Greatly Blessed

Greatly Blessed

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Doodle Across Multiple Subjects with Kwik Stix #giveaway


You guys know how much I love art supplies, right?  So this has been a super fun review for us.  The Pencil Grip, Inc. sent us a Kwik Stix 12 pk. to play with!


When I opened the box and saw the info page and the sample pencil grip they sent us, I realized,

     These guys make the pencil grip that Katie uses!  

When I had concerns about Katie being able to write with her "different" hands, Shriners sent us home with a few things to try.  What stuck as the best option for her is this funny little yellow thing you see in lots of pictures of Katie doing her work.


So The Pencil Grip, Inc. has my gratitude for making a product that helped Katie learn to write.  Even though she can write without it now, like when she uses colored pencils, she still prefers to use her special pencil with it's yellow grip.  If you have anyone in your family who might benefit from some help holding a pencil correctly, please check them out.

But I'm here to tell you about Kwik Stix today.  You know glue sticks?  Chap stick?  Sunscreen for your face sticks?  Mess free and easy to use, right?  Okay.  Now picture tempera paint in a tube like that, and you have Kwik Stix.


The kids took to them right away.  They glide across the page.  They're not sticky like a glue stick, they're more like a giant, super smooth crayon in a plastic wrapper.  Almost like an oversized oil pastel, but they don't get all over your hands.


You can see how wonderfully brilliant the colors are, even after the paint dries.  In this picture, the girls have drawn quilts, to go along with what we're learning in history.


I used the Kwik Stix to make this vowel sounds chart we've been using for English.


They dry super fast!  In about a minute.  We have literally not had one mess from Kwik Stix.


We're still working on Mr. Popper's Penguins from our recent literature review, and so we drew penguins with our Kwik Stix, copying our plastic penguins.  The one on the left used light strokes and achieved an airy, almost gray look in places.  The one on the right used even pressure and got deep black.


In science, we're studying botany, and we learned what makes something a fruit.


I had the kids draw several fruits while I read surprising facts, like a strawberry is not a berry!  Who knew?


See that big yellow guy?  That's Goliath.  See that little bitty brown guy under his shield?  That's David.  Thanks to our favorite Bible curriculum, the kids enjoy drawing stick figure scenes from Bible stories.


Hannah's version of Noah's ark with 3 fish (there's a pink one between the other two, it's just hard to see).

So you can easily see how Kwik Stix can be used in multiple teaching areas, like history, English, literature, Bible and science.  What about art?


We have different types of paper from a recent art review, so I thought I'd show how the Kwik Stix look on each.


You can see the two different effects on the pumpkin.  The only change was the difference in pressure.  The manga paper on the right is super slick and the Kwik Stix glide across it.  I really like the feel of it!  But they don't blend well on this paper.  The 60# and 90# papers both achieved nice results with firm pressure, with the heavier paper being spottier with light pressure.


I thought the white on a dark paper might produce a sort of chalkboard affect, so I tried it.  I had to use more than one layer, but it does work.  (The stars/snowflakes are silver colored pencil.)

By now, I'm sure you've thought up some great ideas for including Kwik Stix in your homeschool.  How about entering to win a pack of your very own?  The Pencil Grip, Inc. has generously offered one of my readers a multi color 12 pack of Kwik Sticks.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
In addition to the great basic colors in the Kwik Stix 12 pk, The Pencil Grip, Inc. also offers two different specialty 6 packs.  A few members of the Crew were already familiar with classic Kwik Stix so they received Neons and Metalix instead.  You can read all the Crew reviews by clicking the box below.

Kwik Stix The Pencil Grip, Inc. Review

Crew Disclaimer

You can connect with The Pencil Grip, Inc. on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.  I'm sure you'll be seeing more artwork featuring Kwik Stix from us in the future.  They're fun, easy, and mess free!


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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Spring Flowers Art Project


Last summer, someone posted a link to my Facebook wall about doing fireworks paintings using empty toilet paper tubes.  This is my floral twist on that project.  This would be a great project to work on after a nature walk paying specific attention to the details on your local flowers.


You will need the following supplies (affiliate links are included for your convenience):
empty toilet paper tubes (at least one for each color flower you plan to make)
9x12" construction paper in blue
green construction paper, yarn, or pipe cleaners
scissors
glue (we used sticks, but you'll want liquid glue for yarn or chenille stems)
cotton swabs
liquid tempera paints


First, you need to cut "petals" in the TP tubes.  We've been learning about botany this semester, so we talked about how some flowers have 5 petals, some have 6, some have lots of petals.  This would be a good time to bring up the flowers you saw on your walk.


You can cut short, fat petals, or long skinny petals.  You can make the edges pointy or rounded.


This is the flower I made as an example for the kids.


I wanted some pink flowers, but the pink we have is more of a fuchsia, so I added some silver both to make it lighter, and to add a little shimmer to it.

With a sky blue background paper, you'll be able to use lots of different flower colors, even white!


I tried having the kids stamp in the paint on a paper plate, but unless you use a lot of paint, the paint starts drying out fairly rapidly.  I didn't want to be wasteful, so we ended up using a brush to quickly brush the paint onto the petals and then stamp it onto the paper.  Be sure to have the kids press each petal to the paper before lifting.


After you have your flowers painted on your paper, you end up with a fun little bouquet of cardboard flowers as "leftovers."  They're kind of cute all on their own.  You could paint the base green or wrap them in green construction paper and use them as a centerpiece or even place cards at dinner.


I had the children cut green construction paper to make stems and leaves for their flowers.  We reviewed how some plants have alternate, some have opposite, and some have whorl leaf placement.  You could also use green yarn to make stems and leaves, or even green pipe cleaners, if you prefer more texture or you run out of green construction paper.

At this point, the flower petal paint is dry, and it's time to paint the insides of the flowers.  The kids chose brown for their gold petaled flowers.  I had a heck of a time blending a good brown.  I made a lovely dark teal, though!   Eventually, we got brown, and after looking at sunflowers online, the kids dabbed brown paint into the center of the gold flowers with q-tips.  Dot dot dot dot dot!  The pink flowers got yellow centers, and a recycled milk jug cap is the perfect stamping size for this.


Happy May!  (Don't mind our photobomber.)


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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Our Week - End of April


Last week of April!  The calendar year is 1/3 over, the school year has only a month left.  Time is flying!


We've got a new computer based learning program that Jack and Katie are working on.   Review coming in June.


If you missed it, we had a BIRTHDAY this week!  Even though she's 9 now, she's such a little peanut that I just last month bought her a high backed booster carseat instead of her harness carseat.


This was a project that we started last week, but didn't finish until the weekend.


Our art DVD called it Figure 7 in Gold.  I believe Jack used bronze paint.  Hannah used gold, but our gold is a bit see through, even after a couple of coats.


We also made mandalas on Bristol board.  This was Jack and Hannah's first time working with a compass.


Exploring the concept of Radial Design.  I tried to explain that if you cut the finished circle in half, both sides should be exactly the same.


Perfect timing for Jack's new headphones we got free to review.  He's using them while he does his computer work.  They help cut out the distractions of the world around him, and keep the overall noise of the house down since we're not ALL hearing his computer programs.


Paul was trying to get Luke to clap.  After about 10 minutes of Paul clapping Luke's hands then clapping his own hands to try to get Luke to mimic him, Luke did actually clap a couple of times.  I haven't been able to get him to repeat it, though.

He has an appointment with a new pediatric neurologist next week.  It will be interesting to see if they've ever heard of Luke's condition or not.


We're pushing through our curriculum at a slightly faster pace than laid out in the manual, in order to finish when the high school kids do.  That spring break evaluation page I filled out was a big wake up call for me.  We're going to start trying to do at least one spelling lesson on the weekend, and when we do second dictation day (the 5th and final day of the passage) we're going to "double up" and do A of the next passage, too.  Not back to back, but in the same day.  Taking time off for our LOE Essentials review was good for all of us, but it's come back to bite me in the butt, now that we're left with more book than year.  I don't want Jack and Hannah to have to do summer school.


Katie will need to do summer learning work because we've been really relaxed about her Kindergarten year, but she won't put up a fuss like Jack would.  She's on week 23 of 30 weeks in Math and week 14 out of 36 in Spelling.  She'll finish her Handwriting book, though, and she's using up several leftover Kumon workbooks that Jack never finished when he was little.  It's nice to clean those off the shelves.  I think she's got Mazes, Numbers, and Dot to Dot going right now.  The cutting practice book that the photo above is from was actually Sam's when he was in K.  Definitely time to get that used up!  (He's 17 now.)


Our review of Kwik Stix will be live on Tuesday.  Be sure to come back and check out all the masterpieces the kids have been making with them and enter to win a set of your own!


In God and the History of Art, we were reminded again to practice drawing lines and eggs to gain greater control.  We did it in pencil early this week, and then today, for some extra practice, I had them draw lines and eggs with the Kwik Stix for a different feel.  


This doesn't sound like much, but these Post-it flags make me so happy.  We use them as bookmarks in all the many books we have going around here at any given time for school.  After a while, they lose their stickiness and have to be tossed.

About a month ago, I used the last one out of a pack I bought 2 school years ago.  A couple days ago, I got an email from Staples with an extra $5 bonus coupon.  Plus I had a $5 Staples reward coupon.  So I took my 2 $5 coupons and went to Staples today.  I picked up these flags, on sale for $10 (reg. $14.95, and even higher on Amazon).  While we were there, I picked up another 10 pack of poster board for the high schoolers, since Eli recently used the last one, and I got a 3 pack of half size poster board, since sometimes their school projects don't call for a full sheet.  Oh, and a little treat from the checkout candy display.  $8 bucks out the door.  We actually saved $11.90 since the cashier scanned an additional coupon behind the register.

Sometimes it really is the little things.  I know every time I open the drawer and pull one out I'm going to smile.


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Friday, April 29, 2016

Happy Birthday, Hannah!


Hard to believe my baby girl is 9!  And yes, she's my baby, too.  They're all my babies.


We had Panda Express for birthday dinner.  Hannah usually uses the "cheater chopsticks" but now that she's a big 9 year old, I had her try regular chopsticks.  She did pretty good for a few bites, and then switched to a fork.


She can read her own fortune cookies, and has quite a sense of humor.


Year of the Baby, sequel to Year of the Book from Buddy & Grandpa Gino in Nevada.


Katie Woo's Big Idea Journal.  She likes drawing and writing in her sketch pad, so I thought she might like this book full of questions, writing prompts, spaces to doodle, etc.  We'll have to check out the other books in the Katie Woo series.  Looks like there's a bunch of them!


Legos!  Girly ones!  This was Daddy's idea, and suddenly Jack and Eli want to play with her more than usual, lol.


Connect 4, also from Buddy & Grandpa Gino.  We used to have one, but after years of use, it got destroyed.


We ran out of candles!  So she's pretending to blow for the picture.


Mmm, cake & ice cream!


And now for a series of


random family member shots


while they're all


just trying to

enjoy their cake!


A good time was had by all, and the birthday girl is happy.  I've been wanting to take some new pictures of her.  One of these days, we'll get to the park with the big camera.


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