Category Archives: Studies

Art Appreciation

Art Museum ~ Lifeofjoy.eIt seems like I tend to focus here on things I did not focus on in our own homeschooling journey. Today’s subject is one such item. I wish I had spent more time on art and music appreciation but it is what it is and they are not harmed.

Art appreciation is a good practice. In my opinion it is not something that MUST be done all the time but is good for a well-rounded individual. If your child will need to go to college some day, then it is probably a good idea to be sure to include some art appreciation into their studies.

In my surfing recently I came across an interesting website: Practical Pages. She has a great Art Page! She has two lapbooks of artists and a sampling of their works. Even if you don’t usually do lapbooks, these are great because there are works of art for each composer. This could be spread over a couple of years or more. There are two free lapbook downloads that cover about twenty-seven artists. There are also some art and music timelines available to print out with ideas on how to use them. So cool!

Nadene of Practical Pages also shares about something she instituted that she calls Fabulous Fine Arts Friday. You can read about it here. It sounds wonderful; it became her children’s favorite day and one where they created a lot of wonderful memories.

One last thing, she also shared was how to make outline drawings of famous works on this page. Then she includes ideas of how to use these outline drawings. I think this is just great.

I hope you will enjoy these art appreciation ideas and that they will help you incorporate art and art appreciation into your homeschool journey.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

 

Vanilla

vanilla ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis week I was researching homemade vanilla extract. I had previously learned that you can make your own vanilla at home by placing a vanilla bean pod in a skinny jar with some alcohol; vodka is recommended. Then it sits for several months in a cool dark place.

Recently a friend said she’d made alcohol-free vanilla extract and I was intrigued. She said she uses food grade glycerin and vanilla bean pods in her instant pot. Of course that made me wonder about food grad glycerin and sent me off researching.

Vanilla ~ Lifeofjoy.me
By Hans Stieglitz – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14970259

My travels landed me on VanillaQueen.com where I found out a most surprising truth: Vanilla is the only edible fruit of the orchid! In the words of my son Sean, How did I not know this?

I was shocked! I also did not know that the orchid is the largest family of flowering plants, with over 20,000 species. There are at least 150 different varieties. To find more interesting facts, check out the FAQ at vannillaqueen.com.

If you want to give your hand a try at making your own vanilla, here’s some recipes I found:

Of course, no talk with young children about vanilla would be complete without pointing out that vanilla is not sweet. ;)

To complete this little foray into vanilla, make something that includes it in the recipe. It could be so many things but a good vanilla pudding from scratch would be fun. I’ve got a vanilla base pudding that I make for banana pudding here.

I hope you found this interesting. It sure surprised us!

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Pluto and our Solar System

Solar System ~ Lifeofjoy.meI was one that was taught that our solar system had nine planets. See that tiny dot on the right end? Pluto. Yes, the planet Pluto.

So, after doing a little research for my sissy, I found that from 1979-1999 Pluto was the eighth planet from the sun because of its odd orbit. This orbit is one of the things that has caused the controversy over whether to call Pluto a planet or not.

When they demoted it to a Dwarf Planet in 2006, I did not like it at all. I believe when we did anything with planets any time after that, I told the children that I’d been taught it was a planet and now they say it isn’t. I don’t believe we went into it too much because although I am open-minded, I am a bit stubborn. ;) But it has now been 10 years and they haven’t changed their minds, so I guess it’s time to bend. ;)

I found a good and informative but easy to ready website to help with this information. Here’s a link to the page on space.com. It’s really good because it puts the info about the reasons behind Pluto’s demotion right up front, followed by info about dwarf planets, and then a bit more down near the bottom with the information on Pluto itself. It also has a few details about each of the planets. I found it quite interesting.

I felt that was enough information but if this topic is interesting to your child, you might want to let him/her check out this website. Now, I will tell you that right on the main page it says that Pluto is the ninth planet. It was last copyrighted 2015, so I think this may be the reason why. However, it does mention that some don’t consider Pluto the ninth planet and talks about it more on the page dedicated to Pluto. I think it would be good to show this to your children because then you can talk about why it might have different information, how you cannot just take the word of one website, and show them how to look for the copyright (usually at the bottom of the page). All of this helps with critical thinking and teaching them not to take everything they read as fact. This website also has some coloring pages and a planets quiz.

While I was looking for a picture to post with this post, I found some other interesting pictures. Some of them would make a great picture for your children to make up a story about. You can put whatever requirements you want on the paper/story they write or you can just let them go wherever their imagination takes them. Maybe they’ll just use the picture as a basis for some imaginary playtime later, or maybe they’ll want to use several of them. There really are some nice ones here.

I hope you enjoy and I hope this helps, Little Sis!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº