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A Hands-On Oregon Trail Unit Study For Your Homeschool

You’ll love these ideas for a hands-on Oregon Trail unit study for your kids. Homeschool history is much more enjoyable with books, art, maps, and more!

A Hands-On Oregon Trail Unit Study For Your Homeschool: You'll love these ideas for a hands-on Oregon Trail unit study for your kids. Homeschool history is much more enjoyable with books, art, maps, and more! #OregonTrail #OregonTrailunitstudy #OregonTraillessons #hands-onOregonTrail #homeschoolhistory #homeschool #chalkpastels #YouAREAnArtist

Oregon Trail Lessons For Your Homeschool

I remember reading about the Oregon Trail’s Great Migration of 1843 in elementary school. The thought of having all of my family’s possessions in a covered wagon for months while we traveled a dangerous path was astounding to me. Imagining myself as a little pioneer girl with none of our modern luxuries was hard to fathom.

Later on, the computer game Oregon Trail came out at school. I can’t even count the times I died of dysentery and cholera, let alone starved to death! It was simply fascinating to me that people intentionally put themselves into these predicaments. Why?

A mighty tempting offer was three hundred sixty acres per family and 160 acres for unmarried settlers in Oregon. The idea and promise of something better drove most people across the western part of the United States. Yet, there is so much more to the Oregon Trail than the pioneers. There are the effects this migration had on the Native Americans, religion, government, and more! 

That’s why it’s an essential part of our nation’s history in westward expansion.

You'll love these ideas for a hands-on Oregon Trail unit study for your kids. Homeschool history is much more enjoyable with books, art, maps, and more!

Apples To Oregon: An Oregon Trail Read Aloud

Our favorite way to learn history is through hands-on activities and rich literature in the forms of picture books, read alouds, and chapter books. To start our study on the Oregon Trail, we chose Apples to Oregon Being The (SLIGHTLY) True Narrative of How a Brave Pioneer Father Brought Apples, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Grapes, and Cherries (AND CHILDREN) Across the Plains!

A Hands-On Oregon Trail Unit Study For Your Homeschool

This was a lovely and silly book that both my children enjoyed.

Yes, even my 14-year-old.

*Don’t be afraid to incorporate read alouds and picture books into your older kids’ studies.*

A Hands-On Oregon Trail Unit Study For Your Homeschool

It helped capture the essence of how a daring little girl named Delicious managed to overcome obstacles that placed her father’s plants in danger during their trip to Oregon.

One such obstacle is the crossing of the Platte River, just as real families did when trekking the Oregon Trail in their covered wagons.

You'll love these ideas for a hands-on Oregon Trail unit study for your kids. Homeschool history is much more enjoyable with books, art, maps, and more!


Hands-On Oregon Trail Art and Geography

We followed Delicious and her family as they traversed the Oregon Trail past Chimney Rock, Courthouse Rock, climbed the Rocky Mountains, and traversed many rivers. Nana’s chalk Pastel Oregon Trail Map helped us to see just how far the family traveled. Plus, chalk pastel maps are so much fun!

My son is a huge fan of Nana’s maps!

Nana provides art and geography lessons with the You ARE An Artist Clubhouse Membership. All you need is a simple set of chalk pastels, a pack of construction paper, and Nana’s video art lessons, and you are well on your way to making your homeschool history fun and hands-on!

A Hands-On Oregon Trail Unit Study For Your Homeschool

The You ARE An Artist Chalk Pastel Clubhouse is a favorite in our homeschool because we get access to 700+ video art lessons!

A Hands-On Oregon Trail Unit Study For Your Homeschool

While studying the Oregon Trail, we not only explored Nana’s Oregon Trail Map, but also her Covered Wagon lesson, and the American landmark Multnomah Falls (in Oregon). 

A Hands-On Oregon Trail Unit Study For Your Homeschool


Additional Homeschool History Resources


There are loads of additional homeschool history resources you can add to your Oregon Trail lessons. We included my son’s The Oregon Trail handheld video game! It’s almost exactly like the one I played as a little girl and such fun!

Other books we’ve included in our study are: 

  • If You Were a Kid on the Oregon Trail 
  • Wagons Ho! 
  • You Wouldn’t Want to be an American Pioneer!
  • Choose Your Own Adventure The Oregon Trail
  • plus a couple of our history encyclopedias to start
A Hands-On Oregon Trail Unit Study For Your Homeschool

Here are a few other history art lessons we’ve enjoyed with Nana:

There are so many excellent chalk pastel lessons, no matter what part of history you are studying. Nana’s got you covered.

Dive as deeply as you like and follow as many rabbit trails of learning as your kids want by combing great books and chalk pastels art with your next history lesson!

A Hands-On Oregon Trail Unit Study For Your Homeschool

Erin is a writer, blogger, and homeschooler to two intense kids. Her blog is filled with information to help you explore a child led education while making meaningful connections with your children. Discover favorite read alouds, seasonal books, games, art projects, hands-on activities, and learn to just breathe through the ups and downs of life. She loves nature, farm life, good books, knitting, new pens, and hot coffee. Erin is a contributing writer for Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers. Her work has also been featured on Simple Homeschool and Book Shark.

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The Art of Strewing in Your Homeschool

Strewing is definitely an art! The art of strewing in your homeschool is all about carefully choosing special items and activities for your kids to explore. I love setting out items for my daughter to discover when she wakes up. It’s a fun way to start the day with learning, without adding another task to my to-do list first thing in the morning.

Items that match up with your child’s interests are always going to be a big hit with strewing. For example, if your homeschooler loves art like mine, you might want to try strewing art supplies. 

Prepare to be amazed as you see what they can come up with from strewing something simple like aluminum foil or video art classes. Keep reading to learn more about strewing and how you can introduce this awesome new concept to your homeschool days this year.

Strewing is definitely an art! It’s all about carefully choosing special items and activities for your kids to explore. Strewing in your homeschool is a wonderful way to spark your children's creativity! Art lessons can be a fabulous resource to strew.

What Is Strewing?

Strewing is about placing items out that will encourage your kids to interact with them. Carefully chosen items placed in the path of your homeschoolers encourages them to get creative and explore. Strewing can begin as a small activity or a single item placed in your child’s path once a week, or you can use strewing to set the tone for homeschool lessons every day.

I would encourage you to choose items that match up with your kids’ interests and passions. Strewing things they’re curious about, or topics you’re currently studying in your homeschool lessons is a great place to start. Place the chosen items in a designated area or use fabric bins to help keep items tidy when they’re not being used. 

Ultimately, strewing can become a homeschool tool you use to encourage independent learning and bring lessons to life in a whole new way! You can leave a bin of blocks on the coffee table, a new book open on the kitchen counter, or set up a new game in their room. Then, watch the magic happen as you get started with strewing in your homeschool.

If your kids don’t show interest in what you’ve chosen at first, don’t lose hope. Try not to take it personally and resist the urge to get involved or give instructions. Remember, the goal is to encourage independent learning by letting your kids discover and interact with the items on their own.

Strewing is definitely an art! It’s all about carefully choosing special items and activities for your kids to explore.

The Benefits of Strewing In Your Homeschool

Practicing strewing in your homeschool can have some amazing benefits! There are tons of skills our kids can develop by interacting with new materials in this way, but it’s also a great opportunity for homeschool moms too. I have come to love strewing in the mornings for the beginning it provides.

Strewing gives me a chance to wake up, have quiet time for myself, and drink my coffee while it’s still hot. Placing items out the night before means my daughter doesn’t need to come to me first thing in the morning for instructions. Instead, she can spend time discovering strewing items while I wake up and prepare for the day.

In addition to providing a soft start for those of us who aren’t “early risers,” strewing sets a great tone for the day. When we practice strewing, we begin the day with an activity that inspires our homeschoolers to get curious, explore, and think creatively. It’s a great way to get ready for a day filled with lessons and learning together.

Plus, you’ll be encouraging your homeschoolers to become independent learners as they explore and interact with items without instructions from adults. That’s a valuable skill for lifelong learners!

Strewing is definitely an art! It’s all about carefully choosing special items and activities for your kids to explore.

The Art Of Strewing in Your Homeschool: Resources To Inspire You

Strewing is an art! As you practice strewing, you’ll learn what works really well for your kids and what items don’t spark their curiosity too. 

Unused craft supplies and art activities work really well for strewing in our homeschool space because they are open-ended and line up well with our daughter’s interests. Check out some of our favorite art-related items for strewing:

  • Playdough
  • Beads and string
  • Aluminum foil
  • Pencils and paper
  • Old magazines and scissors
  • Origami book and papers
  • Rocks and paint
  • Clay flower pot and paint
  • Sand art kit
  • Spirograph
  • Chalk pastels
Strewing is definitely an art! It’s all about carefully choosing special items and activities for your kids to explore.

Strewing With You ARE An Artist Clubhouse

Strewing doesn’t always have to be loose parts and craft supplies, you can strew books, card games, and even videos. We love strewing online lessons like the ones at You ARE An Artist. They have lessons on all kinds of awesome topics!

It’s easy to find lessons that match up with your child’s interests or tie them in with what you’re studying in your homeschool this year. You can learn to draw world landmarks, the solar system, or holidays and celebrations using chalk pastels and their engaging step-by-step video courses.

Want to learn more about how to practice strewing in your homeschool with practical tips and a list of ideas for items we love to strew? Check out my free ebook all about strewing to help you get started. 

About Jessica Waldock

Jessica Waldock is a writer, photographer, and homeschool mom of one living in sunny Florida. She founded The Waldock Way as a way to give back to the homeschool community that she loves so much. At The Waldock Way Jessica shares tips, tricks, inspiration, and unique resources that help ignite a love of learning in children that will last a lifetime. She inspires families to engage in homeschooling as a lifestyle where relationships come first and interest-led learning prevails. You can connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube.

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Anne of Green Gables Art Lessons, Tea Time, and Homeschool Ideas

Anne of Green Gables art lessons

Oh Anne, how we love her! Her personality, wit, and genuine ways have hooked us all. As a young girl, I daydreamed of Anne’s adventures and country lifestyle. I have desperately wanted to share Anne with my daughter, and I am thrilled to get started. So, I am calling all of my fellow Anne of Green Gables fans to celebrate Anne with a literature-based art & tea time today! Anne of Green Gables is undoubtedly one of my top choices of books to get lost in for either upper elementary or high school. 

Around my daughter’s fourth grade homeschool year, I was so excited to dive into Anne of Green Gables, yet my daughter wasn’t thrilled at all. I hate to admit it, but I was so disappointed. I wanted her to love it as much as I did at that age, but here we are in high school, revisiting it with fresh enthusiasm. If you have a high school teen, see how you can use art lessons like these to earn an art credit! I also want to encourage you to wait and try again if you have been attempting to introduce your children to Anne of Green Gables and they haven’t taken to it.

So if you are ready to celebrate our beloved Anne or maybe revisit her, let’s plan some exciting homeschool lessons around art and literature. 

Calling all fellow Anne fans to celebrate Anne of Green Gables art lessons with tea time! Join us for homeschool art ideas and resources. #anneofgreengables #homeschoolart #onlineartlessons #artcurriculum #teatime

Why Blend Art With a Homeschool Anne of Green Gables Study?

So I mentioned above that I am revisiting Anne of Green Gables with my oldest this year. She was less than enthusiastic when we attempted to read the book around her fourth-grade year. I probably had overdone it with Heidi, Little House, and other literature that I was overly excited to dive into. In addition to me pushing too many of my favorite books on her that year, I hadn’t figured out how to get my children excited about reading back then. So I will share my little secret with you now, art. Yep. It’s that simple. We incorporate hands-on art lessons with Nana into just about everything that we are learning in our homeschool. 

Once I learned how to add an element of excitement and fun to our homeschool, home educating shifted for us. We add art to all of our homeschool lessons, books, tea times, and more! Plus, I have a couple of hands-on and auditory kiddos that crave art, so it fills their cups in so many ways. 

Last week we celebrated the end of Charlotte’s Web with an art celebration, but we are kicking off the start of Anne of Green Gables with an art celebration and tea time this week. I thought this would be a great way to get my oldest super excited about diving headfirst into Anne of Green Gables. 

Anne of Green Gables online art lessons

Anne of Green Gables Art Lessons for Tea Time 

We decided to kick things off with a Stack of Modern Literature art lesson. Anne loved books too, so it seems fitting. You can use this art tutorial for so many different subjects and lessons. 

Anne of Green Gables art lessons

Another lesson that we couldn’t pass up for Anne of Green Gables art is Nana’s Quilts art tutorial. The quilts lesson feels nostalgic to the time period and lifestyle of Anne of Green Gables, right? 

Anne of Green Gables art lessons
Anne of Green Gables art lessons

Forest Walk in the Woods is another great lesson that we incorporated, and you might want to do the same. Nature was a huge part of Anne’s life, and this lovely nature walk just seems to fit.

Anne of Green Gables art lessons

Nana created a special art lesson dedicated to Anne of Green Gables. It’s a real treat! Which reminds me, if you haven’t joined the YOU ARE AN ARTiST Clubhouse, now is the perfect time to join. 

Anne of Green Gables art lessons

Additional Anne of Green Gables Homeschool Resources for Your Book Study 

If you are about to dive into Anne of Green Gables, like us, here are a few resources that might give you some inspiration. 

Anne of Green Gables art lessons

If you didn’t know, when you become a complete member here at YOU ARE AN ARTiST, you will get access to Companion Workbooks like this Literature one. The Literature Companion Workbook has five fast facts for Anne of Green Gables, two writing prompts, and a research project idea. We always cover our fast fact sheet aloud during art and tea time. The writing prompts and project ideas we use as we work through the book. The best part, the Companion Workbooks are incredibly versatile, so you can use them for all ages and even combine your children for family-style schooling. They also come complete with extension ideas, planners, and more!

You can add plenty of life skills to your homeschool lessons with these precious books. Of course, you don’t need these exact books to enjoy Anne of Green Gables. But, they may give you some ideas and inspiration to amplify tea time, learn new life skills, and read some interesting commentary about the time period. There is even etiquette, sewing, and craft ideas. 

The Anne of Green Gables Treasury and The Anne of Green Gables Cookbook are both wonderful resources worth checking out if you want to dive full in. 

An Anne of Green Gables study guide might also be of value to you if you want to follow a spine of study and comprehension questions. We plan to use ours for discussion questions, vocabulary, and essay projects. But it also has some great extension activities in the back that are helpful for ideas too. 

Literature Companion Workbook

Tea Time Ideas to Blend with Your Art Lessons

We chose traditional tea recipes for our Anne of Green Gable’s art lessons and tea time. Tea, cucumber sandwiches, blackberries, and biscuits with orange marmalade are just a few of the items we chose. I think hosting tea, making these traditional recipes, and learning tea etiquette are important life skills for young girls and women. Homemaking is an act of service to others, so character training is another aspect you could combine in all of this rich learning. 

Anne of Green Gables Quote

Of course, you don’t need to make everything from scratch, but I think cooking and baking add to the fun of it all. Other ideas might include shortbread, chicken salad sandwiches, or a pie – and you can do all store-bought. No pressure. Remember that above all things, have a good time together! The food, art, and atmosphere do not need to be perfect to be enjoyable and memorable. 

I hope this gives you some inspiration and ideas to make the most of your art lessons with Nana. Don’t forget to grab a membership so you can access all that YOU ARE AN ARTiST has to offer.

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. She is also the founder of Homeschool Mastery Academy.

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Pumpkin Art Lessons Perfect For Fall Homeschooling

Just in time for fall,  these fun and engaging art projects are perfect for your homeschool! Take a look at all the different options available as you create your own homeschool pumpkin themed study.

It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown video art lesson! Nana's Fall pumpkin chalk pastel art lessons for all ages are always a favorite.

Nana’s Fall pumpkin chalk pastel art lessons for all ages are always a favorite – including It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown art lesson.

Pumpkin Art Lessons To Use In Your Fall Unit Studies

In addition to the fun of Charlie Brown,  you may also incorporate these You ARE an Artist lessons into your homeschool study.

Pumpkin Fall Homeschool Art Lessons

Welcome fall with Nana’s pumpkin chalk pastel art or acrylic pumpkin art lessons!

Join Nana in the You ARE an ARTiST Clubhouse for a fall acrylic pumpkin art lesson for your homeschool.
Enjoy Nana’s Acrylic Pumpkin Lesson in the You ARE an ARTiST Clubhouse!

Fall Themed Art Lessons

It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown video art lesson! Nana's Fall pumpkin chalk pastel art lessons for all ages are always a favorite. Including Pumpkin Patch Parable.

The Pumpkin Patch Parable Read Aloud

Might we suggest adding The Pumpkin Patch Parable to your Fall studies? This sweet book is a perfect addition to your pumpkin study and goes perfectly with Nana’s pumpkin patch art lesson and all of her pumpkin chalk pastel art lessons.

Why Chalk Pastels Work So Well In Homeschool Art

  • 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 are in Our Favorite Chalk Pastels. A simple set is very affordable. Nana also teaches acrylic lessons.
  • 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.

So, paint your Pumpkin Chalk Pastel Art and be sure to share with us! Simply tag @chalkpastelart on social media, use the #YouAREanArtist hashtag, or upload a photo to the ChalkPastel.com Facebook page!

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Art Lessons For Homeschooling A Child With Special Needs

It can be a challenge to find resources when you are homeschooling a child a with special needs. These online art lessons have been a great way to integrate art as we homeschool my child who is a unique learner with different special needs diagnoses.

My son has always been fascinated by art.

He is naturally a creative child. When we visited an art museum with a group of homeschool friends a few years ago, I understood a bit better why art is so meaningful to him.

After spending the day running all over the museum with other ten year olds, we got back into the car to begin our drive home. My son gazed out the window, tired but satisfied, and said, “That was the best field trip we’ve done in a long time.”

Thrilled at this homeschool mom win, I asked him why he loved it so much.

He replied something to the effect of, “I was just like all the other kids today. I didn’t have to read anything. I could just look at all the art and talk about why it was beautiful or cool. I like pictures so much more than writing.

At the time, I didn’t realize how profound his statement really was. Now, four years later, I see how powerful art has been for him, both as a learner and as a human being.

art and special needs homeschooling

The Challenge In Homeschooling A Child With Special Needs

When your child struggles academically and has special needs that affect learning, homeschooling has its own unique set of challenges.

For example, I have never once been able to purchase curriculum in the same way many families do. I have to consider the amount of reading required, if it is age appropriate for my now teenage son who reads at a level much lower than high school.

Add in the anxiety and pressure my son often feels related to learning, and our homeschool has become a beautiful mix (mess?) of anything and everything that works for his individual learning needs.

Art, in general, and online art lessons with You ARE An Artist, are an integral part of our homeschooling.

art and special needs homeschooling

How Art Can Help Struggling Learners

My son is not alone in his affinity for art. Here are four benefits of art for children with special needs.

1. Art Is More Accessible

Many children with learning differences find comfort in art, knowing that the academic requirements are less traditional and more fluid.

2. Art Has Therapeutic Value

In addition to the academic difference, art can be therapeutic for our kids. My son was enrolled in art therapy for a year, to help him learn coping skills and manage his own anxiety.

It was effective and it was also quite fun for him!

Knowing the impact that art has on children, and on my child in particular, makes it an obvious choice for our homeschool.

art and special needs homeschooling

3. Art Helps Decrease Resistance

Given the choice between art and another worksheet, my son will choose art every single time. When I am able to integrate art into our learning, I find my son more willing to engage and much less likely to resist.

4. Art Often Highlights Other Historic Figures With Differences

Leonardo da Vinci is presumed to have been dyslexic. Vincent Van Gogh likely struggled with a mood disorder throughout his life.

It is no surprise that these two artists are two of my son’s absolute favorites. Not only does he enjoy their work, he feels a connection to the struggle they endured and the way they used art to express themselves. It has been a wonderful way to help normalize and encourage neurodiversity in his own learning, as well as in the world around him.

art and special needs homeschooling

Art Lessons For Homeschooling A Child With Special Needs

Because You ARE An Artist lessons often include the use of chalk pastels, I find them to be a really good fit for a child who struggles with perfectionism and anxiety.  This medium is much more forgiving and allows for a little bit of fine motor weakness, while still ending up with a beautiful creation.

You ARE An Artist also makes art and academics seamless, as many of the lessons are specifically for science, history and literature.

Take a look at the various options available:

You ARE An Artist also offers 47 famous artists video lessons for your homeschool including:

  • Vermeer
  • Michelangelo
  • da Vinci
  • Warhol
  • Monet
  • Rockwell
  • Rembrandt
  • Lichtenstein
  • Audubon
  • Beatrix Potter

These are perfect for the child (like mine) who loves to learn about and feels a kinship with artists.

art and special needs homeschooling
Learn more about Homeschool Art for a Child Who Hates the Mess and the simple suggestions – pictured in these photos.

You ARE An Artist Homeschooling A Child With Special Needs Resource Bundle

These are some of my absolute favorite resources for homeschool art plus my book – Homeschooling Your Child With Special Needs.

Take a look at this amazing bundle:

  • A set Chalk Pastels for your kids to enjoy!
  • Artists: Their Lives and Works
  • Van Gogh. The Complete Paintings
  • Monet. The Triumph Of Impressionism
  • Vermeer (Basic Art Series)
  • Homeschooling Your Child With Special Needs

art and special needs homeschooling
Shawna Wingert

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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Homeschool Art Lessons Perfect For Grades 4-6

As our children get older, finding homeschool art lessons that are challenging and age appropriate can be difficult. Thankfully, we have found an assortment of unit studies and art lessons that are perfect for the late elementary grades 4-6.

As our children get older, finding homeschool art lessons that are challenging and age appropriate can be difficult. Thankfully, we have found an assortment of unit studies and art lessons that are perfect for the late elementary grades 4-6.

When my son first entered his late elementary years, there was a noticeable shift in our homeschool. Although he was interested in art and hands-on learning, we struggled to find art resources that were age appropriate and engaging. I think because it can be more difficult to find options for this age group, we often let art drift out of our homeschool plans as we focus more and more on academic subjects.

But the truth is, art can be an essential part of learning, no matter what the subject.

Studies have shown, time and time again, that adding art to learning adds value across academic subjects. This educational approach is appropriate and helpful across all grade levels, including the late elementary grades 4-6.

chalk pastel drawings of hobbit holes held by kids

STEAM Learning In Your Homeschool

STEAM is an approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics across disciplines to foster creativity, critical thinking, and visual thinking.

The goal of STEAM-based learning is to help students develop the skills they need to be successful in the future. Regardless of the specific role or industry, it is now critical that students go off to college and/or enter the workforce with a set of well-rounded skills that allow them to adapt to an evolving and fast-paced environment.

STEAM brings together five critical disciplines to create an inclusive learning environment that encourages all students to participate, collaborate and problem solve. This holistic approach encourages students to exercise both the left and right sides of their brains simultaneously, as they would need to do in a 21st century working environment.

The History and Importance Of STEAM

Finding ways to add art across disciplines is wonderful opportunity to boost your child’s creativity and critical thinking skills.

Finding good options for homeschool art for middle and high school can be challenging. The good news is, You ARE An Artist has you covered!

Homeschool Art Lessons Perfect For Grades 4-6

You ARE An Artist has art lessons that encourage a STEAM approach, using art to teach literature, science, history, and more. Take a look at some of the lessons available:

Science and Nature Lessons including:

Integrated Literature and Language Arts Lessons:

History and Geography For Homeschooling Grade 4-6:

The A Simple Start Collection includes:

These homeschool art lessons for grades 4-6 allow you to add STEAM learning to your curriculum easily and effectively.

The best way to access all of these lessons is with a You ARE an ARTiST Complete Clubhouse membership. Because Nana’s art lessons are for all ages and grade levels, including:

An Example Of Integrated Art For Your Homeschool

One of the easiest and most effective ways to add art to your learning is in the context of a unit study.

This beautiful unit study, all about a snails, is a wonderful example of how learning with art can really come together for this age group.

Created by Jamie Gault, from Treasuring The Tiny Moments, this study for 4-6 graders includes:

  • 38 pages of beautiful instructions
  • Nature Study
  • Paragraph Writing Practice
  • Poetry
  • Author Study
  • Book Recommendations
  • and lots of chalk pastel art throughout

You can find out more about this valuable resource and download the FREE unit study HERE.

Snail Unit Study by Jamie Gault is a perfect example of integrated art for your homeschool.


Homeschool Art Lessons For Grades 4-6 With You ARE An Artist

My son was able to move into his late elementary years with art still being an important part of his learning, because of You ARE An Artist.

I found that for these grades in particular, adding art to his academic learning helped instill a greater sense of confidence in himself as a learner. It also helped him not only comprehend the study, but also retain the learning over time.

Our experience has been that You ARE An Artist is an excellent way to create a STEAM learning environment in your homeschool.

Shawna Wingert

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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Homeschool Art for the Delight-Directed Family

Experience how a delight-directed family uses the power of art to enhance their child-led learning adventure! You don’t have to be artistic or worry about a vast supply list. A simple starter set of chalk pastels, a pack of construction paper, and the You ARE An Artist chalk pastel video art lessons are all you need to get started.

Homeschool Art for the Delight-Directed Family: Experience how a delight-directed family uses the power of art to enhance their child-led learning adventure! You don't have to be artistic or worry about a vast supply list. A simple starter set of chalk pastels, a pack of construction paper, and the You ARE An Artist chalk pastel video art lessons are all you need to get started. #YouAREAnArtist #chalkpastels #homeschoolart #delightdirected #delightdirectedhomeschoolart #delightdirectedfamily #childlededucation #unschooling #strewing #delight-directedhomeschooling

We have been homeschooling for over a decade, and what an adventure it has been. While we do use some curriculum, it usually isn’t in the traditional linear sense. It just doesn’t work for our family. We tend to skip around finding joy in the things that interest us as a delight-directed family. Rabbit trails of discovery have zig-zagged across our educational journey. We dive deep into passions, be they dinosaurs, backyard birds, forest animals, moon cycles, the universe, ancient Egypt, World War II, or more recently, everything magical and mythical.

Thus, this week we found ourselves at the table, chalk pastels strewn about, with iced cakes, hot tea, and Nana’s video art lesson of the mythical Phoenix!

Homeschool Art for the Delight-Directed Family
Find Nana’s Mythical Phoenix lesson in the Fairy Tales and Mythical Creatures section of the You ARE an ARTiST Complete Clubhouse. Find the You ARE an ARTiST mugs and t-shirts in our shop!

Delight-Directed Homeschool Art

We follow our interests. And I learn right alongside my kids. My goal is to provide loads of great literature, intriguing documentaries, plenty of fun games, and tons of learning and creative opportunities that coincide with my children’s interests. As part of our child-led education, I’ve been strewing to keep my kids exploring, engaged, and full of ideas. That means our tables are covered in books, games, modeling clay, maps, and hands-on activities. I want to foster a love of learning in my children, and following my kiddo’s interests makes learning more relevant and meaningful.

Delight-directed homeschool art has been super easy with our You ARE An Artist Complete Membership. We like to pair the video art lessons with current read alouds, picture books, or current interests. When my son was obsessed with WWII for two years, Nana consistently added history art lessons to thrill my son. 

Both children have been obsessed with Harry Potter, and lucky for us, creating an enchanting Hogwarts chalk pastel teatime was easy to pull together with Nana’s clubhouse.

When the children were enamored with sharks, chalk pastels came to the rescue again! There were easy-to-follow tutorials on some of the weirdest and most beautiful sharks of the deep!

Homeschool Art for the Delight-Directed Family

Chalk Pastel Teatime For Art In Your Homeschool

Every week, I set the table with treats, tea or hot chocolate, and all of our chalk pastels. Sometimes we light our beeswax candles and pull out our musical wind-up teapot. Our delight-directed family enjoys this weekly ritual of art and treats.

Sometimes the treats are based on current interests. Like the week my daughter finally watched all of the Star Wars movies and then wanted to do Nana’s Star Wars chalk pastel art! We enjoyed plates of Wookie brownies and a Sarlacc bunt cake!

You can make homemade treats or open a box of Little Debbie’s. Serve your children’s favorite beverage. It doesn’t have to be tea. The point is to make it inviting and tap into your child’s natural joy of learning.

Homeschool Art for the Delight-Directed Family

You can easily add art to your interest-led learning adventure! The You ARE AN Artist Chalk Pastel Membership has +700 lessons on everything from:

  • Holidays and Seasonal: Christmas, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter Lessons
  • Science
  • Nature
  • History
  • Literature
  • Music
  • Favorite Movies
  • and everything in between!
  • Be sure to check out the entire You ARE An Artist Course Listing to see all that’s offered within the membership.

    There’s even a FREE Homeschool Curriculum Match-Up Checklist you can download to help you pair up history and science interests such as: Ancient History, Middle Ages, early American History, and Modern History art lessons, as well as inventors, space, and more science lessons!

    Then there are the Companion Workbooks for the I Drew It Then I Knew It Series that is perfect if your kiddos want to dive deeper into one of Nana’s chalk pastel lessons. These workbooks offer:

    • Fast Fact Sheets
    • Writing Prompts
    • Biographies and Overviews
    • Research Ideas
    • Nature Observation
    • Planners
    • and more!
    Homeschool Art for the Delight-Directed Family

    Homeschool Art for the Delight Directed Family

    As a delight-directed family homeschooling is all about following interests!

    There are oodles of opportunities for strewing these lovely art resources for my children to discover. And it works!

    Here are just a few of our favorite interest-led art lessons through the years with Nana’s chalk pastel lessons:

    Homeschool Art for the Delight-Directed Family

    Art Together As A Family In Your Homeschool

    Interest-led homeschooling, also known as child-led learning or unschooling, is a great way to nurture your unique child’s interests and passions. You can make it look however you want and in whatever way works best for your family.

    Delight-directed family art doesn’t have to be intimidating, but it can be a powerful learning tool. That’s because art can help solidify subjects your children are already learning about! By following your kiddo’s interests you are making learning more meaningful and intriguing. Plus, you don’t have to be creative or artistic to cultivate creativity in your children. Just present them with the delights of chalk pastel video art lessons. Let them choose what interests them, and let Nana do the rest.

    You ARE an ARTiST t-shirts and mugs

    An Amazing Delight Directed Family Homeschool Bundle

    This collection of resources will help you and your kids on your delight-directed homeschool journey! This bundle includes:

    • 48 Count Prismacolor Chalk Pastels
    • The Brave Learner: Finding Everyday Magic in Homeschool, Learning, and Life
    • Call of the Wild + Free: Reclaiming Wonder in Your Child’s Education
    • Story Cubes Fantasia
    • DK: An Anthology of Intriguing Animals
    • DK: The Mysteries of the Universe
    • DK: The Wonders of Nature
    • Pack of Construction Paper
    Homeschool Books and Supplies for the Delight-Directed Family

    Erin is a writer, blogger, and homeschooler to two intense kids. Her blog is filled with information to help you explore a child led education while making meaningful connections with your children. Discover favorite read alouds, seasonal books, games, art projects, hands-on activities, and learn to just breathe through the ups and downs of life. She loves nature, farm life, good books, knitting, new pens, and hot coffee. Erin is a contributing writer for Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers. Her work has also been featured on Simple Homeschool and Book Shark.

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    Art Lessons For The Eclectic Homeschool Family

    Eclectic Homeschool

    We were homeschoolers for years before we became an eclectic homeschool family. And honestly, before we became eclectic homeschoolers, we missed out on so much in our homeschool. Now that I look back on it, it felt like we played Simon Says with our curriculum most days. We didn’t do anything unless Simon, ahem, I mean our curriculum teacher’s guide, said we could. Thank goodness that didn’t last! Shifting to an eclectic homeschool has been one of the best choices we ever made.

    An eclectic homeschool is perfect for incorporating art! You can easily add art into practically any lesson, and your kids will thank you. #homeschoolart #eclectichomeschooling #homeschoolartlessons

    What Is Eclectic Homeschooling?

    Eclectic homeschooling is one of the best possible methods for homeschooling. I firmly believe that. I have been coaching other homeschool families for almost a decade now, and eclectic homeschooling works for almost everyone. Because home education isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, eclectic homeschooling is adaptable and can be customized. 

    There are no rules when it comes to eclectic homeschooling. You have the absolute freedom to mix and match homeschool methods, curriculum, resources, and routines. There is no right or wrong way to homeschool when you are an eclectic homeschooler. 

    An eclectic homeschool is perfect for incorporating art! You can easily add art into practically any lesson, and your kids will thank you. #homeschoolart #eclectichomeschooling #homeschoolartlessons
    • Of all the homeschool styles and methods, eclectic is the one method that you can customize and tailor to your unique family. With eclectic homeschooling, you make it work for you. Not the other way around. With some popular homeschooling methods, you are expected to fit inside the box and follow the parameters of that educational style. But, eclectic homeschoolers can use whatever they love about any homeschool method without fully committing to them. As an eclectic homeschooler, you don’t have to choose one type of learning, teaching, or method. You can carefully curate all the things you like and leave out everything that you don’t! 
    • Eclectic homeschooling works for all learning styles. Since you can pick and choose various curriculum and resources, you can tailor an education to each individual child. For example, a couple of my children are visual and kinesthetic, so we often incorporate You ARE An Artist art lessons to work creatively with our hands and eyes. Chalk pastel art is also a great way to stimulate multiple learning styles at once. 
    • Eclectic homeschoolers are freedom seekers and rule-breakers. Like many of you, we aren’t followers and like to march to the beat of our own drum. Eclectic homeschooling allows for complete freedom to home educate your way! If you don’t like the idea of being held to a style, curriculum, or routine – you will love eclectic homeschooling. 

    Why An Eclectic Approach To Homeschooling Works For Our Family

    When we first began homeschooling, we were stuck on the hamster wheel of checking off all of the boxes. We had no time for the fun stuff, like art. My daughter and I were both miserable. We weren’t enjoying home education. Honestly, in the beginning, I didn’t even realize that home educating could be fun, enjoyable, and relaxed without sacrificing a quality education. At the time, I had no vision beyond what I remembered from public school. I was lucky enough to learn more about home educating and was eager to cultivate a positive environment at home where my children could flourish. 

    Eclectic homeschooling works for my children because we can carefully choose how we approach each subject, curate the curriculum best suited for them, and customize when, where, and how. My children are individuals, each with unique interests, gifts, and learning styles. And I want to foster that to help my children grow into the individuals that God intended. 

    With two out of my three kids being naturally artistic and craving hands-on activities, art helps to keep my kids consistently enjoying our homeschool. They associate creating and having a good time with Nana, and she’s a big deal around here. I remember our homeschool before You ARE An Artist, and it wasn’t nearly as happy and healthy as we are now.

    Eclectic homeschooling encompasses flexibility and the ability to customize the homeschool that we need. That is something I genuinely appreciate now! 

    Eclectic Homeschool

    Art And Eclectic Homeschooling

    Art is the perfect addition to eclectic homeschooling. Since eclectic homeschooling has no boundaries, you can add art to anything. And with so many lessons to choose from, You ARE An Artist has an art lesson on just about everything. Seriously! You are sure to find an art lesson to coincide with almost anything you might be studying at home.

    I say this all the time, but adding fun, creativity, and excitement to your homeschool can make a world of difference in your home and for your children. Art helps them express their creative ability, incorporates hands-on learning, and helps them retain what they have learned. Not to mention, we don’t have to sit stiffly or still when we create. We can sit however we want (or wiggle) and enjoy art!

    In addition to those wonderful benefits, by adding art, you can create an environment that shows your children learning can be a lifestyle! Isn’t that the goal, cultivating lifelong learners?

    Eclectic Homeschool

    Art Lessons For Our Eclectic Homeschool Family

    You can easily add art to any homeschool lesson! Yes, really. I add art to Bible lessons, Holidays like Christmas, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, Poetry, Tea Time, Science, History, Literature, Music, and plenty of other learning opportunities. My children look forward to our time spent together doing art. Some of our best homeschool moments will be remembered around our kitchen table, creating art with Nana.  

    You ARE An Artist offers art tutorials on unique topics like Hymns, Maps, Inventors, Famous Artists, Presidents, Solar System, The Games, 4 History Cycles, Sharks, Literature, Nature, and so much more. I know as eclectic homeschoolers, you will appreciate that!

    We are enjoying Nana’s Simple Start to Chalk Pastels in the pictures you see here today. I decided on an apple for our back-to-homeschool art teatime. This one was no-fuss with muffins and tea. Usually, I enjoy planning out our tea times with all sorts of books and coordinating art lessons from Nana. We find our tea times with art relaxing and a great way to decompress when our homeschool feels like it could use a boost.

    An eclectic homeschool is perfect for incorporating art! You can easily add art into practically any lesson, and your kids will thank you. #homeschoolart #eclectichomeschooling #homeschoolartlessons

    Here is a shortlist of some of our favorite art lessons through the years with chalk pastels. Each post below has multiple art lessons, all tied to one central theme. I love learning this way because we can blend so many overlapping subjects. I hope this gives you some ideas for how you can use these art lessons in your own homeschool.

    An eclectic homeschool is perfect for incorporating art! You can easily add art into practically any lesson, and your kids will thank you. #homeschoolart #eclectichomeschooling #homeschoolartlessons

    I also want to share some of my favorite resources from You ARE An Artist that helps me blend subjects and age levels altogether at home:

    I Drew It Then I Knew It Companion Workbooks: The I Drew It Then I Knew It Companion Workbooks are designed by an eclectic homeschool mom! Yes, me! It is with much gratitude and appreciation for You ARE An Artist that I can even say that. I was honored when presented with the opportunity to create companion resources for You ARE An Artist and become part of the team. Designing educational resources that are versatile and help families learn together for Nana is kind of my dream job, you know? I carefully create each workbook with cultivating a love of learning in mind. Our goal is that they are flexible for you to use; however they work best in your homeschool.

    In each workbook, you will find a Book List with varying reading levels, 5 Fast Facts, an Overview, Biography, or Writing Prompts, Planners, and Ideas for How To Use our Curriculum. Everything you need for a quick lesson can be found inside. Or use all of the planners included to map out a more extensive study. I also love that the Companion Workbooks help me combine my oldest to youngest learners all in one place over a central topic. There is something special about family-style learning and all of us creating together.

    Clubhouse Complete Membership: When I first found Nana, we were using individual art lessons. But, I soon realized that the way to go is the Clubhouse Complete Membership. With access to over 800 art tutorials and counting, you never run out of fun to add to your homeschool days, weeks, or year. 

    Visual Art Credit: My oldest is in high school, and we also use You ARE An Artist for her Visual Arts Credit. Since we have to accumulate hours for her credit, I allow her to choose what lessons she wants. She can access the You ARE An Artist Calendar within our membership and select a lesson on her own; it’s excellent for promoting independent learning. 

    Eclectic Homeschool

    I hope that this gives you some ideas of how you can utilize a Complete Clubhouse Membership in your eclectic homeschool too! Your kids will thank you for it!

    An Awesome Eclectic Homeschooling Bundle of Resources!

    We’ve put together this beautiful bundle of eclectic education-inspired books and materials that would be perfect for an eclectic homeschool family! The bundle includes:

    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. She is also the founder of Homeschool Mastery Academy.

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    Why Adding Art To Your Morning Basket Makes All The Difference

    A morning basket is a great opportunity for kids to learn about a variety of subjects together that you might not always get to during your regular homeschool lessons. Adding art to our morning baskets has been an awesome benefit for our homeschool lessons throughout the day. 

    Starting our homeschool day with art has been a beautiful way to encourage creative thinking throughout the day. In fact, incorporating art into your homeschool lessons has tons of amazing benefits! Keep reading to discover how we are using art in our morning baskets to support our current homeschool lessons and unit studies. 

    Why Adding Art To Your Morning Basket Makes All The Difference - Adding art to our morning baskets has been an awesome benefit for our homeschool lessons throughout the day.

    What is a Morning Basket?

    When I first heard about morning baskets, I was uncertain if I could make the method work for our family. You see, I’m not a morning person. Thankfully, morning baskets work any time of day and I’ve learned how to use a morning basket without actually being a morning person.

    Since I’m not a morning person, I like to choose activities for our morning basket that don’t require me to be functioning at 100%. These are usually things my daughter enjoys and can do with relative independence. Adding video art lessons from ChalkPastel to our morning basket plans makes it easy to incorporate art activities while I’m still waking up.

    Sometimes morning basket activities are called “circle time” or “morning time.” The activities that go into your morning basket are made to bring everyone together, to set the tone for your day, and (sometimes) to incorporate activities and subjects you find yourself falling behind in. 

    Morning baskets are ideal for incorporating art lessons into your homeschool days because they give you a chance to start the day on a creative note. Beginning your homeschool lessons with creativity gest kids excited about the day’s lessons and encourages creative thinking all day long. 

    Morning baskets are great for adding other subjects like poetry, books read aloud, and foreign language to your homeschool days too. We often use our morning baskets to supplement our current unit study or lesson with art projects and other fun activities.

    Art during morning time in our homeschool

    How We Use Morning Baskets To Support Our Current Unit Study

    Currently, we are learning about all things Space. My daughter, Emily, is fascinated by Outerspace so we are learning everything we can about planets, constellations, astronauts, and astronomers. 

    I’ve put together a Space Unit Study with lunar lore, constellations, information on all the planets, and lessons on astronauts and the Apollo Missions. We also put together a really cool themed morning basket to use with this Space unit study.  

    Our Space morning basket will give Emily opportunities to learn more about all the things we’ll be studying through art, games, and experiments. Some of our favorite art activities from the Space morning basket include a themed playdough kit from Playful Days Dough and Usborne’s Astronauts Sticker Book

    Chalk Pastel art during our morning basket time

    The Value of Adding Art To Our Morning Basket

    We might not get to every activity in our morning basket each day, but throughout the month we tend to cover everything. Incorporating art in our morning basket activities has all kinds of great benefits! For starters, art encourages creativity so it’s a great way to begin the day’s lessons.

    Adding art to our morning basket also helps us to start the day on a high note. Emily loves art! She’s always excited to begin the day with an art project or art activity, so art is an easy choice for our morning basket routine. Beginning the day with something she really enjoys helps start the whole day off right. 

    I have found that one of the best ways to add art to our morning baskets is with You ARE An Artist. Lessons are available for all subjects and interests. I can easily pull up one that matches our current unit study when needed. I also use them to help plan our morning baskets each season.

    You ARE an ARTiST has lots of fun video art lessons that match up well with all kinds of interesting topics and unit studies. Here is an example of all fun options we are using for our Space unit study:

    You can access all of these fun and easy video art lessons for your morning basket or homeschool unit studies with a clubhouse membership

    I’m particularly excited about exploring the Solar Exploration Video Art Lessons with Emily because they include a Hubble Lesson that is going to be super fun to do together with our mini unit study on Edwin Hubble. If you’re thinking about beginning morning baskets with your kids this year, this is a great way to get started. Pair a book with an art activity and watch the learning fun begin! 

    About Jessica Waldock

    Jessica Waldock is a writer, photographer, and homeschool mom of one living in sunny Florida. She founded The Waldock Way as a way to give back to the homeschool community that she loves so much. At The Waldock Way Jessica shares tips, tricks, inspiration, and unique resources that help ignite a love of learning in children that will last a lifetime. She inspires families to engage in homeschooling as a lifestyle where relationships come first and interest-led learning prevails. You can connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube.

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    Integrated Art For Homeschooling High School

    Are you looking for ways to create a more dynamic learning environment for your high schooler? Homeschooling with an integrated art approach may be exactly what you need!

    What Is Integrated Art?

    An integrated art curriculum is one in which the art becomes the approach to teaching and the vehicle for learning.

    “Students meet dual learning objectives when they engage in the creative process to explore art and another subject to gain greater understanding in both.”

    Institute for Art Education and STEAM

    Put simply, integrated art allows the learner to engage in the subject matter in a way that is much more robust and cross-functional. The student accesses the learning with a non-traditional, yet highly effective approach, using art as the method of delivery.

    integrated art

    Why Is It So Helpful In Homeschool High School?

    As more and more complex learning is expected for high schoolers, for many students, there is a need to access learning in a different way.

    Not all learners respond well to the traditional textbook, worksheet, lecture style of traditional learning.  In fact, most do better with a more multisensory approach to learning.

    Integrated art essentially takes subjects we traditionally teach in a more formal way, and immediately adds a layer of accessibility and hands-on learning.

    The Foundations Of An Integrated Art Curriculum

    The truth is, most of us are already quite familiar with this approach to learning. It is likely that you have a memory of this type of learning from your childhood, as integrated art is more readily accepted and woven into elementary education.

    For me, it was a salt map I made of Italy for my country report in sixth grade. I worked hard on that map, and through it’s creation, I learned more about Italy than any textbook ever would’ve taught me. I also retained the information I learned about Italy. (In fact, to this day, I still remember most of what I learned – that’s the power of hands-on, multisensory learning!)

    integrated art

    You Are An Artist For High School Homeschool

    You Are An Artist lessons are exactly what an integrated art curriculum is all about.

    What makes it particularly effective, is that You Are An Artist includes this type of approach all the way through the high school years.

    For example, when my son was learning about US History, we completed a lesson on creating our own map of North America.

    The opportunities to learn with an integrated art perspective are plentiful with You Are An Artist.

    Take a look at all of these high school level courses.

    Integrated Literature and Language Arts For High School

    • Harry Potter
    • Stopping by the Woods – Robert Frost
    • The Hobbit
    • Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
    • Lamp Post – Narnia C. S. Lewis
    • Hundred Acre Wood – A.A. Milne
    integrated art for homeschool

    History and Geography For High School Homeschooling

    • American History
    • American Landmarks
    • Ancient History
    • Famous Composers
    • World Maps
    • World Landmarks

    Science For High School With You ARE An Artist

    • Inventors
    • Moon Missions
    • Solar Eclipse
    • Solar System
    • Space Exploration

    (You can also read all about how to use You Are An Artist specifically for High School Art credit and grab a FREE Visual Art Credit Tracker HERE)

    integrated art for your homeschool

    Integrated Art In Your Homeschool Curriculum

    Using integrated art in any homeschool curriculum is valuable. Adding it to the high school years keeps learning fun, engaging, and ultimately, more successful.

    Thankfully, You ARE An Artist has everything you need to easily include integrated art in your homeschool.

    Shawna Wingert

    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.