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Art for the Artsy... and Not So Artsy!

Added by Heather Idoni

Monday, January 6, 2014
Vol. 15 No. 1, January 6, 2014, ISSN: 1536-2035
(c) 2014, Mary Beth Akers and Heather Idoni

Welcome to The Homeschooler's Notebook!

If you enjoy our newsletter, please share it with a friend! 



Now through February 28th - use these great coupon codes at Bright Ideas Press!

$5 off any purchase of at least $25 with code fiveoff
$10 off any purchase of at least $50 with code tenoff
$15 off any purchase of at least $75 with code fifteenoff

Check out all their great products (including MYSTERY OF HISTORY) here:

Bright Ideas Press


Notes from Mary Beth
-- Learning Alongside
Winning Website
-- Art Projects for Kids
Helpful Tips
-- Art Ideas & Websites
This Issue's Question
-- Holiday Servanthood
Additional Notes
-- Newsletter Archives
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Mary Beth

One of the most exciting discoveries in my early days of homeschooling was the realization that if I didn't know something, I could learn it with my children. By exploring various topics as co-learners rather than as teacher-pupil, we experienced education at its best. Instead of watching my children learn and hoping they'd eventually "get it", I shared with them the challenges of figuring things out, the wonder of new discoveries and the victory of conquering what once seemed very difficult. Our relationships were enriched and strengthened as we worked together toward meaningful pursuits. I hope that my children will always remember that a person is never too old to learn new things and that they will in turn share the excitement of learning with their children. If you think you have "gaps" in your own learning, embrace them as opporutnities to create some of your most rewarding homeschooling experiences. Whether your're working on basic art skills or higher level math -- it's okay if you don't already know it!


Learning Art Along With Your Children


My own school experience was severely lacking in art instruction. I was certain that I would never be able to teach art to my children. Both of them loved to draw, and I didn't want to destroy that -- regardless of how much or how little "talent" they displayed.

One day, out of the blue, I received a package from a dear friend. The package contained two little art books, one of which was Bruce McIntyre's Drawing Textbook. I worked through that little art book with my very young children and -- for the first time in my life -- enjoyed art and was not embarrassed to have someone see what I had drawn. Later, we added some of Barry Stebbing's How Great Thou Art materials.

Both of my children soon surpassed my level of ability and before long were teaching themselves and giving me pointers! My daughter has won several Grand Champion ribbons with her drawings at our county fair, and she is occasionally invited to display her art work in local artist exhibits in a museum. I don't tell you that to boast, but to give evidence that parents who draw stick figures can help their children become capable artists!

I recommend allowing plenty of time for your art sessions. One longer session is better than several short ones. Once the creative momentum gets going, try not to break it. By the time you get all the supplies out, you might as well make the most of it.

Listening to classical music while we were working on art projects, especially Mozart, seemed to stimulate my children's productivity and extend the length of their ability to stay on task.

Consider doing art/nature journals. They seem to help give continuity to your art lessons and add relevance to the art projects. The nature journals my children did are now among my most precious keepsakes.

There are lots of great art resources out there. If I had it to do again, I would use the same art curriculum. But keep in mind that what fits one family might not work for another.

Be aware that art helps to enhance other areas of intellectual development. In this day of computer graphics and readily-available downloadable illustrations, it's very easy to neglect live student-generated art, and thus forfeit the benefits that it brings the student.

Don't forget about art when you are planning your homeschool studies! :-)

-- Mary Beth

Winning Website

Art Projects for Kids

Want to add some simple art projects to your homeschool day?

This great blog by Kathy Barbro offers simplified instruction and unique ideas for 'art time' with your children.

Check it out! :-)


Helpful Tips

More Art Resources

On this page you can find internet resources for countless art activities -- all fun, most educational:


It appears to be geared to approximately ages five to ten, but I'm way older than that and I could spend all day there! You can find resources for other subject areas at Kidsites as well.

-- Mary Beth


And here is another great site with art lesson plans by grade level and also by art medium.



So what do you do with all your children's beautiful (and not so beautiful!) artwork when it begins piling up? In January 2007 one of our readers posed this question and got some fantastic answers. Here's a retro read from our archives for you!

Children's Artwork -- Priceless Collection or Just More Clutter?


Would you like some cool ideas for displaying your children's artwork?
For the more visual among us, Jodi W. in Iowa compiled this great Pinterest board just for our newsletter! :-)


Enjoy -- and THANKS, Jodi!

-- Heather

Last Issue's Question

"Have you done (or do you plan to do) anything special with your children to serve others in a fun way over the holidays? Please share how your plans turned out and/or what your children took away from the servant experience!"

A Reader's Answer

"For a number of years, my four children and I have participated in Operation Christmas Child through Samaritans Purse. They've always enjoyed this, and we would usually watch videos from the OCC site to make sure they fully understood what they were doing. This year was a little different... just before box collection week, my husband was rushed to hospital with a health crisis and it threw the household into turmoil for more than a week. Our boxes were packed and ready....but now it was too late. Or was it? I remembered talking with a woman years previously about her volunteer work at the OCC processing centre in a city about 45 minutes away from us. I excitedly called and discovered that they would be processing boxes for a number of weeks and we were welcome to come for a tour! After so many years on the box end, it was absolutely fascinating to see the next stage of the operation... to see the dozens of volunteers at work... to hear the first hand stories of the blessings brought about by these boxes. It had me welling up numerous times during the tour and my kids know... if momma is crying, there's a good reason! My children were amazed to see the towers of fully packed crate-sized boxes, ready to be sent to Haiti. I believe that it all suddenly became quite real for them, and they have talked more about their boxes this season then ever before, wondering if they've been delivered, who got them and what their reaction was. It was the highlight of our Christmas season."

-- Leslie K. in Ontario, Canada

Leslie has a blog if you want to read more! - "Sure of What I Hope For"

Mary Beth's New Question...

"How do you approach art instruction with your children? What are some helpful art resources you have used?"

Please send your email to: hn-answers(at)familyclassroom.net


Do YOU have a question to ask our readers? :-)
Please send to: hn-questions(at)familyclassroom.net


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