Saturday, January 21, 2012

Art Smart

Research says children who spend time in school doing visual art, performing music or dance, or even acting in a play gain a whole set of creative and analytical skills that are quickly disappearing from the rest of the curriculum.

A 2008 study by the nonprofit Dana Foundation, neuroscientists at seven universities found that:

Musical training improves reading by helping children distinguish the sound structure of words.
Acting boosts memory and the ability to articulate ideas.
Strong interest in performing art leads to better attention and memory.

Do you include art in your homeschool curriculum? Are you intimated by trying to teach about different artists or styles of art or music? Maybe you just don’t feel you have the time to devote to planning for those lessons.

Don’t give up just yet. You can expose your child to art via online art games. Games teach about warm and cool colors, different artists, museums, instruments, the orchestra… and best of all, they are free to use and easy to use. Kids love playing games because they don’t think they are doing work. Shhh! We will keep that our little secret!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Winter Water Fun

Jack Frost might be nipping at your nose quite a bit in January. What better time to focus on the different states of water. So break out the hot chocolate and light the fire in the fireplace...let’s begin.

A chilly game of Melt the Ice Cube teaches children that salt, warm water, warm air, and warm hands help ice melt faster. Here is the PDF for printing the instruction sheet. You might want to follow this activity up with watching and timing ice melting in a pan. Be sure to boil the liquid water and watch for steam.

That is a super way for your visual learner to understand solid, liquid, and gas. When you are finished, let the hot water cool down and then freeze it so your child fully understands the whole process. Have your child illustrate the process of going from solid to liquid to gas.