Cathy Duffy Review Drawing Course

abstract design
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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!!

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Tips for Homeschooling Large Families

family out on their patio
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Homeschooling can be tons of fun, but also tons of work. This is especially true when you have a large family. There are only so many hours in a day and you only have two hands. Making sure everyone has done all their work, and checked all the boxes can leave your head spinning. However, it doesn’t have to be impossible. It can actually be fun. Here are some tips for homeschooling large families.

How to Fit in All the Classes for Large Families

One of the challenges of big families is fitting everything in. When you look at homeschooling as traditional school at home, it is impossible to do with multiple children. Every child has several subjects that you have to teach him. However, that is not how homeschooling really works.

Moms are the teachers some of the time, but they are mostly the facilitators of education. So, homeschool moms help keep the day moving and make sure everyone is completing their work. However, they do not have to teach every lesson. Coming up with a system and being creativity can make all the difference.

Heart with Dad on it and pens
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Teaching Multiple Ages at Once

One secret for teaching multiple ages is to teach multiple ages at once. Find subjects that everyone can do together such as art, history, science (for younger students), and literature. So, gather your children and dive into one subject all together. Give younger students an easier version of any work included. Then older students can do more advanced work. For example, if learning about a particular point in history, younger students can draw a picture of what they learned. On the other hand, older students can write a paragraph about it. This works really well, makes days shorter and is more manageable for mom.

Here are some other ideas:

  • Online course
  • Interactive textbooks that come with DVDs, CDs, or computer programs
  • Co-ops and community classes at libraries, etc
  • Combine subjects such as history and literature or math and science
  • Unit Studies that combine all subjects into one set of lessons
  • Audiobooks
  • Educational Games

Setting Realistic Expectations in Your Homeschool

Now, one thing you need to realize is that your home will never be the same! Your children are home all day learning, playing, eating–homeschool children are always hungry! Plus, you have so much to manage at home between the family, home, and possibly a part time job or business. Life is busy, but that is good. Do not expect your home to look like a magazine all day long. Set a realistic expectation for home maintenance and get the kids involved to help you with cleaning.

Also, be realistic about learning expectations. Sometimes we think we have to just keep doing more to be successful in homeschooling. We do not! Just because you could homeschool 10 hours per day, six days per week, does not mean you should. Focus on the subjects that are most important, round out your schedule with short lessons in other subjects you want to teach, and be done. Less is more in many cases.

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

Thrifty Find and Budgeting for Homeschool Supplies

So, we all know that having multiple children usually means buying multiples of the same items. When you look in a homeschool catalog, you might be horrified at how much it can cost to teach your children at home. However, like I said above, less is more. Finding curriculum that the whole family can use over and over, again is an investment. Buying throw away items over and over is not.

Also, there are thrifty ways to save money on homeschooling. Such as:

  • Bundle sales
  • Discounts
  • Group buys
  • Avoiding consumable products as much as possible
  • Using the library
  • Downloads as opposed to hard-covered textbooks
  • Online resources



How to Talk about Your Child’s Art


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Okay, moms, this is for you. Before your child starts learning art, I want you to realize that what you say and do with your children is extremely important as to how this will work in the long run, because you are their primary teacher. If you say negative things about your child’s art, then you’re the one responsible for ruining that little genius that we’re trying to teach. This includes telling them that their work is wrong, or they should do it in a different way.


So, what do you do?

Encourage them to get rid of any negative thoughts about how they are doing things. Just encourage them. I have been a homeschool mom and teaching in the homeschool environment long enough to know that there are moms out there that want their children to be the best at everything. They want their children’s work to be better than everybody else’s. And they will try and help them to make it so.

I have parents helping in my classes that will be putting their input a little too much into the children’s work or telling their children in my class to not do it this way or that. Mom, don’t do art with your child this way.

Let them make what they want, in a way that is within the parameters of the project. What we’re teaching them are art techniques. So, if my students want to end up with something that’s not exactly what my picture is, that’s fine.  Remember that it’s their work. What your child thinks of the finished product is the most important part. Art is about the artist being satisfied with his art, not about what anyone else thinks. (Including Grandma, Auntie Nora, and your homeschool mom friend down the street.)

Raise Artist

What to Say about Your Child’s Art

So just speak words of life into your children, just encourage and nurture. Let them follow along with a project and see what happens. They will get really jazzed about art and they will want to just keep doing it outside of the actual lessons. That’s what you want because how do you get to Carnegie Hall? You practice, practice, practice, practice. How do you get to the Metropolitan Museum of Art? You practice, practice, practice, practice. The more they practice, the more their work will blossom.

I have seen this happen so many times. One of my children went through an art program at a technical high school.  She was immersed in art, drawing and painting for half of her day.  Her work just skyrocketed and including her technical skills. It was fabulous to see. She has since gone into an art career.


A Life of Loving Art

So, your child might not necessarily want to go into an art career, but what we want is for them to love art. We want them to be able to paint and draw, and enjoy it! For them to have fun without any negative feelings about art for the rest of their life. Even if they never become a professional artist, they will have a life filled with the love of art.  Remember, speak positive words over your child’s art. Do not try and stop them from creating something to criticize it.  It’s going to be very tough for you, I know. You can do this mom! Remember positive, positive, positive.


How to become a Successful Art Teacher

art class and teacher

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.

How Does a Professional Artist become a Successful Art Teacher?

So how does an artist get into the arena of teaching because when I went to art school I had no interest in, in teaching at all. Never thought I would become a successful art teacher. I went to school to enter an actual art school, to learn a subject I was absolutely passionate about. But that all changed when I was in the throes of young motherhood. We started homeschooling and I had four children under five.  I was drowning in dishes, laundry, phonics, and diapers. I was a little overwhelmed. That’s an understatement.

So, I signed up for a fine arts program thinking, “This is great, I can have a day out. I can alleviate some of that stress of some of these extra subjects that I have to teach.”

As a homeschool mom, when you first start, you are learning how to not only juggle life, but get all these different subjects in your children’s heads. So, I was thrilled to have a day where somebody else taught history, art, and math. The co-op covered all the subjects that I was just too tired at the time to actually teach really well.

How to Destroy an Art Genius at Age 6

That was until the art teacher rocked my world. My oldest daughter’s art teacher took her painting, held it up in front of the class and said, “This class is not how you draw a cloud.” My daughter was mortified. But probably not as mortified as I was, not only did she ruin my child’s love of art, I had paid her to do it.  Still to this day, my daughter won’t paint or draw unless we’re playing Pictionary. That’s when I started realizing that there had to be a better way. I didn’t think that was right to teach children like that.

A New Method for Teaching Art is Born

This pushed me to think about how one learns to create art.  Art is a subject that should be taught incrementally, but often isn’t. Like phonics and piano, you need to learn in little steps and practice, practice, practice. The way you get to the Louvre is the same way you get to Carnegie Hall. So, I realized that every child is an art genius, she just needs to be taught the skills to succeed.

Also, there is no right or wrong in art. What matters most is the artist’s personal opinion. Sure there will be pieces that you don’t particularly like once you are finished. However, those are opportunities to try again, or take a different direction. Empowering children to feel proud of their work, to have the skills and techniques to really excel, and doing lessons bit by bit revolutionized art for my students. Whether they are five or ninety-five, there is still that great passion to create and the joy of learning how.

make mom mini masterpiece ad with confetti
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Thankful for Homeschooling Giveaway!

thankful for homeschooling

There was a time when I could not have imagined having 8 children. Yes, I am a mum of 8! And yes, they are all mine, I have a TV, and I know what causes it. I also never dreamed I would be homeschooling. Somehow God let our life just fall into place and the unexpected became just what I always wanted.

I Am Thankful for Homeschooling

Over my long (very. very long) homeschool career, I have become more and more thankful for homeschooling. I joke about how many years I have been slogging away as a homeschool mum, teaching countless lessons of math and phonics. But, honestly, those years have flown by. There was this tiny little window when my babies were, well babies, and then whoosh, they all grew up and started to leave.

It is through homeschooling that I started to teach art in the first place. I saw the sad state of arts education and realized we were teaching our children about art in completely the wrong way. I never planned to be a teacher, but homeschooling made me one. Once I started teaching, I just couldn’t stop!

Thankful for Homeschooling

We Are Family

Family is very important to me, in case you couldn’t figure that out from the fact that I have 8 children! I can’t imagine not having my children with me for all those years. Homeschooling wasn’t always easy. But, I know that they learned what they had to, and learned to be amazing people. They grew to be great friends. Even with all but two of my little ones out of the house, we all keep in touch every day. We are close knit, and I know that is because we had the blessing of homeschool.

My adult children are incredibly successful and I am so proud of the people they have become. Most of all, they are kind. That was my great wish, to raise kind, helpful children. I cared about that much more than them getting into Harvard or becoming doctors and lawyers. But, you know what, homeschooling works and I can prove it, because it wasn’t just about the lessons. It was us all being together, and learning to love and serve.

Why are you thankful for homeschooling?

Be sure to enter our giveaway for an Introduction to Art Bundle (worth almost $90)

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