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Engaging Summer Olympics Activities & Resources

Engaging Summer Olympics Activities & Resources

While the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo were postponed due to Covid, they are now set to begin on Friday, July 23rd, 2021 and end on Sunday, August 8th.

I have found many great Summer Olympics Activities and Resources that could be used not only for this year, but for any year of the Summer Olympic Games.

Engaging Summer Olympics Activities includes art projects, printables, books, online resources and more for learning about and engaging with the Summer Olympics. From Starts At Eight

Even though we are off from official school during the summer, events like the Summer Olympics are something we try to engage with and learn about as they are happening as that is when they are most interesting and exciting.

There are resources here for students of all ages with many adaptable to use with multiple ages!

Summer Olympics Activities

Here are some of the Summer Olympics activities and resources we are using to help us learn about the games and to keep us more actively involved in this major event in history.

1. You Are An Artist

Summer Games

My daughter has loved using chalk pastels from the moment we first picked up one of the You Are An Artist books. {Note: You will often see us use oil pastels with these as well.}

We have started diving in to the Summer Games  book as we watch the Olympic Trials and follow along on the road to the 2016 Summer Games.

Summer Olympics Chalk Pastel Collage

2. Online Resources

1. Summer Games Online Unit Study

This course has five modules:

  • History of the Olympics
  • Traditions of the Olympics
  • Becoming an Olympian
  • 2021 Summer Games
  • Project: Olympics Puzzle Collection

2. The home of the Olympic Games

This is the official Olympic site with links to the past and future games as well everything you want and need to know to keep up with the action! This is a GO TO RESOURCE!

3. All About the Olympics Power Point

Perfect for whole-class teaching, this colorful Olympics PowerPoint Presentation is packed with illustrations and interesting information to help support your teaching and engage children in the Olympic Games.

By downloading this Olympics PowerPoint Presentation, you will receive informative slides to introduce your students to the history of the Olympics. This includes when the Olympics began, and all about the fascinating Ancient Greek Games. 

Students will then be presented with real-life action shots of various Olympic sports, including long jump, running, shot-put, gymnastics, shooting, and judo. This aims to increase students’ knowledge about the Olympics, as well as inspire children to get involved with new sports and activities.   

Students will also be introduced to Olympics medals, the Olympic torch, and Olympic rings. These are all key elements of the Olympic Games and helps student’s to understand their use, symbolism, and importance. 

This Olympics PowerPoint Presentation also covers the Paralympic games, helping students to gain a wider understanding of the development of sport and inclusivity. 

Finally, alongside recent hosts of the Olympic Games, students will be also introduced to the 2020 Olympic Games, which will be held in Tokyo, Japan, in 2021. 

4. Mathematics and the Summer Olympics

In this Webquest you will explore basic facts about the Summer Olympics and math connections to this international event. You will also engage in several related activities. These tasks will require a computer, access to the web, paper and pencil.

Here are some of the activities:

  • Choose your favorite countries and make a graph of their medal counts for past Olympics. How do you think they will fare this summer in London?
  • Keep track of your favorite athletes. For example, compare your favorite athlete’s performance during the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing to his/her performance in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Does the athlete’s performance improve or decline? By how many points? meters? seconds?
  • Keep track of the numbers and types of medals earned by certain countries participating in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. They can then compare this medal count to those earned in 2008.

5. Olympic Fun Facts

Check out this collection of facts about the Olympics including things like:

  • What do the 5 rings represent?
  • What country has won the most medals?
  • When was the Olympics first televised?
  • And More!

3. Printables

FREE Summer Olympics Lapbook

This lapbook includes:

  • Geography: Mapping the route of the Olympic torch; Flags;
  • Math: Graphing medals;
  • History: Traditions & Symbols of the Olympic games; Olympic Timeline; Ancient Olympic History; Modern Olympics
  • Science: Health & Nutrition;
  • Language Arts: Write an athlete’s biography; other writing exercises
  • Art: Design an Olympic Logo

FREE Summer Olympics Printable Pack

Summer Olympics Pack contains over 100 pages:

  • (Part 1) 3 Part Cards, Which one is Different, What Comes Next?, Prewriting Practice, Pattern Cards, Matching Cards, 4 Piece Puzzles, 10 Piece Puzzles, Clip & Count to 15
  • (Part 2) Beginning Sound, Find the Same, Cutting Practice, Size Sequencing, Sorting, Sorting by Size, Wall Cards, Trace Beginning Sound, Trace the Word, Write the Word, Medal Math Hands on Page (Addition, subtraction, Greater Than/Less Than, Counting)
  • (Part 3) Color the Pattern, Color by Size, Fill in the Missing Pattern, Read Write and Count the Room, 8 page Small Books, Ring Color By Number, Dot Marker Olympic Rings, Stamp Beginning Sound
  • (Tot Pack) Solid Line Prewriting, Counting, Cutting Practice, 2 Piece Puzzle, Color the Ring Book, Matching Cards, 9 Piece Puzzles

The Summer Olympic Games – Tokyo 2020 (2021)

In this FREE Summer Olympics unit study, you and your children will work through an 9-day guide with reading passages (included), printable maps, and notebooking pages.

This free download contains everything you need for a thorough overview of Japan—perfect for the history and geography components of your Summer Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 homeschool unit study.

  • Discover Japan’s active volcano—Mount Fuji, or Fujiyama
  • learn how Japan has become one of the world’s top economic powers
  • meet the people of Japan and explore Japanese culture
  • sketch a simple timeline of major events in Japan’s history
  • create a calendar marking various Japanese holidays
  • create a Japanese-English dictionary
  • participate in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony
  • and more!

Gold Silver and Bronze Medals

4. Book Resources

What are the Summer Olympics?

Learn all about the history of the summer games by reading this Who Was Book… What are the Summer Olympics?

Use these FREE Printable Who Was Notebooking Pages for kids to write what they learned!


Engaging Summer Olympics Activities & Resources from Starts At Eight

~ Originally Published July 2016 for the Rio Games

Teen Art Project: Tissue Paper Easter Egg Craft

Teen Art Project: Tissue Paper Easter Egg Craft

As Easter approaches there is usually talk of Easter Egg Hunts, Easter Egg dying, and in our house chocolate bunnies of course! This year I found a new egg project to do with my older kids – Tissue Paper Easter Eggs.

During the pandemic our local library starting coming out with fun things the community could do virtually. One of the things they started was Art to Go! For Teens. Every month they provide supplies for a different project for teens. You pick the bag up at the library, take it home, and get to crafting!

This Tissue Paper Easter Egg Craft is what they shared for the March craft, in preparation for Easter.

This Tissue Paper Easter Egg Craft is a perfect activity for teens. With just a few supplies you can make decorative and glittery eggs!

Tissue Paper Easter Egg Craft

These Tissue Paper Easter Eggs are simple to do with just a few supplies, and something my daughters (age 14 and age 21) and I enjoyed doing together.

Tissue Paper Easter Egg Supplies

This Tissue Paper Easter Egg Craft is a perfect activity for teens. With just a few supplies you can make decorative and glittery eggs!

Had the library not provided the supplies, with the exception of the foam eggs, we had all the supplies on hand at home in our regular assortment of craft supplies.

Tissue Paper Easter Egg Directions

Before you begin be sure to find a workspace where the Mod Podge and glitter will be easily wiped up. We sat at our kitchen table.

Tear the tissue paper into small pieces. We found the smaller the pieces, the better they looked on the egg.

Paint a layer of Mod Podge on the egg. We started by only doing the top half of the egg so it was easier to hold without getting sticky right away.

Apply torn pieces of tissue paper. Be careful not to tear the paper. When it gets wet with Mod Podge it is more easily torn. We also found it helped to smooth in one direction to get the tissue paper to lay down flat.

This Tissue Paper Easter Egg Craft is a perfect activity for teens. With just a few supplies you can make decorative and glittery eggs!

Apply another layer of Mod Podge over the entire egg once you have it completely covered in tissue paper.

Apply glitter over the entire egg. If you have the little sprinkler jars they work well, if not just pinch a little glitter between your fingers to apply.

This Tissue Paper Easter Egg Craft is a perfect activity for teens. With just a few supplies you can make decorative and glittery eggs!

More Easter Ideas

Homeschool Lessons on the Hiking Trail

Homeschool Lessons on the Hiking Trail

Including Homeschool Lessons on the Hiking Trail is a great way to not only get up and out in the fresh air, but to include both exercise and learning along the way!

If there’s one thing homeschooling parents know, it’s that diverse learning strategies can mix up their time spent studying and be some of the most memorable and effective ways for kids to learn. Hands-on experiments, learning about life skills, and stepping out into the world to see biology firsthand are all great ways to teach new information and concepts.

National Hiking Day

Time spent on the hiking trail is a great place for learning, which is a wonderful reason to celebrate National Hiking Day. It’s a celebration of America’s amazing hiking trail system, which spans more than 66,000 miles throughout our 50 states, and the many ways that hiking can contribute to our mental and physical well-being.

Homeschool Lessons on the Hiking Trail

Hiking and homeschooling are a natural pair. Here are some of the subjects you can touch on through hiking:

Math

A math or science lesson can easily take place on the trail, whether they’re counting rocks, identifying animal tracks, drawing leaves and flowers in their notebook to research, or even preparing for the journey by planning the volume of their water and food supply, and determining your hike times.

To calculate your hike time follow these steps:

  1. Determine your distance and walking speed.
  2. Add 30 minutes for every 1,000 feet gained in elevation.
  3. Make an estimated addition of time due to sightseeing.
  4. Add the numeric totals in Steps 1 through 3 to come up with an estimated hiking time.

Science

Getting outdoors offers tons of opportunities for science homeschool lessons on the hiking trail.

Click on the image below for tons of FREE Nature Study Resources to help you gather information on your hikes.

Free Nature Study Resources from StartsAtEight

Include Nature Study Options including:

Art

Draw a Bird's Nest ~ Spring Nature Study

Two ways you can include art in your hike are

  1. nature journal along the way on your hike. Here are some more nature journal ideas.
  2. plan to stop and create a painting along the way

Writing

1.Writing can be accomplished with fun nature prompts:

  1. If you were a part of nature, what element would you be?  Why?
  2. Spend 15 minutes outside observing the world around you.  Write about what you notice most.
  3. What is your favorite season?  Why?
  4. When you go outside, which of your senses are you most thankful to have?
  5. Do you consider yourself a nature-lover?  Why or why not?
  6. Would you rather have your favorite season all year long or experience different seasons throughout the year?  Why?
  7. What element of nature speaks to you the most?  Why?
  8. What is your favorite place outside to explore?
  9. How does the weather impact the way you are able to enjoy nature?
  10. Write about your favorite thing that lives outside.  It can be a flower, an animal, a vegetable, etc.
  11. What part of nature are you most thankful for?  Why?
  12. Write a story from the perspective of a bird that can see the entire world from above.
  13. Write a short story about a leaf falling from a tree.
  14. Write a poem about your favorite season.

2. Writing can also be via a nature journal:

Robins - Outdoor Nature Challenge #2 from Starts At Eight

3. Also Check out this FREE Printable Hiking Journal

4. How about creating an acrostic poem for the park or area you are exploring? Fill in the letters of the name with things you see, explore, experience while on your hike.


History/Geography

History…

Many areas have a history all their own. You might find information about Native Americans or early settlers. Or maybe there is a historic battlefield or homestead nearby. Be sure to check online as well as the park information to see what you can find. This is information that can be added to your nature journal!

Geography…

Beyond the basic map skills you will use to find and navigate your hike, you could also experience elevation changes.  If there is a visitor center where you are hiking, see if they have a topographic map you can look at and how elevation changes are noted on the map.  No visitor center? Take a look online and see if there is a topical map you can reference.

Also, be on the look out for geographic features such as ponds and lakes, streams and rivers, hills and mountains.  Are there any plateaus?  Or are you near the water and notice any bays or peninsulas?

Photography

Taking photos is a wonderful way to document your hikes. You can take pictures of signs you see, as well as all the beauty to be found in nature.

Using a camera on your hike also allows you to explore the world of photography with your kids. Everything from framing shots and lighting, to artistic choices and photo editing apps!

Health/Physical Education

There are both cognitive and psychological benefits to hiking. So be sure to count your hikes as PE too!

Physical Health…

Like brisk walking, hiking is a good way to improve your cardiovascular fitness, particularly if your route includes some hills, which will force your heart to work harder. Taking a hike on the slightly uneven surface of a trail also provides a natural way to engage the core muscles in your torso and to hone your balance skills.

Mental Health…

Not only are there cognitive benefits of hiking, but both kids and adults can benefit psychologically and socially from hiking as well.

One of the most impressive ways hikers benefit from their treks is a reduction in the brain function associated with depression. Time spent in nature has been linked by scientific study to reduced subgenual prefrontal cortex activity — this is the area of the brain where depression happens. For children, this outdoor time has the potential to improve their mental health well into adulthood.

Social Benefits…

When families socialize with each other on the trail, a lot of good things happen:

  • There are opportunities for quality time with parents
  • forming closer bonds with peers and siblings
  • chances for kids to practice cooperating with a group to reach a mutual goal

Hiking is also associated with an increase in the frequency and duration of both social and physical engagement, so it’s a great exercise choice for both mind and the body.

Whether close to home or on trails unknown, a family hike is a wonderful way to learn and celebrate National Hiking Day.

To learn about trails in your area, visit All Trails.

Oil Pastel Resistant Pumpkin Art Project

Oil Pastel Resistant Pumpkin Art Project

This school year we are trying to work our way through one major art project each month.  For the Halloween/Fall season I wanted to do something that related to the season, but something a little different.  I found a unique Oil Pastel Resistant Pumpkin Art Project to try with the kids.

Oil Pastel Resistant Pumpkin Art Project

Supplies:

  • oil pastels
  • chalk (regular chalkboard chalk)
  • black acrylic paint
  • heavy white square cardstock

Each one of the kids sat down and drew their own pumpkin. We used regular pencil and I encouraged the kids to use it very lightly as not to dent the paper too much and to make it easier to erase if they needed to.

After finishing their pencil sketches we moved on to tracing over the pencil lines with the basic chalk.

The reason this is done is too ensure there will be paper that does not get oil pastel on it. These sections are supposed to hold the black paint, creating a bold outline of your work.

You could easily skip this step and go straight to the oil pastel part as long as you make sure to not color all the way to the lines with the oil pastel.

The next stage is the tricky part.  The directions warn you it may be tricky and to try it first.  I just dove in with the kids.  After doing it ourselves I have some useful tips for this part of the process.

For starters, when she says water down the black acrylic paint, you really need to water it down!  Make it closer to a water color, a thick water color, when you paint with it.

Also I can’t imagine how dark leaving it to dry for 5 minutes would make it! I would say pretty much don’t let it really dry.  Paint over the whole thing with the black paint, do it quickly, and then begin the process of washing it all off.

After rinsing as much of the black paint off as possible, we left them to dry on a drying rack.

The effect of the black paint sticking to the paper where there was no oil pastel was very cool.

We believe the projects would have come out brighter, and more vivid if we had altered with the steps I talked about above.  Too much of the black paint stuck (dried) on top of the oil pastel, leaving them darker than we would have liked.

More Pumpkin Fun

Our Favorite Pumpkin Books for Kids from Starts At EightPumpkin Spiced Apple Muffins from Starts At Eight

Middle School Online Art Curriculum

Middle School Online Art Curriculum

Being artistic is not a word I would use to describe myself, or anyone else in my immediate family for that matter! Thus when it comes to art in our homeschool I look to find resources that do a thorough job of putting everything in simple terms and easy to follow steps. (And videos are life!)

Art Project Resources for Homeschoolers from Starts At Eight

While my son has never been one who was even interested in art projects, my two daughters always jumped for joy when I pulled out the art project resources we usually have on hand in our homeschool room. That meant I had some sort of art project goodie lined up for them!

I used to spend lots of time scouring for art project tutorials that I could manage with the girls (Pinterest would have been nice back in the day!). But as they got older it got harder and harder. I knew that I needed to find a one stop shop for art projects that were simple to implement, used easy to find supplies, and varied in scope and scale to keep my daughters interested learning new things.

Luckily for me, in this age of digital technology, there are awesome resources to be had online!

Middle School Online Art Curriculum from Atelier Homeschool Art by Arts Attack offers video-based art instruction for homeschoolers. A review from Starts At Eight

Middle School Online Art Curriculum

I found this Middle School Online Art Curriculum from Atelier Homeschool Art by Arts Attack that offer video-based instruction for your homeschool.

{Disclosure: I received digital access to one level of Atelier Homeschool Art by Arts Attack for free and was compensated for my time in writing this review. However these are my honest opinions and I was not required to post a positive review. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.} 

Not only does Atelier Homeschool Art by Arts Attack offer levels for middle school, but elementary and high school as well! All in all there are 8 different levels to choose from.

Depending on the age and skill level of your child you may choose from the 8 levels in the chart below:

Each level is a full year of Art Instruction and contains:

  • 20 developmental, sequential lessons
  • Downloadable and printable Parent Manuals
  • Lesson Plans including all supporting documents (like drawing templates and samples)
  • Great Masters Virtual Museum Program

Learn more about the different levels by visiting Atelier Homeschool Art by Arts Attack. And be sure to check out their HOW TO Video Here! I think it gives a wonderful overview of their program and how to use/navigate the online program.

Connect with Atelier Homeschool Art by Arts Attack: Website : Facebook :  Instagram  

Atelier Homeschool Art Middle School Online Art Curriculum in Action

As I said previously, Atelier Homeschool Art by Arts Attack has art levels for ages 4-16. My daughter is 13 and I would say a beginner to intermediate artist. Based on the chart seen above, I chose level 6 for her this year.

Middle School Online Art Curriculum from Atelier Homeschool Art by Arts Attack offers video-based art instruction for homeschoolers. A review from Starts At Eight

Independent Learning

One of the main things I love about Atelier Homeschool Art by Arts Attack is that my middle schooler can be independent with it. All the lessons are presented in video form with easy to navigate tabs to help you navigate the sections of the video.

First my daughter watched the whole video on the computer to get an idea of the scope and sequence of the project.

Middle School Online Art Curriculum from Atelier Homeschool Art by Arts Attack offers video-based art instruction for homeschoolers. A review from Starts At Eight

Then I helped her pull up the course on her phone, printed out the Procedure and Drawing Aids portion of the Lessons Plans and set her to it!

Middle School Online Art Curriculum from Atelier Homeschool Art by Arts Attack offers video-based art instruction for homeschoolers. A review from Starts At Eight

Techniques and Terms

Atelier Homeschool Art by Arts Attack teaches art techniques and vocabulary with each lesson. For instance, in the lesson pictured below,  students put together a painted color wheel using just the 3 primary colors. 

Middle School Online Art Curriculum from Atelier Homeschool Art by Arts Attack offers video-based art instruction for homeschoolers. A review from Starts At Eight

This color wheel was then used to paint the underwater scene in this lesson! It was amazing to see how many colors you could make with just the 3 primary colors!

Wide Variety of Finished Art 

By the end of each course your student will have completed 20 widely varying art pieces!

Middle School Online Art Curriculum from Atelier Homeschool Art by Arts Attack offers video-based art instruction for homeschoolers. A review from Starts At Eight

Purchase Middle School Online Art Curriculum

Save 10% on any Online Curriculum from Atelier Homeschool Art by Arts Attack with code: SAVE10 {Expires 11/1/2020}

Middle School Online Art Curriculum from Atelier Homeschool Art by Arts Attack offers video-based art instruction for homeschoolers. A review from Starts At Eight

Giveaway

Enter to win one full year of Atelier Homeschool Art by Arts Attack Online Art Curriculum ($149) value. (This is a digital product. Anyone in the world can win!)

 

More Art Themed Articles

Homeschool Art Project: Draw a Castle from Starts At Eight. Use this tutorial to create fun and creative castle projects.Kids Create Art! Playful Pet Portraits - a mixed media art course for kids of all ages!Chuck Close Portraits from Starts At EightMixing With The Masters Vol.1

Homeschool Art Lessons: Portrait Drawings

Homeschool Art Lessons: Portrait Drawings

Art is one of the subjects my youngest loves most. Unfortunately for her I am not an artist. Not only am I not good at it, but I also do not enjoy it. This often means she doesn’t get art instruction as she would like. Lucky for her I am found some great resources for homeschool art lessons that can do the teaching for me!

Homeschool Art Lessons: Portrait Drawings. Sparketh offers a variety of art courses including both technique and project courses as well as themed tracks. A Sparketh Review from Starts At Eight

Having an art course, especially a video art course, that can teach my daughter art techniques and walk her through art projects step by step has been a huge bonus in our homeschool! She gets the art lessons she desires, and I don’t have to figure out how to teach her or spend large amounts of money on an outside art class for her.

Homeschool Art Lessons

One of our go to resources in the past has been Sparketh. Sparketh is an online homeschool art lessons resource that includes not only art projects but also step by step technique videos. We created these beautiful fall art projects with our book club using a tutorial from Sparketh.

{I received access to Sparketh as part of this review and I was compensated for my time in writing it. All views are my own and I was not required to write a positive review. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.}

Fall Leaves Poetry Art Project from Starts At Eight

About Sparketh

Sparketh is an affordable online art tutorial resource. With over 500 homeschool art lessons and counting, they have something for everyone.

Homeschool Art Lessons: Portrait Drawings. Sparketh offers a variety of art courses including both technique and project courses as well as themed tracks.

Sparketh is $25 per month and that gets you access to their entire collection.

It is individual and self-paced so your student can do it at any time, in any order, stopping when they feel it is necessary and moving through as needed. My daughter loves that she can pause and/or re-watch any sections in which she is having trouble.

They also have a Gallery where students can view other students work, as well as upload their own to share.

Recently Sparketh added a feature to their account settings, Student Logins. Now Parents have the option to add up to two student logins. That means you can have two children doing different tracks or courses and their progress will be tracked individually! While this feature is currently available, they are still working out a few kinks. What I have learned through this period of upgrade for them is that they have a highly responsive support staff and are very attentive to being sure they have everything working for you.

Art Style Portraits Drawing Track

My daughter is currently working her way through one of their new Tracks: Art Style Portraits Drawing. What I love about the Tracks are that they have taken their course videos and organized them into specific groups and given them order, including both technique and project videos.

Homeschool Art Lessons: Portrait Drawings. Sparketh offers a variety of art courses including both technique and project courses as well as themed tracks. A Sparketh Review from Starts At Eight

Each Portrait lesson incorporates art instruction, art history, and art appreciation. Your student will learn art techniques, various styles, and a little bit about each of the genres.

Art Style Portraits Track Includes

  1. Facial Proportions – a technique lesson
  2. Minimalism Portrait
  3. Compliment Me – a technique lesson
  4. Fauvism Portrait
  5. Pop Art Portrait
  6. Basic Watercolor Techniques – a technique lesson
  7. Harlem Renaissance Portrait
  8. Manga Character
  9. Abstract Expressionism Portrait
  10. Basic Colored Pencil Techniques – a technique lesson
  11. Impressionism Portrait
  12. Cubism Portrait
  13. Surrealism Portrait
  14. Realism Portrait

Homeschool Art Lessons: Portrait Drawings. Sparketh offers a variety of art courses including both technique and project courses as well as themed tracks.

If you are looking for an affordable and readily available art option for your homeschool, I would definitely give Sparketh a look! My 12 year old daughter has found the lessons to be easily manageable as they are broken down into small pieces, and has been so proud of the work she has been able to create.

Check out all of Sparketh’s courses and tracks

Connect with Sparketh: Facebook : Instagram : Twitter : Pinterest : YouTube

Homeschool Art Lessons: Portrait Drawings. Sparketh offers a variety of art courses including both technique and project courses as well as themed tracks. A Sparketh Review from Starts At Eight

More Homeschool Art Lessons

Homeschool Art Lessons: Fall Art Project from Starts At Eight. Using online video resources is a great way to enhance your homeschool art. Check out this Fall Leaves Poetry Art project I created with the help of Sparketh.com.Art for Teens Who Say They Can't Draw from Starts At EightChuck Close Portraits from Starts At EightKids Create Art! Playful Pet Portraits - a mixed media art course for kids of all ages!

Famous Artists Online Unit Study Volume 2

Famous Artists Online Unit Study Volume 2

Are you looking for an easy way to add art into your homeschool? Or maybe you are in need of something to revitalize your homeschool this spring?  Then you want to check out this Famous Artists Online Unit Study!

Famous Artists Online Unit Study Volume 2 is a way to study the lives and styles of 9 famous artists via the web! No additional books needed!

What is an Online Unit Study?

Over at Techie Homeschool Mom you will find a variety of Online Unit Studies to choose from. They can be super specific, covering one person such as Helen Keller or Martin Luther King Jr., or holidays such as Easter or Christmas. They can also cover a broader range such as with the United States Presidency or the Solar System.

These Online Unit Studies integrate multiple subjects for multiple ages of students. Your children will access websites and videos and complete digital projects. With Online Unit Studies’ easy-to-use E-course format, no additional books and print resources are needed. Just gather supplies for hands-on projects and register for online tools!

Quick Facts About Online Unit Studies

  • affordable
  • lifetime access
  • self-paced
  • use with multiple ages
  • on any and all devices you own
  • easily integrated into your homeschool

Famous Artists Online Unit Study

There are actually two Famous Artists Online Studies now!

Famous Artists Online Unit Study Volume 1

A great homeschool art project from Famous Artists Online Unit Study: Henri Matisse Art Project ~ Drawing With Scissors Goldfish Still Life. Plus try a FREE Lesson!

In Volume 1 you can study the lives and styles of 10 famous artists!

This volume includes:

  • What is art?
  • Leonardo Davinci: Renaissance
  • John James Audubon: Realism
  • Claude Monet: Impressionism
  • Paul Cezanne: Post-Impressionism
  • Georges Seurat: Pointillism
  • Gustav Klimt: Art Nouveau
  • Henri Matisse: Fauvism
  • Wassily Kandinsky: Expressionism
  • Pablo Picasso: Cubism
  • Salvador Dali: Surrealism

We started out using Famous Artists Online Unit Study Volume 1 (because that was the only one out at the time).

You can use these unit studies in any order your choose! We are doing a Timeline Based study of United States History with our middle schooler right now. When we hit the time period of any of these artists (either in Vol 1 or Vol 2) we include them in as our art!

Famous Artists Online Unit Study Volume 2

Famous Artists Online Unit Study Volume 2

In Famous Artists Online Unit Study Volume 2 you can study the lives and styles of 9 famous artists!

This volume includes:

    • Modern vs. Contemporary Art
    • Grant Wood: American Regionalism
    • Norman Rockwell: Illustration Art
    • Grandma Moses: Folk Art
    • Jackson Pollock: Abstract Art
    • Andy Warhol: Pop Art
    • Frank Stella: Minimalism
  • Bridget Riley: Optical Art
  • Fernando Botero: Postmodern Art
  • Jean-Michel Basquiat: Street Art

Other Art Resources

Creative Gifts for the Little Artist from Starts At Eight includes mess free and little hand friendly item suggestions. Paint, marker, crayon and more!Homeschool Art Project: Draw a Castle from Starts At Eight. Use this tutorial to create fun and creative castle projects.Kids Create Art! Playful Pet Portraits - a mixed media art course for kids of all ages!Why your teen's drawings lack depth - A Homeschool Art Lesson: Shading Using 5 Values. Learn to add depth and contrast to your drawings using these 5 shading techniques. Includes a FREE Printable Lesson & Resource Pack for your artist.Art Project Resources for Homeschoolers from Starts At Eight

Winter Olympics Resources

Winter Olympics Resources

The Winter Olympics are fast approaching!  I remember doing a unit study with the kids for the last Winter Olympics and I loved it so much – More than they did I am pretty sure!

One thing I love about unit studies is the chance to spend so much time on a subject, really getting to learn and know so much more about it.  Unit studies allow you to include math, science, art, writing, history and more all from one topic! We are in full preparation to spend a couple of weeks learning about the history of the Olympics, this years location, and all the sporting events!

The Winter Olympics is a great opportunity to include various subjects together. Here are Winter Olympics art projects, unit studies, books, printables and other Winter Olympic resources from Starts At Eight.

Be sure to follow all the action on the Olympic Games Website!

Winter Olympics Art

Today I would like to share our Winter Olympics Art with Chalk Pastels and a few other great Olympic resources that we are using this year.

Winter Olympics Art with Chalk Pastels from Starts At Eight

Thanks to You Are An Artist we have yet another way to incorporate art into our homeschool! Using A Simple Start in Chalk Pastels: Winter Olympics eBook we have created some fun art.
A-Simple-Start-in-Chalk-Pastels-Winter-Olympics-476x600
Things to create in the book:

  • Olympic torch
  • bobsled
  • downhill skier
  • Olympic skate
  • hockey stick and puck
  • Olympic mountain scene
  • Olympic medals

You can also get this as a VIDEO ART COURSE! With the Winter Games Video Art Lessons you get step-by-step instructions, techniques that encourage both new artists and challenge more advanced ones and you can even join a Facebook group where you can share your artwork and ask questions! As a BONUS: If you purchase the Video Art Lessons you will receive the Winter Games Simple Starts in Chalk Pastels ebook I mentioned above!

Winter Olympics Unit Studies

1. Winter Games 2018 from Amanda Bennett


As you explore Winter Games 2018 with your family, you will find the following areas of learning included in the Winter Games 2018 study (pictured above):

  • History of the ancient Olympics
  • Science and the laws of physics in sports
  • Sports and the human body
  • World geography, both ancient and modern
  • World politics and its influence on international sports

The Winter Games Unit Study Adventure is a digital 4-week study, meaning your children can work through the study interactively. Each day’s lesson plan has been written in two levels: Lower Level (elementary grades) and Upper Level (junior/senior high grades), enabling the whole family to learn together. Includes the new Winter Games 2018 Companion Lapbook.


Winter Olympics Printables

  1. Winter Olympics Sports Bundle – Into the Olympics?  Learn more about many of the Winter Olympic sports including alpine skiing, bobsled, curling, figure skating, speed skating, snowboarding and more!
  2. Unit Study/ Reading Comprehension for Grades 4-8 – Stimulate interest and awareness in the history of the Winter Olympic Games and how they evolved. Study the traditions and the ceremonies held before and after the Games. Develop an awareness of the types of sporting events and the Canadian athletes participating in them.
  3. Lapbook & Study Guide (while this is the 2014 edition, much of it is general winter Olympics based) get the history, learn about the symbols, track the medals in each event and more!
  4. Winter Olympic Games 2018 – Complete Non-Prep Unit for grades 2-5 – Where is PyeongChang and what’s it like there? Learn more about the history. Tons of reading comprehension activities in this unit!
  5. 2018 Printable Schedule
  6. Olympics Lapbook – FREE Printable Lapbook from Homeschool Helper Online
  7. Winter Olympics History Year by Year
  8. Unit Study Workbook for kids in grades 3-6
  9. FREE Winter Olympics Bingo Game
  10. Printable Winter Olympics Pack – For children ages 2-9. These printables were made to go with the book G is for Gold Medal: An Olympics Alphabet. Among these printables you will find writing, math and language activities.

Pinterest Board

Be sure to follow my Pinterest Board for more activities, printables, crafts, history lessons, and more! I am always adding as I find new stuff!

Winter Olympics Pinterest Board from Starts At Eight

More Winter Activities

Beyond the Olympics there are so many fun themes to explore for winter! Topics like snow, snowmen and snowflakes, winter sports like ice skating and sledding, winter animals like polar bears and penguins and so much more! Check out some of the other fun winter things here at Starts At Eight!

Paper Snowflake Craft from Starts At Eight3 Fun Snowman Activities from Starts At EightWilson "Snowflake" Bentley Unit from Starts At EightWhen the Snow Flies: Answers for Winter Physical Education from Starts At Eight

Big Girl Cocoa - Includes Our Favorite Hot Chocolate Recipes from Starts At EightCritters In The Cold

Creative Gifts for the Little Artist

Creative Gifts for the Little Artist

Little hands like to create colorful creations! They also tend to make BIG messes! Even so, as parents we are always seeking to encourage and support our children in their endeavors. For this reason I have created a list of a handful of the BEST Creative Gifts for the Little Artist in your life!

Creative Gifts for the Little Artist from Starts At Eight includes mess free and little hand friendly item suggestions. Paint, marker, crayon and more!

I remember when my first one was young (under the age of 2) and one of the many questions at one of our well visits was about the use of crayons. I remember acting shocked! I mean was she kidding? Giving my kid a crayon at such a young age would make a HUGE mess!

Now though, there are so many young kid friendly options as Creative Gifts for the Little Artist!

Creative Gifts for the Little Artist

Kwik Stix Thin Stix Solid Tempera Paint – Uncap, Twist, & Paint! No Water Needed! These are a mess free variation of tempera paints that dry in 90 seconds!

{Disclaimer: I was given a set of 12 Kwik Stix Thin Stix Solid Tempera Paint for review and was compensated for my time in creating this post. All my opinions are my own and I was not required to post a positive review. Please see my full Disclosure for more details.}

I can’t believe how easily these glide across the page! They are like really smooth crayons! Plus they dry so quickly we could almost instantaneously wipe our hands across the page. The colors layer easily too! My 11 year old noted that these are not great for “small details” as they are fairly chunky. She found that by using the edge of them she could manage the small stuff a little better though. What they are good for is larger scale drawings, and filling spaces in with color!

I highly recommend using these with your kids for an easy mess free creative experience!

You can also pick up a 24 pack of Thin Stix at your local BJ’s for a limited time!  Just $19.99 (normally sold for $24.99)!

Crayola Color Wonder Mess Free Markers & Paper – The markers only show up on the special Color Wonder paper! You can get blank pages, coloring pages, and even stickers!

Magic Stix Washable Markers – Want to know what is SO great about these? “They won’t dry out for 7 days with the cap off! Guaranteed!”

Twistable Scented Crayons

  • Includes cherry, orange, lemon, Apple, beach, Blueberry, grape, tropical punch, cotton candy, Licorice, coconut, root beer
  • Rich, vibrant colors to match scents
  • Never needs sharpening – just twist for more crayon color

Jumbo Crayons – These crayons are bigger and thicker than regular crayons. “Easy to Hold, Hard to Break!”

My First Jumbo Coloring Book

  • More than 100 thick lined Pages
  • Easy to Color with Thick Lines
  • Perfect Coloring Book for Both Boys and Girls
  • Pictures are Printed on Single Sided Pages to Avoid Bleed Through

Color Wonder Fingerpaints

  • Clear, mess-free gel formula dries quickly
  • Smooth texture offers real finger-paint feel
  • Includes sponge for finger cleaning or switching colors
  • Color Wonder paints appear only on Color Wonder paper; not on skin, furniture or fabric

Mixed Media Art Pad – Thick, no bleed paper with a spiral binding so kids can easily use it. Also has easy removal pages.

Aqua Doodle Drawing Mat

  • Draw, trace, never make a mess.
  • This mat is easy to fold and pack.
  • A lightweight perfect travel toy or indoor toy.
  • Simple to use: Just fill the magic pen with water and draw on the magic aqua doodle mat.
  • The aqua doodle mat can be used again and again! Have fun water painting, scribbling and doodling away then watch the drawing fade away automatically!

More Gift Ideas

Preserve Your Memories With Canvas Prints – A Canvas Factory Review
Gift Giving Ideas Round-Up
100 Stocking Stuffers for Teens
Save Cherished Memories with Canvas Prints – Giveaway
Easy Buys Under $30: Gifts for Teen Girls
Gifts for the Science Curious Child
Swedish Woven Heart Paper Craft

Swedish Woven Heart Paper Craft

Looking for a fun and easy Christmas Craft? Want to create a cute little basket to hold candy or treats? This Swedish Woven Heart Paper Craft is a Swedish Christmas tradition. They are easy and fun to make!

Christmas Crafts: Swedish Woven Heart Paper Craft Tutorial. Grab some card stock, ribbon, scissors, and glue to craft a woven heart basket or ornament.

Swedish Woven Heart Paper Craft

Christmas Crafts: Swedish Woven Heart Paper Craft Tutorial. Grab some card stock, ribbon, scissors, and glue to craft a woven heart basket or ornament. from Starts At Eight

These cute paper baskets make great holders for treats to give to friends and family. They can also be hung on the Christmas tree as an ornament. Either way these are fairly simple to make and the result is a sharp looking decorative basket!

Supplies:

Christmas Crafts: Swedish Woven Heart Paper Craft Tutorial. Grab some card stock, ribbon, scissors, and glue to craft a woven heart basket or ornament. from Starts At Eight

Christmas Crafts: Swedish Woven Heart Paper Craft Tutorial. Grab some card stock, ribbon, scissors, and glue to craft a woven heart basket or ornament. from Starts At Eight

Directions:

  1. Print the Heart Basket Template on the number of papers you are going to use. You will need two different color sheets of card stock for each basket you make.
  2. Cut out 1 template piece from two different colored pages.
  3. Fold each template in half and cut along the 3 lines on the folded side. {To keep the printed lines from showing on your basket, unfold the paper after cutting all the lines. Then fold the paper inside out so the printed lines are on the inside.}
  4. Use a pencil to label  the tips of the 4 strips on each template. This will make it easier to follow the weaving steps. Label the template on your left side D-C-B-A and the one on your right 1-2-3-4.
  5. Place the right template under the left. Rotate to the side so you can weave them together
  6. Take Strip 1 and weave it through the loop of Strip A.
  7. Next weave Strip 1 around Strip B.
  8. Then weave Strip 1 through the loop of Strip C.
  9. Finish weaving Strip 1 by weaving it around Strip D.
  10. Slide Strip 1 up until it touches the top.
  11. Now you will weave Strip 2 around Strip A.
  12. Then weave Strip 2 through Strip B
  13. Continue by weaving Strip 2 around Strip C.
  14. Finish by weaving Strip 2 through Strip D.
  15. Slide Strip 2 up until it touches Strip 1.
  16. Weave Strip 3 like you weaved Strip 1 (See steps 5 – 10)
  17. Weave Strip 4 like you weaved Strip 2 (See steps 11 – 15)
  18. Evenly spread the strips out and erase the pencil marks.
  19. Use a piece of ribbon (we cut ours to each be 8 inches long) to make the handle by gluing the ends inside the heart basket.
  20. Once the glue is dry you can fill it with candy or treats.

Christmas Crafts: Swedish Woven Heart Paper Craft Tutorial. Grab some card stock, ribbon, scissors, and glue to craft a woven heart basket or ornament. from Starts At Eight

Be sure to watch through our Swedish Woven Heart Basket Paper Craft tutorial video (below) before beginning the project yourself. Then go back and replay the video, pausing at each step and re-watching as needed.

Woven Heart Paper Craft Variations

  1. Make them with felt. You can do this by tracing the template onto the felt. You can also sew on cute accents like buttons.
  2. Cut wavy lines.
  3. Cut 4 or 5 lines for a tighter weave.
  4. Use different colors for other holidays. For example green and gold for St. Patrick’s Day or red, pink and white for Valentine’s Day, or red, white, and blue for our American patriotic holiday’s like Memorial Day or the 4th of July.
  5. Decorate with glitter or stickers.
  6. Use one solid color and one patterned piece of paper.

Christmas Around the World

We did this as part of our Christmas Around the World Unit Study from Techie Homeschool Mom. The Christmas Around the World Online Unit Study offers a fun and educational option for the holiday season. In this study you learn geography, history and facts about countries around the world, Christmas traditions around the world, and it even includes projects for each country such as this Swedish Woven Heart Paper Craft project!

Want to know more? Check out this video about the Christmas Around the World Online Unit Study!

More Christmas Fun

5 Days of Christmas Books from Starts At EightChristmas Song Favorites & Writing Your Own from Starts At EightChristmas Activities Round-Up from Starts At Eight. This is a compilation of fun & educational Christmas Activities to add some holiday fun to your homeschool...movies, books, unit studies, crafts and more!5 Days of DIY Christmas Ornaments for Kids from Starts At Eight. 5 Days of DIY Christmas Ornaments that Kids can make using 5 different types of materials. Use Popsicle sticks to create sleds and stars, yarn to create trees, stars and colorful light bulb ornaments and more!3 Fun Snowman Activities from Starts At Eight25 Days of Christmas Movies from Starts At Eight. This is a great list of 25 Christmas movies to enjoy with your family. Plus a FREE Printable List!

4+ DIY Fidget Spinners

Fidget Spinners seem to be all the rage right now. Kids are loving them and teachers are loving to hate them. As homeschoolers we don’t have the kind of main stream pressure that public school kids do. Nonetheless we have seen the adds, watched them be given as birthday gifts, and heard all their friends talking about them.

4+ DIY Fidget Spinners - And some educational ways to use them! from Starts At Eight

4+ DIY Fidget Spinners

Instead of just running out and buying them, I thought we might be able to find some ways to make them instead. While we might spend a little in supplies, it would be worth it for the activity and learning process.

1.  Craft Stick Fidget Spinner with Skate Bearing

Here’s what you need to make a fidget spinner:

Head over to Kids Activity Blog for the full directions on how to make this fidget spinner.

2.  Cardboard Fidget Spinners

3. Bottle Cap Fidget Spinner

Jump to the 30 second mark in this video for the tutorial on this Bottle Cap Fidget Spinner.

4.  DIY Lego Fidget Spinner

Here is a link with a tutorial and great photos of creating your own Lego Fidget Spinner.



Educational Ways to Use a Fidget Spinner

Last but not least I found this article with 5 {Educational} Ways to Use a Fidget Spinner in Your Homeschool that you might want to check out after you have created your own fidget spinners!

 

Homeschool Art Project: Draw A Castle

Homeschool Art Project: Draw A Castle

This year we have participating in a book club during the day with a few other homeschool girls. We meet weekly to discuss the book of the month, do projects related to things in the book, and complete art projects related to a topic in the book. I have been organizing all the art projects for the girls, with at least one each month that corresponds to the book we are reading. Tuesdays at the Castle had me searching for help on how to draw a castle.

Homeschool Art Project: Draw a Castle from Starts At Eight. Use this tutorial to create fun and creative castle projects.

In case you are interested we loved Tuesdays at the Castle.  So if you are looking for a book (which also happens to be a series) I highly recommend it. Beyond that if you are looking for a fun, flexible, and fairly easy castle project we really enjoyed this draw a castle art tutorial.


How to Draw a Castle

Homeschool Art Project: Draw a Castle from Starts At Eight

I used a combination of this Deep Space Sparkle – Architecture Made Easy Lessons Plans and this Castle Art Project for Kids.

Supplies Needed:

Directions:

I gave each of the girls a set of the cardboard templates, a sheet of drawing paper (we had a couple of different sizes), and a pencil.

Homeschool Art Project: Draw a Castle from Starts At Eight Homeschool Art Project: Draw a Castle from Starts At Eight

After going over the template placement in the Architecture Made Easy Lesson Plans, each one used the templates in whatever fashion they saw fit. Some used more turrets, some less, and they all varied the widths of the turrets they used as well. Having the pre-cut templates (which I measured and cut ahead of time) made it so simple for the girls to draw the outlines of their castles.

Once their basic outline was drawn it was time to add details like the tops of the turrets, windows, and connecting pieces. Pencil was used to create texture details on the castle wall, turrets, and even the draw bridge.

Homeschool Art Project: Draw a Castle from Starts At Eight

After completing the details in pencils they traced over their pencil lines on the castle and windows with the fine black permanent markers. (If they opted for finishing their piece in water color they did not go over their texture details in black marker.)

Homeschool Art Project: Draw a Castle from Starts At Eight

This is where the projects varied in medium. Some chose to use colored pencil like the Deep Space Sparkle Architecture Lesson, and some chose to use watercolors like the Castle Art Project for Kids.

Homeschool Art Project: Draw a Castle from Starts At Eight

The final step was to add a background like the ground or sky if they wanted to. As you can see from the finished photo below some of them did this, and some chose not to. (Or in the case of my daughter she wasn’t finished yet so she added her background after this photo was taken.)

Homeschool Art Project: Draw a Castle from Starts At Eight

Other Great Art Projects

Tangle of Knots Cake Drawing Art Project from Starts At Eight. A drawing art project that includes drawing a cake, adding detailed decorations, and using colored pencils. A great project to go along with reading Tangle of Knots.Art Project Resources for Homeschoolers from Starts At EightSpring Chalk Pastels Art Tutorial & Spring Nature Study Resources from Starts At EightHomeschool Art Lessons: Fall Art Project from Starts At Eight. Using online video resources is a great way to enhance your homeschool art. Check out this Fall Leaves Poetry Art project I created with the help of Sparketh.com.

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