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Sunday, 1 May 2011
Wednesday, 27 April 2011
Tennessee BB Gun State Championships!
Topic: The Kids
This slideshow pretty much says it all!
John Allen - Shackleford Award for being the top shooter.
John Allen - Second Place all around in the state.
John Allen's team placed first in the state.
John Allen and Joshua both selected to represent Bend of the River at National's.
Here's the slide show!
Saturday, 23 April 2011
SeeThe Light Art Class
Topic: Homeschool Product Review
Last year, we were very blessed to review an art curriculum for John Allen, our oldest. John Allen loved it. Since that time, Joshua, our middle child has been wanting to join in and do some art as well. Unfortunately, the program that John Allen used was a little too complicated for Joshua. When we were chosen to review See the Light Art Class, we were thrilled, because it was for younger children.
We have not been disappointed. Not only did we need a younger art curriculum for Joshua, but we also need something that would be a good fit for him since he has asperger's syndrome which is on the autism spectrum. Because "aspies" have a difficult time following directions, we needed something that didn't have too many steps in the process. We also needed something that would move slowly so that he wouldn't get too overwhelmed if he didn't quite get a step correct the first time. Finally, we needed something that would keep his interest. This is what really makes finding a good curriculum difficult. So many times the programs that are slow and step by step are also boooriinnnggg! This one is boring at all and it comes with a few added bonuses that really make these art videos the cream of the crop. I'll talk about the bonuses in a minute. First let me tell you why I think this curriculum is fantastic for our child.
First of all, each of the 36 lessons is only about 15 minutes long and is focused on just one topic. That makes it perfect for our son Joshua. It's not too long for him to get bored, and it's not too complex for him to get lost and confused. The teacher, Pat Knepley, does a marvelous job of sticking to the topic but making it interesting. She also speaks on the students level and never talks down to them.
Another thing that I loved was that each lesson builds on the previous lesson. There is no jumping around from one topic to another. Each topic introduced adds something new to the things previously learned. Also, each of the nine volumes has a theme and each of the four lessons on that volume stick to the theme. Some of the volume titles are "The Basics", "Color Blending Techniques" and "Texture and Form" among others.
There are really so many good things that I could say about this curriculum but don't have the room! One thing that I do want to mention is that you don't need expensive materials for these lessons. Before we even knew that we were going to be reviewing this, we had bought Joshua a small inexpensive art kit for Christmas. We were very pleased to find out that it contained everything we needed for See the Light Art Class. In fact, the for the volume that we reviewed "The Basics" we only needed a pencil and regular copy paper.
Now for the bonuses. See the Light is a Christian company and each lesson contains a Bible story that has to do with the technique being taught. Pat Knepley does an excellent job of seamlessly tying the Bible lesson in with the art lesson. You almost don't realize that she is doing it. It all fits so well together.
All good art classes don't just teach art, but also teach art history. See the Light Art Class is no different. In each lesson you learn about an artist who used the same technique that you are learning that day. Again it flows well with the rest of the lesson. The creators of this curriculum have done an excellent job in thinking through all aspects of the lessons.
Finally, several of the volumes have bonus lessons in them. These are fun lessons such as "Creative Lettering" and "The Joy of Art". These are taught by special teachers, but are just as well done as the regular lessons.
Well, as many of us know, in these economic times, everyone is watching their money. I was very pleased to see that See the Light knows that well and has priced their product very reasonably. The entire set of the nine See the Light Art Class volumes is just $99.99 for the physical product. See the Light also has an online version where for ten dollars a month (for nine months - one volume a month) you will be given access to four of their art lessons. Each month you will be able to access four new lessons but continue to watch all of the previous lessons from the previous months.
Still not convinced? Why not try the first volume of See the Light Art Class for free! Yep, they will send you the first volume absolutely free (now I sound like a television info commercial - but it's true ). That way you can try it out with no obligation. Just go to their website by clicking here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above. You won't be disappointed.
To find out what some of the other TOS Crew Members thought about this art curriculum you can click here. Happy home educating!
As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was given Volume 1 of the See the Light Art Class for free in order to try out and review on this blog.
Wednesday, 20 April 2011
Another Feel Good Video
This one is from "Pilipinas (Philippines) Got Talent". And, again, it's not in English but Tagalog. I did manage to find a little bit about his story. He's 16 years old and comes from a very poor family with five children. He sells siomai (a Filipino dish) after school to try to help his family. The part that makes the judge cry is when he says that it's OK if he doesn't win as long as he shows everyone what it is to be a true Filipino. Enjoy!
Monday, 18 April 2011
I Love Stories Like This
First of all, I know it's in Chinese, but I think you'll get the idea . Second of all, get the tissues ready. Oh, and by the way, he won!