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.
You Do not Need a Degree in Art to be an Artist!
You Do not Need a Degree in Art to be an Artist!
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!!
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.
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.
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!!
When you go to a museum or an art gallery it is very easy to make the assumption that the artist conjured the painting up from their memory or drew it by looking at an object. (This is the general assumption of how artists draw.)
Summer is almost here and let’s just celebrate now with the homeschool year wrapping up.
I’ve gotten together with 7 other bloggers to bring you this wonderful giveaway so that you can enjoy planning for your next homeschool year.
We are giving away 3 $100 gift cards from the place of your choice. You can choose from:
The winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond to claim their prize or else another winner will be chosen. By entering this giveaway you will be added to the email lists of the participating bloggers. Read the terms and conditions for more details.
Here is the graphic for the giveaway: https://www.dropbox.com/s/owqi8xwp6syxpra/summer-homeschool-mom-giveaway.jpg?dl=0
This post is part of a 10 day series check out the other posts here.
When I was approached to review Literary Adventures’ House and Pooh Corner Online Book Club, I could not help but say, “Yes!”
I have a special little place in my heart for Winnie the Pooh, the Hundred Acre Wood, and the gorgeous pen and ink illustrations of the original series. Maybe it’s because I grew up just outside Winnie the Pooh’s magical land. The Hundred Acre Wood was a part of my childhood in a very real way. I think that is why I love pen and ink so much.
So, aside from the fact that I love Winnie the Pooh, there were many aspects of this book club that I enjoyed. First, I like how it is more of a unit study that a book club, However, it still has that club atmosphere and community connection. It really is different than anything I have seen in all my years of homeschooling.
Every chapter includes activities and related topics to learn about. I like how outdoor adventures and nature study tie into the literature experience. Covering more than one subject at a time is a great time saver and help to homeschooling moms.
Literary guides focus mostly on the literature and language arts. There are usually vocabulary words to learn, questions to answer, and maybe some grammar to study. Literary Adventures includes vocabulary and reading guides, however it goes far beyond that. Every section has “Rabbit Trails,” “Magic Dust,” and “Outdoor Adventures for the children to complete. The Rabbit Trails lead you into learning about specific topics related to each chapter, such as bears, breakfast, and bouncing animals. (Not every topic starts with the letter b, those just caught my fancy and sounded so eloquent together, lol.)
Then there are Magic Dust sections feature crafts and activities that not only teach but entertain. I really enjoyed the adorable “Play a Game of Pooh Sticks.” That brought back memories. The crafts were very sweet as well, such as making a den for a hibernating animal. Lastly, there are Outdoor Adventures which get the kids out into nature.
First, these book clubs are so well laid out that it is very easy to use. The materials and suggested books are listed at the beginning, however it is very versatile. You can really use this however it fits best into your homeschool. I think the best way to do this is as a unit study and count it as literature, nature study, and science. It would truly lend itself to including more subjects and can easily be used as a jumping off point.
Conversely, these could be a sweet little addition to literary studies. It can simply encompass language arts for the year or a short term. Really, the possibilities are endless. Oh, I almost forgot to mention, it ends with a party. A sweet little party based on the book. Just remember to include some good tea! Pooh would have had proper tea. 🙂
The House at Pooh Corner is just one in an ever growing line of Literary Adventures. There are so many options and genres of books. The adventures are all very reasonably priced. There is something for various ages and even several poetry studies.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
“But science and math are the way of the future. Aren’t the arts just a waste of time in the 21st century?”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Friends are special, especially in the blogging world. We love to support out blogger friends and share their special offers and freebies with our subscribers, because we love our subscribers, too! So, it was very special to sit down with Yvie Field learn more about how she serves the homeschool community with her big heart. Let’s all meet Homeschool on the Range.
After six years of living full-time as roadschoolers, we settled into some acreage in middle America and are enjoying a simple life! We homeschool our teenage boys using a combination of Charlotte Mason and unit studies methods, and still love reading aloud together as a family everyday!
I have been a board certified high school counselor for nearly 20 years, and have a passion for helping other homeschool moms. I’ve worked in elementary, middle, and high schools in both a teaching and counseling capacity, and have homeschooled both ends of the special needs spectrum…so ask me anything! At our non-profit, The Homeschool House, we help new homeschoolers find their footing and get the materials they need. We even do a Homeschool Consultation!
Homeschool On the Range is a play on words from ‘Home on the Range,’ and it’s about living simply out here in rural America…homemaking, homeschooling, and homesteading are our three basic pillars.
I actually started another blog about six years ago when our family was roadschool full-time as a way to show family and friends where we were and what we were learning / doing. It unexpectedly grew to have quite a following! When we moved back home last year, I decided to keep up the blogging, but morph into something more appropriate to our circumstances, which include homesteading and schooling upper grades kids. There is considerably less out there for homeschooling moms of older kids, and so I want to reach those folks.
I’m going to come right out and say it….I like sleeping in! But seriously, the flexibility that homeschooling affords us allows the kids to jump down rabbit holes when they want to explore something further, let’s us take lots of field trips, gives us a chance to be a family (rather than people going in separate directions from the same house), and let’s us get extra sleep when we need it…..all good things!
Trying to do it all….like every other working mom, I try to be the chief, cook, and bottle washer around the house, homeschool the kids, run a non-profit (with some friends), and run a small business….all at the same time! Fortunately, there is chocolate.
I would recommend that she step back, let the kids learn (or re-learn, if deschooling) the JOY of learning, and find a groove that works for their family. Every family is different…what works for us is not going to look the same as what works for you. Also, don’t spend a lot of money on the first curriculum you see….because you’ll probably change your mind five or six times!
We do a lot of hands-on projects. Today (as I write this), we’re reading a book together called The Winged Watchman. It’s about WW2 in Holland, and so the boys are using craft sticks to build a miniature working windmill. These are the kinds of projects that we like to include a few times each week, as well as larger projects. For example, they are building some fairly large projects for shop class that have taken all semester!
We are currently creating novel studies and products for middle and high school students – such as the Homeschool to College Success program. We host these, along with our older products for elementary school (lots of Lego-themed things!) at http://OKBookShack.org/shop.
For promo week, we are offering your readers a 20% off discount to the Cottage Shoppe with code WELCOME (through 5/20 – Consultation excluded).
Thank you so much, Yvie! We really enjoyed getting to meet Homeschool on the Range.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.)
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.
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.