Quality over Quantity when Choosing Art Supplies

many expensive 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.

christmas tree card

Show your friends and family how much you love them with handpainted cards! Perfect for a fun family afternoon or moms night out! Learn more here!


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
Ready to make your own masterpiece? Join the club that delivers joy, and techniques with a new masterpiece project every month!

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!
This post is part of the Tips for Homeschool Moms series. To read more posts by a collection of bloggers and to enter an awesome giveaway, please visit the Tips for Homeschool Moms page here.

 It’s time for Giveaway Wednesday!

We are so excited to partner with Hebrew for Homeschoolers this month! 

Ana is a homeschool mom of 3 and the creator behind They Call Me Blessed. She is passionate about Hebrew for so many reasons. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and that is about 70% of the whole Bible. Jesus and His disciples read the Holy Scriptures and prayed in Hebrew daily. 

“Hebrew is the best language to learn of all… no one can really understand Scripture without it.” – Martin Luther 

Hebrew is the language of Moses, King David, and so many heroes of our faith. Learning Hebrew brings you into a much deeper understanding of the Bible and strengthens your faith. 

Can you imagine you and your kids learning to read, write and speak the very language of Jesus and our heroes of the Bible spoke? What if…

  •  This could unlock an amazing and much deeper understanding of the word of God?
  •  Learning Hebrew can open doors bigger than you could ever know in your life?
  •  This can bring you a personal revival like never before?

Here is what Hebrew for Homeschoolers for Beginners will teach you:

  • The Alef-Bet (Hebrew alphabet) 
  • Numbers 
  • Colors 
  • Shapes 
  • Greetings 
  • Basic vocabulary 
  • Biblical vocabulary 
  • Hebrew songs 

In only 10 weeks you and your children will be able to read, write and speak Hebrew for beginners and have basic conversations. How fun will this be? 

There are no other courses like Hebrew for Homeschoolers! 

  •  Classes are self-paced and last about 60 minutes.
  •  This course is geared to the whole family, from the youngest to the oldest in the family.
  •  You will have lifetime access to the course.
  •  And join our Facebook community for extra learning.

Enter below for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

It is your responsibility to read the terms and conditions upon entering. By entering, all entrants understand that they are subject to being added to each of the participating blogger’s email lists.

Can You Draw? Art Skills vs Talent

art instruction

-Can you draw?

-No, I’m not talented! Asking can you draw is like asking if I have a million dollars in my back pocket.

Does that sound familiar? Most adults think that they have no artistic talent. They were raised to believe they will never be able to create anything beautiful. However, everyone has the capability to be an artist. We are all born with the desire and ability to be creative. Over the years, though, we have been conditioned that only those with talent can draw or paint or just make anything that is beautiful

sisters drawing in front of art class on computer Join Beyond the Stick Figure for a week of art lessons, inspiration, and fun for the whole family. Claim your ticket here.

What if I have no talent?

It is true that there are those born with amazing talent. Leonardo DaVinci could draw a perfect circle. A perfect circle by hand! That is astounding. He was incredibly gifted and had talents that go far beyond art and drawing. Does that mean that only the Davincis of our day should learn art? No!

When you learned to read, did only the talented children learn? No! If you learned how to play an instrument, were lessons only available to the talented children? No! Yes, some children will read better, and there are wildly talented musicians. However, talent has nothing to do with learning.

art instruction

How should art be taught?

Art has been pushed further and further out of our educations. It’s seen as an extra. Maybe if you have talent, you will receive decent instruction. For the most part, true art instruction exists only at art school or in specialized programs. Even then, the students there have a natural aptitude, so the foundational principles are often skipped.

So how should one learn art? The same way you learned to read! Art instruction is based in skills. Everyone should receive instruction in basic skills. This is the missing link between those who are artists and those who think they have no talent. Those you did not learn how to draw, how to break objects into shapes, etc will never be able to draw realistically.

When you learned to read, you learned step by step. After you mastered a concept, you moved onto the next one. You practiced and practiced. There were plenty of times that you made mistakes. Little by little, though, you learned to read. Now, you can read without even thinking about it. That is how art should be taught, to every child! (And every adult if you never learned!)



Cathy Duffy Review Drawing Course

abstract design
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.

Thought of coming up with a witty title for this post but had to just come out and say it! When I began homeschooling, a million years ago, life was very different. Homeschooling was nothing like it is today! First of all, social media groups had not yet started. Also, the Internet in general was not teeming with homeschool resources and advice. However, one thing hasn’t changed…Cathy Duffy. As a new homeschool mum of 8, I devoured her books and read her reviews. I still have those book tucked neatly (okay not so neatly) in my basement. She saw me through some very interesting years through her books. Never imagined that Cathy Duffy would review our Drawing Course!!

Pen and ink tree

Sending Cathy Duffy an Email

It all began one night, one very late night, when my left brain and I were hard at work on the curriculum. We had been staying up late night after night to finish the Complete Drawing Course plus 3 Bonus Courses. We were feeling a little punchy and decided we would just be bold and send Cathy Duffy an email. I don’t know if we really thought she would ever reply, but when she did the next day, I nearly fell over.

Review Drawing Course

Ok, so people get star struck, I know we are all people but here I was having email conversations with Cathy. Yes, we are on a first name basis now. 🙂 It was very difficult patiently waiting for the review to be released. It was even harder keeping the review under wraps without bursting. Truly, I wanted to scream it from the rooftops. But, I held my tongue, drank more tea, and sniffed some oils! Waiting was difficult, but in some ways it still didn’t seem real. So, it was easy to just carry on and keep working.

The Newsletter that Stopped the Presses

Left brain and I were hard at work, again, last night when a new email popped up on my screen. It was Cathy Duffy’s newsletter. But, this was not just any newsletter! I clicked on the email and up popped the review of the Complete Drawing Course plus 3 Bonus Courses. AAAHHHH! I couldn’t breathe. There it was in black and white, with some gorgeous colors from the pen and ink tree she featured. It was even more exciting when a friend called up to say that she got the newsletter as well and started reading. She was bowled over when she realized, “Wait…that’s Sally!!” LOL

So, I had to share the news with all of you. Please pop over and read this awesome drawing course review!

And now for a giveaway!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Leading Our Families to God through Art

The modern world can be pretty crazy. We are bombarded with images and messages that are contrary to our beliefs. So, raising children who are faithful believers can seem like an impossible task. How can we bring our children closer to God? What if we don’t know where to start? A great starting point is the arts. You may be surprised by that, but through the arts, you can disciple your child closer to God and His awesome power. Let’s explore leading out families to God through art.

We Are All Made in the Image and Likeness of God

Every one of us is made in the image and likeness of God. Everyone of us is special and has a unique mission, however it’s the image of the creator that we are going to look at today. God is the ultimate creator. No artist or engineer could compare. He created the heavens and the earth, and every living creature, however man is His crowning glory. We are made to reflect the wonder and goodness of God.

Have you every felt like you just wanted to paint or draw of make something beautiful? Has it ever bothered you that you jsut didn’t feel talented or capable to do it? Where does that longing come from? At first that seems like a simple question, and you probaly thought that it has nothing to do with leading your children to the LORD or faith. However, we are each born creators. We have God’s fingerprints on our sould, and that makes us reflections of His Creation.

There is no such thing as only talented people can draw. In fact, you are a art genius! That is why young children color, paint, and draw with such joy and reckless abandon. They are living that call to create, it is only when we get older and haven’t been taught to nurture our art genius that we start to feel inferior. So, by teaching your children to draw and paint, you are developing that inner call to create.

full color drawing of flowers

The Good, the True, and The Beautiful

Why are you attracted to art? Is it because of the exact brush technique and complicated choice of color or is it because it adds beauty to the world? Most people enjoy art because of the beauty it adds. This world needs beauty. Art, in all its forms, expresses the good, the true, and the beautiful. These three virtues bring us closer to our LORD and help us shine light in a dark world. Have you ever wondered why so many paintings and sculptures tell the story of salvation?

It isn’t that artists had nothing else to paint, draw, or sculpt. It’s beause they were using their art to express a truth that is beyond words. Our art should reflect the truths of God. While there is no right or wrong in art, as Christians, we have a beautiful oppunity to change the world through our masterpieces. This does not mean that we can only paint religious art, however it does mean that we should lead our children to create pieces that share God’s splendor and faithfulness with the world. Our handiwork is a way to let our light shine joyfully into the world.

Creating Worships the Ultimate Creator

The intriacy and wonder of God’s creation could never be contained on one canvas or sheet of paper. However, using the inspiration of God’s beautiful world is a way to worship our Creator. We were born to create, encouraging our children to create and giving them to tools to develop their inner art genius is a form of worship that we can practice in our homeschools on a daily basis. Discipleship can be beautiful and joyful, and doesn’t have to only happen when we are studying the Bible! So, encourage your little artist to worship His Creator by joyfully creating and sharing his art work with the world. It’s time to start leading our families to God through art.

Now for a Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Family Discipleship is important and we want to be sure that you have help in teaching your family to seek Christ in all that they do! That doesn’t stop when it comes to entertainment.

Having Christ-Centered and Biblical sound options helps ensure that our hearts and minds are stayed on Christ, and not so easily consumed by the things of the world.

This Christ-Centered Family Entertainment Pack Giveaway has something for everyone! To enter for your chance to win, simply use the Rafflecopter form below.

Giveaway ends September 22nd, 2020, at 11:59 pm ET. Must be at least 18 years of age. Must be a resident of U.S. or Canada to enter. Selected winners will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prizes or another winner will be drawn. You are responsible for reading the Terms and Conditions on the Rafflecopter form before entering.

This post is in partnership with Before the Wrath movie and Minno. This giveaway is possible because of the generosity of our sponsors; Lifeschooling Conference, Minno, Before the Wrath movie, Heart and Soul Homeschooling, The Frugal Grandmom, They Call Me Blessed, Clarrisa R. West, Peace Creek on the Prairie, Beyond the Stick Figure, Sound Foundations Homeschool, Whole Child Homeschool, Homegrown Motherhood, and Fun With A Message.

What Does Creativity Have to do with Education in the 21st Century?

creative technology
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.

What is creativity?

So creativity is a little hard to define because it’s been used so many different ways. In the 21st century, many of the things that we consider creative or creativity are kind of like prepackaged ideas or activities and aren’t really thinking
outside the box.  For instance, crafting is creative, but buying little packets of premade crafts and putting them together is not necessarily creative.

We also think that creativity can only be constrained to the arts. So, you can only be creative if you’re painting or you’re drawing or sculpting. In fact, you already possess a creative genius and you can be creative with anything. Creativity really is the creation of an idea that it’s something new that you have come up with and then channel into the world through your God-given talents and passions.


Who Can Be Creative?

Anyone can be creative in their own talents and gifts.  A gardener can be creative or
cook or baker.  Restaurants putting those gorgeous flowers on your plate or beautifully setting a table are creative. Even a mechanic can be creative.  You may not want your mechanic to be creative while changing your oil, but they can design something new. How else would we come up with new vehicles and modes of production?

Elon Musk probably was highly creative. The Wright brothers were creative because they were thinking outside the box and came up with something that didn’t exist before. So, yes you can be creative in the sciences, too. We all want to find a cure for cancer, that will require serious creativity!


Creativity in the 21st Century

“But science and math are the way of the future. Aren’t the arts just a waste of time in the 21st century?”

Definitely, not!

Much of the thinking in schools is let’s cut those off programs: music programs, visual art, theater, etc. They think they’re a waste of time, because we need to have more time for academics That’s what’s going to get people ahead! We all want to improve our education. We want to improve our standing in the world in literacy, science, and math. So schools are cutting out art thinking that they’re going to improve education. They will use the time to teach people more about science and math, which will improve our future.

mini family portraits with pens and paint
Gather the family and make some memories, while you create adorable portraits to treasure or share.

Now, homeschoolers are guilty of this as well. We may not be worried about our ranking in the world as far as science and math. However, we want our children to succeed. We fall victim of wanting to “keep up.” So, we need to realize that you need art for science and math.

I mean, there’s so much math in music, there’s so much science in art and all of the creative disciplines that they need to work together not against each other. Who’s to say that science is more important than the arts? Who makes those decisions? We need both of them.

21st century creativity


What do the Arts do for Us?

Do we need the arts? We do and if anything, we need it more now. Without the arts, we’ve lost our culture. We lose our history, we lose the things that bond this together, our ways of expressing each other. If we just teach children to be engineers, so they can build like the best buildings that can withstand the biggest earthquakes, but we don’t teach them about art. Our whole world is going to be ugly, and we’re going to have no entertainment, no cultural legacy. There will be no books to read or poems to memorize! The arts have to be part of STEM. Our scientists need art and our artists need science. The arts could be the key to unlocking your scientist’s genius. None of your children may have fine arts careers, but that does not mean they should not be artists.


Where are the Arts in the 21st Century?

In the 21st century, we have so much marketing that goes on, as opposed to like, if you go back several centuries where people just made their own things. Now that we go to stores for everything, we have advertising, we have the packaging, we have billboards, and you know the signs on the side of trucks, all of that is designed by artists. Artists are so very needed in the 21st century. Anything that is within our homes and our lives has an artist attached to it somewhere, even furniture or vehicles, the buildings that we go to and live in.

So yes, arts are very important in the 21st century. They are never a waste of time and they are not just a frivolous thing to do on the side, like an extra. They really are a part of education, that applies to your life. Because if you said to somebody, live for a day without anything that an artist creates, they wouldn’t be wearing clothes. They wouldn’t be opening a package because it’s designed by an artist. They wouldn’t be sitting in a chair that was designed by an industrial designer or enjoy some tea from a teapot.

Pick up your mug, yes, your cup, everything. It’s designed by artists that most people think that an artist is someone that just paints and draws. But that’s not the actual case. So many art jobs out there that have really very little to do with literal painting and drawing. Our world needs the arts, it is vital to our future and way of life.

How to Add 21st Century Creativity to Your Homeschool

So, how do you easily enocourage your children to be more creative? There is already so much on your plate, you don’t feel like you could really do more. That is where outsourcing comes in. In this high tech age, outsourcing is easier than ever. Online courses, communities, and apps make bring creative learning to you. Check out some amazing online courses that could really help you add some high tech creativity to your homeschool this year.

In this online course you will find 19 lessons based on the life, era and culture in which Sir Isaac Newton lived, including experiments, videos, MP3 audio files, printable worksheets, online games, and interactives. It is chock full of resources for ages upper primary through high school. Families will enjoy the ‘Read & Discuss’ sections about Newton’s life, greatest accomplishments, and beliefs. There are opportunities to review and test your knowledge as well as assignments for final projects that include experiments using the included scientific method lab report. Save 25% with Learn more hereCode: ONLINE2020

This online science & history course is full of resources for ages upper elementary through high school. Family’s will enjoy the ‘Read & Respond’ discussion-style questions about Galileo’s life, greatest accomplishments, and beliefs. Also included are opportunities to review and test your knowledge & fun, engaging experiments to learn more about Galileo’s most famous works and ideas. Assignments for final projects that include experiments, lab reports and fun, not-so-sciencey’ ways to express your knowledge and understanding of Galileo. Finally, there are excellent history resources and science museum information dedicated to the life and work of Galileo Galilei. Save 25% with Code: ONLINE2020 Learn more hereThis online course is 12 digital lessons and experiments about Archimedes It includes: ‘Read & Discuss’ information about Archimedes’ life and greatest accomplishments; An Archimedes Timeline, Fun Facts Quiz Cards; 5 fun, engaging experiments to learn more about Archimedes’ most famous inventions,15 + videos offering 6+ hours of instruction. Information about museums dedicated to the life and work of Archimedes. Save 25% with Code: ONLINE2020 Learn more hereWith this online course you will enrich your homeschool by planning staycations, family days out or epic family adventures based on your homeschool curriculum. Choose a travel destination and plan your homeschool with a family trip in mind. Learn how to utilize virtual learning in your homeschool as a way to inspire, educate and plan the next family travel adventure. Save 25% with Code: ONLINE2020 Learn more hereDoes your homeschool teen need an elective credit on their transcript but feels uninspired by the options? Would your creative high schooler like to make money on the side while completing coursework? Would YOU like to have all the teaching outsourced, homeschool mom? Then the Selling on Etsy Masterclass for Teens is for YOU! Save 20% with code MOXIE Learn more herePodcast Launch for Teens is a step-by-step game plan for creating and growing a podcast. Your teens can pursue the topics they’re passionate about, gain experience in new mediums and platforms, all while earning credit on their homeschool transcript Save 20% with code MOXIE Learn more hereThis mini course will give your teenager the step-by-step information he needs to declutterhis personal stuff first, make some sales, then reinvest into his business and start reselling. Save 20% with code MOXIE Learn more hereThe 15-Minute Music Lessons online course contains nineteen lessons especially suited for elementary-aged students. Everything you need is included right in the course: Lessons to read, Videos to watch, Printables, Online quizzes, and Sometimes links to other sites to enrich your learning on the subject. You can complete each music appreciation lesson in 15 minutes, but more material is included if you’d like to expand the time or the days on a particular lesson. Save 20% with code ONLINE2020 (exp. 8/31) Learn more hereIntro to Musicals for Elementary Students includes ten lessons on ten different musicals. Read about the story and background, watch video clips, work on one printable per lesson, take an online quiz, and explore links to outside sites with other materials to enrich your study. The ten musicals are Annie, Seussical, Cats, James and the Giant Peach, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Mary Poppins, Newsies, Annie Get Your Gun, The Music Man, and The Wizard of Oz. Save 20% with code ONLINE2020 (exp. 8/31) Learn more hereYou and your students will LOVE the 65 lessons included in the World Music for Elementary online course! Each lesson is about the music of a different country or area of the world. You’ll learn about unique instruments, folk dances, songs, and styles. • Listen to music sung in other languages. • See indigenous people perform their music for you. • Learn to love the people and their music from all around the world! World Music for Elementary is a perfect complement to any world geography or world history course. Each lesson should take you around 15-30 minutes, excluding the optional activity. Some lessons, but not all, include instrument notebooking pages as well! Save 20% with code ONLINE2020 (exp. 8/31) Learn more hereOnline art courses and projects for the entire family. Get unlimited access to the ever growing library of courses and projects. Suitable for students age 5 and up. Get your first 6 weeks for only $9.99 with code BSFUPGRADE Learn more hereWant to paint delightful family portraits with you family? Makes a perfect project for back to school or holiday gifts! Learn step by step how to make these miniature masterpieces and then how to put them all together into an entire family. Personalize to your style and personalities. Save 40% with code ARTFAMILY Learn more hereThis course contains everything you need to add those special finishing touches to your holiday. Simple, clear, and concise, step by step videos will lead you through this signature mini course. These projects can be used to decorate your table, create gifts, craft hand painted cards, and so much more! Best of all, the techniques taught in these course will give you the skill and confidence to create your own masterpieces from scratch. Now, that’s the gift that keeps on giving! Save 40% with code ARTFAMILY Learn more hereThe Explore Delaware Online Course helps your upper elementary through high school students learn everything there is to know about Delaware by learning about Famous People & Places. They will explore literature, history, geography, science & art. In this online course students will enjoy the videos and the other hands-on activities as they learn about ‘The First State’. Save 25% with Code: ONLINE2020 Learn more hereThe Explore Pennsylvania online course helps your upper elementary through high school students learn just about everything there is to know about Pennsylvania. They will explore literature, history, geography, science & art. In this online course students will enjoy the videos and the other hands-on activities. Save 25% with Code: ONLINE2020 Learn more here

Creativity and STEM

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.

Sometimes it seems like STEM is what makes the world go around. There is a huge push to focus on sciences and make all education technology based. We can’t deny the importance of STEM in the 21st century. Technology is part of our culture and way of life. However, that doesn’t mean that creativity should be out the window. In a race to get ahead in the high tech world, we are short changing our children of important skills. Here are just a few of the reasons why an arts education is critical to 21st century achievement. Creativity and STEM are more interconnected than you might think.

stem needs art

Creativity and STEM Soft Skills

Year after year, employers are asked what they want most in a new employee. Even though technology has been rapidly changing, skills like coding and robotics don’t ever seem to make the list. Instead, what employers want most are the soft skills. These include thinking outside the box, problem solving, and the ability to adapt. All these skills and more are provided through an arts education. Stretching ourselves creatively builds brain power for tackling more complex problems and ideas. STEM and the arts work best together, not in competition with each other.

art supllies and brushes

Understanding Aesthetics

Have you ever stood inside a Gothic cathedral or wound your way through a medieval castle? Even if you haven’t, you have probably thought about it. What is it that draws us to these antiquities? They seem juxtaposed to our modern world. It all comes down to one word: aesthetics! Builders of the past understood the desire for beauty and creativity in the world. We treasure these marvels not just because they are old or important, but because they ignite our soul.

In an effort to improve science, math, and technology skills, the arts have been pushed out of most educational models. If they are there, it is usually as a footnote or a frivolous extra. Think of what the world would be without any beauty or art. Does anyone want to live in such a drab, cold, and ugly place? Our scientists, engineers, and architects need art!


Confident adults are successful adults. Confidence and boldness are what get things done. The arts supply confidence because there is no right or wrong. Students are allowed to express themselves and experiment. They can try this and change that. The bets artists keep experimenting and refining until they are happy with the results. This builds confidence in their work and themselves.

In addition, what would the arts be without exhibits and performances? Not every piece of art will make it to a museum, however art is definitely created to be displayed, whether that is in the Louvre or your kitchen refrigerator. We make art to share it. It’s not something to be hidden away in a notebook or locked in a vault. Performance and exhibitions build internal confidence and the ability to step out and be seen/heard.


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: https://www.traceyhagerman.com…

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: https://aheart4homeschool.com

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: https://danielletate.org

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: https://www.ymbagroup.com

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: https://lafamiliafoundation.co…

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: https://julienaturally.com

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.
pumpkin painting and paint
Spend some quality time with the family creating these masterpieces. Learn more here!

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 sally@beyondthestickfigure.com 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 support@digitalgrabbag.com.


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.