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
them.
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
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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.
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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 student might enter the foray that has a future career in architecture. This type of learning experience would make them giddy, but for most people it would be tedious.

Learning to Draw

Drawing is the foundation of art. This 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.
Some children are born with a natural gift that makes drawing easy. Natural artists see the world differently. However, any child can be taught to see like an artist. This is where the divide grows between naturally gifted children, and ones who are not. 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.
kids using art supplies

What if the Student Loses Interest?

Usually, a student loses interest because the practice is boring and he’s not excited about what he is 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. So, when they realize that their stick figure is not the Mona Lisa, and it really is a stick figure, they are embarrassed and stop painting and drawing.

art projects

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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. The whole philosophy of teaching has to be rearranged. If art were 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 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.  An art school 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, here.

Quality over Quantity when Choosing Art Supplies

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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!
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.

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
4  Want to homeschool but drowning in questions and self-doubt? Join the FREE How to Homeschool Event for Moms and get the support you need to succeed!

Are you new to homeschooling? Drowning in questions and curriculum choices? Overwhelmed and worried you will fail? Join the FREE How to Homeschool Event for Moms! Do you want to get your questions answered, connect with other homeschool moms, and get inspired? You can do this! How to Homeschool Event for Moms is open to anyone free of charge. Spread the word and sign up today!

Beyond the Stick Figure is sponsoring this free event as a service to our subscribers and community. All are welcome.

June 22-30

How to Homeschool Event for Moms private Facebook Group

Guest speakers include:

  • Katie Hornor of Lemonhas
  • Michelle Huddleston of With the Huddlestons and Huddleston Academy
  • Jennifer Elia of Sound Foundations Homeschool

Join homeschool moms just like you for daily talks, interactive sessions, and live Q & A events. Sign up today!

PS This post is part of the Tips for Homeschool Moms Series, please check out the rest of the series and a very sweet giveaway, here!

How do you become an Accomplished Artist?

artists painting a house
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You Do not Need a Degree in Art to be an Artist!

What is a degree? It is proof that you studied a subject for a certain amount of years and attained a piece of paper to prove you passed.
In England, education as a whole does not follow the same model as the USA. Very few people actually attended college when I was young. I was the first person in my family to ever get a BA (hons) degree. So, I thought that was a big deal. I had always wanted to be an artist. I followed the normal route. In fact, I went to one college to do what was called a Foundation Course and then during that year I picked a specialty, and spent the next three years in a studio at a college learning that.

Can You Learn to be an Artist?

Did that make me an amazing artist? Did it make me a well known artist? No. What it did give me is credibility when I talk and teach about my subject to others. Many famous and successful artists never stepped foot in an institution of higher learning. This does not mean that they did not take any classes. You learn from expert, so if you want to become an artist, find them and use them.
The artists that did want to become one without going to college practiced on their own. They might have attended some classes or read books but they painted and developed a following.
artist drawing in room of easels

What is the Best Way to Learn about Art?

Being an artist has nothing to do with where you learned how to draw and paint. All a degree does is focus your learning for a few years and allows you to feel like an expert. People always assume that you are. Many people might not have picked up a paint brush since the day they left college 50 years ago, but they still have credibility.
The other way to achieve credibility is by doing. Practice, practice, practice. Find the media you love and practice some more. If you love to paint and draw in the words created by a brilliant ad company “ just do it”. Become an expert. Study and keep going. At some point people will assume you went to college. Their admiration will come from your skill set not your credentials. Unless you are applying to be a teacher in a public school which one has more value?
art supplies and paper
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But, My Work is not a Masterpiece, I must not be Gifted!

Do not expect to love everything you do when you are learning. Do not expect to love everything you do at any point. Throw it away, store it in a folder or give it to grandma. She will love everything you do.
What is certain is that you will grow. You will develop skills and techniques and then painting and drawing will flow. You will stop thinking about how you do something and it will just happen.
Paint, paint paint. Spend hours doing it. Become an expert in that medium and your own personal style will come.
The other benefit of being self taught is that you will save a large amount of money because higher education in art is very expensive in the USA. There are some chosen vocations that need higher education to become successful. This is not one of them.
This post is part of the Tips for Homeschool Moms series, read other posts by Beyond the Stick Figure as well as 17 other bloggers, here!

How Artists Draw Anything They See

artist drawing a princess with art supplies around
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.

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.)

Artist Rarely Draw from Memory

This could be true but it might not be. There are no rules in art. Tracing or copying your own photograph is not a bad thing. Once you learn to draw you have nothing to prove to anyone and getting an image onto paper or canvas the fastest way and as perfectly as possible is the objective. As long as, you do not use another person’s image without their permission and sell it as yours. Using other people’s images to practice is fine and has been used for 100’s of years as a way to improve.

How Artists Draw Perfectly?

It is not only a learned skill to draw something and make it look realistic, it takes time. In order to not starve as an artist, they need to produce pieces to sell. Time is money. Centuries in the past they were using techniques to recreate images on the canvas or paper to save time. What they did with those images is incredible regarding their skill as a painter. The “masters” of previous centuries really did paint masterpieces. ( In my humble opinion).
If the finished work is a painting then the drawing beneath is just a map of where to apply the paint. Spending 5 hours trying to get everything in the right place could dampen the enthusiasm and creativity of the artist not to mention valuable time wasted.
If you want to paint a picture you do not have to spend hours getting the image drawn if you do not want to. I meet many students that have no interest in learning how to draw, they just want to paint. They get immense joy from painting but, they just want to dabble and have fun. They have no intention of doing anything more at that moment in time. Art should be fun. As a teacher, I want to inspire and encourage my students. I want them to finish my class and then ask me what paints and brushes to buy.
painted sea scape

Do I Have to Learn to Draw? I just Want to Paint!

If you do not want to learn to draw and you just want to paint then go ahead. You make the rules with your artwork. There are many tools and methods that allow you to do this. However, saying that, there are benefits to learning to draw. Drawing is the foundation of art. Famous artists like Picasso were classically trained, that foundation allowed him to be very creative.
homeschool supplies
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Music and Art, Perfect Together

I always compare art to the way music is taught. If you learn the piano or guitar using the classical technique you know which notes sound beautiful together, how what a scale is, and how to play one and all the other very technical information that goes along with learning an instrument.
There are other ways to learn an instrument. For people that are more interested in having fun and singing along to a song that they can play there is the chord method. It is faster and easier and requires much less practice to achieve a song. When people can play a song in a few hours they want to learn more and play more songs.

Art Should be Fun!

Most people just want to paint a picture. I noticed that when I taught older students how to paint a picture in a two hour class they got really excited. My thought was why not do this when teaching children. Why does learning to draw and the repetition needed have to be boring? Also, why is perspective taught by making children sit with a ruler drawing every window on a tall office building? Why not draw some people on a beach with some near and some far away? Learning to draw is foundational, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelmingly complicated.
From years of learning and teaching, a fun incremental curriculum was born. You can draw from memory but, you do not have to. After all, that’s how artists draw!
This post is part of the Tips for Homeschool Moms series, check out other posts by 18 bloggers on everything homeschool moms need to know…oh, and don’t miss the amazing giveaway. Find out more about both, here!

There is no Right or Wrong in Art

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.
 
“ This is not how you draw a cloud”
These are words spoken by an art teacher while holding up a students work. ( the student happened to be my ten year old daughter). She had a definite idea of what is right or wrong in art.
Art is a strange subject. It can encompass any medium or surface. A canvas, a wall, specialized paper, any paper, the human body. The list is endless. It is a totally subjective subject. Anything goes.

How do You Define What is Art?

A quarter and your opinion will buy you a gum ball. That is all.
3+3 in art can equal 5, 20, 6, 55 or whatever you want it to be. You make the rules.
You can put a Popsicle stick next to a cotton ball and say it is art. Some people sell works like this for insane amounts of money. To us they look like trash. If you ever become famous as an artist for your Popsicle stick pieces, please send me some royalties.
I can hear you saying “that is rubbish, that is not art!”.
Well, it is actually, if the artist thinks it is. We could go down a very large rabbit hole called the emperor’s new clothes on that point but let us not digress.
childs hand coloring with pencils

How to Encourage Young Artists

I am making a point. I am not saying that a piece like that has any value to me but, it does to someone. The only opinion that matters in art is that of the artist. This is what many teachers of the subject fail to understand or keep at the front of their minds when talking to their students.
Many a fragile budding artist has had the equivalent of weed killer poured over them by a well meaning teacher. Some live through it but many put their paints and pencils away for good never to paint again because they now think they cannot.
I meet them all the time in my classes. They are of all ages and all have a story of how they were told they were terrible or not good enough, did not have that gift or their work was ugly or terrible or not right.
These stories are told as they stare adoringly at their newly created piece. The pride often manifests itself as little tears in their eyes. They release years of hurt and burden. They discover they are artists after all.
pen and ink meadow
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Remember there is no Right or Wrong in Art

So when you look at a piece of art, remember, your opinion is yours and yours alone. If you are talking to the artist, choose your words wisely. We are fragile creatures.
If that artist, big or little is beaming with pride when they show you their latest piece, fan that with your glowing adoration of their 3 legged stick figure and ask them if you can put it in the fridge gallery.

Time for a Giveaway

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:

  • Amazon
  • Rainbow Resource
  • Hobby Lobby
  • Christian Books

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.

Curriculum Review: Literary Adventures

house at pooh corner book and bear
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.

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.

What I Like about Literary Adventures House at Pooh Corner Online Book Club

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.

pen and ink meadow
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What Makes this Different than other Book Clubs or

Literary Guides

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.

How to Use Literary Adventures Book Clubs

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. 🙂

Join Literary Adventures for Your Next Unit Study

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.

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

Meet Homeschool on the Range

rural fence in a field
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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.

 Could you tell us a little bit about you and you family?

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!

Meet Homeschool on the Range!

What is your blog’s name and what is it about?

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. 

Why did you start this blog?

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.

What is your favorite part of homeschooling?

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!

What is your biggest challenge?

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.

If you could give one piece of advice to a new homeschool mom what would it be?

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!

How do you add creativity to your homeschool?

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!

What products do you offer and where can we find them?

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.

Anything else that you would like to share? 

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.