Thursday, June 28, 2018

Introducing the Girls to Art History with The Master and His Apprentices {A TOS Review}

The older girls and I had the opportunity to review the book The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective from The Master and His Apprentices. I'll start right off by saying I almost opted out of this review because it is high school level material. However, when I realized it covered events, places, and objects that we had learned about this past year with our Core Curriculum, I sort of changed my mind and begged to try it out. 

We received a digital copy of this art history textbook, along with a digital copy of the Teacher Guide for The Master and His Apprentices. The books are also available as physical books, though the hardcover text is over $100 more and the softcover Teacher Guide is $5 more than the digital. I admit, if I could afford it, I would much rather have a physical book to flip through, but we have been able to view the digital copy just fine on our computer, the recommended way to view this fixed-layout PDF. Additionally, it is stated on the website that a large tablet will work for viewing purposes. If you would prefer to purchase the digital copy, yet would like to hold a physical book, you can print the textbook and store it in a 3-ring binder. The layout is binder-ready for this option. As that would use a lot of paper and ink, that option was not something I felt I could do as the textbook is 380 pages long! Now, as for the Teacher Guide, that I have been printing out, a couple of pages at a time. When you purchase the book you actually have the license to print/photocopy the information for one child. If you need the information for more than one child there is a $2 fee per child. As a member of the Homeschool Review Crew I was thankfully given print/photocopy rights for our entire household.

I loved the thought of introducing the girls to art in history from a Christian perspective, especially because it states that there is no nudity, something the children have inadvertently been exposed to in a few books we had out from the library to go with our study of Ancient Greece here at the end of the school year. 

The Master and His Apprentices covers creation through modern times, though there is only a brief mention of the last few hundred years, with only 16 pages after the chapter on the Baroque period. The book starts with an introduction to art, stating that God is the Master and all other artists are the apprentices as they can but copy what God has done in His creation. Personally, I love this view of art, though I had never really thought of it that way before. I love that the author is coming from a literal biblical viewpoint. 

Okay, so what exactly is contained in this book? I will say, right from the get-go, that there is a LOT more than just art in this book, a lot more history and even science than I expected. To me it feels more like a history book with the bonus of artwork being included throughout, over 600 works of art at that. So yes, you are seeing and learning about the art, but you are getting a lot of detail about the time period surrounding it as well, all from a Biblical perspective.

The Master and His Apprentices is divided into six sections plus an appendix. 
  • The Beginning
  • Ancient Cultures
  • Classical Antiquity
  • Middle Ages
  • Renaissance
  • Baroque Era & Beyond
  • Appendix
The Beginning starts with the Introduction to Art, which is the first chapter, and then moves straight into God's most wonderful art work which we are a part of and are living in, His creation, chapter 2. Each day of creation has its own section, which gets into quite a bit of detail. I actually perused this section on my own, as I knew it would be over the children's heads.

Ancient Cultures is the section we focused on during the review period as I wanted to use it as a bit of a review here at the end of the school year. The three chapters in the Ancient Cultures section are:
  • Chapter 3: Ancient Near East
  • Chapter 4: Egyptian
  • Chapter 5: Aegean 
During the summer we are going to focus on the first part of Classical Antiquity as we will be finishing up our previous school year's material which is on Ancient Greece. The three chapters in the Classical Antiquity section are:
  • Chapter 6: Early Greek
  • Chapter 7: Etruscan 
  • Chapter 8: Roman
Next year I plan to use The Master and His Apprentices concurrently with our core curriculum as we will be learning about the time of Rome through the Reformation. We will be able to enhance our studies with the Roman chapter from Classical Antiquity, plus the section on the Middle Ages which contains the following chapters:
  • Chapter 9: Early Christian & Byzantine
  • Chapter 10: Medieval & Islamic
  • Chapter 11: Romanesque 
  • Chapter 12: Gothic
We will even be able to utilize the Renaissance section this coming year. This section contains the following chapters:
  • Chapter 13: Proto-Renaissance
  • Chapter 14: Early Italian Renaissance
  • Chapter 15: High Italian Renaissance
  • Chapter 16: Northern Renaissance
And in future years we will be able to use the concluding chapters, which are:
  • Chapter 17: Baroque
  • Chapter 18: Rococo to Today
  • Chapter 19: Global Highlights
Additionally, I can most definitely see pulling this book out again when the children are in high school and can appreciate all the details. It will be a wonderful supplement to their history and can count as an art credit (From my understanding. I admit, I haven't quite looked into how all those credit things will work as my oldest is only 11 years old.)

The Appendix is chock-full of information from a letter from the editor, to the gospel message and skepticism in creationism. There is a full timeline which includes all the works of art plus historical/Biblical events, plus a timeline of the different art periods.

Now, let's dig a little deeper.

Each chapter starts with an overview of the time period, before going into more detail of each featured work of art.

As I stated, I personally spent some time in the Creation section of the textbook, though I didn't utilize the study guide. I loved reading the details of God's creation, how God is such a master of detail. His creation should cause us to see His mighty power and lead to us praise Him. 

After each chapter's overview we found the sections that focus on the specific work of art. The topic of interest is in a box at the top of the page, under which is listed the area where it is found and the kind of art it is, plus the approximate date.

The children and I spent our time in the Ancient Cultures section of The Master and His Apprentices. Personally, I enjoyed learning more information about things we learned about this past year, such as Noah's Ark, the ziggurats, and the Law Code of Hammurabi. Yes, we talked about these things previously, but this book gave us more details. 

I printed out the question sheet from the Teacher Guide that was relevant for the chapter we were reading. I would then skim the chapter to see what information I would need to read to answer the questions. Sometimes we would skip questions that required information that I felt was over the girls' heads. The girls sat on the couch or loveseat while I read from the book on the computer. 

We would read the question to figure out what we were looking for, and then I would read the section of the book, hoping the children would figure out what the answer was. Sometimes they caught it, sometimes I had to give them the answer. The material is definitely over their comprehension level, so I can understand that they had trouble trying to determine which information was the actual answer. A lot of the details were in regard to the historical information, where they were hoping for more specifics about the actual art. 

I would ask them to help me word the answer, guiding them where they needed help, and then I would type out the answer in our word processing program, making the font large enough for them to see from the couch/loveseat. I have found that it makes a great "whiteboard." They then copy the answer into the blanks on the page.

A high school student would be required to read either a full chapter or a half a chapter in a week, and then they would be expected to have these questions answered. The girls and I were able to get through the chapter on the Ancient Near East and have started the chapter on Egypt during this review period. 

I really appreciate the timelines that are included in each chapter. Unlike the timeline that is in the appendix, there are three sections to these chapter timelines. The top shows important world events, the middle section lists the famous artwork, and the bottom section lists the major Biblical events that would have been taking place at this time. 

The Master and His Apprentices is a wealth of information in regards to both history and art in history. It is most definitely more appropriate for older students, I would say at least middle school. Tabitha, who is 11, was able to understand a lot more than Amelia, who is 10. Unfortunately they were both bored while I was trying to find topics of interest to read to them. Personally, I love reading about the details surrounding the art, learning where they fit into history, and especially re-confirming God's majesty. I definitely plan on using it to supplement our curriculum, but I think I may have to limit what I read even more. And when the children are in high school, I will definitely have them work through the book in more detail.

So, would I recommend this book for a family with only young children? Probably not. But if you have children who are in middle school, I would definitely give it a shot. Of course, you know your children the best. As for high school students? I would say The Master and His Apprentices is a wonderful art history book for Christians, and will help students see God's amazing love and his plan in history. 

You can find The Master and His Apprentices on Facebook and Pinterest.

Don't forget to click the banner below to see what my fellow Crew Mates had to say about The Master and His Apprentices.

The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective {The Master and His Apprentices Reviews}

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Throwback Thursday Blog-Style #210: June 28, 2018

Welcome back to... 

I know, I know, Throwback Thursday seems to be all about sharing pictures from the past, great memories that mean something to you, that you would like to share with others. At least that is how it appears to me. Throwback Thursday wasn't something I was participating in, and then I came up with an idea.

I thought it would be great fun and a help to my blog to share old content, but not just any old content. Each week I will share an old blog post from a previous year, any year, BUT it has to be from the current week (for example, something I've posted around June 28th, from any previous year)  I will go in, edit the post if needed, add a pinnable image if I don't already have one, and share it on Facebook.

Would you like to join in? You do not need to edit your past post in any way, you don't need to create a pinnable image, though it couldn't hurt, in fact it will help your blog traffic to add quality pinnable images to your posts.

Just go into your archives, choose a favorite post from this current week from any previous year, and link it up below. (If you don't have anything from this current week, it is still okay to link up with a post from a previous year around this time. And if you haven't been blogging for a full year, feel free to share any earlier post.)

Please make sure to share from the past as instructed above. Most weeks I find that there is a wonderful post, but I can't feature it because it is a current post, not from the past. Sadly, I am going to have to say, I will be deleting posts that do not follow the rules. The spirit of Throwback Thursday Blog-Style is to share posts from the past. Please follow the guidelines.
Thank you

I will be pinning posts to my appropriate Pinterest boards and will be randomly selecting a Featured Throwback Thursday post to share next week. Just a note, I will be sharing a picture from your post if you are selected as the featured post, but I will link back to your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. By linking up you are giving me permission to use your picture in the post. 

Here is my Throwback Thursday post:

Originally posted June 17th, 2014
Patriotic Ideas Roundup

Here is this week's randomly selected
Featured Throwback Thursday:

Jeniffer from Thou Shall Not Whine shared 

To participate, link up below. It would be great if you could visit several of the other posts that have linked up. Stop by, comment, and pin images so we can help each other.

No button currently, and there won't be one until I can figure it out seeing as Photobucket has changed things. Feel free to still share the picture in place of the button. Just link it to my Throwback Thursday Blog-Style permalink please.

Happy Throwback Thursday!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Enjoying a Well-Rounded Homeschool Language Arts Program with Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 {A TOS Review}

Grammar never has been one of my strong suits. Of course, as a homeschool mom, it is my responsibility to teach my children grammar. So, I really appreciate when I find a product that can help me do just that. Thanks to the Homeschool Review Crew, I have been working with Hannah using the brand-new Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 from Hake Publishing

Prior to the release of their Grammar and Writing 3, they did have materials for older students, from 4th through 8th grade. I was thrilled that they were releasing books that I could use with Hannah, who just finished 2nd grade. Not only is grammar and writing included in this curriculum, but there is spelling, punctuation, and vocabulary development. These topics are taught with Hake/Saxon's approach of incremental development and continual review. All in all, this seemed to be a well-rounded language arts curriculum from a respected publishing company, and I was thrilled to have Hannah get started in it. 

We received the three-book set shown above. There is a Teacher Guide, Consumable Textbook, and Writing Workbook, each of which is a soft cover book. 

Teacher Guide

This 391-page book begins with an introductory section which includes a note "To the Teacher," the Teacher Schedule, plus a script for the Grammar Meetings. The next 111 pages are the scripts for the 111 lessons in the program. 

Each lesson is broken into several sections. The optional Speaking and Listening section, and the required Vocabulary, Lesson, and Review Set sections. Scripted lines that are to be read to the students are in bold font, and instructions for the teacher to follow are in italics. The sections that are in the boxes are also found at the top of the student's textbook, and they are to follow along. The lesson itself is written out in the student textbook, but not in the Teacher Guide. 

After the section with the lesson scripts you will find the Answer Key for both the Textbook and the Writing Workbook. Each lesson's answer key is displayed on a single page so it can be shown without revealing the answers to the upcoming lessons. The answers for the Writing Lessons however show 3-4 per page. The next section contains the answer keys for the tests. Tests are given after lesson 10, and then after every fifth lesson, for a total of 22 in all. Then there are answer keys for the "More Practice" pages. Not every lesson has a sheet for more practice. Out of the 111 lessons, only 28 provide an extra sheet for more practice. Also included in the "More Practice" section are three Tricky Teasers which help children practice with the different concepts they have learned thus far. These are stories with blanks for the children to fill in like a game, where they need to fill in certain parts of grammar, similar to books I used to use growing up, and which I have seen on the backs of cereal boxes and other places. 

The Teacher Guide concludes with the reproducible Masters, for the Tests and the More Practice, including the Tricky Teasers.

Consumable Textbook

This 488-page book begins with a Table of Contents, showing the student each lesson number, along with the topic for the lesson and the page where it can be found. There is then a one-page introduction for the student, after which the lessons begin. Each lesson is between three and five pages in length, and follows the same pattern. 

At the top of the page the student will find a box containing the Grammar Meeting question and Vocabulary. 

The questions give the children a chance to practice speaking in full sentences. As this curriculum is actually created with a classroom in mind, the question is usually asked to the entire group and then they take turns answering and listening to their fellow student's answers, after which they are to spend some time discussing other's answers. While we don't have a classroom, we do have a family with four children, so I have been asking this question to all the children.

I love that the vocabulary words are derived from either Latin or Greek roots. As you can see, the root is shown along with its meaning prior to sentences which explain the new words. After these sentences are read, the children are to come up with their own sentences. I occasionally include the other children in this exercise as well, especially if Hannah is having trouble coming up with a sentence.

Next we come to the actual lesson. We just read this straight from the book while snuggling on the couch.

As a part of the lesson there are a couple of examples to help demonstrate what is being taught. Directly under the example you will find the solution. I do try to hide the solution so Hannah can try to figure the examples out on her own.

Then we come to the actual practice section. Children may need direction here, especially making sure they understand what they are being asked to do for each problem. This section will include the concepts related to the lesson and ask the child to use their new vocabulary. 

The lesson concludes with a Review Set. I usually have Hannah complete this section independently to see if she is understanding the concepts she has been taught. 

This section will have concepts from the current lesson as well as previous lessons. The numbers in parentheses under the question number indicate which lesson the concept was introduced in.

I really do appreciate that the Review Set allows the child to review previously learned topics. I have noticed there are definitely concepts Hannah is struggling with. Having the reproducible "More Practice" sheets has also been very helpful, though I do wish more lessons had them. I am curious how the authors decided which lessons would have and wouldn't have these extra practice sheets. 

As we've been working through the lessons, Hannah has been introduced to sentences, subjects and predicates, action verbs, different tenses of verbs such as present tense and past tense, nouns such as proper nouns and concrete, abstract, and collective nouns. We've also looked at words with short and long vowels. As we continue through the books she will learn other spelling rules along with many other grammar rules, and we will even get into diagramming sentences. 

The student's Consumable Textbook concludes with an index.

According to the Teacher Schedule, as I mentioned above, after lesson ten and then after every five lessons thereafter the child is to take a test. It is also at that time that they are scheduled to use the Writing Workbook.

Writing Workbook

This 92-page book contains 21 lessons. The student will focus on the sentence for four lessons, the paragraph for six lessons, and then will move on to different forms of writing, such as persuasive, expository, narrative, and descriptive. At the end of the book they will be asked to write a chapter summary. Not only do they work on writing, but they are required to evaluate their writing. They will be able to use concepts they have been working on in their textbook.

After lesson 10 there is a writing lesson on The Sentence, focusing on subjects and predicates.

How are we using Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3?

Hannah has what we call "mommy time" two times during the week, so we used that time to work on grammar after she reads to me for a while. As it is recommended to use this program at least three times a week we also added time on Wednesday for sitting down to use the book. We didn't get as far into the book as I would have liked as I did have a sick little girl one week, plus last week was VBS/no-regular-school week. Additionally, we did end up needing to spend more time on review than I thought we were going to. So, some days, instead of doing a new lesson, I photocopied the "More Practice" sheet or went over the previous lesson. 

We would sit on the couch or loveseat and discuss the Grammar Meeting question, sometimes asking her siblings if they weren't in the middle of their school work. Then we would work on vocabulary.

Then I would read the lesson information to her, making sure she understood the concept being taught. Though, there were times I thought she understood, but then realized she wasn't quite "getting it" while she worked on the practice questions.

Then we went over the practice questions.

I then have her work on the Review Set as independently as possible. Sometimes she remains on the couch, other times she sits at the table. 

As you can see, she does still require some guidance with certain concepts:

I absolutely appreciate that there is review of past concepts in every lesson. Things that Hannah was struggling with toward the beginning of the review period are now better understood. At first I didn't understand the approach that this curriculum takes. This approach is actually the same approach that was developed for the Saxon Math program by John Saxon. After using Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing for the past six weeks, and glancing through the books to see what is coming in the future, I can definitely see the benefits of this approach which is explained on Hake Publishing's website on the page titled Grammar and Writing Pedagogy

I really love how the topics are spaced over time and there is continual review. Hannah has also mentioned how she likes the way she gets to review every day. She is really enjoying getting to learn grammar concepts she didn't know before. Though I think she is a bit frustrated, as am I, that the lines given at times are not quite long enough for her to write in. 

I admit, Hannah does struggle with her handwriting and it is a bit sloppy . I actually am not sure what a 3rd grader's handwriting should look like. However, I did notice that some of the spaces would just barely fit their typed words, such as "multiplication" in the picture below. And young children are not going to print as small as typed words. Honestly, if this didn't state it was a consumable textbook, I probably would have been having Hannah write her answers in a notebook. In fact, I am debating having her doing any writing in a notebook from now on, as we do love the program and don't want to let such a small issue interfere with her enjoyment of the work.

All in all Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 is a wonderful language arts program. I am amazed at what Hannah has begun to remember, and I am pleased that she is actually enjoying her lessons. For me as the parent, the lesson is easy to teach as it is laid out nicely. It is nice knowing that each lesson is going to follow the same format. All I have to do is read the lesson information, which actually helps me re-learn concepts as well. With only 10 to 15 Review Set questions so far, in addition to the practice that we work on together, the lesson is short enough to keep her attention and not bore her. I did notice that there will be more questions per lesson as we get further into the book. We'll have to see how she deals with this when we get to these lessons, perhaps I will allow her to spread the lessons out a bit more, or we will do grammar every day of the week. Either way, we will continue with this program, as I feel it is very well thought out and, as I thought when I first looked at it, quite well-rounded. 

Don't forget to click on the banner below to see what my fellow Crew Mates had to say about Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3.

Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 {Hake Publishing Reviews}

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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Wordless Wednesday: June 27, 2018 (w/linky) - Putter Golf Time

We won a couple of free games at a local putter golf place, so we decided to take the children as a surprise last week. We figured it was a good way to enjoy our no-school week. We hadn't been to this place since Tabitha was a baby, from what we remember. Out of all the putter golf places I've been to, I like this one the most. It is lovely here.

Looking forward to seeing your Wordless (or not so wordless) Wednesday posts this week.

No button currently, and there won't be one until I can figure it out seeing as Photobucket has changed things. Feel free to still share the picture in place of the button on your Wordless Wednesday post or in a list of Wordless Wednesday linkies. Just link it to my Wordless Wednesday permalink please.

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