As homeschoolers we have a wonderful opportunity to incorporate a wide variety of hobbies and electives based on our students interests and abilities. Each week I will be sharing about one or several hobbies or electives for the letter of the week. Art, architecture, aquaponics, agriculture, acting, acrobatics, and animation are just a few of the hobbies and electives that come to mind when I think of the letter A.
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I could write pages about each of these hobbies, but today I want to focus on art. I chose art because it is one that we have been spending a fair bit of time on in our homeschool. I have never felt like I was an artist, despite what Nana says, but since my children were interested in learning more about various art forms, I have worked to incorporate art into our homeschool days.
We have approached art from a variety of perspectives, including art appreciation, art lessons, free time with a variety of art supplies, and even a few art competitions. When I was in sixth grade, I drew a beautiful picture of a purple flower. It is one of only a handful of assignments that I remember from my middle school years. When I look back on it, I think I remember it because that art teacher made me feel like I was an artist and gave me confidence in my picture. I wanted my children to experience that feeling of success with art much more frequently and to practice and grow their skills without stress or pressure. In order to facilitate that we have done various hands on art lessons as well as ‘introducing’ them to a variety of famous artists through books and pictures. I am going to share a list of various art resources below but I want to highlight a few that we have used on a consistent basis.
First, we love the Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists series. These books are a simple but engaging way to introduce students to an artist and their works. We have often taken a semester to really focus on a single artist through reading these books, studying pictures, and doing art projects using similar styles. We have recently had the opportunity to review the HiGASFY art history video series. (I will be sharing a full review of this on Monday but I will say that my children beg for more lessons.) Which breaks the study of art history up into several time periods and teaches about a variety of famous artists. You can also find Kidzaw.com Master Kitz which help children create a reproduction of a famous masterpiece. These kits are easy to set-up and complete and create beautiful projects. Starting in November we are looking forward to using our SchoolhouseTeachers.com membership to focus on advent art as a part of our Christmas preparations. I love being able to tie in various subjects as we learn.
For our more skill-based art lessons, we love You Are An Artist Chalk Pastel Lessons. I wanted lessons that were going to be fun and help my children feel successful at art. I didn’t want them to look back and only recall that one time they were able to create a nice piece of art work. These courses were the answer for that desire in multiple ways. First, the video lessons are easy to follow and vary in difficulty so that everyone can choose one where they can be successful. Second, Nana does an amazing job of helping the students gain confidence in their work. She lets them know each lesson that “you are an artist” and my five-year-old has very much taken that to heart. He is often heard quoting Nana and her supportive comments even as he works on independent projects. We also keep an ‘art cabinet’ ready for them to explore and create. This is simply a repurposed cabinet in our dining room that I keep stocked with art and craft supplies. It has drawing paper, construction paper, paints, crayons, pipe cleaners, stickers, glue, scissors, popsicle sticks, and even glitter(call me crazy). They can get out various materials to make their own projects and creations.
Whether you feel you have a natural inclination towards art or like me you do not list it among your skills, you can help your children explore this wonderful hobby and develop their personal talents and interests. There are a variety of resources available to share art in your home school. I would love for you to share your favorite art resource in the comments! Don’t forget to check out all of the other ‘A’ posts over at the link party!
Art History Resources
Art Skills/ Hands-On Art
Schoolhouse Teachers Art Courses (over 20 different courses all included with your monthly or annual membership.)
Giant Art Jar (great way to start your art cabinet collection)
Toucan Art Box (monthly delivery service with art projects, use this link to get your first box free)
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Deals and Freebies
Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.
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Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)
Free Help Your Child’s Memory Book from All About Learning Press!