April 30, 2015

La La Logic: A Critical Thinking based Preschool Curriculum {a Review}

We have been working on various preschool books and items with Baby Britches this year. He is wanting to "do school" but not quite ready for the full Kindergarten program I have planned. He loves using the computer for things, but I like to limit his screen time. He loves doing worksheets and activities, but I hate always having to find them to do. When I was picked to review La La Logic, I read about how it combines the best of online and offline activities in their Preschool Curriculum, I was curious to see if they would be able to provide the preschool program I was looking for. emphasizing

Product Information

La La Logic is critical thinking focused curriculum geared for preschoolers (or children ages 3-6). La La Logic is different from other curriculums because it incorporates online brain challenges that focus on specific cognitive skills--puzzles and activities found on childhood intelligence tests, like analogies, matrices, block designs and memory games--as well as offline enrichment activities like worksheets (that promote fine motor skills, pattern recognition, sequencing), short stories, poetry, games, and narration practice. The enrichment activities also use common items found in most households, making it easy to teach.

The preschool curriculum provides 100 weeks of content--along with a suggested schedule/lesson plan for each week's activities. The program is designed to be 4-5 days a week, but can easily be adapted for your own use base on your child's aptitude. 

La La Logic has the ability to track the progress of up to 5 children and costs just $29 per household one-time fee. Your account will not expire as you are paying for content, not time.

The online Brain Challenges work on PC, Mac, tablets, and mobile devices as long as they use the latest web browsers. 

We were given a lifetime membership to the Preschool Curriculum to review with Baby Britches.

How Did We Use This Product?

La-La Logic's start up information was sent via email. It was easy to get set up because as soon as you set up your child's account it starts! As you set up each child, you get to pick an icon for them. Baby Britches chose the "dinosaur"--the dragon. Just to see what it looks like with multiple students, I set up an imaginary second student.

Now when I log in I get this screen...
The first mistake I made was start at the BOTTOM where it said "start with..."and I discovered the ENDLESS brain challenges. I went back to the home page and realized that the curriculum itself was actually at the top. Clearly marked...ahem...La La Logic Curriculum. When I realized this, I felt sheepish, but hey. I wasn't the only one in our group to make the mistake! LOL!

When you click on the curriculum link, this takes you to the page noting all 100 weeks worth of material.

Now I simply click on a week and it will open up the agenda for that week. I love that when the week is completed, it will get marked off. This is great for keeping tabs of where we are in the material. 

Clicking week 7 opens up the agenda and goals for that week...
I can see the weekly schedule, can start the brain challenge for the week AND I can make notes about the week. Once it's completed, I can click the box noting we are finished and the week gets checked off.

The brain challenge is the online portion of the curriculum. It is a series of puzzles and activities promoting cognitive skills and critical thinking. The program suggests that the child does it WITH help the first time, but after sitting with me once, Baby Britches insisted that he could do it himself and he could.

There are all kind of activities, and each week's grouping gets more difficult in the skills required for completion of them. There are matching, sorting, pattern identification, reasoning, and puzzles. One of Baby Britches favorite was the matching--the one in the upper right. When he answered correctly the monkey did a silly dance. He loves the brain challenge and picked up on the necessary skills quickly.

If your child is having issues with some of the activities, you are able to provide them "extra practice" by clicking on the Extra Practice link on the home page. This opens up the opportunity to do some focused attention on skills.

Baby Britches likes doing these ones too and we do it whenever it's in the schedule.

Also included in this curriculum are the OFFLINE activities. One of these is a weekly worksheet. The worksheets provide time for the child to work on their fine motor skills like cutting, coloring, gluing, ect. (Included. As in, I don't have to find them and they match what is being studied!!!)
Some worksheet examples. All black and white which is great for the printer!
Baby Britches loves worksheets, but the amount of cutting I let him do depended on the activity because cutting can take FOREVER...so I did a lot of pre-cutting to make sure we didn't get bogged down.

You never know what kind of logic they will come up with as they work on their worksheets. Take this life cycles sequencing one...
When asked why he put the empty pot at the end, he matter of fact told me that the flower was dead. Okay then. Circle of Life complete. LOL.
The other portion of the curriculum is the Enrichment sets. There were two enrichment days in the weekly schedule and there are different activities for each one. Sometimes the enrichment is a short story or poem to be read on day 1. Then on day 2, the child narrates back the story and does a project of sorts to go with it. Some days it's games to play with the child where you lay out 3 items and then have them go away and come back and tell you what is missing. Some times it's singing songs with activities, like the cookie song to teach 1 to 1 or 2 to 1 concepts:
The enrichment sets were great and some of them I did including Little Britches for added support. He would be the scribe or he'd help Baby Britches with a narration or comprehension questions.
Working together to write down land animals vs sea animals
The last thing to mention is that the week's lessons are PRINTABLE so that you know exactly what needs to be done WITH space for you to jot down notes on how it went.

Weekly Schedule

The weekly worksheet

The Enrichment Set
We usually did one lesson per week, though we had two sick weeks and a stubborn week (aka. he didn't want to do anything) thrown in there. We will be starting week 7 next week.

What Are Our Thoughts on The Product?

Baby Britches: 
"I like the dancing monkey. And using the computer."

Baby Britches liked the brain challenge and always wanted to do more. he really likes the worksheets and most of the enrichment activities. He didn't like it when the stories were long or didn't have enough action to keep him interested. He went through everything quickly and we did at least one lesson a week, depending on what was involved, but a couple weeks we did two. As usual, we also had days where he didn't want to do anything but the online brain challenges. He also made up little songs to sing about the name. So funny. Now when he is doing school, he asks if he can do La La Logic.

I really enjoyed using La La Logic with Baby Britches. It was very "open and go" with little extra needed to implement any of the activities.

*Portable on Any Device with Internet
I loved that I could have Baby Britches work on the Brain Challenge on my Kindle. This allowed us to take it with us or let him work on it while his brother was using the laptop. I have a Kindle Fire HD and he was able to do all of the activities without problems.

*Online and Offline Activities
There is always the fear of too much screen time. With this curriculum, the screen time is very minimal. Some days it takes just a mere 10 minutes for him to finish the set. The rest of the time is spent in the offline worksheet and enrichment activities.

*Weekly Schedule Printed
I loved being able to print out the weekly schedule and to be able to make notes on it. It was a great guideline.

*Short Activities
I put this as a pro because at the age of 4, the activities need to be fairly concise and too the point. I found that this curriculum could be done within about 20 minutes tops. Perfect for the age group.

*Access to all 100 weeks at once
The purchase of the program, grants you access to ALL of the 100 weeks of activities at once. There is no expiration or time limit, so I can access them whenever I want do. This is ideal for home school.

*Continuous Brain Challenge mode
I love that if I want, I can have him work on the continuous brain challenge mode which gives him endless puzzles and activities. Seriously. It's endless. I have to TAKE IT AWAY because it just won't stop and he keeps doing it. Great for car rides!

*Can go your own speed
With access to all 100 weeks of lesson, you are able to go whatever speed you need for your child. Some weeks we did more, some we did less. But I loved that I could do as much or as little as I needed to match his interest.

A few other pros include: Balanced worksheet ratio, Room for making notes, options for extra practice, notes lessons as completed, and is interdisciplinary with what is studied in the enrichment sets.

Now there are just a few cons I will mention, but not many...

*Log In issues
I had issues some days with logging in. I would log in to the program, and then after clicking the links to start the curriculum, it would have me log in again. This didn't happen all the time, but it happened at least three times a week. Too many times.

*Some of the enrichment stories were too long, or too "boring"
I found that a few of the enrichment stories were too long and boring for my son. He lost interest and because he lost interest, we weren't able to complete the enrichment sets activities as most of them revolved around the story. I would like to see more of the short stories geared towards that level of understanding. For instance, the week 5 had a story about an Indian girl on the water and a little man telling her a fable about where water lilies came from. This story really wasn't that exciting--especially for a 4 year old boy, so we never finished the story any of the times we tried it. Thankfully there were still a few enrichment activities we could still do that weren't tied to the story much, but it would have been nice to have most preschool child friendly stories to read. Of course other children might have been very interested, but my older son wasn't too hot on it either.

*Notes input on the program are not available to access or printed out.
There is the option to make notes about your week on the week's data itself. I would like to be able to reference this as a whole and print it off. Some way to pull up all your notes you type in each week. It's almost useless to just have it there if you can't pull it up and print it off.
These notes here on this page. You can type them, but unless you open up each week, you can't see what you wrote
I really don't have any other cons, and the ones I mentioned are really minor. We didn't have any problems with the program itself in how it worked. It was very well done and Baby Britches liked it a lot.  It is an excellent balance of activities and I appreciated being able to have so many options on how to make it happen.

Will I continue to use this program?
Yes! I think it will be great to get Baby Britches ready for Kindergarten this fall. I love the brain challenges and see him continuing to use those in the future (road trips!!). I am curious to see how he progresses as it increases in difficulty.

Would I Recommend This Product?

I would absolutely recommend La La Logic looking for a preschool or early learning curriculum to give a good foundation for the education. Paying just $29 for access to the whole thing with a lifetime membership, is a price that can't be beat! Being able to have 5 different children signed up on it is also excellent. I loved that it combined online work with offline work and that it really did offer up an emphasis on logic and critical thinking. Other than having my printer to use, I didn't have to add anything I didn't already have in my house. It is easy to plan out weeks in advance and to put into practice for more than one child.

So far, it's one of the best curriculum I've seen for the preschool age--and I think there is enough meat in it to carry it over into early Kindergarten.

Want to Learn More?

We reviewed the preschool curriculum (a one time $29 per household fee) from La La Logic. You've learned what our thoughts are on it, but why not see what the 84 other crew members who reviewed it thought!
La La Logic Review
To stay in touch with the latest news from La La Logic, you can follow them on Facebook!

Well, I wanted to know if this curriculum would be everything I was desiring and I was pleasantly surprised to discover it was! I had never even heard of La La Logic before, but will be singing their praises to anyone seeking a great preschool curriculum!
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April 28, 2015

Farm Adventures with Books, Crafts and FREE Printables

Black cattle. Green tractors. Wrangler jeans and Justin boots. Throw in a LOT of dirt, two little boys and one hunk of a man, and you've just described my life here on the farm! It was with great pleasure that we discovered that the theme for April's Poppins Book Nook was...Down on the Farm! This was right up our alley, so we naturally enjoyed exploring all things relating to our rural world AND I had fun whipping up a few simple farm theme printables to go along with our studies this month!
Books, activities and free printables to explore the farm

The Books

The links on this blog and in the posts may be affiliate links. 
Please see my disclosure policy for full details and thank you for your support!

Okay. Most books relating to a farm involve...cows. Well that's NOT something we really need to learn a lot about because we are SURROUNDED by them (remember we are Black Angus farm). So I tried to find books relating to farms that weren't focused on cows...but rather more like chickens. We don't have any chickens on the farm...yet.

Chickens to the Rescue
By John Himmelman

There is a fabulous series by John Himmelman called Barnyard Rescue and we enjoyed this book from the series. It is full of hilariousness and Baby Britches adored yelling "Chickens to the Rescue!" when it was time in the book. The plot is simple... The amazing chickens on the Greenstalk farm race to help various family members and farm animals every day of the week---except Sunday when things change!

I highly recommend this book--the boys do too as we've read it multiple times since we brought it home from the library! Now I'm seeking the rest of the series: Cows to the Rescue, Pigs to the Rescue, and Ducks to the Rescue! Make sure you find this book the next time you go to the library!

Tuttle's Red Barn
by Richard Michelson; illustrated by Mary Azarian

Tuttle's Red Barn is non-fiction "Story of America's Oldest Family Farm" beginning with the arrival in Dover, New Hampshire in 1632 by John Tuttle. The book follows every successive generation of Tuttle as the farm is passed down through the youngest son. You get to see twelve generations of the Tuttle family as they go through the many milestone of American history--from the Revolutionary War, to the Underground Railroad, to being part of the Industrial Revolution! It's a fascinating look at the history of one family as the world moved around them and the changes they made.

The Millionth Egg
by Bernice Myers

This is a rare edition that doesn't seem to be available online, but is a library edition, so you might be able to find it at your library. This is the story of a group of intelligent chickens who are getting ready to celebrate the arrival of the farm's millionth egg. Margaret is hanging crepe paper. Judy is blowing up balloons. But Rhoda brings things to a screeching halt with her news--the farmer is tearing down the barn! All looks lost as each chicken ponders her fate...but will Rhoda's big idea save the day? It's a great story and the boys loved finding all the different things going on within each illustration.

Portrait of a Farm Family
by Raymond Bial

This is a non-fiction book chronicling the daily life and routine for the Steidinger farm, a 55 cow dairy heading into it's fourth generation. The book follows the family from milking the cows, to taking care of all the livestock to the harvesting of all the farmland. It talks about the challenges of running a farm in today's culture (as of 1995) and the rewards that a rural lifestyle brings. The boys enjoyed seeing another farm that is different from ours, but shares a lot of similarities and challenges.

The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash
by Trinka Hakes Noble
Illustrated by Steven Kellogg

This is a must have book for any farm theme! The illustrations are so incredible--but then we adore Steven Kellogg's books. Your children will love experiencing the hilariousness that insues when Jimmy's Boa joins the class on a trip to the farm. The class trip to the farm was pretty dull until...The cow started crying...The pigs got on the school bus...And Jimmy's pet boa got loose in the hen house! What a crazy day on the farm! This book was fun to read again and will continue to be one we enjoy.

Country Road ABC
(An Illustrated Journey through America's Farmland)
by Arthur Geisert

This is a simply lovely book to look through. Using the alphabet, the readers can take a trip down a long country road to sightsee all the letters and much more. Here you will find that E is for erosion, G is for grinding feed and R is for rust. The boys loved working through the book, though they were admittedly disappointed that T wasn't for Tractor...LOL. It's a delightful ABC book and one that I reach for time and time again.

There are a lot of farm themed books out there, but we enjoyed exploring some that aren't usually on the list. For chapter books, I would add Charlotte's Web, Farmer Boy, Sarah, Plain and Tall, and Tornado to the list, as they are all delightful reads with a farm setting.

Our Craft

For our craft, we made a funny chicken to go with our two chicken books. I used the template provided HERE and then printed two sets of everything on white cardstock. I went ahead and cut out all the pieces or that would have taken forever!

The boys love these kind of crafts...mostly because they get to use markers and googly eyes.

Our Printables

We did a few printables as part of our farm theme. Baby Britches enjoyed doing this pig one I found.
Little Britches worked on one that I created myself.
But wait, that's not all! I created it and saved it to share with you! But that's not all either! I also put together a Phonics Farm series to explore some things on the farm and the letter they start with. They are geared towards pre-school/Kindergarten. Baby Britches had fun using his dot marker on them.

Free Farm Themed Printables
                                  You can snag them FREE on my teacherspayteachers store!

If you have never used teacherspayteachers.com before, it is a free site where you can download thousands of educational materials created for teachers, by teachers--and hundreds of the products are free! I highly recommend you getting an account--especially because this is where I'm going to hosting my printables at this time and I don't want you to miss any! If you choose to follow my store, you can also get notified whenever I add something new!

Down On the Farm Giveaway

Swing your partner round and round and come on down to the farm this month with the Poppins Book Nook! Every month this group will be offering readers a chance to win a brand new storybook or product that ties in with our theme for the month. 

This month one lucky entrant will win the Down on the Farm Bundle. The winner will enjoy two fun farm themed learning items. The two items that they will win is the Farming storybook by author Gail Gibbons and Safari Ltd Farm Babies TOOB. Let the farm themed learning fun begin!

Entrants must be 18 years or older and reside in a country that receives U.S. Postal mail. This giveaway is brought to you by the company Enchanted Homeschooling Mom who is owner and founder of the Poppins Book Nook. By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the PromoSimple terms & conditions as well as Enchanted Homeschooling Mom's disclosures found here {http://enchantedhomeschoolingmom.org/disclosures/}.  

Just enter the PromoSimple below to win

Want to see more Farm themed posts?

Here are some more members of the Poppins Book Nook crew where you can explore THEIR farm creations!

Have you blogged about your farm adventures with books, crafts, or printables? We'd love to check them out! Simply add your own link to the linky below!

I hope that you will check out the books I've recommended and snag some of the printables I've created! As always, you can keep up to date with our daily adventures on Farm Fresh Adventures Facebook page, and don't forget about subscribing to my bi-weekly newsletter! Now that I'm on a roll with creating printables, I plan on offering a few exclusive ones to subscribers and you don't want to miss out!
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April 24, 2015

Random 5 for Friday ~ Revolutionary War and a FREE Printable

Friday Friday! Aren't you so thankful you made it to another one? I know that I sure am! And as part of it being Friday, it means that I have another random rambling post...but this one has a FREE PRINTABLE!
The links on this blog and in the posts may be affiliate links. 
Please see my disclosure policy for full details and thank you for your support!

1. The Revolutionary War era is fascinating. I am a major history buff, but I forgot how exciting that the birth of our nation was. The incredible men and women who set the country on fire for freedom with their words and actions. What a different world we would be living in if we still had men and women like that...because you and I both know...we do not. You can explore in a sort of "Crash course" way the movers and shakers of the time period with all kind of biographies.

2. Patrick Henry was incredible. Most of us know the famous line "Give me liberty or give me death!", but how many people remember who said it? Does anyone know much about the man who declared such an outlandish demand? I knew he was a great man of the Revolutionary War era...and I knew he said it. But I admit. I was pretty clueless about anything else. Little Britches enjoyed diving into Mr. Henry's life as he worked through a biography this week. He learned a lot about him, and was tickled to discover that Patrick wasn't fond of school AND had to learn Latin--just like he was! He also found one of the new words we're learning as part of our Latin--Orator. In Latin, Or= to pray/speak, and a derivative of this is our word oral or orator. Well those words popped up a lot in his book...which made learning Latin more valid to him. He finished his book Where was Patrick Henry On the 29th of May? today and said he really liked it and thinks Patrick Henry is cool and that he'd love to hear him speak. The more I learned about him, the more I recognized what a gift he had and how important he was to that time period.

3. They really should teach more about King George the 3rd. You know, in all my years of school--elementary, middle, high school and college--we never really learned much about King George the 3rd. The "evil tyrant" of the Colonies. Everything is only focused on what's going on in America. It was a good study to read a biography on King George to see the reasoning behind why he was "oppressing" the colonies and to just learn a bit more about him. Did you know he was OCD about things like punctuality and order? Or that he had 14 children? That he considered himself a good king and father to his subjects? Or that he had nightmares the rest of his life about losing the colonies? We learned all that and more as we read-aloud the book Can't You Make Them Behave, King George?. The illustrations are excellent--but then they are buy the famous author/illustrator Tomie dePaola!

4. I want to go to New England for a field trip! All this studying has made me want to take a trip to the New England area so we can visit the cities where our nation was born: Philadelphia, Boston, Yorktown, Lexington, Concord and more! That is one area of the country I have yet to explore and it's on my bucket list. Maybe one of these summers we can work in a family road trip.

5. I was inspired this week to start cranking out some printables! Little Britches was in love so much with Patrick Henry, that I decided to create some copywork of the famous quote he's known for. It was easier than I expected, and it set me off on a printable creation binge! I will be sharing a good chunk of printables on Monday as part of my Poppins Book Nook post, but you can snag my Patrick Henry copywork today! I am hosting it at Teachers Pay Teachers because it's free to have an account and because it lets other teachers find my work. I highly recommend this site for you to snag free or very reasonably priced worksheets, lessons, unit studies, clip art and more!

Patrick Henry Copywork

Click Here to Download Your Copywork

Well it's been a rather slow week--but considering I had three reviews to share last week, I needed a slow week to catch up...because I have to kick off next week with my Poppins Book Nook post on Monday and another review on Tuesday (for La La Logic!). I hope you will check back in and stay in touch!

Have you ever visited the New England area and toured the cities I mentioned above? I'd love to hear about it!

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April 19, 2015

ARTistic Pursuits: Introduction to Visual Arts {Curriculum Review}

We love arts and crafts, but I confess...I'm horrible about actually scheduling time to do it. I prefer the open and go style with minimum preparation, and first experienced this last year when we reviewed the preschool book from ARTistic Pursuits. Needless to say, when I had the chance to review a different one--geared towards Little Britches this time--I jumped on it and welcomed Early Elementary K-3, Book 1: Introduction to Visual Arts into my schedule.
ARTistic Pursuits~ Curriculum Review of Art Program for K-3

Product Summary

ARTistic Pursuits is an art curriculum company believing that all children are able to understand the concepts of art, and enjoy putting ideas and visual images on paper. They are committed to helping children become observant in our world and to be able to work creatively in it. They are determined to offer parents and children a quality art education presented in an easy to understand format for both the teacher and child and gear their books towards the homeschooling community.

Through their program, they encourage children to look at the expressive and technical aspects of art according to their age level. The goal is for the children to be able to be free to explore their world however they see it...not the way that adults think they should see it! There are no "rules" or "boundaries" in the art lessons--no small boxes or limitations. ARTistic Pursuits is all about letting them color outside the lines!

ARTistic Pursuits offer curriculum for Preschool to High School age making it easy for you to find a curriculum just right for your school age child.

Each book has a comb binding, is non-consumable and sells for $47.95. One set of all the books can serve your entire family--from ages 3-18! 

We reviewed Early Elementary K-3, Book 1: Introduction to Visual Arts with Little Britches though Baby Britches joined us when he could.

How Did We Use the Product?

I admit, I was very excited to have another chance to review one of the books from ARTistic Pursuits! We had a lovely time with it last year, and I hoped that it would bring as much joy this year, since Little Britches was going to get to do it this go around.

As soon we got the product, I found the materials list page so I could make sure I had a good collection of supplies that we would need to do this book. Unlike the preschool book which we reviewed last year, this one required a few more extras, but nothing that was super expensive.

 I really liked that if you just wanted to buy it all together you could buy the Early Elementary K-3, Book 1 Art Pack right off of ARTistic Pursuits website that has the complete collection of supplies you need for each book. I didn't need everything so I used a variety of sources to get the things I knew I wanted. I didn't buy the clay since it said you could use the recipe included in the book to make the clay. (That means free! LOL)

Some of the things I ended up purchasing: oil pastels, soft chalk pastels, watercolor crayons, ebony pencil, art tissue paper, and a nice new watercolor brush. I had some gift cards so though it cost about $50 or so, I ended paying out of pocket only about $11. We are a family into arts & crafts (my MIL is an art major!) and I knew we'd use all the things I invested in, so I didn't mind spending the money.

We get excited when art supplies come. We enjoyed looking through them and both boys were eager to get started with the book!

I felt it helpful to look over the Table of Contents to get a feel for how it was set up and what was going to be covered.

The next thing I did was flip through the book and mark what supplies were going to be needed for each lesson. I found that this made planning our art lessons a LOT easier because I could quickly determine what I wanted to do based on what materials were used without having to read each lesson. I wish I had done this last year--and plan to go through that book and do it because it was so much easier to find lessons this year.

Each lesson really is open and go once you get out the supplies you are going to need. Every lesson starts with a "lesson" relating to a piece of art work by the masters. Usually it's to introduce a concept (like what is discussed on the table of contents) and then it has observation questions relating to the piece of artwork to ask the student. This gets them engaged at really searching and looking closer at the artwork being discussed. 

Example of the Lesson portion
After the lesson, the student uses the principles discussed to do their artwork. With this lesson the concept was using a shape and outline and then filling it in. The medium they used was soft pastels.
They were to look at an animal in a photograph or picture and then replicate it on their own paper. We pulled out some great animal books from our stash for this:
He desired to do a polar bear. Baby Britches did rather well!

Little Britches did this cat...he loves doing cats in his art.
Each of the lessons continued in this manner. I am going to share with you some of the photos we took of the projects we did.

One of the first lessons we did...
 Did you notice that we did Lesson 34 as one of our first lessons? That's because you don't need to do them sequentially! You can jump around and do what works for you or maybe what you have on hand first! This is especially great if it works for you to match things up to other units you are studying in your homeschool.

Lesson 1: Artists Compose--watercolor crayons with every day life
 This one cracked me up. He did a picture of his brother sitting on the toilet in the bathroom. That green and blue is the shower curtain. Bwahahahha.
Lesson 22: Art in Caves--soft pastels (just 4 colors allowed) on crumpled up brown paper
 Baby Britches just loved doing art. Giraffes make appearances quite regularly in his pictures.
Lesson 24: Art in Palaces~Fresco Painting (using watercolor crayons and oil pastel)
 Little Britches also loves dogs. Lots of dogs in his artwork. You will see another one later.

Lesson 15: Artists See Shapes (using paper to make your picture)
 Baby Britches filled his paper with pink and blue roses. My flower loving boy.

Lesson 27: Art on City Walls~Making a Bas-Relief (This ended up being a dog)
I loved that with the clay/dough lessons I could make my own dough to use. It really is just a homemade playdough recipe--the only downfall is that it takes it almost a month to totally dry out, so not ideal for the "self drying" recipes where you need to let it dry and then paint it. I would use ACTUAL real self drying clay from the store to make this work next time. But the playdough brought a LOT of enjoyment for them both.
Recipe included in Lesson 23...
I think the lesson we took the MOST time and possibly enjoyed the most was when we had to use just paper to make a dimensional animal in Lesson 16: Artists See Form. This was challenging, but very creative and fun. 
An elephant. Out of all the animals, Baby Britches wanted an elephant. And guess who had to design it.
I am VERY proud of this elephant!!!!!

Little Britches designed his dog all by himself. Even added a "woof".
We also did several of the drawing lessons where Little Britches used the ebony pencil (which he thought was the best pencil ever). 

We ended up completing about 10 of the lessons from the book doing at least 2 per week.

Our Thoughts on the Product

Boys: LOVE!!!!

Me: LOVE!!!

LOL. Okay. So, why do we love it?

1. It guarantees us an art lesson/project.
I am not the best at scheduling in art. The boys both adore art. So having this simple book where I can pretty much open and go with it, makes it a great resource for us. I can simply block off a portion of time, pick a lesson and we can do it. Everyone is happy. Win-win.

2. It is EASY!
Once you have the supplies--even if you don't have them all--you can literally open and go. All the information you need is right there. Even examples of what is expected from the lesson--not professional examples, but examples done by children of all ages. If it's a new concept, they walk you through what they want you to try. A new medium? Same thing. They walk you through how to best use it. 

3. It's non-consumable.
This is a major deal for homeschoolers. We like books we can use over and over. This one is just that. An art book that lasts forever. You could pull it out for multiple children, you could save it and pull it out for the same child 2 years later. The lessons are still valuable and the projects still doable. How many other art programs can you do that with?

4. It's multi-age.
I love that with one art book, I can do BOTH boys. It doesn't matter what their skill level. I simply teach the lesson from the book, and then turn them loose! 

5. It's got comb binding.
I love comb bindings because this means I can easily keep it open. It seems minor, but for me it's a big deal.

6. It's art history!
They use paintings from the masters and ancient history! Vonnoh, Degas, Steen, Demuth--as well as ancient art like cave paintings, mosaics, cathedral windows, the Gate of Ishtar, and much more! My mother-in-law is an art history major and she was very happy to see this worked into the book. It's real world art photos!

7. It introduces a variety of mediums.
Forget the crayons! In this book, they explore oil pastels, chalk pastels, watercolor crayons, clay, ebony pencils and paper! The boys loved trying it out. They discovered they didn't really like clay pastels as it gets all over you. But they enjoyed the oil pastels and the paper. REALLY liked the tissue paper we used. I like that it doesn't just use the mediums one time for one lesson. They are used throughout the book--at least 3 times and some lessons had you mixing it up with more than one.

8. Did I mention it's just fun?
We all just loved doing it. I got my own hands "dirty" a few times and a family art time makes great memories. 

Will I keep using the product now that the review is over?
Absolutely! It's just so easy to work in! I will also be pulling back out our The Way They See It (Preschool) book we reviewed last year and giving it another go with Baby Britches.

Would I Recommend this Product?

Yes. Absolutely yes. ESPECIALLY if you are like me and just need it spelled out for you. It is a great resource and one that can keep coming back out over and over. It's almost $50 per book...but well worth it for a high quality art program that includes art history and can be used for multi-ages.

Want to Know More?

We reviewed ARTistic Pursuits Early Elementary K-3, Book 1: Introduction to the Visual Arts ($47.95). There were 11 other books reviewed by our team--ranging from preschool to high school AND sculpture! Make sure you check out what the rest of my crew thought about this excellent art program!
ARTistic Pursuits Review
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It was about this time last year that I reviewed the The Way They See It (Preschool) book with Baby Britches! Make sure you check that out too because we really loved the program!
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