From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


3/21/2013 11:09:53 AM
Vicki Bentely--HSLDA
Toddlers to Tweens--Art for the Homeschool

HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru the Early Years Newsletter
March 2013--Art for the Homeschool

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Dear Friend,

This month, I've asked my friend Tricia Hodges at to
share some tips with us on how to include art studies in our
homeschooling--especially for those of us who consider ourselves
artistically challenged!
--Vicki, HSLDA Toddlers to Tweens consultant


"Well, I'm just not artistic."

I've heard that statement rather often from other homeschoolers who
are at a loss as to how to incorporate art into their homeschooling.
Since adding in the joy of art is one of my passions, I'm here to
encourage you that building this habit is not hard. You did not have
to inherit the art gene to pull out the paint brushes.

Like most mothers, I really don't like messes either. And although I
didn't inherit my mother's natural artistic ability, over the last
several years my mother (Nana) has taught the children and me how to
simply enjoy art. She has helped grow a love for art in our

Nana teaches us in a very messy medium: chalk pastels. They spread,
they smudge, and they stain. But they are beautiful. Blessedly messy.
And forgiving. If we make a mark we don't like, we simply blend it
into the picture and layer another color.


Art supplies can be very simple. For our times with Nana, all we need
is chalk pastels and paper; a beginner set of chalk pastels is less
than $10 at the local arts and crafts store. (Nana shares specifics in
"Pastels Plus Links to Tutorials." )

We are slowly adding to our stash of art supplies. Crayons and
watercolors were about all we had when we started homeschooling. Based
on what our children enjoy and the needs of studies, we now have
acrylics, colored pencils, tempera paints, chalk pastels, and markers
that smell like scratch and sniff flavors. (And even glitter!) We are
expanding into Sculpey clay and more.

For paper, we often pull some from the printer tray, open our nature
journals, or enjoy our favorite Canson brand. Watch the sales, take
your coupon, and/or simply determine to make art supplies part of your
curriculum expenses.


Take a deep breath. Part of being free of the fear of art mess is to
be prepared. Before we get started, I always have the baby wipes
handy. We enjoy our art time around our kitchen table. The table is
well used and easy to wipe; it's also just steps away from the kitchen
sink. For acrylics and other liquid paints, we use washable, plastic
palettes. (Nana describes the palettes and where to purchase them in
Acrylics Plus Links to Tutorials .) Sometimes we wear smocks;
often we just wear something we don't mind getting stained.


The art medium is not really important. What is important is growing a
love of creativity. We find success by picking subjects we
enjoy--maybe a character from a children's book or a seasonal focus
such as pumpkins. Our art time often complements our nature study.

Provide time for free, unstructured art expression. Our children
started out with paint-with-water papers while they were still in the
high chair. Truth be told, my 15-year-old enjoyed some
paint-with-water time with her 4-year-old brother just the other day.
My busy Middle Girl often asks to pull out the acrylics and just paint
whatever comes to mind.


It is exciting for children to receive feedback on their creations. We
participate in our state fair, entering art work in multiple
categories. Our homeschool group sometimes holds an art and photo
competition. Plus, there are several invitational shows for
homeschoolers, such as HSLDA's periodic art and photography contests
and the quarterly Art for Homeschool online show. And that display on
the family fridge goes a long way!


Nurturing a love of art enhances studies of other subjects. For
example, our Harmony Fine Arts studies encourage us to investigate art
appreciation and technique, whille a recent Homeschool Heartbeat
series explains how to reinforce history study through art.

I hope some of these simple tips will help you add the joy of art in
your family.


Homeschooling for a dozen years now, Tricia faces a daily dose of
chaos with five children. She is author of A Simple Start in Chalk
Pastels , Sunday Savings and Southern Celebrations . She shares art lessons,
recipes and all things practical at Hodgepodge . She and her husband, Steve
are also owners and authors at Curriculum Choice and Habits for a Happy Home .


"And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish
thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands
establish thou it." Psalm 90:17 (KJV)


Some of Tricia's and Vicki's favorite art resources and more articles:

The Power of Paint with Water

Nature journaling -Sketch the beauty you see, guided by Anna
Comstock's Handbook of Nature Study

Sketch Tuesday, hosted by Barb (Harmony Art Mom) with a new topic for
inspiration each week

Drawing Basics by Thomas Kinkade--An Alpha Omega Lifepac for art
lessons from a master

Harmony Fine Arts Plans for Art and Music Appreciation -Tricia's wide
age range of children all participate in these enriching studies.

Art for Homeschool -Art ideas, assignments, and contests

"The Arts in Homeschooling" by Marc and Cindy Carrier - The Carriers
of Values-Driven Family share some tips from the trenches on how they
have managed to cultivate some level of artistic literacy in their
eight children, despite the challenges they've faced in this area as
non-artistic parents.

How Great Thou Art--Barry Stebbing's award-winning homeschool art
curriculum makes learning to draw and paint fun and easy. With
time-tested titles such as I Can Do All Things, God & the History of
Art and Feed My Sheep, you and your students can learn an array of
topics including the fundamentals of drawing & painting, art history,
journaling and much more. Resources for all ages, from toddlers to

"Exploring Art" by Kara Murphy

Drawing with Children by Mona Brookes

Kids Create! By Laurie Carlson--Art and craft experiences for
preschool through elementary students

Discovering Great Artists: Hands-On Art for Children in the Styles of
the Great Masters By MaryAnn Kohl

Adventures in Art: Art & Craft Experiences for 8-To 13-Year Olds By
Susan Milord

Artistic Pursuits / --A
variety of fun art lessons teach both the expressive and technical
aspects of art while allowing children to make choices about what and
how they will draw, paint, and sculpt.

Art Projects for Kids--Art projects for K-5 and beyond.

Easter art project from That Artist Woman

World's Greatest Artists Vol. 1 unit study (download)

Volume 1 includes lesson plans, lapbook templates, flashcard
printables, art puzzles, and more to become acquainted with eight
artists in the Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists book

Mini Masters series, by Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober. Each board
book has simple rhyming text, accompanied by illustrations which are
the works of art of a famous artist. In the Garden with Van Gogh,
Dancing with Degas, A Picnic with Monet, etc. The works are all
listed by name at the back for parents who may not know them all.
(Note: The Matisse book does have some stylized nudity.)

Miller Pads and Paper
sells a wide variety of art supplies--often at a homeschool convention
near you! Check out their featured products for games and books.

Art display ideas (Pinterest boards)--What do you do with all that

A Simple Start in Chalk Pastels--Nana continues to stop by after work
to teach new art lessons to the Hodges family. See photo tutorials for
more than 50 lessons in chalk pastels and four lessons in their latest
medium--acrylics! Also
available in e-book format; for our HSLDA readers, Tricia is offering
a discount --use code HSLDA
at check-out for $5 off the e-book through 4/30/13.
-> Who are the nation's best lobbyists?

We don't know that this has ever been determined; but we do know
that HSLDA's Federal Relations Department is the only
national organization lobbying on behalf of homeschoolers on
Capitol Hill.

More reasons to join HSLDA...

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