State Studies :: Overview

I'm excited to tell you that we will be sharing our new Free Homeschool Companion Curriculum, State Studies Unit 1, on a weekly basis as we are working on the unit. After we have completed the unit I will go back and organized it all into a PDF format similar to our Harvest Time (and other) units. This allows me to tweak things as I go... and trust me, there is quite a bit of tweaking the first time through a unit. In the meantime, please feel free to follow along. To get you started, here is a peek at the State Studies Unit One book list.

Our State Studies Unit 1 is a nine week homeschool curriculum covering 25 states, starting in New England and working across the Midwest. We will be covering the rest of the states in the second unit. I'm creating this unit for my 3rd grader, with my 1st grader tagging along. Although my youngest is enjoying the unit, the memory work is a bit much for her age at this rate. I would say the target age would be 8-10 or when working with a younger student, spread out the unit so that the two units will cover a whole year.

Every week we are completing map work, reading a community enrichment book, cooking a recipe from the area, making a craft or art project, memorizing a poem, doing a picture study, and completing state journal pages. We are having a lot of fun! Those of you have completed our seasonal units will feel right at home with this new unit.

If you are ready to jump in with us and get started on our Homeschool Companion Guide State Studies Unit 1 right away, you will need The United States of America, The United States Cookbook, National Geographic Our 50 States, and the United States Dover Coloring books which are all used every week. Abbie Against the Storm is the picture book needed for the first week.

I've also included some optional readers in the schedule if you would like to tie your Literature Program in with the State Studies. For the first couple of weeks, Windcatcher is the assigned Student Reader and From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler is the optional Parent Read Aloud. We will be using the literature books for our vocabulary exercises, copy work and narrations. If you are unfamiliar with having your student do copy work, narrations, and dictations I recommend reading The Complete Writer: Writing With Ease guide.

Every week I will be updating this post with a link to the weekly posts and schedule. If you are following along and completing some of the activities at home, we would like to invite you to leave a comment below with a link to your posts. If you don't have a blog but would still like to share photos of your family's homeschool adventures using any of the Wee Folk Art Homeschool Companion guides, you are welcome to add photos to our Wee Folk Art Homeschool Flickr group.
 


Week 1 :: New England States

Art Project: Painting Cork Buoys
 

Week 4:: Mid-Atlantic States

Art Project: Barn Stars

Week 5 :: Great Lakes States

Art Project: Mixed Media Old Car Drawing



Wooden Flower Stacker

Several weeks ago we shared a tutorial for a SQUARE WOODEN STACKER. If you have never worked with wood before, the Square Wooden Stacker was a great project to cut your teeth on. I have to be honest, this Wooden Flower Stacker is a bit more challenging. There are lots of curves... LOTS... but if you take your time, and tackle one flower at a time, you'll make your way through. And... guess what... ours did not turn out perfect. When turned certain ways it can look quite lopsided, but it is still beautiful and wee ones still love playing with it. So, even if you're not a master woodworker, give it a go. I guarantee you that you'll learn a thing or two before you are done :)


Now, a word about Stackers... Stackers have become an iconic symbol of babyhood, and with good reason; almost every baby owns one. The appeal of a stacker is twofold: they are fun to play with and they are educational. Through exploration of a stacker babies develop dexterity, agility and hand-eye coordination. Through experimentation they can advance any number of skills including sorting, sequencing, and size and color recognition. Not bad for one little toy.

WOODEN FLOWER STACKER
 
Materials:
wood - 1" x 8" solid wood – we used scraps of ash
paint or stain - we used non-toxic, child safe soy paints
finish – we used an all-natural beeswax and jojoba oil finish
dowel rod -  7/16” x 6 1/2”
wood glue
pattern - make copies HERE
 
Tools and equipment:
Saw – scroll saw
Electric Drill – with 7/16” and 1/2” drill bits - we used Forstner bits but you can also use standard twist bits
Sandpaper – medium, fine, extra fine – we used an electric sander and sanding  sponges
safety glasses
face mask

BEFORE BEGINNING ANY PROJECT, READ DIRECTIONS ALL THE WAY THROUGH FIRST TO PREVENT MISTAKES.
 
IMPORTANT: Wear safety glasses while sawing and sanding. It is recommended to wear a face mask when sanding to prevent inhaling sawdust.
 
Select high quality wood without knots. It is best to use medium or hardwoods. Soft woods, such as pine, can dent and splinter. In general, the harder the wood, the harder it is to work with. If you are new to woodworking, you can select a soft wood like pine, but be aware it won’t hold up as well as harder woods. We used ash. It is a medium hard wood, reasonably priced and available at most stores that sell lumber.
 
You will be cutting 8 different sized flowers. If you only plan to make one Wooden Flower Stack, you can make one copy of the the pattern. I suggest you cover the pattern with wide packing tape or clear contact paper for strength and ease of marking your wood. Make a small hole through the center of the flower. Cut out the pattern around the largest flower. Trace this on your wood. While the pattern is in place, mark the center of the flower on the wood piece with a pencil. Then cut the pattern down to the next flower and trace this flower on your wood, marking the center. Continue this process until you have traced all 8 flowers on the wood.

If you think you will be making multiple stackers, make 8 copies of the pattern, and cut out one of each size. Remember to cover with packing tape and make a small hole through the center of each flower. You can reuse these templates over and over again. Trace the flowers on your board, making sure to mark the center of each on the wood.

Using your scroll saw cut out all 8 flowers.

IMPORTANT: DO NOT DRILL A HOLE THROUGH THE LARGEST FLOWER!

Using your 1/2" drill bit, drill a hole through the center of the first 7 flowers. Do not drill a hole through the largest flower.

HINT: To stop the wood from splintering on the back when the drill pops through, place a scrap piece of wood behind your square. When you drill through the square, continue drilling until you start drilling through the scrap piece of wood.

For the large flower, switch to a 7/16” drill bit. (The size of the dowel rod) Drill a hole 5/8” deep in the center. IMPORTANT: Do not go all the way through.

NOTE: Sorry, but I didn't get a photo of drilling a partial hole through the 8th flower. I'm including a photo from our tutorial on making a Square Wooden Stacker just to give you the idea.

Check to make sure the dowel rod fits in the hole securely. Place your flowers on the dowel rod to make sure everything fits. The flowers should be able to slide up and down with some "play" room. The flowers and rod will be painted, which takes up room. If you think your holes are too small you can make them slightly larger with the drill or by sanding.

Sand all the pieces including the sides, tops, bottoms, centers and edges. You can use electric sanders or sand by hand using a sandpaper sponge. Sand the top end of the dowel rod, rounding the edges a bit.

Finishing Your Wooden Flower Stacker:

Follow the directions for finishing our Square Wooden Stacker found HERE.

The only difference is I painted the dowel rod on our Wooden Flower Stacker green like a stem, but how you choose to finish the flowers is a personal choice :)


Copyright © Wee Folk Art, LLC 2008-2014. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce our text, images or patterns without prior written consent. You may use one or two images on your blog as long as you reference Wee Folk Art and share a direct link back to our page. Please contact us with any questions.

PHOTOS: 3-19-12, 3-19-12, 2-26-14

Postcards :: Girls Night In :: Rainbow Nails

Photos 2-24-14

 

Please With A Cherry On Top Applique Block

As a child, if we wanted something really bad, we'd say, "Please with a cherry on top?" because who can resist a cherry on top? I know I can't. I could eat an entire jar of maraschino cherries, but, oh, having just one on top makes just about any sweet treat all the more special! Today we are sharing our Please With A Cherry On Top Applique Block. Here is a totally yummy cupcake, oozing with frosting, and the pièce de résistance... a cherry on top, of course! Like all our appliques, this one was designed to fit on a 6" x 6" block but it can be reduced or enlarged to meet your needs.

Yum... right?
 

The pattern for the Please With A Cherry On Top FREE Applique Block can be found HERE.

The tutorial on How to Enlarge and Reduce can be found HERE.

The tutorial on How to Cut Out Felt can be found HERE.

The Stitching Glossary can be found HERE.


DIRECTIONS - Refer to pattern and photo for applique placements and cutting instructions.

Make a copy of the pattern.

Cut out felt using the pattern as a guide. Transfer any embroidery markings.

Using a blanket stitch, sew cupcake bottom to block using 3 strands floss.

Using a blanket stitch, sew first the bottom icing, then the middle icing, and finally the top icing to block using 3 strands floss. Use the pattern to determine the overlap.

Using a running stitch, sew cherry on cupcake using 2 strands floss.

Using a running stitch, sew leaves to block using 2 strands floss.

Using a stem stitch, add cherry stem, leaf detail, and cupcake stripes using 6 strands floss.

Using a straight stitch, add "sprinkles" to cupcake icing using 6 strands of floss. Use a random pattern for color placement.
 

Copyright © Wee Folk Art, LLC 2008-2014. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce our text, images or patterns without prior written consent. You may use one or two images on your blog as long as you reference Wee Folk Art and share a direct link back to our page. Please contact us with any questions.


PHOTO: 9-24-09

 

Postcard :: Celebrating Bug


11 Amazing Years with our Bug! Happy Birthday!

 

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