I’ve just finished ordering my last batch of books for this year’s homeschooling. I’m more or less an unschooler, but I always have a loose plan for what I want to accomplish with my kids during the year. This plan is heavily influenced by my kids. They have a lot of input and I go with their interests most of the time.
My son is interested in reading, vocabulary, math, and computers. No problem for me. But my daughter is into art, music, and nature, which are not my strong suits. So I’m excited about some of the tools I have found this year to help.
I was given the opportunity to try out Lindsey Volin’s Home Art Studio over the summer and I am thrilled with this DVD. It’s full of fun and challenging art projects, demonstrated by Ms. Volin in such a way that allows your child to get to work quickly and use his or her creativity.
The Home Art Studio web site makes it easy to order all the supplies you need. After you order your DVD, simply click on the supplies link and you’re directed to a page at Jerry’s Artarama . Select what supplies you want (because maybe you have some of them already) and you’re all set! Ms. Volin is also very accessible to parents and students. You can upload your child’s artwork to share on her site and also ask her questions.
What I love about these projects is that they introduce kids to famous artists and teach concepts such as light and shadow, tint and shade, overlapping, texture, and perspective (see my daughter’s “falling into space” painting here?) in a subtle way. The lessons aren’t boring or overdone, making them simple to teach even for a parent who is not that artistic. Ms. Volin is a certified art educator and the DVD is a bargain at $24.99 for roughly 17 art lessons (varies from grade to grade).
You can see some samples of Home Art Studio lessons here. We are working through the Third Grade program, but because my daughter loves it so much, I’m thinking about ordering the 2nd grade program (which has a Fairy Tale theme) so we have more projects to do before moving on to 4th grade!
Another resource I’ve found through several recommendations from friends is the One Small Square book series. Each book considers “one small square” of Earth at a time, looking at geology, biology, and the complete ecosystem of given regions. The books include experiments, activities and lots of info for kids who love animals and nature.
I’m hoping my young nature and art enthusiast will be challenged and inspired by these books and programs, and that her mom might have a little fun with them, too!