First off, regarding Handle on the Arts.... I like it. No, really, I do. A part of me balks at paying $19.99 for projects I could come up with myself. And I tried this. You can get the table of contents for free from HotA. I searched and found most of the crafts online and copied and pasted them into a Word document. I spent about 4 hours gathering the first 12. I enjoy this. But after a point, I decided that it was just worth it to spend the $20.
And I'm glad I did. While I could have done a better job collecting the projects with GOOD directions (sometimes HotA instructions are a little lacking), by purchasing the curriculum (which comes as an instant download), I got the SCHEDULE to go along with Core 1 (could have done this myself, but it would have taken forever!) and the ART STUDIES, which I didn't realize were a part of this.
The art studies are my favorite part! Could I have put this together? Yes. But why reinvent the wheel? (there's not a project on that, incidentally) So far we've had a color picture of cave art with questions to go along with it, pointing out elements of the painting. We've also looked at the Battle Standard of Ur up close and personal.
Additionally, there is a lapbook of Egyptian architecture. This IS available as a free download from the site, so you could take advantage of it without the purchase.
So, for $20, I got all the hands-on activities with directions and materials lists, plus the schedule, plus the art studies, plus I saved myself hours and hours (AND HOURS) of time putting it together myself. I think it was a worthwhile purchase! Plus the activities are suitable for the girls, as well. In fact, most of the time, they all do them together.
Archaelogical Dig--suggested in HotA, but this one was entirely of their own volition. They were playing up in the orchard one day and someone spotted a bone. Then another. They all began digging and soon they had a wagonload of raccoon bones. At least two coons, we figure. Why were they there? Who knows!
Ancient Cave Painting--suggested in HotA. We modified it to the shower because our bathroom has no windows and we could make it completely dark. It was hard to draw by torchlight!
Aboriginal Dot painting-- Suggested in HotA. The kangaroo outline is available online. Under the supply list, click on "click here for printables"
Making felt--suggested in HotA
Cheesehenge. Daisy's own creation.
They made henges out of every available material for about two days after reading about Stonehenge. We watched part of the National Geographic documentary "Stonehenge Decoded" on Netflix instant play.