art, curriculum reviews, geography, homeschooling, science

Branch Out World: Paddington Bear Review

We have been learning so much while having fun with the Picture Book Explorer Pack Paddington Bear from Branch Out World. This is a fun unit study based on the book Paddington.

This was a fun first for us: this is a British product!  It was one of those great timing things.  We have done a few things this summer that made this the perfect study for us.

  • We have been focusing on geography and learning about the different continents and people and cultures all over the world.
  • This is the first year we ever got a membership to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg.  The park is based on European countries which the kids quickly noticed and picked their favorite things from each.
  • We have spent every night we have been home this summer watching past episodes of Doctor Who which is a British show.  When the Doctor and his companions are  on earth they are in London and Cardiff in England and also in Scotland and Wales among other places.

Since we have spent so much time being in “virtual England” I thought that it would be great time to do a familiar picture book study from a company in the UK.

We loved reading through the study picking out all the differences in vocabulary.  We have been familiarized with them so it was great to pick them out. One being queue for a line of people and some variations of spellings like coloured.  We loved it since it brought together everything we have been learning.

I decided to use this study with Evie.  She is 7 and going into 2nd grade.  She LOVES the Paddington movies so I knew she’d like this!  This curriculum is written to be used in five days.  Each day you read the story followed by and activity or two (or more).

  • The first day explores the setting, looking at England and Peru on a map and also their flags.  It introduces migration and when the story took place.
  • The second day teaches you about the author, explores vocabulary, grammar and writing.  We talked about the author with the information given.  We also talked about the time period this was written.  Evie imagined being an author and coming up with a story for a book.
  • The third day is about the illustrations, the artist, and design

We looked at the illustrations in the book taking notice of pictures that have things in the foreground and background.  We also looked at lines and shapes.  I put together a bowl of apples and Evie drew them.  We also looked at some famous artists works to see what we could notice.

  • The fourth day is science day.  It talks about bears, shaving cream, steam and nature/garden.

We talked about chemical reactions and made a volcano with yeast and hydrogen peroxide.

We talked about the shaving cream in the book and made some shaving cream slime.  Evie’s brothers joined in.

  • The fifth day is math and craft day.

There is so many great activities to pick from! We didn’t do them all, but I would like to definitely come back and do this one again and also try some other book studies from this series.  There are so many to pick from!  There are also some for chapter books and lapbooks!!! I love that I can get these digital products from another part of the world and expose my kids to another culture’s perspective.  Even though the differences were slight we loved it!!  We have been very intentionally seeking out things like this all summer!

You can find Branch Out World on these social media sites:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BranchOutWorld    @BranchOutWorld
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/belzibow   @belzibow
Instagram: www.instagram.com/belzibow   @belzibow
Twitter: www.twitter.com/belzibow  @belzibow

Many other families on The Homeschool Review Crew had the opportunity to review this book study also.  Click on the box below to see what their families thought of Paddington Bear.

Paddington Bear {Branch Out World Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

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art, curriculum reviews

ARTistic Pursuits: Art for Children Review

We had the opportunity to review another great book from ARTistic Pursuits Inc. ; ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray.  We used the first book in the series: Building a Visual Vocabulary.  We had used another book from ARTistic Pursuits many years ago but it was for older children.  Here is my review of the Junior High Book Two.  We liked using that book, but I didn’t had any experience with this company’s books for younger children.  I was excited to try this with little ones.  This book has been so great for my 7 year old daughter, Evie.  We have all liked it, but she LOVES it!!!

I have to say I’m in love with this book and can’t wait to use the other ones!

  • Art of the Ancients
  • Art of the Middle Ages
  • Artists that Shaped the Italian Renaissance

I was a little hesitant to do this review since there were a few art supplies that I would need to purchase.  I had never heard of watercolor crayons.  But after a small Amazon order and a trip to Walmart I had all I needed for the whole book for three children and really didn’t spent that much.

These were with the water colors. We all love them, even my art major college son.

Here is another project we did. There is a chapter about construction paper folding. This is Evie’s dog. She added some watercolor crayons because she now uses them for everything!!!

We received a nice hard cover book with  dvd and blue ray discs.  The book is 64 big full color pages.  There are six video lessons and the book has so much more information for each video lesson and other suggested projects.

We started with lesson one which is watercolor crayons.  We watched the video and drew a picture with the crayons on watercolor paper.  I wasn’t sure we really need the special paper, but it made a huge difference in the finished product.  The paper is textured and is thicker than regular paper.  Definitely worth it. The book then takes the lesson further with famous works and artists.  I love how the students begin to identify things like subjects, composing, color, lines, spaces and so much more!

Here are the video lesson titles:

  • Watercolor crayons
  • Identify and mix colors
  • Construction Paper: Cut
  • Construction Paper: Fold
  • Oil Pastels
  • Draw Shapes

The youngest in our family is now 5 and we can leave a few more art supplies within arms reach of kids.  Mine have all enjoyed being able to access these new supplies and create when the choose.  I’m so glad to have been introduced to these fun new products and techniques.  They have been presented in a way that the kids can duplicate the techniquse on their own without much help.  This will be fun to keep going in this series and see where their creativeness takes them!

You can find ARTistic Pursuits on these social media sites:

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/ArtisticPursuitsInc     @ArtisticPursuitsInc.
Twitter:  @ARTistic Pursui1

Many other families on The Homeschool Review Crew had the opportunity to review books in this series.  Please click on the banner below to see what they thought about the book that they used.

Artistic Pursuits Full Video Lesson Grades K-3 {ARTistic Pursuits Reviews}Crew Disclaimer