How to Find Homeschool Help

homeschool supplies

Many people think homeschool moms are superheroes. They have some sort of magical power to make it all work. That is totally not true. We all struggle and get frustrated. When you have the support and resources you need, that is much less likely. However, no one is perfect. So where do you find homeschool help when you need it?

Support and Resources for Homeschooling Moms

I remember being a new homeschool mum and being overwhelmed. However, I had a good friend who was homeschooling her children, and was there to help answer questions. There are so many questions when you just start. It can be frustrating to not find answers easily. That is why How to Homeschool Event for Moms 2.0 exists. We wanted to give back to the newer home education community and help those moms who may be overwhelmed with questions like I was.

  • Am I doing enough?
  • What if I fail?
  • What about socialization?
  • How do I know if my child is learning?

So many questions, but now there is a place to get answers!

mom and daughter homeschooling on computer

How to Homeschool

Here are some reasons why you need to join the part How to Homeschool Event for Moms 2.0:

1. A huge giveaway worth over $200 with all kinds of goodies to make this coming year amazing

2. Swagbag fully of goodies for everyone

3. Inspiring and engaging workshops to help you kick the year off right

Simply join the event hereit’s free for everyone.

Oh, here’s one more reason. We have some incredible vendors that have amazing offers. Not just your run of the mill vendors, either. This is an awesome line up. Each vendor is offering special deals, free workshops, and a chance to ask questions. Can’t get that for Amazon or a catalog. So, let’s take a moment to meet these wonderful vendors:

Where Can I Find Homeschool Help?

Breakthrough Homeschooling: Tools for the teen years: helpful tools for homeschooling through high school and parenting your teens. Pat Fenner is on a mission to inspire and equip you on your homeschooling high school journey. You can learn more about Breakthrough Homeschooling here: https://breakthroughhomeschool…

Sound Foundations Homeschool

Get the tools and support you need to build a thriving and successful homeschool for your special, unique child in less time, with less stress, and for less money. You can learn more about Sound Foundations here: https://soundfoundationshomesc…

The Happy Homeschooler

Do you want to be a happy homeschooler and have a smooth transition from school to home? The Happy Homeschooler will make this uncertain and trying time amazing and enjoyable! You can learn more about the Happy Homeschooler here:…

A Heart 4 Homeschooling

“What about chemistry?” Have you heard that before? Well, A Heart 4 Homeschooling has everything you need from phonics to chemistry to cover those tough bases and homeschool with confidence. Learn more about A Heart 4 Homeschooling here:

Danielle Tate

Cringing at the price of curriculum? Afraid that you will drown in debt? Danielle Tate is helping families win the war on budgeting, and teaching moms how to make homeschooling affordable for everyone. You can learn more about Danielle Tate here:

Y.M.B.A. Virtual

Have a 12-16 year old? Then YMBA is a treasure trove of resources. Free worksheets, social clubs, online courses, and more. This is your one stop shop for a thriving middle school or high school experience with courses in everything from music to accounting! Learn more about YMBA Virtual here:

La Familia Foundation

Hables Espanol? La Familia Foundation provides support, resources, and planning tools in English and Spanish. Serving the diverse community of homeschoolers, La Familia Foundation has something for everyone. Learn more about La Familia Foundation here:…

Julie Naturally

Homeschool Help, Wholistic Health, and Holy Living are the 3 pillars of Julie Naturally. With a wealth of unschooling and Christian homeschooling resources, this vendor is a must see! You can learn more about Julie Naturally here:

Whew, made it through that incredible list! Be sure to join us in the group, see you there!…

What Art Materials You Really Need

many expensive art supplies
The art store is an intimidating place. Some of the products cost hundreds of dollars. It is very overwhelming to anyone that has no idea what to buy and why they need it. What art materials you really need is very basic.
For someone that is painting and drawing as a beginner there is a natural gravitation to large sets of cheap materials. They surround themselves with these. They are pretty and pretty useless in my humble opinion.
Deciding what you need and what to buy can take many different paths.

Essential Art Materials

There are several questions to ask yourself before you run to the art store and drop $300 on paints and brushes and paper that you have no idea what to do with . STOP and step away from the art store.
What journey are you going to take? Are you going to paint one picture to give to grandma for Christmas? Do you seriously want to learn the art of watercolor painting. Do you want to learn the foundations of art and learn how to draw? Many people just want to dabble and do a little painting.
For anyone that is about to dip their toe into the water I suggest taking a small class first. Buy the materials for that class and practice over and over.
Learning to draw is something that I cannot stress enough and once you have that skill your confidence will soar. Learning to draw takes very little in the way of materials. You can draw with anything but, if you want to start with a good set of staples.

art supplies on a table

What Art Materials Do You Really Need?

A pad of Bristol paper and several different sized sketch pads
A set of pencils
Blending tools ( paper stumps and tortillions)
A putty eraser.
I also teach drawing using a set of 12 primary/secondary Prismacolor markers. These are not your normal markers. They are filled with bright juicy ink that is a joy to see on the paper.

Can I do Art without Expensive Materials?

Pen and ink is one of my favorite methods to get people excited about art again. It is a fast and easy way to get drawing. A few simple materials are needed. A sharpie ultra fine permanent marker is inexpensive. A set of 12 can be bought online for about $12 or less. These pens are my staple to carry around and doodle. I am always doodling little ideas on scraps of paper. Little ideas with a Sharpie can be transferred on to paper and then color can be added.
Art does not have to be complicated. Pen drawings are normally finished off with a watercolor wash. This is how I introduce my students to watercolor. Washes are the staple of this medium. They have to be mastered and a wash on a pen and ink drawing is very loose. Getting artists to become loose in their work is like pulling teeth. This is a great way to encourage it.
It also involves a few colors of really good quality materials.

Essential Supplies for Pen and Ink

Sharpie ultra fine permanent markers
Bristol paper ( Strathmore)
Watercolor paper ( 140lb Strathmore)
Winsor and Newton Cotman watercolor paint 5ml tubes of ultramarine blue, cadmium yellow and alizarin crimson.
A round brush

Learn Watercolor Painting

When my students have become really excited about that wash of color I move them into mastering some foundational watercolor techniques. This is normally a very intimidating medium. This is why it has to be taught slowly and carefully without overwhelming the student.
To begin they work with one color. The different tones of color are achieved by using more water or less water. This is a confusing skill to many. Starting with one color keeps the focus on using the paint and not color mixing. A monochrome picture is visually stunning.

Which Art Materials do I Need for Watercolor Painting?

140 lb pad of watercolor paper (Strathmore)
Windsor and Newton Cotman watercolor paint 5ml tube of Paynes Grey
A round brush

Learn to Paint with Acrylic Paint

There are many that have an aversion to the translucent medium of watercolor. Even if coaxed into it they just do not like it. I have found that many of my students love to keep painting with opaque paint. It is what they are used to.
When starting students with acrylic I use the same method as watercolor. They start with simple paintings and one of 2 colors.

What You Need for Acrylic Painting

Small canvases to matt boards (5×7)
Winsor and Newton acrylic paint white, ultramarine blue and burnt umber.
A set of kids brushes from Ikea. ( about $5)
These are all the basics. If you want some lessons to get you going look no further.
art projects

Finding Affordable and Fun Curriculum

It’s the time of year when we all start thinking about next homeschool year. What do I need? What do I want? The list can get long quickly, and the cost can add up. However, homeschooling doesn’t have to be expensive. Remember I love a good deal. Also, learning should be fun. So, if you are looking to break out of the expensive, textbook rut, here’s a guide to finding affordable and fun curriculum.

Psst! This post contains affiliate links that help support this blog! Thanks.

Introducing Homeschool Grab Bag

Homeschool Grab Bag is a like a bag sale at your favorite thrift store! Get so much, for so little. It was created by two homeschool bloggers who actually homeschool their children! They know what busy homeschool families need and want. They also know about budget crunch!

They saw the need for quality homeschool materials that were easily accessible and affordable. Then they caught the eye of over 50+ other bloggers and brands who were happy to support them! 

Beyond the Stick Figure only shares products that we have experienced and can whole-heartedly stand behind! We’ve gone through and played with the grab bag contents. These resources are amazing.

mom with books

Homeschool Grab Bag Options

Homeschool Grab Bag is available in two options. When you head to the website, you’ll find the Super and the Deluxe bags. 

Because Homeschool Grab Bag’s mission is to be affordable for all homeschool families, there is a significant difference between the contents of the two bags, but they’re both on sale for 97% off retail! 

On top of all the contents in the Super Bag, which has a retail value of $779.83, the Deluxe Bag boasts of 71 Premium Products that push the value of the Deluxe Bag to $1547.11 total!


Homeschool Grab Bag Layout

Both Grab Bag options are delivered to you immediately via the email you provided at checkout. So just click and you are ready to go! 

In your welcome email, you’ll receive a beautifully designed Digital PDF that showcases each product with a product image, short description, and a coupon for you to claim the product from the content creator for $0.00. So, one small price gives you access to everything. 

Now the fun begins, scroll through and grab whatever you like. It’s the best way to get affordable and fun curriculum for your homeschool.

You have 3 months from the last day of the sale to lay claim to your Homeschool Grab Bag items. All of the coupons in the Homeschool Grab Bag will expire on October 31st, 2020.


So what’s in each Grab Bag?

The Super Bag


tablets with curriculum

This particular bag is the most affordable. It has 51 products and retails at $779.83 price. But, with your 97% off, you’re getting it for only $24.95! Can you believe it?? Less than $25 for all that.

Here are some of my favorite picks from this bag!

family hugging

Large family homeschooling is a fun and challenging proposition! Learn how to make it work with this e-book. Wish I had had this 25 years ago.


affordable curriculum

These look like so much fun! Games are always affordable and fun curriculum choices.

The Deluxe Bag

Let’s explore an even bigger deal, the Deluxe bag includes premium products that are exclusive to the Deluxe Bag!

It is packed with 71 products and is valued at $1547.11. Wow! Now that is a bargain. The best bargains aren’t just cheap, though, they are highly valuable. The Deluxe Bag is beyond valuable. The contents blew me away.

I’m super excited about this product in particular:

fun curriculum I know my boys would really enjoy this. I’m convinced they are nocturnal themselves!


Both bags are 97% off retail and you can see a detailed comparison of each product, its value, and the product’s creator, here!


How do you get a Homeschool Grab Bag? 

The Homeschool Grab Bag sale officially started on July 13th at 9 AM CT and it wraps up at 11:59PM on July 20th. So, this is a very limited time offer. Hurry and don’t miss it!

To read more about Homeschool Grab Bag or to purchase it, you can head to the Digital Grab Bag website

As always, if you have any questions, contact us at or on Facebook. We would love to help you decide between grab bags or answer any questions we can about the contents of each.,

But, if you have questions about the Grab Bag you purchased, or have a problem with your purchase, you can reach out to Digital Grab Bag by emailing them at


Learn to Play Again with Art

Want to Play Again with Art!

Have you ever observed small children when they are given a collection of art supplies and a canvas or paper?
There is no hesitation. They do not dip their toes in the water to test the temperature. In fact, they dive in not knowing the depth of the water or the temperature. They do not care. Why? They are not afraid to play again with art.
Small children are natural artists. They love their art. They are proud of their art. You have a fridge full of paintings and drawings to prove it.

Play is the Work of Children

They are born with an innate sense that the world is a playground. Everything they do is play. They experiment and if something does not work they keep trying. We learn to walk by falling and falling and falling.
Somewhere along the road to adulthood we stop playing. Some people keep playing and are normally ones that become entrepreneurs.

How Children Learn to Draw

When children are young they draw imaginatively.  They play as they draw. Art is play, to them. As they start to grow up they pass through a door of no return. They enter a phase where their drawings are now realistic. They see that scribbly stick figure for what it really looks like to everyone else. When they were younger they saw the Mona Lisa after they finished it. They wanted to show all their art work off and could not wait to do more.
This point arrives and most children have not been taught the technical skills to keep playing. They stop playing because it is not fun anymore. They want drawings and paintings that they can show off and be proud of and they have no idea how to do that. When art is not fun anymore they go on to something else.
dad and little girl painting

What Happens if Children Do Not Learn to Draw?

The other scenario is that before they reach the point where they enter the land of realism a teacher tells them in front of a class that their work is wrong. That will end their joy faster than it would normally happen.
We play because play is enjoyable. We do not gravitate towards things that are hard or make us feel insecure. Young artists develop a fear that stifles creativity. That fear can be with them all their lives and they are totally convinced that they cannot draw or paint.
I meet these adults and older children all the time. Even professional artists can be stifled by fear. Creative people are known for their insecurity. Even though I try to instill in my students that their opinion of their work is the only thing that matters, I still want people to love my work and so do they.

So, How Do We Learn to Play again with Art?

We need to think like small children. We need to redeem that bravado when faced with a pile of art materials. How does that happen? Baby steps! You cannot paint a Mona Lisa on your first day but you can paint a small flower or simple landscape if you follow detailed instructions.
When I teach a class to “non” artists, they enter the room with trepidation and fear. They all tell me they are useless at the subject but they have a desire to paint.
I sit them down and slowly walk them through why they are using the materials I give them and how to paint a simple picture one part at a time. Little by little a picture appears. It is a painting of something that looks realistic. By the end of the class their heads are held high and they are chattering about where to buy art materials like excited little children. They are playing again because the fear dropped away. Learning to play again does not happen on its own. It is a journey. It is one that can happen if you find the right teacher and catch their passion in any subject not just art.

You Can Paint even if You Cannot Draw

landscape painting
There are so many people in the world that just want to paint a pretty picture. They assume that they need to spend many hours learning to draw before they can do this so they never dip their toe in the water. The truth is that if you can draw a stick figure, you can paint!
Added to this is the mystique of art, the unknown. The confusion over what to do, what to buy, where to start makes it even less palatable.

How Can I Learn to Paint?

Firmly entrenched in people’s minds is that only gifted people paint. They really believe it is for a select few and that they were only born with the gift of being able to draw a stick figure.
Art education is like a 10 course meal. If you really want to become an expert you need to study the basics. Drawing and seeing like an artist is the beginning.
 Not everyone wants to eat a full meal. They want to skip straight to dessert. It is not good for them in the long run but it tastes delicious at the time.
teacher and child painting

The Fun Way to Learn How to Paint

 I encourage my students to eat a full meal that has the appetizers and main courses hidden in the dessert.  Along the way I teach them professional techniques to bypass drawing to speed up the painting process.
We are not skipping the foundational skills, but dropping in some sweet tasting treats along the way.
This technique is also used with my classes that are filled with adults that just want to have fun. The same techniques can be implemented with either audience.

You Can Paint even if You Can’t Draw

If you do not want to avoid drawing by just sticking to abstract and collage pieces, you can trace an image rather than draw it. Bypassing the drawing part of painting is in many circles considered cheating. Certain people think that the image has to be drawn by hand. I am not sure where they are getting their rule book from. There is no right or wrong in art. There is copyright law though. Using a photograph or image produced by someone else is fine but you cannot sell that piece as your own. Do not do it. Take your own photographs as a reference or ask for permission to use someone else’s.

How Professional Artists Do it

Would it surprise you to know that artists have been using tracing techniques for hundreds of years. A trained artist has nothing to prove to anyone about their drawing skills. To make a living from painting you need to produce as much work as possible. Does a bakery grind its own flour? Time is money. The beautiful paintings that you see in museums that are done by people considered masters were likely traced using a Camera Lucida or other similar method.

Enjoy Painting from the Beginning

This and similar methods speed up the process to get to a finished painting. For young artists it is very encouraging to be able to paint a picture that looks realistic before they have fine tuned their drawing skills with years of practice. It is even more exciting for adults that want to rekindle that passion for art. Their eyes get teary as they hold up their new piece. Years of hurt from bad experiences fall away as they realize that they can paint. My goal is to never let my students lose that fire. Yes, you should learn to draw but, don’t let your lack of technical skill get in the way of trying to paint.
This post is part of the Tips for Homeschool Moms series. Click over here to see the rest of the posts and enter an amazing giveaway.

What is Watercolor Paint?

watercolor paint tubes
There are very few artists that actually master the art of watercolor painting. They might even be a trained artist. They can draw and paint with traditional opaque paints but, they have never learned how to use watercolor the way it was intended to be used. So what is watercolor paint?
There is no right or wrong in art, you can do whatever you want with this paint. If you think you can pick it up and apply watercolor paint without some practice you will be frustrated and disappointed and you will miss the beauty that only this medium can produce.

What Makes Watercolor Paint Different?

Watercolor paint is considered to be a translucent medium. Most people grow up using opaque mediums like poster paint, gouache ( posh poster paint), acrylic and oils. When they see a watercolor painting they fall in love with the ethereal translucency it produces. It is a paint that has to be mastered or it will rule the painter. Used correctly it will work for the artist in ways that will amaze and excite
paints and watercolor paper

How Can I Learn How to Paint with Watercolors?

When I teach a watercolor class, I begin with a little chat about forgetting everything they think they know about painting a picture. Watercolor goes against everything they think they know. The first obstacle they have to overcome is the use of water. Everyone suddenly develops a strong case of aquaphobia. They have to be coaxed and coddled into using more than a dribble in their paint.
Watercolor is also very unforgiving. The artist has to know exactly what they are doing and what they intend to happen before the brush touches the paper. Once that paint goes on it is there for good. There are ways to remove some of the pigment if the color is not a staining one but, trying to remove areas of color will give the painting an overworked look rather than the spontaneous one that can be achieved.

How Can I Get the Color I Want with Watercolor Paint?

Unlike opaque mediums the white of the paper is used as a highlight instead of adding white. White opaque paint is sometimes used to achieve things like snow.
 Paintings are done from light to dark not the dark to light as in opaque painting.
The technique of flat washes and graded washes has to be mastered. All of this is a bit like learning to drive a stick shift car after driving an automatic for your whole life.
To add to the learning experience it is a medium that requires special paper. Watercolor paper comes in all sorts of sizes and weights and quality. Cheap paints and paper and lack of experience leads to a messy muddy painting and a very frustrated artist.
watercolor sunflower painting
Would you love to learn how to paint with watercolors but feel completely overwhelmed? You can learn to paint and create beautiful masterpieces. Learn the core techniques for watercolor painting and create some adorable projects in Introduction to Watercolor!

Wish I Could Learn to Paint!

What can be achieved with patience and education will be paintings that cannot be replicated by any other medium. So, your eyes will weave through gossamer layers of color as you look at the finished piece.
All this information has probably planted a very large seed of fear in you about trying to paint with watercolor. Do not be afraid but, dip your toe in with a short and simple class that shows you how to start without being overwhelmed. We have a wonderful little sunflower one that will show you how to master a few simple techniques that will get you started.
This post is part of the Tips for Homeschool Moms series.  Read the other posts and enter an amazing giveaway, click here.

What is the Difference between Oil and Acrylic Paint

painter's palette with many colors of paint
The difference between oil and acrylic paint has nothing to do with the pigment (color). The pigment is the same in oil and acrylic paint. It is the binder that holds the pigment that gives each one a unique property.

Acrylic Paint vs Oil Paint

One of the main differences is drying time. If you are planning to exhibit your painting you need to remember that oil paint dries really, really slowly.
One year I foolishly did a last minute oil painting for an exhibition. The deadline was a few days away. The exhibition was a local one so I had to take the painting and submit it rather than submit a digital image. I had to get the painting to dry or not exhibit that year. I did not think that they would accept it with a sign on it saying “ sticky painting, do not touch” by Last Minute Larry.

Planning, Patience, and Painting

The home we lived in at the time had a greenhouse attached to the back of the house. In the summer it became unbearably hot. It just happened to be July, so I left my painting in the greenhouse to toast. My experiment worked. Two days later I handed over my painting that was dry to the touch and no one was any wiser. This fast dry baking method is not one I would recommend as I could have ended up losing my piece and finding a peeling bubbly mess. I had used the Winsor and Newton Artisan oils that are mixed with water rather than linseed oil so that probably helped.
painting palette with many colors
6-12 months is considered the normal drying time for an oil painting. At this point it should be varnished to protect it.

Pros and Cons of Painting with Oil Paint

The slow drying time can be a positive or a negative depending on your personality. It will allow you to move the paint around for a long time before it is dry. You will not have to rush your painting and you can paint right over anything you do not like or remove it while it is wet.
The downside of traditional oil paint for me is the smell of everything. I am very sensitive to chemicals and I cannot tolerate traditional oil paints because of this. Turpentine and linseed oil are part of the picture so if you have a problem with strong chemical smells the Artisan line by Winsor and Newton will be a great alternative.
Oil paint and the slow drying time could be a problem if you have small inquisitive children in your home. If they are at the stage where they like to use walls as their canvas you could be in trouble. Oils are gooey and messy and will not be a welcome addition to your $3,000 Persian rug.

What is Acrylic Paint?

If you ask someone what they think an acrylic painting looks like they will probably picture a piece from the “pop art” era. Large posters with bright primary colors of baked bean cans etc. People assume that acrylic paint is only primary colors because of this movement.
Many people are surprised to find out that the pigments in acrylics are the same as other paints. You can paint the same painting with oils or acrylics. The colors will look the same. How you go about painting it will be slightly different.
Acrylic paint has many similar characteristics to oil paint but the main difference is the drying time and the lack of smelly chemicals used to mix it. Acrylic uses water not linseed oil and turpentine.
homeschool supplies
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Why Use Acrylic Paint instead of Oil Paint?

This is the perfect medium for the Last Minute Larry painter. The painting might actually dry too fast depending on the time of year. If you are working in a very warm studio or outside (Plein air). The rapidity of the drying time could be a problem. There are things that you can add to the paint to retard that giving a little more time to work.
Acrylic like oil is an opaque medium. This gives a lot of freedom to cover up unwanted parts in a picture. The other exciting thing about acrylic is that it is a lot more versatile than oil paints. It can be used as a texture on the canvas and then dried and painted over. Things can be added to it to give a more sculptural effect. Nearly any surface can be used as a canvas. ( hopefully not by a 5 year old on the bathroom wall).

What Type of Paint is Best?

When it comes down to choosing one of these mediums it is purely a personal preference. It does take more planning to work with oils if you have a deadline to meet so unless you have a green house you might want to work with acrylics.
This post is part of the Tips for Homeschool Mom series! Check out the entire series and enter a phenomenal giveaway, here!

Art Should Be Fun

girls enjoying painting
Thou shalt sit for hours doing tedious drawings to learn perspective.  Did you really think art should be fun?

How Should Art be Taught?

This is the experience of many students in art classes all over the country. If anything is going to dampen the excitement of a budding artist it would be to sit for hours and hours drawing tiny lines on a picture of an office building. The occasional students might enter the foray that has a career in architecture in their future. This type of learning experience would make them giddy. For most people it would be tedious.

Learning to Draw

Drawing is the foundation of art. That is something that is a universally held opinion. It is also true that practice is the only way that an artist grows and improves. Practice, practice, practice is how you get to become an accomplished technician in drawing and painting.
I am not sure where someone implemented the rule that practice has to be boring but, often the practice part of art ends up being just that.
This is where the divide grows between the children with a natural gift in art and ones that do not.
kids using art supplies
If you do not find a subject easy then you have to work harder to improve. If that time spent improving is not enjoyable then you will not gravitate towards that subject at all.

What if the Student Loses Interest?

The student loses interest because they are bored and they are not excited about what they are doing in the first place.
What if you could slip practice into art but make it fun. A bit like putting ground up broccoli into tacos or some other exciting dish. It is there but, you do not know it is there. It is good for you but you do not see it.
The flame of desire to paint and draw can get thoroughly quenched when children go from drawing imaginatively to drawing realistically. It is a path that is inevitable. When they pass through that door they will either have the knowledge to keep their confidence as an artist or it will be gone. Normally it is gone for the majority of children because they are not taught how to draw realistically at an early age and when they see that their stick figure is not the latest Mona Lisa and it really is a stick figure they are embarrassed and stop painting and drawing.
homeschool supplies
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Can Art be Fun?

So, the question is, can art be fun? It can be but it has to be taught in a certain way that encompasses that in the whole learning process. The whole philosophy of teaching has to be rearranged. If art was fun more children would be excited and want to practice more.
If students are hand held through each process of a picture that never leaves them in a position to fail their confidence grows. Also, if they are taught foundational techniques that are woven into a painting they want more. Their little faces beam with excitement and pride. They keep that Love for the subject because they can do it and they know they can.

Yes, Art Should be Fun!

This concept of teaching was something that I developed because as a young mom I saw my daughter shrivel up in an art class. I had outsourced that part of her education because I was a young mum with 4 tiny children and I was in survival mode. The teacher held up her work in front of the class and criticized it. That was it, she was done with art. Until that point I had not thought about the teaching side of art much. I was one of those people that just did it. So, I started to teach when I could finally find my way out of the kitchen and laundry room to other venues. I taught my classes with the student in mind. Make it fun and exciting and get them jazzed and confident and they will want to paint and draw more. Treat them like an artist from an early age and give them technical skills. Teach them how to use professional materials rather than cheap ones that give very little satisfaction.  A curriculum was born. There is no right or wrong way to teach art but there is a better way. Art should be fun!
This post is part of the 10 Day Tips for Homeschool Moms series. Read the rest of the series and enter an amazing giveaway, here.

Quality over Quantity when Choosing Art Supplies

This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on a link, BSF will receive a small commission. Thank you for helping to keep this blog running.
Going to an art store is like a child going to a sweet shop ( candy store). The shelves are overflowing with a buffet of pots, brushes and tubes of paint. The choices are overwhelming to the untrained eye. But it is important to remember the rule of quality over quantity when choosing art supplies.
piles of paint tubes

How much should Art Supplies Cost?

If you do not know what you are looking for your eyes will immediately be drawn to the very large sets of inexpensive paints. These are beautifully packaged and full of gorgeous colors. They also seem like an incredible bargain. 40 tubes of acrylic for $19.99. 100 markers for $9.99.
The $9.99 price tag for one tube of acrylic paint in the professional section does not seem to make sense to someone that does not have the knowledge to actually compare what they are buying.
One of the things that influences the choice is an ability to mix color or lack of. The need to mix color is waived if you buy a set that seems to contain every color under the sun.

How to Save Money on Art Supplies

I love a bargain. I am known for loving a bargain but there are certain things that I will never compromise on. One of those is the quality of my paints. Large sets of any art materials for $9.99 will lack this.
One of the first things I tell my new students is to ask grandma to contact me before buying them art materials as gifts and also to put all those large sets away in a closet. I then introduce them to the paints and materials that I use.
“WHY?” I hear you shouting at the screen, looking over at the piles of markers with a big $9.99 sticker on the package. Let me explain.
Cheap sets of paint contain very little of what you really need and that is pigment. What you are buying is lots of medium with something added to give some color. It is not good quality and you will be very disappointed in the experience. You will also use much more of it than you would if you were using a high quality paint.
homeschool supplies
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How Many Tubes of Paint should I Buy?

Trained artists use very small palettes. I am not referring to the thing they use to mix their paint on but the amount of colors they use when they paint. Most artists use a maximum of eight. I have done paintings using 4-6 and you would never know. Why? Because a limitless amount of colors can be made by mixing the primary colors.

Quality over Quantity when Choosing Art Supplies

When I was growing up I gained a very important skill during art class. That skill was mixing colors. Each time we entered the classroom in high school we would retrieve a set of poster paints from the supply cupboard. The pots were about the size of the single serving for applesauce. There was a lid that was meant to protect the juicy paint from drying out.
There were six colors; the primary colors, red, yellow and blue, and then black and white and a “baby poo” beige that is known as yellow ochre to anyone that is not a teenager. That was it. During the year, that soft paint became a hard little brick in the pot. Water would have to be introduced and the sad excuse for a brush we were given was swirled around and around to produce a puddle of color. At the time all this seemed like an insult to me.
In those years of minimal colors I learned to mix color. I spent so much time with those six colors that it became ingrained in my mind how to make all the colors I needed from them. Even though I did not have quality or quantity it taught me a lot.
art supplies and paper
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When Should Students Start Using Professional Art Supplies?

Before you journey down the road of art buy a few tubes of good quality paint. They are not even that expensive because you will use very little on each painting. Do not think either that you have to be a certain age to use the good stuff. There is no ID checking at the art store. I teach my five year old students about the value of good paint.
Being that grandma has already given them all the sets of cheap ones they appreciate the difference and you can too. So, remember quality over quantity when choosing art supplies the next time you are tempted by that $9.99 value sticker!
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Artists Are Made Not Born

I grew up being told that I was gifted at art. All through my school years, art was one of the subjects I was naturally good at. So, it was no surprise that at the age of ten that I had already decided that I was going to be an artist. At school the favored students were the little group of “gifted”ones. In fact, the teachers seemed to assume everyone else really should not be in the class. There never seemed to be a method to what we were doing.  No one realized that true artists are made not born.
There is only so far a gift will take you. Hard work and practice will take someone from mediocre to expert.
painting supplies

Artists are Made Not Born

When I dived into the pool of motherhood and homeschooling I realized that the “gift” I had been given was one of seeing the world differently to other people. So, they could be trained to do the same but it was not something that they were born with. That “gift” was just a head start not a rule that only those people could become artists. So, I came to realize that most artists are made, not born. Similarly, some of them have a little edge at the beginning but, they will eventually be overtaken through diligent practice.
In fact, I saw this firsthand with my third child. She was born with a pencil in her hand. Above all, he loved art from a very early age. At 14, she had the opportunity to spend half her day at a local technical school in the commercial art department. Actually, I have to admit that I was actually quite envious. I would have loved to leave all the laundry and dishes for four hours a day and go and paint and draw. In four years her drawing went from cute to a very high level of technical skill. Her confidence as an artist grew to match that. Also, she was extremely confident because she could draw and paint. How did she get there? Hours and hours of practice.
Yes, there are people that are born to paint and draw, Leonardo comes to mind. However, there are also artists that were made because they wanted to be one and put in the practice to become one.

How to Homeschool

homeschool supplies
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