Arts and Crafts for the Non-Artsy Homeschool Mom
March 17, 2021
Even if Art Doesn’t Thrill You
Arts & Crafts: My heart sinks when I think about leading or even participating in such activities. I’m so uncreative when it comes to art, and the idea of crafts is on par with going to the dentist. And I don’t like the dentist’s chair. I wish I loved going to the dentist or embarking upon a creative crafts project and just diving in. But both actions make me shudder. Yet, I don’t want my children to take after me when it comes to works of art . . . or the dentist. I want them to love and appreciate both.
The Irony: Paul and I have seven children. We had our first four in California twenty to thirty years ago. Then we moved to Tennessee, waited a bunch of years, and had three more kids. As a result, our youngest is only 8 years old. But here’s that irony I mentioned: In California when we were homeschooling the first batch of kids, I decided to venture out and teach Art History. But first I had to learn what that was. In public school where I grew up, we learned nothing of art history. But my husband Paul – the father of these seven kids – is an artist. I mean, a really GOOD artist—check out www.StudioSuarez.com, and you’ll see his bronze statues. And as such, I wanted to learn what he loved and to enjoy that which he found so fascinating. So I figured if I taught a weekly class to about ten homeschoolers on art history, I’d be forced to learn it too.
The Good Part: I loved the subject of art history. I learned so much about the different periods and the various styles. Impressionism was my favorite. I had those kids under the coffee table and kitchen dining set painting their versions of the ceiling art at the Sistine Chapel. They studied da Vinci and Monet . . . Renoir and Mary Cassatt. Oh, we had such a wonderful time! That class was so popular! I ended up teaching Art History II to the same families. Even today, all these years later, I still love art history. But I hate crafts. And the dentist.
The Moral of the Story: Find things you enjoy and get excited about them with your kids. If your child is crafty, give them every opportunity you can, and then lavish praise as they produce their little doo-dads. If you don’t want to participate in the gluey mess or the finger painting, then don’t. Just smile. That’s it, Mama. Smile and encourage. But don’t forget what I said about introducing your children to the very things that thrill you . . . the areas of study over which YOU are passionate. I hope their hearts leap with yours as you pursue new fun hobbies together.
Hands-On Learning Counts
It takes effort to create arts and crafts with kids. Yet, arts and crafts help our kids remember what they’ve learned. You can create with your children, even if you’re not “craftsy.” Let’s talk about a few tips to get you started on the road to happy homeschool crafting without a lot of fuss.
TIPS FOR MAKING CRAFTS WITH KIDS
Cover your space. Use painting drop cloths and plastic to keep your furniture and flooring protected.
Cover your kids. Throw a couple of your old T-shirts on your kids.
Do the prep work in advance. Get a project ready before getting the kids involved.
Schedule several short sessions for one project. Art is time-consuming and requires energy. Give them several days for one project.
Encourage your kids. Children are often frustrated by the disconnect in the artwork they envision and the art they actually create. Remind your kids they are improving and tell them how much you love their work (even if you don’t know what it is!). Also, stick figures are fabulous.
Operate the hot glue gun and X-Acto knife. (Hot glue burns are terrible and X-Acto knives are razor sharp). Until your kids are old enough to cook, I’d advise you do the hot gluing and razor cutting.
Outline anything painted in permanent marker. This makes it instantly look fabulous! Just make sure you explain to your kids what you’re doing first and get their permission.
ESSENTIAL ART TOOLS TO STOCK IN YOUR HOME
Beyond the normal scissors and glue, here’s a list of the essentials you’ll want to add to your home art setup.
– Young artists will love having a large sketchbook with thick pages to draw in.
– Canvas boards are an economical way to allow kids to paint—and you’ll want to keep the result!
– Stock craft-grade acrylic paints, pan watercolors, and brushes.
– Student-grade colored pencils are a must.
– Keep colored cardstock on hand.
With just a little effort, your family can do art in the home. Your kids (and you) will remember the time you spend together!
|Danika Cooley is an award-winning children’s author. Her upcoming books include a guide to help your kids learn and love Scripture (Bethany House, 2021), and a new line of Christian history for 3rd to 5th graders (Christian Focus Publications, 2021). Grab your complimentary three-week sample of her popular Bible Road Trip™ curriculum.|
Art Creates Opportunities
Kerry’s video entry explains why art is so important, and why we should probably take it more seriously than just a time filler.
Kerry Tittle is a mother of nine children and a 20-year homeschool veteran. She was the owner of ReformationKidz with her husband Rob until a tornado destroyed their home and business in 2014, taking the lives of Rob and two of their daughters, Tori and Rebekah. Kerry is the founder of Refined Family, which is created to encourage others to find hope in the gospel in the midst of trials.
Pillar of Hope: Easy Paper-Roll Craft for Spring (for non-crafty moms)
Are you one of those moms blessed with the “craft” gene? I’ve tried hard to be a crafty mom for many years, and while I’ve managed to successfully make a few crocheted baby blankets, an almost complete scrapbook of my son’s first year, and an occasional hand-lettered birthday card, I’m afraid that’s the extent of my craftiness. The gene must skip a generation because my mom was amazing with her creations, and my son is pretty stinkin’ creative as well.
But one day I discovered a miracle. It’s called Pinterest. Maybe you’ve heard of it? And with that discovery, I learned there are other not-so-crafty moms out there helping their kids create beautiful masterpieces, mostly from things commonly found in the majority of homeschool rooms.
I also learned that when you present these things to your children, they will create all on their own. They don’t even need a crafty mom to make that happen. So gather a few supplies—empty toilet paper rolls, markers, googly eyes, construction paper, scissors, paints and brushes, and a glue stick, and see what they come up with. You may end up with a beautiful spring garden to display.
Be sure to take lots of pictures!
|Marcy Crabtree is a veteran homeschool mom and blogger. Her goal in blogging is to encourage, equip, and educate moms in their roles as teacher and nurturer of their families. She recently graduated her only child after homeschooling all the way through primarily with interest-led unit studies, adding textbook-style curriculum more as a resource. You can learn more about homeschooling with unit studies and delight-directed learning on her blog Ben and Me.|
Look What’s Happening!
The Christian Heritage Home Educators of Washington is hosting the 2021 More Than Conquerors Digital Homeschool Conference March 19–20. Register online or contact Gina Booy at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Look What’s Happening!
Florida Parent Educators Association presents HEROIC: The 2021 FPEA Homeschool Convention on May 27-29 in Orlando. Registration (March 2 to May 3) is $75 for FPEA Members; $115 for Non-Members.
Share this newsletter with a friend, and be sure to let those CONSIDERING homeschooling know about the enormous FREE info-pack which awaits them here: www.TryHomeschooling.com.
Congratulations to Susanna Denninger from Charlotte, NC, who won our January giveaway!
for the month of March
The Ark, the Reed, and the Fire Cloud (Amazing Tales of Max & Liz)
Would you like to have experienced the Biblical Flood or at least been a part of gathering the animals two by two? In the 432-page book, The Ark, the Reed, and the Fire Cloud (Amazing Tales of Max & Liz) by Jenny L. Cote, you can do just that. This hefty softcover book is the first in the Biblically based series The Amazing Tales of Max and Liz from AMG Publishers and is a mix of Biblical truths, fun imagination, and a plethora of adventure. Main characters Max and Liz, who just happen to be a small but fierce dog from Scotland and a sleek, proper cat from France, are joined by new friends as they journey from their homes to meet and assist Noah and his family in loading the ark, enduring the almost year-long journey, and repopulating the Earth. Led from continent to continent following the Voice, the animals are tested in their strength, determination, and faith.
As a Christian homeschool family, we thoroughly enjoyed this book, a solid mixture of Biblical truth and imaginative whimsy. Author Cote catches the reader’s attention and draws them into the story with her attention to detail and her use of authentic accents and speech for each character.
Go to the contest page of our site where you can ENTER TO WIN The Ark, the Reed, & the Firecloud.
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