Finding My Way to Zendoodle Calm

A Review of Zendoodle Calm By Felicity French and Lauren Farnsworth Zendoodle Calm is a fantastic new kind of coloring book for adults. You color designs with doodles, not solid color. This makes coloring more of a meditative activity, and thus the name, Zendoodle Calm. Coloring with doodles is a lot like the pattern shading that Albrecht Durer made commonplace in his famous rhinoceros woodcutting in 1515. I actually tried an art project with my kids once to recreate their own versions of that Durer rhinoceros, but it was a disaster. The kids were too young for the concentration required to make the detailed patternsRead More →

A is for Art & Advice

ABCs of Homeschooling With Grace Week 1: A is for Art & Advice I decided to post each week with two subjects: first I will share some teaching resources we love in our homeschool, and second some advice for mom. This week is all about the letter A and I am highlighting Art resources for your homeschool and places to find Advice for mom… Art Resources Teaching Techniques & Great Resources I Used in My Homeschool Art History: Polite Sarcasm (with Sister Wendy) Ideas & Fostering Creativity: Dancing Sculptures, Cookie Creations (painting & baking), Chaos Begats Creativity, Togetherness Teaching Art: Awesome Color & Color WheelRead More →

My daughter loves to draw and paint. Ever since she was old enough to hold a crayon in her fist, she has been creating art. For her it is a way to express joy and sorrow. The other day, she drew a chicken as a birthday present. In our house drawings and paintings make the best presents! The bit that really struck me about this chicken is how happy she is! And that means that my daughter is happy as well. And that is a wonderful present for anyone in the family! Stop by and see all the wonderful art at the Virtual Refrigerator BlogRead More →

​The Cat and The Green Army Men – A Homeschooling Parable The Parable We had a birthday recently in our house, which is always a cause for decorations and chocolate cake. This time I decorated the table with little plastic green army men and plastic chickens, for reasons that could only make sense if you knew my kids. Strangely, my kids never got to play with the green army men. Our little orange cat decided that in fact those green army men were for him. God only knows what goes through the mind of our cat and why molded green plastic toys are on hisRead More →

Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit from ACTÍVA Products I was excited to get an opportunity to try a totally new type of sculpture crafting product, Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit from ACTÍVA Products, and the kids and I ended up having fun. What Comes In The Box We opened the package to find 2 packages of Rigid Wrap and 1 Bag of CelluClay. There are project ideas on the sides of the box, and you can find more project ideas in the free ebook (ACTÍVA Products’ Favorite Sculpture KIDS CRAFTS). Prepping The Art Area When the product box arrived, my kids unpacked it from the shippingRead More →

Timelines were something I stressed over when we began homeschooling. I looked at the options we could purchase, but couldn’t find something that fit our lifestyle. So, I put up a blank, homemade, timeline. It covered all of history, divided neatly into 100 year segments, a century on a piece of 8.5 by 11 paper. All I did was draw a line in pencil across each piece of paper in the same spot and label the start and end of the line with a year. It turned out that our dining room was perfectly sized to accommodate the entire timeline, taped up, end to end,Read More →

This week was pretty run-of-the mill. We just continued along our merry homeschooling way. … BUT I found a pile of resources to use for next year as I continued to plan (my absolutely favorite activity, truth be told). So, here is what I have found so far… Books I ran across these wonderful fairy tale books (Fairy Tale Calculus) that teach the basics of calculus in a gentle and understandable way. I started looking through them to see if the kids could benefit and then got hooked! I think I will be reading these aloud in the fall!   We are also reading TheRead More →

Review of Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors by The Pencil Grip, Inc. I was very excited to have the opportunity to review Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors, a set of art tools from The Pencil Grip, Inc. But I was not prepared for the huge range of uses my kids would find for these innovative tempera paint sticks. This was an exercise in outside of the box art! I know The Pencil Grip, Inc. as a supplier of rubber grips for pencils. We used them when my children were first learning to write as a way to help them learn the correct grip.Read More →

The Life of Fibonacci

This week I wanted to feature a wonderful picture book about the life of Fibonacci, the mathematician. Fibonacci lived in the 1100’s in medieval Italy and learned about math on his travels on behalf of his father’s business to far away places like northern Africa, Turkey, Syria, Greece, and Sicily. Fibonacci will even take you into the court of Frederick II, of the Holy Roman Empire. It is a wonderful way to tie the development of mathematics with other history your child is learning! This book takes your child on a rollicking adventure through Fibonacci’s life and travels. You can use this to reinforce geographyRead More →

A Girl Who Loves Color

We all know that colorful toys and room decorations and pillows make a child’s room cheery and generally make our children happy. My children spent some time the other day with a set of markers that are a solid tempera paint called Kwik Stix for an upcoming review. Actually, they would have played with these Thin Stix no matter what because they are just a ton of fun and my kids love color! (can you tell from the picture my daughter did?) But why does color make our children so happy? As adults, many of us gradually shift our color tastes to a more mutedRead More →