This year we decided to buy an art curriculum to do with Nadia. It’s DVD based and we have seen it at the homeschool bookfair each year. It’s called “Atelier” and you can find out more information here. The level 1 is for ages 4-6 and has 3 modules and each module has 6 lessons. They have a supply kit you can also buy, but we have so many arts and crafts supplies I decided to wait on the list and see what we might need. I had everything except the fabrics, drawing pencils, liquid starch and oil pastels. I also picked up a new set of paintbrushes that I am keeping fresh just for this program. Here are our supplies for the year:
The Kimball Art museum was just finishing a Picasso exhibit when we did this “Hands and Flowers” lesson so we took the girls to see it. This is one of the great things about being in an area with so many wonderful museums.
We got the Autumn Treasures unit study of Amanda Bennett’s site, unitstudy.com, and it took us much longer than usual due to our busy month, but it was great. I started by getting about 15 books from the library and printing some extra activities from Homeschool Creations. We learned a lot in this study just like our past ones on seashells and robots. We started with Do a Dot pages to get warmed up and start our discussion about fall (even though it was still pushing 100 in these parts)
Just like the other units there were a lot of fun videos to watch including how candy corn is made and how an apple press works. We learned about Johnny Appleseed and his travels – Nadia enjoyed all his crazy hats, especially the cooking pot. I have already done blog posts on the monarch butterflies and apple pie bites that we made, but here is a little view of the rest of our unit.
Nadia is working on her fall tree in this photo.
A puzzle for the back of her lapbook.
Learning the life cycle of a pumpkin – here she is with the pumpkin she picked out at homeschool day at Mainstay Farms.
Families are encouraged to go on a nature walk each day and collect items. Then enter the highlights into your unit study work book. Here are some of the things Nadia found along the way.
Leaf rubbings from our nature walks.
“Fairy” Amelie and Nadia on a nature walk.
Amelie was saying, “art art art art” over and over while I was working with Nadia so I went to see what she wanted. Then I realized that she was drawing “hearts.” Pretty cute!
We got the idea for one of our other cooking projects from the Mama Jenn site. These were messy and fun to make and tasted yummy!
I have seen these Download and Go unit studies by Amanda Bennett on other homeschool blogs, but hadn’t ordered one yet. When we planned our vacation I decided to buy Sunny Seashells and got everything ready. We didn’t start until Museum School and Chinese school were over so we would have time to just focus on this unit. I hoped it would get Nadia extra excited about our beach vacation and she did!
This is what we started with.
The unit is set up to be a 5 day learning adventure. We took a lot longer than 5 days because Nadia is at the low end of the age for these and I wanted her to enjoy it, not feel like it was information overload. Each day has book suggestions and videos links built in. I ordered about a dozen books from the library and we set the laptop on the table each time. There are family fun suggestions included and craft ideas. Each day had a “shell” of the day and Nadia liked some more than others. Each day also had a country of the day that was featured and Nadia would find them on the world map and color them in. My friend Cynthia from church brought Nadia a shoebox full of shells for us to use and then when she found out how much Nadia loved them she gave her the box full. Nadia was totally shocked, “MOM! Did you know that she gave me the whole box? Can you believe that?”
Looking at all the shells through the magnifying glass.
Spelling out vocabulary words with our tiles. Nadia is now hooked on pointing out things that are “transparent.”
The girls watching videos. Then Amelie showing me her shell while yelling “SEEEESHELL” (her variation of the word)
Nadia’s favorite video of the week was one we actually clicked through to from one of the unit study videos. We watched it at least 20 times and Nadia would say, “NO don’t eat me!”
Very glittery crafts! One for Cynthia with a lot of rhinestones for giving her the shells.
The last photos show her finished lapbook. When we got done she said, “Mom you are really fun to do this with. It’s like a party with you!” And at least 10 times today I heard, “I am so excited for our vacation. I want to find some shells!”
I think these units are really fantastic – I learned a lot or perhaps learned again things from when I was little 🙂 I love that it’s broken down day by day and you can do as little or as much as you want based on the age of your child. The videos and other links being built into the PDF are a huge convenience. We will buy more of these to use in the future.
Nadia just loved museum school this year. I can’t say enough good things about the learning and the staff. I must admit I was sad that museum school was ended because it’s been so much fun to pick Nadia up each week and hear all the interesting facts she learned. The great thing was that weeks and even months later she would see an animal they studied and tell us something new.
This is the big turtle in front of the museum school entrance.
I love this super cool chair!
Nadia and Mrs. Ware from the Raccoon Room. Nadia is very excited to be signed up for next year!