A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Arts and Crafts in Our Homeschool

I have a confession.  I wasn't very good about art when my big kids were little.  Not "I wasn't good at art."  I wasn't good about letting them do art.  I'm still not good at art, but I'm a lot better about doing it than I used to be.  This week, we're talking about the arts in Virtual Curriculum Fair.

A huge part of that is that I mellowed out as I got older and had more kids.  I used to be so uptight about stains that we rarely even pulled out markers.  Now, Katie regularly leaves bits of cut up paper all over the school room, as she has free access to that dreaded art supply:  scissors.

Another factor in the 1000% increase in our homeschool art is that we changed how we homeschool.  We used to be workbook schoolers, and art was a treat that only happened if all the work was done.  In switching to more flexible (and more interesting) curriculum, art was incorporated.  I was all about checking the boxes, and since art was a box, it got done.  Somewhere along the way, I fell in love with doing art, and began to even add in "unassigned" art projects and crafts.

Our family has been richly blessed with the opportunity to review several art programs, and it has been a great experience for us.  Doing a review forces me to really get into a curriculum, and it has opened up a whole new world for our homeschool, and introduced us to fun new art supplies.

I'd like to share some of our favorite art programs with you.

ARTistic Pursuits Early Elementary book 1 - this is where we discovered the magic of watercolor crayons!
ARTistic Pursuits Early Elementary book 2 - where we worked with gold leaf and spackle.

Drawing Unto Him - a high school drawing program

See The Light Repeated Sweets - DVD lesson
See The Light Tiffany Window - DVD lesson

Home Art Studio - review of Second Grade DVD.  I liked this program well enough to buy 3 more DVDs.  As we come to the end of our current one, I need to decide whether to go forward and buy the 5th grade DVD, or backward and add the first grade DVD to our collection.  The projects appeal to a really wide range of ages, and I think we'd be fine with either.

Art Achieve - online video lessons with a printable "warm up" to help with the drawing
Atelier Homeschool Art/Arts Attack - We got a sample membership from filling out a recent homeschool survey, and we did our first lesson today.  It's another online video lesson style curriculum.

Art In History is another favorite.  AIH ties in nicely with historical studies or literature studies.  Or how about that time we made wooden shields?

Another way to incorporate art is to bring it on field trips.  Nature studies lend themselves to drawing plants, of course, and there's also that time we took our sketchbooks and colored pencils to the zoo.

Art supplies can be inspiring all on their own, without being part of a program, too.  We're big fans of Kwik Stix, and we've had fun trying out paints and more paints, and papers and brushes, too.  Even bottle caps can be the springboard for a fun craft.

We've also taken local art classes, both through the (now defunct) homeschool co op, and from a (formerly) local art teacher.

Finally, blogs and Pinterest can be great sources of inspiration for art projects and crafts.  Our Spring Flowers project was inspired by a "fireworks" art project I saw online.

Not making the time to do art with my older kids is one of my biggest homeschool regrets.  I'm glad I had the chance to make different choices with my younger kids.

Now I invite you to visit my fellow homeschool bloggers who are talking about seeking beauty in their homeschools:

Links will all be live by Monday at 12 noon EST.
Living & Loving Art by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Putting the Fun in School by Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Art Fun In Our Homeschool by Amanda @Hopkins Homeschool
Fine Arts Is The Fun Part by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
Washing Dust Off Our Souls by Lisa @ Golden Grasses
Bringing Beauty Into Your Homeschool Through Poetry by Dana @ Roscommon Acres
Seeking out the beauty... by Kim @ Good Sweet Love
Joy in Home Education by Sarah @ Delivering Grace
Teaching Drawing (When You Can't Draw) by Lizzy @ Peaches At Home
Homeschool Art for the Artistically Challenged by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
Jesus, Peace, Freedom & Our Homeshool by Meghan W @ Quiet In The Chaos
Fine Arts Options in High School by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
Reluctant Artist? What do you do? by Annette @ A Net in Time
Making Fine Arts a Priority by Lisa @ McClanahan 7
Creative Pursuits by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
Arts and Crafts in Our Homeschool by Shecki @ Greatly Blessed
Where Do You Find Beauty? by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens
Looping our Beauty Topics Saved our Homeschool by HillaryM @ Walking Fruitfully

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  1. Thank you for sharing how art has evolved in your homeschool---I think it's true as there are more kids that we parents tend to relax a little and stop worrying as much about the messes. Life is messy, right?

  2. I am glad you have loosened up and changed things around. Art adds so much to a school day. :) Visiting from the VCF.

    1. It's funny how we continue to learn and grow and change, even after we're adults. I feel like I'm a vastly different mom to my younger kids than I was to the older ones.

  3. Great post! I have many fond memories of homeschool art projects at our home :)

    1. I'm really grateful that we have so many art resources literally at our fingertips now.

  4. Such a wonderful post. I remember being so uptight about doing art with my sons when they were little; now, we too, love art.

    1. One of the benefits of being an "older" mom now, I guess. I was SO young when I started my family. I always felt like I had to prove what a good mom I was by having "perfect" kids. :eyeroll: I've mellowed out a lot, lol.

  5. Have featured your post on this week's #practicalmondays
    Loved it!