Tuesday, June 12, 2018

ARTistic Pursuits Inc. Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray Art of the Middle Ages Review


My family had the privilege of trying the Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray Art of the Middle Ages from ARTistic Pursuits Inc. for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

ARTistic Pursuits Inc. creates art curriculum for children. This full-color curriculum helps children to grow their skills of observation and critical thinking. It teaches all components of fine art, including creativity, art history, art appreciation, and art techniques. This unique homeschool art program permits the student to be expressive and make up their own decision about what and how they will draw, paint, or sculpt.

ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray by Brenda Ellis are brand new hardcover books for kindergarten and elementary students. These have art history and art instruction lessons in text with pictures to study and video lessons on how to use the art materials. There are a total of 6 volumes currently with two more on their way:
  • K-3 Vol. 1 ART FOR CHILDREN, Building a Visual Vocabulary
  • K-3 Vol. 2 ART OF THE ANCIENTS
  • K-3 Vol. 3 ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES
  • K-3 Vol. 4 ARTISTS THAT SHAPED THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE
  • K-3 Vol. 5 ART OF THE NORTHERN COUNTRIES, RENAISSANCE TO REALISM
  • K-3 Vol. 6 ART OF THE IMPRESSIONISTS
  • K-3 Vol. 7 ART OF THE MODERN AGE (Coming in the summer of 2018!)
  • K-3 Vol. 8 ART IN AMERICA (Coming in the summer of 2018!)
Each book covers one whole semester of art if you have your student do one lesson a week. You can do these lessons chronologically starting with volume 1 and follow the history volumes in order or do volume 1 and then skip to the volume of choice after that. It is all up to you.
Art of the Middle Ages is the third volume of the series. It is a hardcover book with both Blu-ray and DVD. It has 64 pages, 18 lessons (12 text lessons featuring artworks by medieval masters and 6 video lessons featuring art instruction on materials), and 106 illustrations. This art curriculum book and videos takes a look at art produced in the Middle Ages, from the early Migration Period to the Gothic architecture of France. Young learners will create and respond to medieval art as they increase their skills in motivation, concentration, and discovery, etc. They also learn about the period and how the people then made art. Children will work with colored paper, needlework, weaving, and oil pastels.

K-3 Vol.3 Art Supply Pack | ARTistic Pursuits

K-3 Vol.3 Art Supply Pack (can be purchased separately or with the book for additional cost) Includes:

  • Gesso, small bottle
  • Gold acrylic paint, 2 oz
  • Tissue paper (assorted colors)
  • Sculpey, white, 2 oz
  • Flat watercolor brush, 1/2 inch
  • Mod Podge, matte finish
  • Small tip squeeze bottle
  • Plastic sewing needle, large
  • Bristle brush, 1 inch
  • Lightweight chipboard
  • Gold origami paper
  • Purple cotton tote bag

You will also need these materials from K-3 Vol. 1 Starter Pack Materials list:
  • crayons
  • oil pastel set
  • scissors
  • watercolor brush #8 round
  • watercolor paper
  • construction paper
  • eraser
  • Ebony pencil
  • Elmer's Glue All
  • glue stick

ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray Art of the Middle Ages Lessons 1-5

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
I did this art instruction for kids with my daughters Teela and Zari who were in 1st and 4th grade this past school year. We did one lesson a week which got us through the 5th lesson. My kids love art so this was a great activity to get them busy during the summer. ARTistic Pursuits Inc. Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray Art of the Middle Ages would be a great art curriculum for use with art history lessons  and a unit study for the Middle Ages or medieval times.

The lessons without videos have prep notes with tips and information about the type of art. It also has notes on how to instruct a larger group. Then there is the art history lesson on the next page with pictures of an art piece and questions at the end in bold. After the history lesson the book has a page of how to do the art. Each art lesson has a box of text that will list the materials needed for that art project, an example picture of the art made by a student, pictures of the art being assembled and instructions with more insight into the history. The lessons that have videos are truncated in the book and have a minimal amount of information to show you what art will be created and what materials are needed to make the art. These are used with the DVD or Blu-ray.


ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray Art of the Middle Ages Lesson 1 (Paper Loom Weave and Crown).

The first lesson we had an introduction of the medieval world and learned how to weave with a paper loom. This lesson was accompanied by a video (video #1) on the DVD or Blu-ray. This gave us very visual step-by-step instruction of the process. We liked the videos and thought they were very thorough, educational, and nicely done. The video had the art history and art instruction to show how to do a weave on a paper loom and a crown that uses the weave, cutting diamonds, using tissue paper as a sort of a window. We couldn't find the gold origami paper so we ended up using shiny wrapping paper for the weave in the crown. 

ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray Art of the Middle Ages Lesson 2 (Weaving Beasts).

The second lesson in the book we learned about the migration of people, art in battles, and art during the Migration Period. There are questions at the end in bold of the this art history lesson about the picture of a metal brooch in the book to make sure the children are paying attention to the art. Then we are told and shown how to do woven beasts out of construction paper.

ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray Art of the Middle Ages Lesson 3 (Initial Page).

The third lesson we learned about art in monasteries, medieval illumination, and initial pages. There are questions at the end in bold of the this art history lesson about the picture of a medieval illumination. Then we are told and shown how to do a initial page with the first letter of the artists name. We couldn't find the gold origami paper so we ended up using shiny wrapping paper for the letter. 

ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray Art of the Middle Ages Lesson 4 (Mosaic).

In the forth lesson we learned about art in Basilicas and Byzantine mosaics. There are questions at the end in bold of the this art history lesson about the picture of the Theotokos Mosaic. Then we are told and shown how to do a mosaic of a person out of construction paper.

ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray Art of the Middle Ages Lesson 5 (Panel Drawing).

In the fifth lesson we watched video #2. We learned about Gothic panels in this lesson. We were instructed to make a panel drawing with tissue paper to create the background and a picture of a colorful song bird drawn on it.

There was only one thing that I would change if I was the author. My daughters and I wished that all the lessons had videos because we are very visual and the videos made the instruction so much easier, but we would also have liked those that did have videos to have the whole instruction and art history lesson in the book as well. This would make it easier to use with those children that are too young to read and those that learn better by reading than by visual and audio as well would benefit if both were used for all lessons. This would help our learners of all types.

So far ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray Art of the Middle Ages has been very educational and fun. We have learned so much about the art of the time. I highly recommend this art for children. It is perfect for our homeschool art and to go along with our unit study history lessons about the Middle Ages.

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You can purchase ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray. They are each $39.99. If you would like to purchase the art kits with these it is more and depends on the kit.

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for ARTistic Pursuits Inc....
Artistic Pursuits Full Video Lesson Grades K-3 {ARTistic Pursuits Reviews}

Artistic Pursuits Full Video Lesson Grades K-3 {ARTistic Pursuits Reviews}

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Monday, June 4, 2018

The Critical Thinking Co.™ Understanding Pre-Algebra Review


My family had the privilege of trying Understanding Pre-Algebra from The Critical Thinking Co.™ for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.


The Critical Thinking Co. ™ has award winning products that help students of all abilities achieve higher academic results with lessons that develop and sharpen their critical thinking skills. They have fun and easy to use products with lessons in standards-based reading, writing, mathematics, science, and history that are guaranteed to produce better grades and higher test scores. Critical thinking is: identifying, analyzing, defining, evaluating, examining, reasoning, questioning, and challenging evidence to guide decision making and problem solving in a manner which is clear, rational, and open minded. A good acronym for the main keys of Critical Thinking are to think RED: Recognize Assumptions, Evaluate Information, Draw Conclusions.

Understanding Pre-Algebra by Terri Husted is a full mathematics curriculum intended for grades 6-8. This pre-algebra workbook teaches critical thinking skills and concepts that are prerequisites for Algebra 1. It stresses practice of these before moving onto the next concept. It is a physical softcover student workbook and textbook in one with 15 chapters and 448 perforated pages so you can tear them out cleanly, if needed. The charts, pictures, diagrams, graphs, etc. are in color for better representation. There is an introduction about the book before the lessons and a final examination, glossary, reference sheet, table of square roots 1-120, and answer key in the back of the book. This book has a reproducible license agreement. For a typical school year you would need your student to do about 2 pages per school day to get through it.

Chapters in the Book:
  1. Family of Numbers
  2. Working With Integers
  3. Working With Rational Numbers
  4. Ratio, Proportion, and Percent
  5. Percent Applications
  6. Algebraic Expressions
  7. Equations and Solving Word Problems
  8. Inequalities and Applications
  9. Understanding Square Roots and Irrational Numbers
  10. Two Dimensional Geometry
  11. Understanding Volume and Surface Area
  12. Graphing on the Coordinate Plane
  13. Transformations and Congruency
  14. Understanding Functions
  15. Probability and Statistics


Teela working out of the Understanding Pre-Algebra workbook.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
We have used some of The Critical Thinking Co.™ books before and we love them so when asked to review Understanding Pre-Algebra we jumped at the chance. I used the Understanding Pre-Algebra math workbook with my daughter Teela, who is in 4th grade and is 10 years old. She is advanced in math so I thought this book would be a great introduction to Algebra for her. For this review we worked through the book and did approximately six pages a week starting from the very beginning of the book.

Teela didn't really want to do math at first because this is supposed to be her summer vacation and we rarely do standards-based workbooks during the summer break, but I finally talked her into it. It was still very difficult with all the distractions of nice weather to get her to focus and stay on target. I think this will be best when it is worked on in an actual school year time frame.

Since this is a brand new publication from The Critical Thinking Co.™ there is always a chance to find errors in the text. I had tore out the answers in the back of the book, but let my daughter check her work when she was done with a lesson. She found that in the Chapter 1 review the answer to number seven was incorrect in the back of the book. The second 169 should read 225. Hopefully this is fixed in the later publications so that parents are not incorrectly making their children wrong. I haven't found any other errors so far, but that doesn't mean there isn't any.

I liked how this text/work book was set up. Each lesson first has instruction of the concepts, math vocabulary, critical thinking, and plenty of examples for learning how to actually do the practice problems that comprise the rest of the lesson. There are highlighted sections in the lessons in different colors that indicate math rules that the student really needs to know. There are also pictures, charts, and graphics that are in color so that emphasis of the concept gets internalized. In the back of the book are the final examination, glossary, reference sheet, table of square roots 1-120 and answers. The glossary has key words and vocabulary that were taught and their definitions. These would have been helpful to also include page numbers to where these concepts were taught. The reference sheet has a list of formulas that one needs to know like: Perimeter of Polygons, Circumference of Circles, Area, Volume, Surface Area, etc. The Table of Square Roots is also great to have. I do wish that the answer key in the back of the book had the problems being solved from start to finish instead of just the answers.

There are some great mnemonic devices in this book to help remember these concepts and master them. We especially liked the cowboy story that teaches rules for multiplying and dividing positive and negative integers. I had never been taught that one and the rules became so clear after learning it.

The Critical Thinking Co.™ Understanding Pre-Algebra is a great complete Pre-Algebra curriculum for grades 6-8 or earlier, if your student is advanced like mine. I liked how if we mastered a concept we could move on or skip around if we wanted to. You can also use this book as a supplement with another subject or if needed to make sure your student masters the concepts better before moving onto later math courses.

I am really glad we got this to help Teela out with learning Pre-Algebra. In my opinion the Understanding Pre-Algebra workbook has made it a lot easier for her to learn this math and for me to get much needed review of Pre-Algebra myself. Since math is not a strong subject of mine I am glad that this book has helped me understand better to assist in teaching my daughter and seems like a much simpler way to learn than I remember being taught in school. I highly recommend this to any homeschooler that is trying to learn Pre-Algebra or as a supplement to public school math or other subject.

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You can purchase the Understanding Pre-Algebra book for $42.99, as of this post. You can choose a physical paperback book or eBook.


Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for The Critical Thinking Co.™...
Critical Thinking, Understanding Math & Vocabulary {The Critical Thinking Co.™ Reviews}

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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Cave Tools Pulled Pork Shredder Rakes Review


I received the Cave Tools Pulled Pork Shredder Rakes free to facilitate this review. Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.

Cave Tools is a great online store to find BBQ: tools & accessories, charcoal grills, recipe books, apparel, and gift ideas. They have a great selection of things from tool sets & grill baskets to grill racks & a portable charcoal grill. Find your barbecue and grilling needs at Cave Tools!



The Pulled Pork Shredder Rakes Features:
  • Rips Through Entire Chunk of Meat in 2 Minutes - Ultra strong stainless steel helps you pull apart pork, chicken, turkey, poultry, beef, brisket, hams, roasts and anything from your slow cooker, grill or smoker in record time.
  • Picks up Large Hot Food - With its extended handles and bear shaped claws you can take hot meat from the: Crock Pot to the grill, grill to the table, or oven to table with ease. These provide extra leverage so you don't drop it.
  • Shred - Handle - Carve - These meat rakes are the ultimate multi purpose kitchen tool. Shreds meat easier than a fork. Perfect gift for both men and women.
  • Gift Box Packaging Can Be Reused For Storage
  • Comes with 25 Professional Recipes - Free download of “The Grill Master’s Essential Barbecue Recipe Book” complete with DIY Bbq Sauce Recipes, Ribs, Chicken, Kabobs and More. Step by step instructions and detailed tutorial videos are great for the family.
  • Lifetime Satisfaction Guarantee -  If at any point you are unhappy with your pulled pork shredder claws you can return it for a full money back refund. Cave Tools takes customer service that seriously.


Cave Tools Pulled Pork Shredder Rakes in action.

Awesome Ideas for Pulled Pork or Other Pulled Meat:
  • sandwiches
  • sliders
  • omelets
  • tacos
  • quesadillas
  • taquitos
  • fajitas
  • enchiladas
  • loaded nachos
  • tamales
  • empanadas
  • carnitas
  • pizza
  • calzones
  • fries
  • loaded potato
  • pasta
  • Ramen
  • soup
  • chili
  • stuffed peppers
  • wontons
  • Asian dumplings
  • steamed buns
  • Indian tacos
  • Pad Thai
  • dip
  • salad

Our Thoughts:
The Cave Tools Pulled Pork Shredder Rakes are really handy to have for both lifting large pieces of meat and shredding it. It makes a great pulled pork or other pulled meat effortlessly and safely. Also since these are stainless they will last longer than plastic claws and are easily cleaned.

We used them on pork shoulder marinated and cooked in the crock pot. These definitely got the job done in no time at all. I thought they were wonderful at lifting the meat out of the crock pot and into the bowl. I love that they are easy to grip with the long handles. These are sized well and the tines fit in between the other ones so you can pull meats apart fast. The box it comes with is attractive to store in as well.

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Official Website: https://cavetools.com/
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Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cavetools/
Google+: +Cave Tools
YouTube: http://cavetoolsvideos.com/

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...at Amazon or Cave Tools. These would be an awesome gift for Memorial Day, Father's Day, Birthdays, etc.



Cave Tools Coupon Code: Meat Rakes 15% Off: MEATCLAW15

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received this product for free to facilitate this review. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review. Affiliate links can be found in this post. Thank you for your support of this blog!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Precious Moments Spring Sale!


Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.

Precious Moments is having a spring sale! Get 15% off select products with coupon code: SPRINGSAVINGS Now through May 31st! There are some lovely spring garden products and some home decor that will brighten up any home or landscape and make it more cheery. Take a look below at some of the delightful Precious Moments products and click on one of them to go to the website and save!




Spring into action now to save 15% sitewide with code SPRINGSAVINGS at PreciousMoments.com! Sale ends 5/31.
 
DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Thanks to Precious Moments for sending me this information. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any compensation for doing this post. Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.