Westward Expansion, Art, and Resources

...a weekly wrap-up

At the beginning of the school year, I was able to write a weekly summary almost every week. Somewhere along the way, I stopped. This week, as we return to a full week of lessons after a two week Christmas break, I thought it would be fun to do a weekly wrap-up.

Some highlights from our homeschool this week:

History -

Our history lessons are chronological, and for the fourth year in a row, we are using Story of the World. This year we are in Volume 4. Chapter 16 summarizes U.S. westward expansion. The children completed the outline and map from the Activity Guide. Then they set about to read a few short books, including
Each child read and summarized one book. They were given a choice of books from our own bookshelves. Additionally, our oldest has started a research paper about Theodore Roosevelt. This is for both history and grammar.

Science -

Wednesday co-op started again after a break for Christmas. {We only attend the science classes.}

The Kindergarten-3rd grade class I teach is currently learning about outer space. We ended the year with a class on earth and began this year with a unit on the moon. A book I read my Kindergartner at home during the three week break was The Reasons for the Seasons, by Gail Gibbons. {We borrowed our copy up from the library.}

Reading -

Earlier this week, I shared what books we began the new year with. If you missed that post, then you can find it here. Pictured above is my youngest daughter reading her assigned reading (1).

Art {American West Artists: Lessons, Ideas, and Resources} -

To accompany our history lesson, we looked at some Native American works of art, including "Sans Arc Lakota" Ledger Book, 1880-1881, by Black Hawk. You can see it here, and find an adaptable art appreciation and history lesson here.

Then, each child completed a "Native American Hide Painting" following the instructions in Geography Through Art. My oldest son's is pictured above. He decided to chose a symbol which was meaningful for each year of his life (2).

Another day, we took a look at Paintings of the American West from the Eiteljorg Museum. It contains 24 post card size prints of the museum in Indianapolis. You can explore some of the museum's collections on their website. The Native American collection is found here and the Western collection is found here.

We also looked at George Catlin's Catlin Painting the Portrait of Mah-to-toh-pa - Mandan, 1861/1869. You can see it here, and find an art appreciation and history lesson using the art piece here. There is also this fabulous site I literally stumbled across and found a wealth of pictures, artifacts, original writings, and first hand accounts about and of George Catlin. The site is found here.

Finally, we read a book about Frederic Remington called The Life and Work of Frederick Remington, by Ernestine Giesecke. I did a little research to find some ideas to incorporate into a lesson. Below is a few of the sites I found which may be helpful if you are planning your own lesson of Remington.

On-Line Resources for Frederic Remington:

Math -

Our youngest is learning how to use a ruler to make a straight line (3).

Sunday School -

The Kindergarten teacher sent home a craft with my son. It is Moses as a babe in the Nile River (4). Is it not adorable? All made from cut pipe cleaners (basket and reeds), a small round smiley face sticker, small blue felt blanket, and a jar filled partway with glitter glue. With the lid fastened shut, the glue has yet to dry, and you can still make the 'water' move. This, of course, may or may not be good in the long run. One tip upside down...and a possible uh, oh.

I was inspired by these Compassion prayer cards found at Compassion Family.

A new blog I enjoyed reading this week: The Homeschool Minimalist

I am working on finding enough time to try all the great ideas I see on Pinterest! I joined right before Christmas, and I can see such benefit in using it for organizing online articles, inspirations, and ideas, especially since I am using one board to help plan for an upcoming birthday party with a Shakespeare flair.

Not only that, where else can you find all these great ideas for using paint chips?
These links are to actual posts, not the pins.
And, if you are using Pinterest to plan for lessons, you may be interested in this article I found about printing out pins and including them into your planner.

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Homegrown Learners


  1. I've been looking at Geography Through Art as a supplement to our studies. How do you like it overall? Is it worth the money?

    Looks like you had a very enjoyable week!

    1. Overall, I enjoy its wide selection of ideas. The projects range in difficulty and some can be adjusted to fit almost all age groups. Directions are easy to follow. Originally, I used selected projects out of the book (in conjunction with other resources) to teach world art and geography to middle schoolers in a co-op setting. Since then I have picked out projects which suit whatever our children are studying. I've used it for several years now, and plan to use it for several more.

    2. Thanks! I think I'll add it into my next Rainbow Resource order, then. I appreciate your taking the time to answer my question.

  2. This is our first year with SOTW. I've had to tweak it a bit as we were feeling bogged down with doing mapwork for each and every chapter. Sometimes I'll read 2-4 chapters in a sitting at their request. So, now we do one map for a bunch of chapter of the same era/event (such as Rise of Rome). It's quite flexible! I already have the next book. It's good to see someone closing in on finishing the series!

    1. Yes, while reading through the first book, we altered a bit. I skipped a chapter or two due to how some information was presented. However, overall, we enjoy SOTW tremendously. It has been a fabulous spine book for our family these last four years. Glad you and your family are enjoying it and its flexibility.

  3. I hope you're having fun with Pinterest! I'm trying to DO more things that I've pinned in the past year or so. :-)

    I like how you've broken your wrap up into subject areas.

    And, I'm off to visit The Homeschool Minimalist now!

    Have a great weekend, and thanks for linking with Collage Friday.

  4. I enjoyed the way that you have linked art and history. I've been thinking about extending history and art links and probably doing more art in the process.

    Popping over from the Weekly Wrap-up.

  5. It looks as if you've had a good week back. :-) I'm stopping by from WUH.


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