Monday, September 30, 2019

Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up- October 1, 2019

Welcome to Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up with your hosts Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily Reviews, Shelly @ The Attic Girl, and Rena @ An Ordinary Housewife.

So glad you could join us as we share our giveaways on  Tuesday's Giveaway Link Ups. 

This link up will be posted Monday at 7 PM est. and run all week long! Make sure you stop in as often as you can to list your latest giveaways.

Here is how to use the Giveaway Link Up

1. Post your reviews and/or giveaways, as many as you have, be sure to add the end date (family friendly please)

2. Help spread the word about the giveaway link up by grabbing our button, Tweeting or posting on Facebook. (Not mandatory- but it helps get more exposure to your giveaways as well!)

3. Take a moment to enter any giveaway that strikes an interest to you!

Featured Giveaway

Yesterday Movie US only Ends 10/4

Featured Reviews

If you would  like to follow the  hostesses, we will gladly follow you back! Simply leave us a message to do so.

Thank you for linking up with Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily ReviewsShelly @ The Attic Girl, and Rena @ An Ordinary Housewife .

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Thursday, September 26, 2019

Throwback Thursday Blog-Style #275: September 26, 2019

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 September 26th, 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.  The spirit of Throwback Thursday Blog-Style is to share posts from the past. Please follow the guidelines. I would hate to have to delete your link.
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
(This year I am going to focus on looking back at past reviews):

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

Kristin from A Mom's Quest to Teach 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!

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Click here to enter

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Exploring the Renaissance with HiGASFY {A Homeschool Review Crew Review}

At the end of the last school year (which was during our summer session), the children and I were learning about the Renaissance period. So, when the opportunity arose to review a fun-looking art history program, I jumped right on board. For the past several weeks the children and I have been using the HiGASFY Art History Video Series to review that time period, thanks to the Homeschool Review Crew. It's been a wonderful way to include art history (and more) in our week.

We were introduced to Mrs. Beth and her animated drop of paint Gasfy. Mrs. Beth has a love of teaching, plus a love of art and history, which she combined to create this series. Not only that, but she also was a flight attendant who traveled all over the world, so she was able to add that knowledge to it as well. And, believe it or not, this curriculum was first taught by her at a college preparatory school. Of course, I'm sure it was changed up a bit to make it suitable for children in 1st through 8th grade. She has quite the way of weaving history and art as she tells her stories, and then it expands to touch on other subjects in the lesson plans. It's quite the fun and comprehensive program. 

This curriculum is an online, subscription based video series, so you do have to have a computer with good internet access. We were given a three month subscription. In order to access the program we were sent two PDF files. One was a letter with instructions, the other was a file with a list of the YouTube links. If you were to sign up for this program you would have access to the YouTube videos directly from the site. In addition to the videos, we had access to the downloadable curriculum bundle. These are also accessed from the HiGASFY website, under Subscription Sign In tab. 

Each row contains the icons that go to the Lesson Plans, Name That Artist powerpoint, and flashcard files for the different art eras. 

The lesson plans include suggested art projects, critical thinking questions, cross curricular activities in several subjects (writing, geography, history, science, vocabulary), puzzles (crosswords and word searches). Next, the Name That Artist powerpoint game is the file that is meant to be played at the end of the series to measure what the children have retained. The Flashcards files contain a collection of the artwork along with titles and artist names that can be printed out and made into, well, flashcards. 

So far, most of the lessons have been able to been taught straight from the computer. I appreciate this as it is less ink being used. Of course, if you prefer to teach away from the computer, all you have to do is print them out. Don't you just love options? I also haven't been printing out the flashcards yet as they will take quite a bit of colored ink. So, we have just been viewing and discussing them while looking at them on the screen. 

The HiGASFY Art History Video Series includes four different art eras: Renaissance, Baroque, Impressionist and Post-Impressionist. We have access to all of them. As I've mentioned we have been focusing in the Renaissance era, so that is the one I will be discussing. However, from what I can tell, all the art periods' lessons are arranged in a similar fashion. There are a total of 16 lessons, 12 of which have video lessons. 

First, let's look a bit at the videos that make up the core of the curriculum.

I just have to include the introduction of Gasfy coming out of the paint can to write the name of the program.

In case you were wondering, HiGASFY stands for "Have I Got a Story For You." Gasfy paints it on the screen, and then the rest of the words fade away and the HIGASFY letters join together.

Mrs. Beth then introduces as to the lesson, interacting with Gasfy. I love how Mrs. Beth will explain things to Gasfy and the viewer learns right along with him. 

She'll then go into the "Story Time" part of the lesson, which will include images and maps and such.

Then we will get to look at different works of art. I love that she directs us to notice details that we would overlook on our own. Or maybe we would notice, but not understand. 

The children, and even I, have learned a lot about the Renaissance period, including the fact that it means "rebirth" which I didn't even know, and that is came out of the time of the Bubonic (or Black) Plague. Poor Gasfy was so worried about it, he was scared of Mrs. Beth's pet rat. 

After we watch the lesson's video, we start working through the activities. I decided from the beginning that we would work on them throughout the week, instead of trying to get them done all in one day. 

Let's take a look at the Lesson Plans.

The Lesson Plans for the Renaissance era start with the Table of Contents and a Parent/Teacher Guide. Then it moves into the lessons. 
Here is a list of lessons:
  • Lesson 1: Portfolio
  • Lesson 2: Introduction to the Renaissance (intro to the art period)
  • Lessons 3-7 Leonardo da Vinci (intro to the artist, examination of masterpieces)
  • Lesson 8: Free Draw
  • Lessons 9-12: Michelangelo (into to the artist, examination of masterpieces)
  • Lesson 13: Free Draw
  • Lessons 14-15: Raphael
  • Lesson 16: Free Draw

Each of the lessons are organized in the same way. 
  • Objectives
  • Suggested Activity (usually pick one out of several, but can do more)
  • Critical Thinking (open ended questions to get the children talking)
  • Vocabulary (a list of words with part of speech and definition)
  • Writing (several suggestions for writing activities that focus on what was learned)
  • Geography (mapwork, usually locating places discussed in the video on a map. Advanced activities usually involve research)
  • Science (activities related to the lesson)
  • History (activities related to the lesson)
There are occasionally additional activities and activities for advanced students. 

Here's a look at one of the pages:

The crossword puzzles and word searches that I mentioned above are found at the end of artist's section, prior to beginning the next artist.

Here's another sample:

As we work through the lessons, we have been watching the videos and working on activities. As there are five lessons on Leonardo da Vinci, he is the artist we have learned about so far. I have to say, I love the titles of the videos. Here, let's take a look at the Leonardo da Vinci lesson titles.
  • Episode 1: Who Needs a Flea Collar?
  • Episode 2: I'll Never Paint Again
  • Episode 3: Leonardo's Code
  • Episode 4: Vitruvian Man and a Horse
  • Episode 5: Are You Watching Me?
  • Episode 6: Let's Eat
I love how the titles tease at what we will be learning. The flea collar for Episode 1 refers to the fleas who came on the rats and brought the Bubonic Plague to Europe, killing so, so many people. The "Are you watching me?" title refers to the Mona Lisa, and the way her eyes always seem to be following you. Little things from the lessons that stand out. But there is so much more. I truly appreciate all the detail we have been learning from Mrs. Beth. For example, learning that Leonardo da Vinci had a habit of not finishing his paintings, and that when he was an apprentice he helped to finish his master's painting (ironically, now that I think about it), The Baptism of Christ, and he used different paint and more detail in the angel he worked on than what Verrocchio did on his. I was flabbergasted to learn that the Mona Lisa appears to be wearing a fine, transparent veil. And was intrigued to realize I had missed details in the background. We also learned that one of his paintings, the Benois Madonna, is probably also unfinished. And in that lesson we learned that da Vinci usually painted scenes in his windows, which is missing from this picture. 

I love that we can continue to examine the works of art after the videos are over, through the flashcards.

As I mentioned, we are to pick at least one art activity to do from the lesson. This activity will relate to what was discussed in the video.

For example, the children have created works of art with perspective:

Drawn pictures and then traded them to finish each others pictures.

Drawn or painted a scene outside a window.

And even created a creature by combining details from different animals.

Additionally, we discuss the Critical Thinking questions, where I ask the questions and have them take turns answering. Then I read through the vocabulary, seeing if anyone can define the word before I give them the written definition. We'll pull out our map or globe, or search online, to be able to complete the geography section. For science we have done such things as examining, drawing, and discussing our veins and muscles, talking about our senses, and looking at human anatomy. 

As you can see, Mrs. Beth has truly made this art history curriculum much more than a look at art history. We are learning about the context of the history before learning about the artist, and then we are including many different subjects. I think it is a wonderful curriculum and one that I highly recommend. Though, if your children are like mine, you may find that the older children think some of the aspects, such as Gasfy and Mrs. Beth's interactions with him, a bit below their level. Do I believe that? Not really. But, I have some stubborn pre-teens in my house. Do I feel that the children have all learned something from this curriculum? I sure do. Even I have! All those details I mentioned above? I had no clue myself. So, I know the children have been learning new things. And, they have an opportunity to work on different hands-on art projects. 

I admit, I did find it a bit troublesome that the child is at times told to go draw something, without really being told how to do so. Such as when they were told to draw something with perspective, and Mrs. Beth suggested a knight on a horse near a castle. None of my children really had any clue how to do such a thing. Granted, it wasn't written in stone that they had to do that, but I figured a bit more instruction to do it would have been nice. That is why I am glad there are multiple art activities suggested and the children only have to choose the one they are the most comfortable with. 

So, do I recommend the HiGASFY Art History Video Series? I most definitely do. The videos are engaging, entertaining, and informative to watch. The lessons are varied and relatable to the details learned in the videos. And, your child will get to be hands-on as they learn. 

If you're not sure what you think about it, you could take advantage of the Free Episode (which also includes a sample of the lesson plan).

You can find HiGASFY on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram.

And of course, you can click on the banner below to read my fellow Crew Mate's thoughts on the program. I am actually interested in stopping by different blogs to learn more about the different eras of art.

Have I Got A Story For You Art History Video Series {HiGASFY Art History Video Series Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Littles Learning Link Up: September 24, 2019

Each month you will find:
  • A seasonal round-up (usually toward the beginning of the month)
  • Posts where I share what I have been up to with my elementary-age children and the preschoolers I work with at our homeschool co-op (including occasional highlight posts where I share how we used ideas that have been linked up here on Littles Learning Link Up).
Each week, I will host a link up, where you can share either what you have been up to recently, or old posts that may go with the theme.  Feel free to link up more than one post.

Each week I will continue to feature a couple of posts from those that have been linked up. 

I hope you will continue to share your wonderful posts, and I hope you will find something new to try with your child(ren).

It would be great for everyone to stop by and visit the other linked-up posts as well. Check them out, leave some comments, pin those that interest you. Let's make this a real party and socialize with each other.

Here's a peek at what we have been up to in our homeschool.

In our history we moved on to read about King James and Jamestown. We have been watching various Pocahontas movies and informative documentaries. The NOVA show Pocahontas Revealed was quite informative. Even little Harold was talking about different parts of it the day after we watched it. We also learned a bit about the French explorer, Champlain. The children continue to work on their summaries after listening to our story each day.

We still haven't made our World Cake. We actually made gluten free brownies and were going to frost them, but the brownies were just calling to us, so they got eaten first. We saw an idea of using rice krispies treats, so we might be doing it that way! Stay tuned.

In addition to learning about early American history, we have also gone back and are looking a bit at the Renaissance again with the Art History from HiGasfy. We have specifically been learning about Leonardo da Vinci. I'll be sharing my review tomorrow.

In addition, Tabitha has been working on art with Creating a Masterpiece.

In science we are continuing our reading about different animals in God's creation. We have been learning about specific vertebrates. Right now we are learning about mammals.

Last week I shared about our trip to the Corning Museum of Glass in my Wordless Wednesday. This week I will share our time at the Rockwell Museum. You can save money if you buy a combo ticket to see both places. 

And of course the children are still working on their review materials. Harold and Hannah have been using Elephant Learning for their math, while Amelia has been using Smartick.

And Harold and Hannah have continued our idea of working on spelling words with magnetic letters. I started toward the end of last school year to try some hands-on work to help as Hannah has been struggling with spelling. Here are some pictures of Harold spelling his words.

And we also got some Kids and a Mom in the Kitchen Time in. The younger two helped me make chocolate pudding using our new Quick Cooker I got as a part of my consultant kit when I joined Pampered Chef.

A bit lumpy, but it tasty really good.

Let's take a look at that review schedule real quick:

Last week I shared my review of Online Times Alive from City Creek Press, Inc (which Amelia and Hannah have been using). And this week I will share my review for the HiGASFY Art History Video Series.

And then in October I will be bringing you reviews for Elephant Learning Math Academy, the two newest books in the Secret of the Hidden Scrolls series from WorthyKids BooksFun Family Chess and Wooden Building Planks from Brain Blox, Smartick math subscription, the Drawing Program from Creating a Masterpiece, Excelerate Spanish, plus a multiplication practice book from Channie's Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks.

Here are some things I would like to share with you:

I'm not sure when I am going to get to that ocean themed round up. Sorry about that. I've been awfully busy with my new venture, being a Pampered Chef consultant.

Now onto:
Littles Learning Link Up Features

On my last Littles Learning Link Up post, there were 3 wonderful posts linked up. I will be sharing a randomly selected post and the post with the most clicks.

Please, don't forget to stop by other posts that are linked up. See what catches your eye, stop by, pin the post to a relevant board, and perhaps leave a comment to let the author of the blog know you have been by for a visit. I know I appreciate others commenting and letting me know they have read my posts, so I am sure others do too.

This week's randomly selected post is:

Lou Lou Girls shared Baked Pineapple Chicken.

This week's most clicked on post is:

Gale from Imaginative Homeschool shared Bug Party Fun!

Join the Party!

I would love to have you join in this week! What sort of activities do you do with your young children? Do you have some favorite activities you would like to share? I invite you to link up below. I will be pinning posts on one of my relevant boards, and I would love to feature some of the activities each week from what is linked up.

Please know I may share a picture from your post and link back to it, along with sharing how we used your idea in our school time. By linking up you are giving me permission to use a picture from your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. Additionally, if you choose to try out any of the ideas with your child, please make sure you give credit where credit is due.

Linky will be open through Monday night, to give me time to check out all the posts and get the Features organized. Please take the time to visit some of the other wonderful posts linked up.

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 Littles Learning Link Up permalink please.

I am sharing over at

Homeschool Coffee Break

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