We have been using You Are An Artist Chalk Pastel lessons for several years now and I really enjoy the ease of use, the fact that my children can do them independently, and the flexibility that they offer. They did these adorable winter bird chalk pastel paintings this week which are now proudly displayed in our kitchen.
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A few months ago my oldest son who normally loved art and drawing was starting to resist doing the lessons and I was not sure what was going on. He is a preteen and can be a bit moody as is typical of boys his age so I did not know if it was the program or just him testing the waters and pushing his boundaries. As we talked more I realized that he was frustrated with the bit of mess that can be caused by regular chalk pastels.
The Simple Solution
My other two children that participate in the lessons do not mind the bit of mess, that is easily cleaned up with a baby wipe. I first tried letting him use his colored pencils and while he enjoyed that more, it was harder to get the same effects as the pastels with regular colored pencils but then I found Chalk Pastel Pencils! You get the neatness of colored pencils (no chalk pastels on your fingers) but the ability to blend and create the effects of chalk pastels. He received a pack of these pencils for Christmas and is once again excited about participating in his art lessons.
When I thought about the effects of that relatively simple change, I realized that there are many areas of our home school that might be positively affected by small changes. If your child is not enjoying or performing well in a particular area, you may not need to go all out and completely change curriculum (though sometimes that is the right solution).
For example they need to do that subject during a different time of day, or they prefer reading in a comfy pod chair instead of their desk. When we have problems it is a good idea to look for those little changes that can make things work more smoothly. I would love to have you share with me what you are doing in art or what little changes have made your school days run more smoothly.
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