Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Artistic Pursuits Review

If you are like me, you find it hard to fit in fun subjects like art, when it seems to take all day to get through the core subjects of math, reading, writing, science, and history.  Well thankfully, Artistic Pursuits makes it simple to add art to your child's day.

Artistic Pursuits is written for homeschool or independent study.  These books are so student friendly that anyone, experienced or novice, will feel comfortable producing original and expressive works of art. 

This unique curriculum is available for preschool ages through high school

* Preschool:  Art assignments designed for preschool exploration

* Grades K-3:  Children are introduced to the visual arts and view art through history

* Grades 4-6, 7-8, 9-12:  Students learn technical skills while creating original works of art. Book One at each level provides an overview of drawing, covering the elements of art and composition. Book Two at each level provides an overview of color theory and composition.

We received Grades 4-6 Book One: The Elements of Art and Composition.  Each book in the series follows a similar format.  For instance, each unit in our book includes:

Lesson 1: Vocabulary and Exercise
Lesson 2: Art Appreciation & History
Lesson 3: Techniques
Lesson 4: Application

In Lesson 1 children are introduced to the specific topic and are given the opportunity to perform a simple exercise relating to it. 

Funny Bunny's exercise was to look around for an object and to draw the outside edge of it.  She chose a fall plant and hubby's guitar.  It wasn't required to color them but she wanted to.  :)

I love how Lesson 2 includes a piece of art from a famous artist to help discuss the topic. 

In Unit 1 of our book, Washington Crossing the Delaware is used to explain "Space." 

That couldn't have been more timely because we had just read the story in our history book!! 

Funny Bunny was then asked to draw from her imagination and fill up the whole paper.  She decided to draw "Giant over Manhattan." 

Lesson 3 is all about technique.  This particular lesson taught how to set up and draw.  Where to sit, what to look at, working from a photograph, working from an object.  She was again asked to draw a couple different objects; one taller than it is wide and one wider than it is tall.

Lesson 4 then applies what has been taught throughout the unit into a final drawing.

 {Click to enlarge ~ Unit 2, Lesson 4}

My Thoughts:  The lessons are simple enough for Funny Bunny to read and complete on her own, which is wonderful!  I like the flow of each unit and how they build on the one before.  I am very happy with this art curriculum and will continue it throughout the year and most likely purchase the next book.

Thoughts of an 8-Year Old:  I like ARTistic Pursuits because it gives you a history lesson, drawing tips, and instructions on what to do next.  The drawing above is my American Girl doll Molly.  Above Molly is my toy stable.  Above those: Daddy's guitar, my own picture from my imagination, and a fall-y decoration.  I like ARTistic Pursuits and it's a really nice program - beginners or experts! (In drawing).

Find Out More:  You can find out more about Artistic Pursuits online.  There are ten books in all and each level sells for $42.95.  You can also purchase Art Supply Packs to go along with the books.

Artistic Pursuits can also be used in the classroom.  You can find more information, as well as a Scope and Sequence, here.

My Crewmates are also reviewing Artistic Pursuits, so you can check out what they think HERE.


Disclosure:  This product was given to Our Homeschool Reviews for free for review purposes, and I do not have to return the products to the vendor.  I have received no compensation from it and all opinions and experiences within this review are my own. 

Wordless Wednesday: Drawings

{Pictures I found on Funny Bunny's camera...which she drew}

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wreaths of Maine Review

I love the Christmas season...the music, the decorations, the anticipation...and the wonderful scents!!

We buy a fresh Christmas tree each year and we love to walk around the tree lot and take in all the smells of the fresh trees.  It's one of Funny Bunny's favorite things to do all year. 

I never even thought about purchasing a fresh wreath though, until I heard of Wreaths of Maine

Wreaths of Maine is located on the edge of Down East Maine in a town that has been making holiday greens to garnish doors since the first German settlers arrived in the 1700's. {Doesn't that sound so inviting?}

As soon as our Christmas wreath arrived at the door, I opened it's large box and took in the aroma of fresh Balsam fir.  Wreaths of Maine uses Balsam fir to make their double sided wreaths because it is plentiful, but mostly because it smells so good. It is one of the most aromatic greens around that most Mainers equate to the smell of Christmas.

I cannot even begin to explain how beautiful our new wreath is...and my picture just doesn't do it justice. 

It measures a whole two feet across and fits our front door perfectly!  I love that every time I open the door I can take in it's wonderful smell.

Another very neat fact about Wreaths of Maine is that 90-95% of their wreaths are sold by home-schooled children or groups; an idea implemented by the founder from the experience of his home-schooled kids.

I received a fundraiser packet as well and the process is quite simple.  Included in the packet are color brochures, order forms, envelopes, labels, a seller ID, and instructions. 

You can sell door to door, online, or to family and friends and you earn between $4 and $10 per wreath sold, depending on the type.  You can find more about selling wreaths here.

My Thoughts:  I think these wreaths are gorgeous and would make a beautiful addition to any entryway!

Find Out More:  You can find out more about Wreaths of Maine on their website and on Facebook.  Wreaths cost between $31 and $42 and also available for purchase are sprays and roping.  You can even select the date you would like your fresh wreath to arrive on your doorstep. 

If purchasing, please consider selecting our Seller ID: 5058 - Our Homeschool Reviews All proceeds will go toward Funny Bunny's dance company activities (which she will be working very hard to pay for this year).  :)

And, as a special bonus, if you enter code TOS, you will receive a FREE 12-month subscription to The Old Schoolhouse!!

My Crewmates are also reviewing Wreaths of Maine, so you can check out what they think HERE.


Disclosure:  This product was given to Our Homeschool Reviews for free for review purposes, and I do not have to return the products to the vendor.  I have received no compensation from it and all opinions and experiences within this review are my own. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thirty-One Cyber Monday Sale!

Get a head start on your Christmas shopping with guaranteed Christmas delivery!  I am offering 8% off all orders, TODAY ONLY, to go along with Thirty-One’s specials this month.  Browse the catalog and EMAIL ME your order and I will send you the total.

You can see the great December specials here, and remember that my discount is in addition to those!

Happy Shopping!

miscellany monday

Miscellany Monday @
lowercase letters

this past week hubby was off so we had plenty of time to relax...

we picked the two cucumbers in our garden.  the first was nice and juicy but the second, which funny bunny wanted to let grow as large as possible, was a bit tough.  yesterday we were happy to find two more growing!!

we rang the bell for the salvation army

ate a yummy thanksgiving dinner

and started decorating for christmas


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

And the Doodle Roll Winner Is...

Comment #85: Jessica Peeling said...Following you on twitter (imaroughgem)

I used to pick the winner and I have already notified her via email.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Doodle Roll Giveaway via Our Homeschool Reviews and thanks again to Doodle Roll and MamaBuzz for allowing me to offer this great product!

2011 Gratitude Challenge - Nov 22

For the month of November, I'll once again be participating in a Gratitude Challenge hosted by Brenda at Garden of Learning.  Each day I'll try to post something I am thankful for {although I have not been very good about posting daily}.

Today I'm thankful for...our house, our family, our dog, our vehicles, and all our belongings.  This week hubby has been off from work {which is the reason for my lack of posting}.  We have all been hanging around the house and just sure is nice that we don't get tired of each other.  ;) 

Tomorrow I'll make my final run to the grocery store for Thanksgiving goodies, run some errands, and we'll all be participating in a fun community service project that I will tell you about later. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tiny Prints: FREE Card ~ Today Only

Tiny Prints is once again offering a Free Greeting Card, but it's for TODAY ONLY and this time its for their very popular Birthday Greeting Cards. Customers can choose the “Send it to me first” shipping option to receive the card free. Just use the code FREEBD.  Limit one per household.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up: Third Grade #15

Last week we finished Unit 14 ~ At the Time of the American Revolution and and this week we finished Unit 15 ~ Battles During the Revolutionary War in our Heart of Dakota book, Bigger Hearts for His Glory.


Read Aloud:  Rabbit Hill
Independent:  The Indian in the Cupboard
Science:  One Small Square: Woods


Funny Bunny read about the battle between British General Cornwallis and American General Washington.  Cornwallis had backed Washington against the frozen Delaware River but Washington used initiative to outsmart Cornwallis and snuck around him to Princeton. 


Funny Bunny has started using Artistic Pursuits.  The lessons are simple and to the point and I'll be telling you more about it in my upcoming review.  For now, here is FB's drawing from Lesson One.


Each year we participate in Operation Christmas Child through Samaritan Purse.  This year FB packed her shoebox and we dropped it off on Thursday.  You have to check out the video at the above link of Scotty McCreedy packing a shoebox.  He was FB's pick on American Idol so she was excited to watch it.  :)

Frugal Friday

Well, I missed posting about the thrifty deals yesterday so I'll post them today, and we'll call this post Frugal Friday instead of Thrifty Thursday.  :)

And if you haven't already voted, I was nominated for the Best Thrifty Homeschool Blog in The Homeschool Post's 7th Annual Homeschool Blog Awards.  You can vote for me here.  Just scroll down to Our Homeschool Reviews, click the little circle, and then scroll down and click vote.  :)

Now for all the Thrifty Frugal Deals


Homeschool Freebie of the Day
Thanksgiving Activity Pack

Freely Educate
More Thanksgiving Resources if you scroll down

Use code GRATEFUL2 at Kidorable to get free shipping on all orders placed from 11/27 to 12/4. 

Free Barista Prima Sample
Get a FREE Barista Prima Coffeehouse K-Cup portion pack sample for your Keurig.  Use code: pywjrsmw.

My Memories Suite Deal
Use code STMMMS99585 to get $10 off the purchase of the software AND a $10 coupon for the My Memories Store (a $20 value)!  Also get a FREE Digital Kit!!

FREE Sample Roundup
For anything I missed, you can get your FREE sample roundup from Deal Seeking Mom!

2011 Gratitude Challenge - Nov 18

For the month of November, I'll once again be participating in a Gratitude Challenge hosted by Brenda at Garden of Learning.  Each day I'll try to post something I am thankful for.

Today I'm thankful beautiful daughter, Funny Bunny!  I'm so thankful that I am able to stay home with her.  She is growing up way to fast and she is so smart and silly!  I love her!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Mighty Leaf Iced Tea Review and Giveaway

I love tea!  When it's cold I enjoy sipping a few cups of hot tea in the mornings and when it is hot, it's nice to have some wonderfully sweet iced tea!  I will say though, when it comes to iced tea, I have never brewed my own, so when Mighty Leaf Tea contacted me I was excited to try it out.

About Mighty Leaf Tea

Mighty Leaf Tea began in 1996 as a result of a shared passion and dream envisioned by husband-and-wife team Gary Shinner and Jill Portman when they founded their teahouse in San Francisco.  Their passion is for creating the most incredible handcrafted tea blends found anywhere, globally sourcing the finest ingredients available.

Inspired by ancient traditions, Mighty Leaf specially created the silken Tea Pouch filled with the world’s finest whole tea leaves, herbs, fruits and flavor too big for ordinary tea bags.

I received four different teas:

Ginger Peach:  A blissful and lightly sweet black iced tea infused with sun-swelled peaches and delicate ginger.

Calypso Mango:  A sweet and cooling black iced tea with an indulging blend of South Indian black tea leaves, luscious mango, and tropical fruit.

Organic Black:  A flavorful black iced tea made of refreshingly rich and smooth South Indian organic black tea leaves hand-picked on the dewy slopes of the Nilgiri Mountains.

Sunburst Green:  A cool and vibrant iced green tea that delivers mountain-grown Chinese green tea leaves brightened with the crisp taste of ripe oranges and sweet citrus. The lowest in caffeine among all four flavors.

My Thoughts:  The first things I noticed when I took the tea out of the box were the large whole leaves, herbs, and spices and the beautiful tea bag.  The pouches themselves look like little presents and are stitched together.  The instructions are simple and in a few minutes I had iced tea ready to drink.  The best part is the hubby enjoyed it as well.  He tried Sunburst Green and could taste the citrus flavor but liked that it was not too overpowering.  And he came back for seconds.  :)

Find Out More:  You can find out more online at Mighty Leaf.  They have a huge assortment of hot and cold teas you can select from, as well as teaware and gifts {think Christmas gifts}!!  They are also offering 15% off anything on their site with the code summertea15.  All orders over $40 get free ground shipping and with each order you can enjoy two free samples



So, here's how to enter to win a box of each of Mighty Leaf's new teas and a Bodum Iced Tea Pitcher (a $75 value)!  For each comment, you will get one (1) entry.

1. Leave a comment telling me why you would like to win

2. Follow my blog using Google Friend Connect

3. Subscribe to my blog by email through Feedburner

4. Like Our Homeschool Reviews on Facebook

5. Like Mighty Leaf on Facebook

6. Follow me on Twitter @OurHSReviews

7. Follow Mighty Leaf on Twitter

8. Post about this giveaway on your blog or Facebook

9. Tweet about this giveaway up to once a day:  I entered to #win #MightyLeaf from @OurHSReviews #Giveaway ends 11/30

**Remember to please leave a separate comment for each entry**

Contest ends on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 11:59 EST.  The winner will be chosen by  This contest is open to U.S. residents who are 18 or older.  If I am unable to reach the winner by email within 48 hours, an alternate winner will be selected.  Your entry is only valid if you include a way for me to contact you (either an email address in your comment or on your profile).  The winner's name will be obtained and publicly announced.  The number of eligible entries determines the odds of winning.  No purchase is necessary to win and this contest is void where prohibited by law. 

Disclosure:  This product was given to Our Homeschool Reviews for free for review purposes, and I do not have to return the products to the vendor.  I have received no compensation from it and all opinions and experiences within this review are my own.