)

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And in with the new...

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 Nothing like a new pair of nice shiny church shoes! Oh, and April got some too.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Blog stuff

As you can see I've been doing some housekeeping on the blog...

Screenshot-2017-11-21 Our homeschool notebook

The 2017 review crew year is over, so I thought it was time for some changes. I am still in the process of doing more, but for now this is where I am at. I've also created a link to the page up above for all my 2017 review crew posts. It was fun to see what we did this year. At this point I am unsure if I'll be invited back to the crew, but I've applied and sure hope to be asked back! Until then I will continue to make some changes, especially if I'm not asked back. I may decide to do something completely different! We'll see!


Thursday, November 16, 2017

E is for Everything Thanksgiving week

I wanted to get out Christmas decorations last weekend.

I didn't even want to get out the Thanksgiving box because it required me to find it in storage.

It's not that I don't want to be thankful. That's never the case. I am just very excited for Christmas, and can't wait for the decorations to go up.

I wasn't even sure how much I had for Thanksgiving. We usually don't decorate for Christmas until the weekend after Thanksgiving, so I needed something to go on the mantel.

Then I was inspired by a facebook event that is taking place this whole week. It is a week long focus on Thanksgiving with fun things to do with the kids all week. It can be part of a unit study, or just for fun. I got excited because I really do love Thanksgiving. So, I decided to just go and dig out my thanksgiving stuff from storage. I had more than I remembered having.

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Some of the things we have collected over the years. The pilgrims and indians are a craft that Aric made a few years ago. I am so glad those are still together.
 I also dug out our fall/Thanksgiving books. We have checked out a few from the library too.

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We had to get some games out from storage as well. Alex just loves this game The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel game

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This kid beat me every time.

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Not only is Amanda Bennet having her week long Thanksgiving fun, but ChalkPastel.com is also having a week long Thanksgiving art fest as well. I just love chalk pastel art, so I thought we'd include some of their projects too.

We started on Monday making a pumpkin...

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Aaron--11 years -old

Art on the wall makes me happy...

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 We made pilgrim hats with cookies and mini peanut butter cups...

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 We also painted/chalked Mr. Whiskers from Cranberry Thanksgiving...

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By Mom (Desiree)
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Alex and Aric's picture of Mr. Whiskers.
This is all we have so far. We have some days left this week, and we'll continue into next week as we approach Thanksgiving. Maybe I'll post a part 2!

I am linking this up with ABC blogging through the alphabet.


Hopkins Homeschool

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Innovator's Tribe (A REVIEW)

Innovators Tribe

Here it is! My last review for the year 2017. I think I ended the year with a bang though. We had the opportunity to learn to design and build with Thinking Like an Engineer from Innovators Tribe. An online course that takes kids in grades 6-12 on a journey learning all about engineering. They learn about the different kinds of engineers, what they engineer, and there are lessons on engineering roller coasters and bridges with plenty of hands-on challenges.

Thinking Like an Engineer

For this review we received the full online course of Thinking Like an Engineer. It's fully accessible online with internet access. The child has a log-in, and they work through the lessons at their own pace. It is not live, but each lesson is made up of several videos. The videos are engaging, and they pause at the right time for the student to do what is needed before moving onto the next video. As they work through the lessons and complete each one it is checked off and the child can see their progress. On the left hand side of the screen there is always a menu with the list of lessons and topics. Next to each section is an approximate time that it will take. Some sections take as little as 2 minutes, and some as much as an hour or more.

Innovators Tribe What You Get
I had originally intended for my 6th grader to use this. He started out using it, and he did great and really liked it, but he was really behind in his online science course for the charter so I ended up not pushing him in this. I realized that my 4th grader would be really interested in engineering even though it is recommended for 6th and above. I asked him if he'd like to try it and he said yes! He is a little bit of a tech savvy kid, and he is very interested in robotics and science. So, I had no worries that he'd be able to keep up.

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He printed up the worksheet all on his own.

I was amazed at how well he did. I really didn't have to do much except show him how to log in. He was able to move through the lessons easily. He even printed up the worksheet on his own. I think this course does really well in moving the student through each lesson and challenge. Both boys did this very well.

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There are journal pages to print out with each lesson. I was thrilled to see him taking notes. This is something he really doesn't do very well, so this was great practice for him.
He flew through the first lesson and challenge. The first challenge is building a tower as tall as possible with just 4 sheets of paper and I think a foot of tape, or maybe it's two, I'm not sure. Both boys did this challenge, but for some reason I can't find the picture of my 6th grader's end result. His was pretty tall. This is the 4th grader's result. He made his 13" tall, and pretty sturdy. It was able to stand for the required 10 seconds. It was so interesting to see their difference in thinking.

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My 4th grader's tower. He opted for the shorter, but definitely sturdier tower.
 A little closer glimpse of the notebook pages...

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He did his engineer research page all on his own. I thought I'd have to help him with this.
Since their Dad is a type of engineer they have a little bit of knowledge of this type of field, but this is a great course for any one who has a kid that is interested in engineering. This is becoming a pretty big and necessary field of work, and most kids would benefit from Thinking Like an Engineer. There is another course called Thinking Like an Architect that some of the crew members tried out. You can see those and other Thinking Like and Engineer reviews by clicking on the banner below.



Thinking Like an Architect or Engineer {Innovators Tribe Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Thin Stix (A REVIEW)

The Pencil Grip, Inc.
We had another opportunity to try out some mess free painting with the Thin Stix Creativity Pack
from The Pencil Grip, Inc. We have loved using using these paint stix for a few years now, but this time we received a 24 pack of thin stix which included so many color choices including 12 classic colors, 6 neon colors, and 6 metalix colors. We were thrilled to have so many color choices in this pack.

Thin Stix Creativity Pack

Thin Stix are a mess free solid tempura paint in a tube much like a glue stick, but these are tall and skinny. They have a lid and twist up as the paint is used up, so they store really well and last a long time. They also dry in 90 seconds!

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All of my kids enjoy using these. Even I enjoy using these! My 6 year-old was thrilled to get a new pack that he made pages and pages of pictures with them. I decided one day to paint this scarecrow to see how well the Thin Stix work with coloring small details in pictures. They worked surprisingly well, and I sure had a good time painting with them. They glide so nicely, and the colors are so bright even as they go on.

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Our main project with this pack of Thin Stix was painting pumpkins. These paint sticks will paint on different surfaces as well as paper. We've also tried them on wood and ceramic with great results. This time it was pumpkin! First we carved the pumpkins.

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Alex enjoyed adding details to his pumpkin with the Thin Stix.

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The end result! A very colorful pumpkin. I was impressed with how bright and colorful they stayed on the orange pumpkin, and it dried just as quick! I did make sure to wipe off the front of the pumpkin after carving so it wasn't wet or goopy.

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He was very proud of his jack-o-lantern.

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We like to do a fun project each time we review Kwik Stix or Thin Stix, so here are the links for the projects we have done in the past, one for the solar eclipse, and one for Christmas.  These are so great for children all the way up through adults. They are super fun, and I would be comfortable using them anywhere. I have even used them at church for my class once, and I wouldn't usually ever take paints to church because it's Sunday and kids are usually dressed nice. They did wonderfully with these. They would also be great for holiday gatherings with lots of kids if you want to have a fun craft project to keep the kids busy.

So, to wrap this up here are the great benefits of the Thin Stix 24 pack:

~Mess free
~The table always wipes clean and they come off of clothes with a wash.
~Easier to use because they are thinner, so you can paint smaller details.
~Great for drawing pictures
~The 24 pack comes with a variety of colors and types including Metallix, Neons, and classics
~Safe and non toxic
~Good for groups
~Dries quickly
~Can be used in a lot of different settings
~They will paint on many surfaces including wood, rocks, paper, and ceramic

If you want to see what others had to say about these fun art tools you can click on the banner below. A lot of great project ideas out there!


Thin Stix Creativity Pack {The Pencil Grip, Inc. Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

D is for Door

I think the letter D almost stumped me. I have been thinking about it for a few days, and could think of nothing for the letter D. Nothing relevant to current life or homeschooling. I was beginning to think I wouldn't make it, but tonight as I walked in my house through the front door I realized that I had never shared about painting my door!

I have a few friends that have recently painted their front door, and loved the results. I have wanted to add some color to our home, and our door used to be white with a lot of smudges and marks that I couldn't get clean. I asked hubby what he thought, and he said he didn't mind. I asked the kids (mostly April), and she was all for it. So, I painted the door. Somehow I decided to use the barn red color that we already had in the garage leftover from when we painted our chicken coop. Probably because I didn't want to buy more paint, and it was an easy decision that way (when faced with a million colors I might have a harder time deciding. This was the end result!

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 I really like how it makes the whole front entryway more inviting. I have to admit I had hoped the red would be more bold and bright, but overall I'm happy with the result. It'll be interesting to see how it looks with the different seasons decorations. By the way, painting a door is not as easy as it looks! I'd highly recommend reading something like this tutorial before starting (which I didn't do, but wishing I had because there were some great tips there). 
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