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Famous Artist Claude Monet

Happy Birthday, Claude Monet! Before you go for ice cream and cake in honor of Monsieur Monet on November 14th, let’s delve deeper into his life and how his insistence of making art HIS way has influenced artists for almost a century! He has changed the art world, and almost like the Beatles changed music forever…Monet has graciously, softly, and beautifully colored our lives with his impression of what we couldn’t see before! Enjoy Famous Artist Claude Monet.

Famous Artist Claude Monet Show Notes

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And be sure to join Nana in our FREE You ARE an Artist Facebook group and our community on Instagram and all the social media as well.

Nana is passionate about helping you realize you ARE an artist! Not only an artist with chalk pastels but with homeschooling, creative spaces, favorite family recipes and more. Nana also enjoys chatting – especially about art. If you have followed along with any of her You ARE an Artist video art lessons, you know that. She also enjoys sharing photos and thoughts on topics while she is being creative in her studio space on her back porch. That is where she will be chatting with you – from her back porch. It’s Nana’s You ARE an Artist Podcast!

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The Big Kid Art Table

Do you have some “littles” lurking around your table while you are setting up an art lesson? You know, the eager two or three-year-old want-to-be artist? Pull them up a chair, even put a couple of books in the seat to raise them up to table level! Yep, invite them to sit at the Big Kid Art Table! I can tell you how and when this can happen at your house. Change his life with this invitation. Little person will be forever thankful! Do it today! Look, EVERYONE can be an artist! ❤️Nana

Invite your eager two or three-year-old to sit at the Big Kid Art Table! Little person will be forever thankful! A podcast with Nana of You ARE an ARTiST #podcast #youareanartist #preschoolart

Listen to Nana’s Podcast The Big Kid Art Table

Big Kid Art Table Show Notes

P.S. If you enjoy this episode, would you please share it with a friend (there’s a handy little share button, above) and/or leave a review on your favorite podcast app? Thanks!

Try a Big Kid Art Lesson – Preschool Apple

And be sure to join Nana in our FREE You ARE an Artist Facebook group and our community on Instagram and all the social media as well.

Nana is passionate about helping you realize you ARE an artist! Not only an artist with chalk pastels but with homeschooling, creative spaces, favorite family recipes and more. Nana also enjoys chatting – especially about art. If you have followed along with any of her You ARE an Artist video art lessons, you know that. She also enjoys sharing photos and thoughts on topics while she is being creative in her studio space on her back porch. That is where she will be chatting with you – from her back porch. It’s Nana’s You ARE an Artist Podcast!

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Christopher Columbus Art Lesson

Enjoy an I Drew It Then I Knew It Christopher Columbus art lesson to complement your history studies! This art lesson is the sample from Nana’s Classical Collection of American history video art lessons you can find here. All of Nana’s I Drew It Then I Knew It lessons are included at the Complete level of the You ARE an ARTiST Clubhouse!

  • A note on chalk pastels: Pastels are an easy, forgiving medium. Fun for children and adults alike! Details on the pastels and paper we use, how and where to purchase, and links to all of Nana’s other pastel lessons are here: Our Favorite Chalk Pastels
  • The practical aspects of a mess: Pastels are blessedly messy. We always have baby wipes close by to wipe hands. We wear something we don’t mind getting stained or don a smock.

FEATURING YOU! YOU ARE AN ARTIST!

Paint your fall art and be sure to share with us! Simply tag @chalkpastelart on Instagram, use the #YouAREanArtist hashtag, or upload a photo to the ChalkPastel.com

Enjoy an I Drew It Then I Knew It Christopher Columbus art lesson to complement your history studies! This art lesson is the sample from Nana's Classical Collection of American history video art lessons you can find here. All of Nana's I Drew It Then I Knew It lessons are included at the Complete level of the You ARE an ARTiST Clubhouse!
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Football Video Art Lesson

In celebration of your favorite team, enjoy this football video art lesson with Nana! YOU are the artist, so feel free to add the field, the fans, and your favorite team colors. All things fun for football season. And be sure to join Nana in the You ARE an ARTiST Clubhouse for 600+ video art lessons for all ages!

Suggested supplies: white or light colored construction paper. Brown, black, green and blue chalk pastel colors.

More Football Fun For You

In celebration of your favorite team, enjoy this football video art lesson with Nana! You ARE an ARTiST!
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How Nana Started Chalk Pastels

Some of you have asked how Nana started chalk pastels. I have spent several days trying to compose an essay as to why I finally chose to follow pastel painting as MY art. I have a very long history with paintbrushes and canvas, but I have been literally enthralled with pastel chalks for about 25+ years. Why? Ok, it is the “messiness” that drew me in. What in the world do I mean? Chalks that stain my fingers? Dust that collects on the table or easel?

Noooo! It is the discovery of the kinship that I share with those Impressionist painters from long ago. Those painters that found that chalks only require a few strokes on a paper to see a painting come to life before your eyes! Smudges can be canopied trees in a forest. Darkest purple colors can hint of a secret area under a lily pad. The glory of clouds, stacked up and ready to blow up into a tornado on a spring day! And, best of all…NO mistakes! The artist can brush away a mistake or color right over a stroke. After all, the secret is the IMPRESSION of what you want to paint! Quick, easy and you are done! From your head to your hand, you imagine, paint and remember it!

Now, my beloved artist friends, that’s why I am following what the Master Artist has chosen for me to teach to you: Freedom! And a tiny lift to the corner of your mouth as you smile at your completed pastel masterpiece!

How Nana Started Chalk Pastels

Some of you have asked how Nana started chalk pastels. Nana answers and shares a photo of her very first chalk pastel painting!

Look at what I found under my bed! I admit that I have lots of my paintings in my tiny house and sometimes I just shove a stack out of the way, under the bed or sofa! But this one is very special, and I really haven’t seen it in a while. It is the FIRST pastel painting that I ever painted! Many years ago I painted this from a photo provided in an art class that I signed up for. I thought that it was pretty good until the teacher laughingly said that my clouds lined up and looked like Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear! I grin about my “cloud bears”, but I think sometimes I see them in the sky, peeking down at me! Do you love painting clouds with your pastels?

And speaking of bears, you will LOVE Nana’s bear art lesson. A You ARE an ARTiST Clubhouse exclusive lesson that includes the story of the bear that came to visit Nana’s backyard!

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Celebrating a Decade of Art Lessons

Friends, we recently realized that we have over 600 video art lessons in the You ARE an Artist Clubhouse and growing! With Nana’s video lessons and my written, step-by-step art lessons, there are upwards of 800 art lessons total! Wow! That is worth celebrating! We also talked about how Nana shared her first lesson with her grandchildren back in 2009. So we are also celebrating more than a decade of art lessons.

Here’s a quick run down:

All this plus a wonderful community and bonus material. We even have an online calendar for members with daily art prompts and links to archived lessons.

Roughly 800 lessons — worth $4,000! You can have ALL ACCESS with a monthly Complete Clubhouse membership for only $30!

What have you been waiting for? Join Nana in the You ARE an Artist Clubhouse!

With over 600 video art lessons in the You ARE an Artist Clubhouse and growing, we are celebrating more than a decade of art lessons.

To celebrate a decade of art lessons – and to make your membership extra wonderful – we are giving away a set of chalk pastel drawers to organize your chalk pastels. Plus a set of chalk pastels to help fill those drawers! The giveaway is happening over on our Instagram from the evening of 6/16 – 6/21 with winners chosen on 6/22.

Read all about our favorite chalk pastels storage and favorite sets of chalk pastels in our Frequently Asked Questions section.

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How We Use Art as an Alternative To Testing

Before we began homeschooling, my youngest son was in a preschool program near our home. He loved his friends. He loved to play on the monkey bars. What he didn’t like was the frequent testing. In our state, preschoolers are tested in their pre-K year for Kindergarten readiness. 

Every month, his teacher would send home a summary of the test.  Every month, his scores actually declined. Although my son does have some learning differences that made things like learning phonics and basic reading a challenge, I could see that even the things I knew he knew were not coming across in the test. For example, he knew all his colors. Why was he consistently not able to show this skill as part of the testing?

At the time, it baffled both me and his teacher. Years later, I now know exactly why.

Sometimes Nontraditional Learners Need A Nontraditional Approach

My son has always been a nontraditional learner. He thrives with hands-on, experiential learning. He needs music or a story to remember anything detailed, and art has consistently been an invaluable way for him to comprehend and retain learning, especially in science and math. 

My child needs a different approach to his education in general. I realize now, he also needs a different approach to testing and being able to show what he’s learned.

It has taken a while for me to feel comfortable with this approach, which is exactly why I want to share it with you today. Rather than a standard multiple choice, true or false and short answer essay type of test, I have learned that the very best way to really test my son’s knowledge, is to incorporate some element of hands-on learning, especially art.

How We Use Art As An Alternative To Testing

After finishing up a unit study, my son and I sit down and complete a related art project together. When he was younger, it looked a lot like crafts. Now that he is older, it typically involves map work or some other art project displaying an element of what he’s learned.

Throughout our work together on the art project, he and I discuss what he’s learned. Sometimes, I ask him the related questions from the quiz at the end of the curriculum. Sometimes I make up my own.

No matter what the question, I ask in a very conversational manner as we work.

“Why was Thomas Edison’s light bulb the one that succeeded?”

“What is the difference between a nova and a supernova?”

“Why were castles so instrumental in Medieval culture?”

Through this casual questioning, all while my son is actively creating, I am able to get a much more thorough understanding of what he’s learned than any test could possibly provide.

What Art As An Alternative To Testing Looks Like

Recently, as we wrapped up a month long study of  the Louisiana Purchase and the exploration of Lewis and Clark, we sat down to complete the Mapping Lewis And Clark Lesson. As we listened and followed along, he and I discussed what we had already studied.

After completing the map, we used it as a final “exam” as he expertly showed the boundaries of the Louisiana Purchase as well as the path of Lewis and Clark. It was not only an incredibly effective way to gauge his learning, it was a lot more fun for both of us!

Why It Works 

As I consider this approach and the success that we’ve seen with it, I think there are two main reasons why this works.

1. Movement and Activity

For my child, and I know for many others, focus can be a challenge. This is especially true when trying to recall information and communicating what he’s learned.

The movement and hands-on activity associated with art better allows my son to focus. This is true for him in all learning, so it makes sense that this would also be an important component in how we test.

2. Decreased Test Anxiety

My son is a perfectionist by nature. When I think back to his preschool testing and how every month, he actually performed worse than the month prior, I can see now that his own worry and stress associated with the testing itself, got in the way of us really being able to see what he’d learned.

Taking an artistic approach to testing eliminates his test anxiety completely. He is more effectively able to show what he’s learned, because the testing environment is one that is conducive to his strengths and learning needs.

Overall, this has been so successful for us. Using art as an alternative to traditional tests is exactly what we needed to accurately gauge his learning. If you have a child who is a struggling learner or who experiences test anxiety, I highly encourage you to consider this approach. 

After all, how we test is not nearly as important as seeing that our children are learning and making progress.

Shawna Wingert is a special education teacher turned writer, speaker and consultant. She is also a homeschooling mom of two brilliant boys with differences and special needs.  Shawna has written four books for parents – Everyday Autism, Special Education at Home, Parenting Chaos and her latest, Homeschooling Your Child With Special Needs. She helps parents of children with learning differences, behavioral challenges and special needs every day at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.

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An American Art Celebration

Who is ready for an American Art Celebration? History, art, holidays, maps and more! There is simply so much to celebrate. Take a look at the NEW lessons our You ARE an Artist Clubhouse members will enjoy with Nana.

Who is ready for an American Art Celebration? History, art, holidays, maps and more! There is simply so much to celebrate. Take a look at the NEW lessons our You ARE an Artist Clubhouse members will enjoy with Nana.
  • Hymn – America the Beautiful written by Katharine Lee Bates. A teacher, she wrote this hymn while on Pike’s Peak with friends. They had been to the World’s Fair and were discussing man-made wonders and God’s glorious handiwork.

Complete Clubhouse members will also enjoy more American Art Celebration lessons:

  • Composer Francis Scott Key – Star Spangled Banner
  • President James Madison
  • Famous Artist Betsy Ross and the American Flag (LIVE premiere!)
  • Map of France – some founding fathers traveled there, along with Benjamin Franklin
  • Summer Acrylic Master Artist Class (LIVE premiere!)

Online, clickable, daily member calendar for the whole month – right in your member dashboard. (Not to mention a brand new, downloadable and printable Art Planner for 2020-21 for You ARE an Artist Clubhouse members).

More American Art Celebration ideas with lessons for:

  • Independence Day (fireworks with chalk pastels? YES!)
  • National Peach Month
  • National Picnic Month
  • Birthday celebration lessons for E.B. White, Henry David Thoreau, Julius Caesar, Beatrix Potter and J.K. Rowling

Did you know that there is so much to celebrate in July? Art lessons to go with books, nature and all things outdoors!

Free American Art Celebration Video Lesson with Nana

One of our very favorite things is those brilliant chalk pastel colors on dark construction paper. What a fireworks show you can create! To give you a taste of the American art celebration that member artists will enjoy, here is How to Draw Independence Day Fireworks with Chalk Pastels.

Independence Day Fireworks with Chalk Pastels

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Monet for a Day Art Adventure

Have you ever dreamed of your very own studio? How about a studio on your own BOAT? Did you know that Monet owned a small boat that he outfitted with painting supplies and lazily drifted up rivers and canals painting beautiful scenery? Wouldn’t that be a lovely way to see the countryside and use your pastels to make great paintings for use to enjoy today? Ah….to be Monet, just for a day! ❤️Nana. We have joined with our friends at Around the World Stories to create an amazing Monet for a Day art adventure. Just take a look at how you can enjoy a Famous Artist Claude Monet Unit Study.

Join Nana and our friends at Around the World Stories to create an amazing Monet for a Day art adventure! Just take a look at how you can enjoy a Famous Artist Claude Monet Unit Study.

Monet for a Day Art Adventure

You ARE an Artist Clubhouse members enjoy The Way to the Water Lilies story in mp3 format from our friends at  Around the World Stories. What a wonderful adventure story you can listen to and learn about Monet! Listen during your afternoon quiet time, while you are on the go and/or while you paint with Nana. Make learning about the world an unforgettable adventure with Around the World Stories. Have an auditory learner like we do? Oh, you will love combining these lovely stories with Nana’s art lessons!

We have so enjoyed getting to know the wonderful family behind Around the World Stories. Their story is similar to ours – a fellow homeschool family with a passion to share a learning tool. The whole family working together to share with others – only they have traveled the world while doing so! Around the World Stories of famous artists, countries and more all complement Nana’s I Drew It Then I Knew It series so beautifully.

Famous Artist Claude Monet Unit Study

Take a look at how well Around the World Stories’ The Way to the Water Lilies story of Monet matches Nana’s three Monet art lessons:

Monet for a Day Special Event – An Art + Audio Adventure

Together, with Around the World Stories, we are hosting Monet For A Day on Thursday, June 11, 2020. You may, of course, enjoy Monet for a Day any day of the year (and SO much more for the whole family) by joining the Artist Clubhouse and Around the World Stories. But be sure to watch our social media for more Monet fun that week.

What an absolutely FUN way to learn!

Join Nana and our friends at Around the World Stories to create an amazing Monet for a Day art adventure! Just take a look at how you can enjoy a Famous Artist Claude Monet Unit Study.
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5 Reasons Not to Forget Art on Your Back To Homeschool List

Do you know what one of the most skipped subjects is when it comes to homeschooling? Art! Can you believe it? For some of us, skipping art is unimaginable. Whether you enjoy art in your homeschool daily or weekly, creativity is essential to your homeschool’s health. As you plan your homeschool year out and make careful curriculum choices, don’t forget to include art. Here are 5 reasons not to forget art and why you need to begin including art in your homeschool regularly. 

Creativity is essential to your homeschool's health. Here are five reasons not to forget art on your back to homeschool list.

5 Reasons Not To Forget Art On Your Back-To-Homeschool List

  1. Turn that bad day around. It happens to all of us, a bad homeschool day! You can let it ruin the day or use your secret weapon – art to turn the day around. It never fails! Bring out the chalk pastels, and everyone lights up. Better yet, add some sweet treats and yummy drinks, and you can have a complete experience. Try it and thank us later.
  2. Use themes along with art to drive a lesson home. Research tells us that children are more likely to remember a lesson when a hands-on activity is included. With I Drew It And I Knew It, you can pair up a homeschool history lesson, for example, and make it so much more exciting. When you incorporate color, creativity, and fun – your children will remember the lesson. Luckily, ChalkPastel.com has all types of art lessons to accompany history, nature, science, maps, literature, and more. 
  3. Our children crave creativity. It’s natural for them. Creativity allows for personal expression, and personal expression fosters mental growth. Kids can express their feelings and enhance their development when they have creative freedom. 
  4. Art is not only fun, but it is inexpensive fun. When you invest in a membership with You Are An Artist, your whole family can enjoy it! So basically, you can buy one membership, and kids ages 0-99 can all enjoy! This is incredibly valuable because parents, grandparents, and all the siblings can participate in art as a family—what a fantastic way to bond with your children. In addition to the great deal that a membership is for the family, the supplies are minimal. All you need to get started with chalk pastels is construction paper and a box of chalk pastels. Few other art mediums are this inexpensive to get started with. 
  5. Family memories are made around art. Of all the homeschool curriculum you will buy, which subjects do you think make the best memories? Yes! Art. Of all the things we include each day into our homeschool, many necessary of course – most of us want our children to have good memories around the table together. I am sure you know that those memories are less likely to be about math or language arts. But art has the power to create beautiful memories and provide opportunities to bond with your children. 
Creativity is essential to your homeschool's health. Here are five reasons not to forget art on your back to homeschool list.

After a dozen or so years of homeschooling, I have learned that including art is not just adding a little fun to the day. Adding art to our homeschool helps enrich our homeschool and gives my children the necessary outlets they need to thrive at home. Art makes everyone happy! So, I encourage you not to skip art this year, include it in your homeschool and reap the emotional, intellectual, and creative benefits. 

Family memories are made around art. Of all the homeschool curriculum you will buy, which subjects do you think make the best memories? Yes! Art.

If you are still wondering how to incorporate art into your homeschool days, here are a couple of practical ideas to help you plan. 

  • Plan Your Projects – Add art into any subject to make it more fun with this cool art lesson planner. You can easily plan when to add the perfect art lesson to align with your homeschool plans. 
Art is not only fun, but it is inexpensive fun. When you invest in a membership with You Are An Artist, your whole family can enjoy it! So basically, you can buy one membership, and kids ages 0-99 can all enjoy!
  • Set Up Your Art Space In No Time – If you are worried about the time it takes to set up, it took me 10 minutes to set up the space you see in the photos here. (We were enjoying nature art lessons about birds.) You do not need all of these things, but here is what I use to set up and clean up in under 10 minutes. 
  • Baby Wipes
  • Chalk Pastels
  • Construction Paper
  • Paper Plates
  • Butcher Paper or Ikea Paper Roll
  • Packing Tape
Use themes along with art to drive a lesson home. Research tells us that children are more likely to remember a lesson when a hands-on activity is included. With I Drew It And I Knew It, you can pair up a homeschool history lesson, for example, and make it so much more exciting.

Step 1 – I quickly cut pieces of butcher paper off the roll to cover the kid’s workspace. That way, I can rip the paper off when we are done, and there is no mess to clean up. Tape the paper to the table. 

Step 2 – I grab construction paper and chalk pastels. Place the necessary chalks on a paper plate. Again, this helps minimize any mess. 

Step 3 – Put some baby wipes on the table. This makes it easy to wipe your fingers between colors. 

Step 4 – Push play on the Chalk Pastel art lesson and have fun!

Turn that bad day around. It happens to all of us, a bad homeschool day! You can let it ruin the day or use your secret weapon - art to turn the day around. It never fails! Bring out the chalk pastels, and everyone lights up.

I highly encourage you to grab a membership and use art as a wonderful new resource for your homeschool this year. (In addition to the year of art projects for your homeschool, you can also enjoy art summer camp with your membership.) Your kids will be so happy you did! 

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Courtney is a Jesus-pursuing, native Texan, homeschool mom of three, and she believes homeschooling can be a peaceful and productive rhythm. At Grace, Grow & Edify she helps families create peaceful homeschooling atmospheres through faith, organizational strategies, and cultivating strong roots at home.