Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Using Scholastic Teacher Express Ebooks for Homeschooling

Scholastic Teacher Express Dollar Deals is one of my favorite homeschooling tools!

Scholastic Teacher Express is having their Dollar Deals again! In the past I have purchased and downloaded several educational ebooks on Scholastic Teacher Express. I'm able to view these ebooks on my iPad or even print out the worksheets I need at a moments notice. There are ebooks on every subject imagineable for each grade level.
To save on printing, there are those worksheets that are multiple choice and I can't see printing out and wasting the ink. So I found the solution in the App store!

Notability has been a life saver. I purchased some inexpensive pack of 6 stylus pens
from Amazon and downloaded the Dollar Deals ebooks onto my ipad. Then I open them using Notability.  With the stylus pens, my kids are able to write in their answers and draw right on top of the ebook page. I save on paper and ink!
The Dollar Deals Sale ends on April 30th, 2014. But no worries, they have them a few times a year. Just make sure you join their mailing list to receive notification of their sales.
You can also receive $5 off your order of $25 or more at Scholastic Teacher Express. I'm pretty sure you can even use it during the Dollar Deals sale.  Use code 5off251plus1 to get $5.00 off of orders $25 and over

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Repurposed Cardboard Box Kitchen

My 4 year old has been all about felt food since this past Christmas. I made her tons of felt food for her Christmas gift, but where was she going to bake her felt food? So she saw a cute mini kitchen from Plan Toys, and begged me to buy it for her. Although it was cute and we'll made, I decided to make one myself. 

I started out with a plain cardboard box. The size all depends on how big you want the kitchen. I started out with one the size of a large square box of diapers. It's best to look for one with all four flaps so that you can reinforce certain areas with the extra cardboard pieces.
Then I used modge lodge matte finish to glue on a layer of small pieces of tissue paper in different shades of blue and green. I applied several layers, making sure to let the layers dry in between applications.
Once dry, I traced a small shallow bowl on the right side of the top surface of my kitchen and used a box cutter to cut about an 1/8 of an inch inside of the traced circle. I applied a thin bead of hot glue around the rim of bowl and set it on top of the hole.
Using the Hip In a Hurry 3D Decor Cut Outs- Ladybug & Dragonfly, I applied them on the top surface of the kitchen to act as the stove burners, and around the knobs for the stove and oven.

For the faucet handles, I hot glued wooden beads.

For the oven door, I made sure to tape down one of the flaps of the box before applying the tissue paper. Then the remaining flap was the one to be used as an oven door. To keep the oven door from falling open, I hot glued a bead to the bottom flap (oven door) with a short elastic string that was strung through the bead. Then I hot glued another bead directly above on the stationary flap. The elastic can be brought over the top bead to keep the oven door closed. 

This was a quick attempt at making a mini kitchen. My daughter loved it and loved it even more when I told her I made it! :) 

Limbourg Brothers Book of Days Art Project

The kids and I try to include at least one art lesson a week. Some of our lessons require more than one day to complete. We plan on going to the Art Institute soon and my husband and I want the kids to be familiar with some of the paintings we might see.

So we've been using the book Discovering Great Artists: Hands-On Art for Children in the Styles of the Great Masters. So far we love it, and it has so many hands-on activities to explore the styles and techniques of the world's greatest artists. They also break up the sections by style/date.

This week, we learned about Early Renaissance painters, The Limbourg Brothers. If you're not familiar with the Limbourg Brothers, they are three artist brothers who painted very detailed paintings using thin paintbrushes and magnifying glasses. They created a book with a calendar and pictures of the seasons.

The art activity we followed asked to create our own Book of Days. I created a template and had the kids pick a favorite thing about each season and each month in theat season. The drawings are meant to be very detailed... the kids didn't get to use magnifying glasses this time around to add more detail, but I think they still had a good time creating the first page for their book of days. They each have to create the remaining seasons for their books.

The template I designed was meant to add detail, especially where the calendar section is. I purposely designed it so that it prints light, that way your child can add their own detail and darken the outlines on their own if they wish. (If it's too light, please let me know and I can make adjustments for you. There are 4 rows of 8, which will give plenty of room for all the days in each month. This is also a great activity to learn the months, seasons, and the days in each month.

Print 4 for all the seasons!