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What Raising an Artist Looks Like

Today we welcome Stef Layton. Stef has a wonderful family that I like to say, ‘grew up’ with us. Her children started chalk pastel lessons with Nana when they were very young. And she helped us realize that our, now older, artists needed more challenging art lessons. So Nana’s I Drew It Then I Knew It was born to meet that need. We are so encouraged by Stef’s story! I wish I could remember how I first came across Hodgepodge and Chalk Pastel. Almost a decade ago I had read Hodgepodge blog a few times being part of the “online homeschool world”. She was a wise homeschool veteran a few years ahead of me and I was thirsty for direction. Yet I had zero knowledge of this chalk pastels thing she shared. Still, today, I share my family’s story of chalk pastels through the years and what raising an artist looks like.

Once a week magically became every other day as we couldn’t wait to try out another chalk art tutorial. Here is what raising an artist looks like. And how practice grew into an unexpected chalk art business!

What Raising an Artist Looks Like – Chalk Art Yesterday

I was familiar with sidewalk chalk raising my boys on endless games of outside tic-tac-toe and hangman. But this unique art medium was far beyond my pathetic art knowledge which consisted of gluing my fingers together in elementary school. I was happy with a large set of colored pencils and markers. However my oldest son, Jake, at the time in 4th grade, wanted to do “real art”. Markers, crayons, and watercolors were for little kids mostly because his younger brother started using them. This chalk stuff was new territory and honestly I was hoping my son didn’t like it. It was more expensive than markers. It was a bit messy. It required some work blending. Why did we always run out of black construction paper? Chalk pastels were intimidating just when I was finding my homeschool mama stride.

We started chalking slowly. I remember adding chalk art after our history lessons. Chalking a ship for a Christopher Columbus history lesson. Then adding chalk during science. Smudging a red cardinal as he listened to Apologia’s Flying Creatures. Jake, being highly tactile, loved chalk art. We weren’t serious chalkers – yet. If the art fit easily into something we were already doing, then I’d add it to a lesson at least once a week. Once a week magically became every other day as we couldn’t wait to try out another chalk art tutorial. Volcanoes, waterfalls, beaches, tornadoes, and super cool castles – it all came to life on our dining room table. This is what raising an artist looks like.

Enjoying chalk pastel art in space lessons to match Apologia astronomy.
Art in Space – all those colors on black construction paper!

Eventually when Jake started high school he stopped using chalk pastels and started sketching pen and copic markers, his favorite medium. He enjoyed digital videography and film editing.

Then #YouAreAnArtist started trending and I quickly jumped to support with a membership. My youngest son, Henry, struggled with delayed fine motor skills. He was not thrilled to use chalk pastels. Trying to keep Nana a part of our homeschool art time, I allowed him to draw along with the tutorials using thick markers. The artwork definitely looked different but it was easy to pair I Drew It Then I Knew It with the Classical Conversations timeline. Nana does a great job walking students step-by-baby-step through the art process, so with markers or chalk we still created fun pieces of artwork. Eventually Henry’s dexterity improved and we added a space unit with our Astronomy lessons. Although he still proclaims to be more of an “engineer builder than artist”, he still enjoys a chalk lesson. Another instance of what raising an artist looks like.

We are thankful to find such a loveable art teacher. Nana is a peach and not just because they’re in Georgia! I want to bottle up Nana and adopt her for myself. Her southern charm and love for art are endearing. Bless her heart she has made art fun for the Layton family and taught me to stop fearing “art”. To relax and enjoy creating.

Chalk Art Today

Since our very first tutorial many years ago, I have always kept a box of chalk pastels around the house. When the quarantine happened here in Colorado I sent my bored children outside to chalk up the driveway. (lesson learned: black chalk pastels do not like to leave a concrete driveway, ever). I realized my mistake of using chalk pastels on the concrete and ordered a ridiculous bulk supply of generic “side-walk-chalk”.

The different chalk did not stop my oldest son from being creative.  I thought it’d be a fantastic idea to provide the neighbors with something to uplift spirits. First we left dad jokes then we’d put down a little sun or rainbow. Eventually Jake started chalking half the driveway. From Snoopy to Gumball, the Easter Bunny, and butterflies. He’d sketch the outline and we’d fill it in together.

One day I saw on Nana’s Chalk Pastels Facebook Page she was going to create Starry Night. I sent Jake outside with a bucket of blues, yellows, whites, and blacks. He created a 5ft x 7ft masterpiece, something the neighbors stopped to admire.

Minutes after Starry Night was completed on my driveway, when we were covered in chalk dust from head to toes – I hopped into the shower thinking about a long distance friend’s recent “drive by parade”. Her daughter was celebrating five years cancer free. The Facebook video of all their family and friends driving by with balloons and honking – hanging out their windows waving and blowing kisses – it makes me cry just remembering it. I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be cool if Starry Night was on Kim’s driveway as everyone drove by? She deserved it! We could make birthday drive bys a chalk business! 

Van Gogh's Starry Night by JTL Sketches http://facebook.com/jtlsketches (@ChalkPastelArt reshared @laytonadventures image on our Instagram account. It remains the most liked photo in our feed!)
(@ChalkPastelArt reshared @laytonadventures image on our Instagram account. It remains the most liked photo in our feed!)

Not more than 10 minutes later I was walking outside to see if my boys wanted dessert. A neighbor, I had never met before and haven’t seen since, jogged by slow enough to shout that she loved my artwork. MY artwork – not in a million years! For weeks everyone assumed the artwork was done by an adult. I laughed and told her it was my teen. She called back over her shoulder, “I might have to hire him to come do that in my yard”. That angel ran off never to hire my son, but to spark a business idea instead.

Of course my teen couldn’t understand why anyone on this planet would ever in a million years want to hire him. “It’s not a big deal. Everyone can do it. I’m not that good”. He kept debating me. I recognized the rejection in his voice from all the job applications he had been filling out lately. He was desperate to find a job to start saving for next year – college! The rejection was really starting to get to his heart. Also, my son does not believe he’s a good artist because he’s comparing himself to Van Gogh. Who would think they were a good artist compared to that high bar?

Frustrated, I went to the laptop and pulled up his old Facebook page we created for an Art Festival. He sold over $150 worth of ink & marker drawings. I uploaded new chalk photos I had taken over the last few weeks. Then I shared the page in the local neighborhood Facebook Group. “Looking for a birthday, good luck, congratulations, happy anniversary message? Support a teen artist & order a Chalk Driveway Message”. I tagged his page and walked away. If it was going to be of interest all we had to do was wait.

Well, we didn’t have to wait long. He was hired for two jobs 15 minutes after that post. We laughed together and high-fived each other, but he was incredibly skeptical he’d make enough money to even cover the chalk supplies.  The next morning we woke up to eight more job inquiries. Requests from Disney balloons to Fortnite characters. Another Starry Night for an autistic boy and a Bob Ross sunset for a 70yr old woman. Those eight jobs quickly doubled and then tripled.

Stef Layton is sharing her family's story of chalk pastels through the years and what raising an artist looks like.

Since the DMV closed and Jake still does not have a Colorado driver’s license, I offered to be his first employee, mostly so I can ride shotgun on the way to his job. Each morning we wake up early and get to the job by 8am. He sketches the outline in white chalk then we fill in the colors. I usually paint over the chalk with water to blend and spread it better (a little sidewalk trade secret) while he likes to rub it in with his palm. I’ve rubbed off two fingerprints because blending on concrete is far different than construction paper. This is what raising an artist looks like. 

Once the color is down Jake goes back over the artwork for details. It takes us about an hour to do a large 5 ft character. After the job is complete he takes me out for Smoothie King because he knows he has to pay for employee help. And let’s be honest, he’s thankful this crazy hair-brained idea his mother had is actually becoming a legitimate part time job. We work together just about every morning and we’re home within two hours before my youngest son wakes up. Not too bad for a kid who doesn’t think he’s talented.

Chalking a 'thank you' message on our driveway for a 2yr old fan who checks our driveway every morning for a new picture. What raising an artist looks like.
Chalking a ‘thank you’ message on our driveway for a 2yr old fan who checks our driveway every morning for a new picture.

One day while we were chalking a driveway I was overcome with giggles. Jake looked at me curiously. I told him, “A few weeks ago I was thinking how this is your last year at home. It made me a bit sad and I missed the sweet days of bubbles and sidewalk chalk.” Holding up dusty dirty hands I wiggled them and laughed, “be careful what you wish for, huh”?

Truly, I am thankful for this time together. We’re outside in the cool Colorado mornings. We laugh and sometimes get onto each other for mistakes or the fact that someone forgot to measure the letters – again. He takes his gifts for granted and all of these jobs just reinforce the fact that the man-child is talented! What a treat I get to watch it dawn on his face every single time we are finished with a job. As he steps back and declares, “that’s really good”. THIS is what raising an artist looks like.

This quality time together – quality time, his love language … I see it as a gift. The quarantine practically created birthday car parades forcing parents to plan special ways to celebrate birthdays. Had it not been for Tricia and Nana all those years ago reminding us You Are An Artist – blessing us with knowledge, chalk lessons, encouragement and creativity … he’d be downstairs playing video games instead of saving for college. I am overwhelmed with gratitude.

Stef Layton started homeschooling her boys in 2008. She spends most days hiking, bird watching, and picking Colorado wild flowers. @LaytonAdventures.
Jake Layton is a high school senior. He likes to sketch, play guitar, and do parkour. Together they run JTL Sketches in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.


Stef Layton started homeschooling her boys in 2008. She spends most days hiking, bird watching, and picking Colorado wild flowers. @LaytonAdventures.
Jake Layton is a high school senior. He likes to sketch, play guitar, and do parkour. Together they run JTL Sketches in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.

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Art Lessons for Parents

Do you hear the knocking on your heart? It’s the call to create! Did you hear the description of how a pastel chalk whooshes across a sheet of paper?  Nana chats with you about how you, too, can paint. You ARE an Artist! She shares just a very special art lesson just for you parents. You moms and dads. Yes, we have had many requests for art lessons for parents. In this podcast, Nana talks about all the possibilities. And coming on May 27th at noon EDT, our members will enjoy an Adventure Tea Cup art lesson! Join the You ARE an Artist Clubhouse today.

Art Lessons for Parents – The Call to Create Podcast

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!

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.

Show Notes:

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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I Drew It Then I Knew It Clubhouse series

Nana’s I Drew It Then I Knew It Clubhouse series uses art to reinforce history, science and so much of what you are already studying. As teachers, we know that art helps with understanding and recall of facts. I Drew It Then I Knew It Art Lessons help all ages to learn.

I Drew It Then I Knew It Clubhouse Series

These series are exclusive to the You ARE an Artist Clubhouse. Maps, Presidents, Famous Artists and Composers are exclusive to the Complete Clubhouse membership.

HYMNS

As you study a favorite hymn, paint with either chalk pastels or acrylics what you might imagine this hymn means. Nana’s hymns video art lessons are a perfect complement to a hymn memorization study! Find the listing of hymns here.

MAPS

If you can visualize a 4th-grade Nana from years ago, come sit next to her and see how much fun maps and geography are! I can show you how to outline the contours of continents and islands and you will say, “I Drew It, Then I Knew It!” It really is fun and you will be surprised at how much you learn! Find the listing of maps here.

PRESIDENTS

There have been 45 men to hold the office of United States President. There are those that are not familiar to us at all. We will be detectives and find out interesting and maybe even surprising facts about these men! We are going to draw each President, chat about him and you will be able to sit down at dinner and tell your family presidential facts. Did you know that President James Madison was only 5’3” tall?

FAMOUS ARTISTS

Vermeer, Warhol, Grandma Moses, Degas…Wow! These folks are artists that we might have heard of and they were REAL people. These artists became famous because of their skills as an artist! Come along through history and let’s use our pastels to see how they might have seen a girl with a pearl earring or even a famous tomato soup can! Find the listing of famous artists here.
 

COMPOSERS

Art and music! Oh what joy! Let’s paint the composers you’ve been studying. Find the listing of composers here.
 

Join the You ARE an Artist Clubhouse today!You can see how Nana’s courses match your learning with our free curriculum match up guides.

I Drew It Then I Knew It Complete Listing

Find a complete listing of all of Nana’s I Drew It Then I Knew It video art lessons here.

Expand your studies with Nana's Classical Collection History Art Lessons and make history come alive with chalk pastel art. Not only will you know history, you will learn to paint parts of history too because you ARE an artist!

Browse our I Drew It Then I Knew It art lessons:

All glory and honor go to our God!

Join the You ARE an Artist Clubhouse today!

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Online Summer Art Camp

Are you looking for a summer art camp for your kiddo this year? How about an online summer art camp chocked full of artful activities? With just a little bit of planning you can create an online summer camp right from the comfort of your own home!

Are you looking for a summer art camp for your kiddo this year? How about an online summer art camp chocked full of artful activities? With just a little bit of planning you can create an online summer camp right from the comfort of your own home!

Online Summer Art Camp for Kids

Even if you can’t get your children to a “real” summer art camp this year, I want to encourage you to explore an online camp. With the wonders of technology at our fingertips, this can be an amazing option for many families to choose from. Plus, art camp can be an easy way for kids to learn to express themselves this summer. That’s because art gives children the chance to be creative, carefree, and engaged. Your child will gain self-confidence as they develop the skills and techniques to bring their creations to fruition. No artistic talent needed. Just an openness to creative expression!

Even if you can’t get your children to a “real” summer art camp this year, I want to encourage you to explore an online camp. With the wonders of technology at our fingertips, this can be an amazing option for many families to choose from. Plus, art camp can be an easy way for kids to learn to express themselves this summer. That’s because art gives children the chance to be creative, carefree, and engaged. Your child will gain self-confidence as they develop the skills and techniques to bring their creations to fruition. No artistic talent needed. Just an openness to creative expression!

Summer Art Camp with Chalk Pastels

The first step in creating a fantastic online summer art camp to decide how long you want your summer art camp to be. Maybe you want to do one artistic thing with your kiddos per day for a whole week, or maybe you would prefer to have multiple lessons on only a single day. Do what works for you and your kids!

Next, gather your art supplies! We adore Chalk Pastels! They are so easy to use that preschoolers through adults can enjoy this wonderful art medium. Chalk Pastels make gathering needed art supplies easy. All you need is a set of chalk pastels, construction paper and the You Are An Artist Clubhouse Membership!

Looking for a summer art camp for your kiddo? This online summer art camp is chocked full of artful activities yo can enjoy from the comfort of your home!

With the You Are An Artist Clubhouse Membership, you have access to a bank of art lessons for all ages, a wonderful art community; plus new art lessons from “Nana”, including themed art events throughout the year! You don’t have to worry about being the teacher, “Nana” has got your covered!

Another aspect that brings my children joy is that they get to choose which art video lessons they want to explore. The Complete You Are An Artist Clubhouse Membership offers you endless access to the ENTIRE Chalk Pastel library of courses!

Let Kids Choose the Chalk Pastel Videos

My kid’s love “Nana” and her videos! She is such a wonderful art teacher and with every lesson she always reminds us that, “You Are An Artist!”

Another aspect that brings my children joy is that they get to choose which art video lessons they want to explore. The Complete You Are An Artist Clubhouse Membership offers you endless access to the ENTIRE Chalk Pastel library of courses! Clubhouse members enjoy a monthly curated calendar with lessons chosen for you, should you choose to access it. Members also receive exclusive, new Summer Art Camp lessons.

 That means your kiddos could choose:

  • Summer Camp Video Art Lessons which include camping, camp tree house, bubbles, canoes, hammocks, and pools!
  • Nature courses such as Sharks, Seashore, Forest Nature, Spring, Garden Nature, Backyard Nature, Pond Nature, and more! Many of these Nature lessons contain everything kids love about summer – lightning bugs, beach vacations, bullfrogs, dragonflies, flowers, and dandelions.
  • Famous Artists series explores Michelangelo, da Vinci, Monet, and Rembrandt.
  • American Landmarks Lessons include the Liberty Bell, Washington Monument, Niagara Falls, and loads more landmarks you’d only see on summer road trips.
  • Plus, so much more!!!
I like to include the poetry teatime aspect to our art time by making it enjoyable with treats, beverages, and twinkle lights or candles. The ambiance and fun factor can change a child's perception of art! It doesn't matter what the art looks like. It doesn’t have to be perfect. All that matter is that your children are finding joy and making memories.

Making Summer Camp Special

So, how can you make your kiddo’s online summer art camp just a little bit extra special?

  • Set the table with a fun tablecloth or strip of fabric. I used an old top to a quilt that was never finished. The colorful squares just screamed summer picnic!
  • I added a vase of flowers to the table that I had picked earlier from our yard.
  • Light some candles, tealights, or string a few Christmas lights to give off that “campfire” glow.
  • Following the summer camp/picnic theme I let the children make their own S’mores in the microwave. If you’ve got the time and the day is nice and sunny, you could always let your kiddos make Solar Oven S’mores before getting started with their art.
  • Nothing says summertime like S’mores and Root Beer Floats; however, any treat and favorite beverage will do. It doesn’t have to be fancy!
Nothing says summertime like S’mores and Root Beer Floats; however, any treat and favorite beverage will do. It doesn’t have to be fancy!

Summer Art Camp Fun

I like to include the poetry teatime aspect to our art time by making it enjoyable with treats, beverages, and twinkle lights or candles. The ambiance and fun factor can change a child’s perception of art! It doesn’t matter what the art looks like. It doesn’t have to be perfect. All that matters is that your children are finding joy and making memories. I always quote Miss Frizzle to my kids, “get messy, make mistakes!”

But keep a roll of moistened paper towels nearby.

Summertime is the perfect time for kids to explore and get excited about art! With endless chalk pastel lessons to choose from, your kiddos are going to love celebrating these lazy months in new creative ways.

Easy Online Summer Art Camp

Summertime is the perfect time for kids to explore and get excited about art! With endless chalk pastel lessons to choose from, your kiddos are going to love celebrating these lazy months in new creative ways.

An art camp is perfect for kids this summer as it provides a wonderful artistic outlet!

So, call the kids in from the heat and watch as they learn, explore, and grow their imaginative talents! Your children are going to enjoy traversing the world of chalk pastels.

So, call the kids in from the heat and watch as they learn, explore, and grow their imaginative talents! Your children are going to enjoy traversing the world of chalk pastels. There is so much to discover about color, technique, and self-expression with an online summer art camp! Additionally, at the end of each lesson they will always be reminded that they ARE an artist!

There is so much to discover about color, technique, and self-expression with an online summer art camp! Additionally, at the end of each lesson they will always be reminded that they ARE an artist!

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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 Ultimate List of Art Marathons

Often we hear of our artists going through many of Nana’s video art lessons in one sitting. We know that sometimes students are interested in enjoying ALL of the lessons on a certain topic simply because it is their favorite thing right now. So we created the ultimate list of art marathons to make it even easier for you to plan.

Of course the easiest way to enjoy an art marathon is to join the You ARE an Artist Complete Clubhouse so you have immediate access to ALL of Nana’s video art lessons. Our members receive specific plans and lists of lesson marathons.

Want to enjoy ALL of the You ARE an Artist lessons on a certain topic? We created the ultimate list of art marathons to make it even easier for you to plan.Ultimate List of Art Marathons

  • Chalk Pastels at the Movies (a bonus full of art lessons for movies and favorite books – with Artist Clubhouse membership) – here are just a few:  Star Wars (a whole marathon of its own!), Incredibles, Minions, Finding Nemo and Finding Dory, The Grinch, Frozen, Mary Poppins, How to Train Your Dragon, Jaws (Sharks art lessons) Pooh, Narnia, Green Ember, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, Madeline, Charlie Brown, How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World, Cars, Harry Potter, Dr. Seuss, Harold and the Purple Crayon , Angry Birds and many more!
  • Composers Art Marathon (member exclusive continuing series) John Williams (and all that movie music!), Symphony Conductor, Beethoven, Aaron Copland Lincoln Portrait, Handel’s For Unto Us a Child is Born, Beatles, Jazz Composers, Vivaldi Spring

With our preschool chalk pastel video art lessons your artists will learn how to draw circles, squares, triangles and even a straight line!

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Color Me Thankful

It is time to come sink back into a big old wicker chair, settle in and get comfy, and let’s talk a while! Just you and me, the birds, leaf blowers, dogs barking, neighborhood children yelling…and the ubiquitous “long mower” droning in the background! I have stories to tell, confessions to make and a way to color me thankful for this past month of “sheltering in place!” Come on, let’s lean in together and talk!  ❤️Nana

I have stories to tell and a way to color me thankful for this past month of “sheltering in place!” Come on, let’s lean in together and talk!

Color Me Thankful Podcast

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!

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.

Show Notes:

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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Homeschool Science and Art Curriculum Match Up

We have a handy, dandy Homeschool Science Curriculum Match Up Checklist for your science curriculum. All of Nana’s I Drew It Then I Knew It science and her nature video art lessons are listed – including inventors, space and more!

Matching Nana’s You ARE an Artist video art lessons to your homeschool science curriculum just got so much easier!

This homeschool science and art curriculum match up checklist has plenty of planning space for you to add your corresponding science lesson or to jot down a date, note or page number.

Homeschool Science and Art Curriculum Match Up

We hope this helps makes it easier for you to expand your science learning with art! Download yours here!

*Once you use your new handy, dandy curriculum planning sheet, please tag us in your photo at @chalkpastelart – we would love to see how Nana’s lessons match up with your studies and feature you!

Find the full list of all of the 50+ courses here and the You ARE an Artist Clubhouse here.

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Giveaway!

Apologia has generously offered one (1) winner a choice of an Apologia science course! Simply follow the instructions in the rafflecopter widget, below:

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Homeschool Art Curriculum and Music Match Up

Music and art are such a beautiful and delightful combination. Art and music also make for some wonderful learning times. Just take a look at how you can match up Nana’s art lessons with your music appreciation and more studies! Enjoy this homeschool art curriculum and music match up.

Homeschool Art Curriculum and Music Match Up

Homeschool Art Curriculum and Music - Exclusive to the You ARE an Artist Clubhouse, Nana leads you in Composers Video Art Lessons. As you study the greatest composers, paint what you are learning with chalk pastels. Nana’s Composers video art lessons are a perfect complement to learning about a composer!

Composers Video Art Lessons

  • Symphony Conductor
  • Beethoven
  • Aaron Copland, Lincoln Portrait
  • Handel’s For Unto Us a Child is Born from Messiah (Christmas!)
  • Beatles
  • Jazz
  • Vivaldi Spring

Hymns Video Art Lessons

As you study a favorite hymn, paint with either chalk pastels or acrylics what you might imagine this hymn means. Nana’s hymns video art lessons are a perfect complement to a hymn memorization study! Find out more here.

  • My Hope is Built on Nothing Less (On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand) acrylic
  • Just As I Am
  • My Country Tis of Thee (America)
  • Rise and Shine (Arky, Arky)
  • How Great Thou Art
  • His Eye is on the Sparrow
  • Count Your Many Blessings
  • Jesus Loves Me
  • We Gather Together
  • He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands
  • Sweet By and By
  • In the Garden
  • This Little Light of Mine

Chalk Pastels at the Movies

So many fun and wonderful favorite movies and books in Chalk Pastels at the Movies. A bonus with You ARE an Artist Clubhouse membership.

Famous Artists

Of course it is a fantastic study when you combine both the famous artists and the famous composers of a particular era. With Nana’s Famous Artists continuing series, you can say, I Drew It Then I Knew It!

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

Holidays and Seasons

 

 

 

 

 

 

We love how well our classes complement other homeschool curriculum offerings! Be sure to visit Nana’s Master Classes to see all that are included in You ARE an Artist Clubhouse membership and Creative Online Homeschool Classes for even more inspiration!

Music and art are such a beautiful and delightful combination. Art and music also make for some wonderful learning times. Just take a look at how you can match up Nana's art lessons with your music appreciation and more studies! Enjoy this homeschool art curriculum and music match up.

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Why Combine Art And Academics?

When I was in seventh grade, we were all assigned a different country to learn about and present back to the class. The presentation itself required more than just a standard book report. It required us to combine art and academics. We had to create a salt dough map, and then use the map to guide the class around our assigned country.  I was given Italy and spent days preparing for my presentation and painting that map. Twenty years later, I still know more about Italian geography than any other country in the world outside my own.

I share this example, because my guess is, you likely have one too from your own school experience. The diorama, the science fair presentation, or that one cool teacher who let you create a project instead of submitting a written report – when we think of them now, we smile, and we actually remember what we learned

This illustrates perfectly the power of using art to aid academic learning.

Why Combine Art and Academics?

Adding art to a more formal learning assignment has two essential benefits for learners.

  1. It creates a multi-sensory experience.
  2. Creativity leads to ownership.
You Are An Artist combines art and academics with lessons designed to foster creativity and a multi-sensory approach for effective learning. 

Art and Academics with Multi-sensory Learning

Multi-sensory learning is typically defined as an approach to learning that uses more than one sense (seeing, hearing, touching, doing).

Research has repeatedly shown that this type of learning is far more successful, because it allows the child to access the information in different ways.

“… when we engage in creative activities, we change the neurochemistry of our brain in ways that a drug can change the neurochemistry of our brain.” Kelly Lambert,  neuroscientist at the University of Richmond.

This is one of the reasons why I Drew It and Then I Knew It lessons work so well for my son. 

The audio of Nana’s instruction, the visual input from the computer screen and from the colors as my child paints, as well as the obvious tactile experience of holding the chalk and blurring the lines on the page – all work together to create a seamless, multi-sensory experience for my son. This type of multisensory learning leads to greater comprehension and retention for all children, and especially those who have learning differences.

Creativity Increases Ownership

When we create something, anything, it requires a certain level of commitment from us. The same is true of our children. It forms a much more personal relationship to what is being learned and goes far beyond what a simple worksheet or quiz can provide.

This increased ownership is another contributor to the increased retention and comprehension we see when we add art to academic learning. It’s one of the reasons why we all remember what we learned from those more creative assignments back in school.

Adding Art To Academics in Our Homeschool

As homeschoolers, we are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to create these types of learning experiences all the time. Rather than just the one or two projects I remember from my school days, I am excited to incorporate this type of approach into our learning as much as possible.

Here is a recent example from my own home:

  1. My son saw a hummingbird outside and we decided to learn more.
  2. We read a book together about birds.
  3. We watched a  video online about hummingbirds.
  4. We added an element of creativity with You Are An Artist Chalk Pastel Bird Study,
  5. As my son created his picture, we listened to Nana talking about hummingbirds and we reviewed what we’d learned.

It may seem simple, and I guess it is. But the truth is, my son has comprehended and retained this learning far more than had we just completed the chapter in his science book.

You Are An Artist is an easy and incredibly effective way to combine art and academics in our homes. The lessons are designed to foster the ownership creativity brings, along with the multi-sensory approach that stimulates more effective learning. 

What a wonderful and seamless way to incorporate art into our academic learning.

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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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Easter Video Art Lessons

It is a very special time of year to focus on the hope we have in Christ. As a gift to our artists, Nana shares Easter Video Art Lessons to complement your celebrations and learning.

A Week of Easter Video Art Lessons

Day 1 – Palm Branch  – Let’s start the week in celebration! All ages will enjoy this Palm Branch video art lesson from our set of Easter Video Art Lessons. You may be surprised at who shows you how to do this step-by-step lesson! Gather some yellow construction paper or a plain, white piece of paper (or whatever you have on hand) and your set of chalk pastels. Find the art lesson on this page (Scroll down just a ways). It is super quick: Easter Palm Branch

Day 2 – Rainbow Cross – This is such a beautiful lesson to enjoy with ALL the colors. Enjoy Nana’s video art lesson she shared as part of Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett’s Easter Co-Op. We love her Easter Unit Studies! Fast forward the video to about 20 minutes in. (This video also includes an Easter cross lesson with Easter lilies. I encourage you to save that one for later this week).

Day 3 – Crown of Thorns live replay at noon EDT on Wednesday, 4/8. Find the lesson on our Live Lesson page at the tab, above. You can also enjoy the video on our You ARE an Artist YouTube channel. Crown of Thorns.

Day 4 – Hand Print Easter Lamb – find this step-by-step lesson on our sister site, Hodgepodge. Nana says, “I absolutely love any craft that makes use of children’s handprints. They are an enduring testimony of the child’s growth over the years. Almost every mother and grandmother would treasure a gift of a handprint. I still carry a laminated handprint that my son made for me over 30 years ago, tucked into my Bible!”

Day 5 – Easter Cross with lilies. Find this in the video art lesson, from Day 2, above. A beautiful cross surrounded by lilies plus an Easter rainbow cross art lesson in chalk pastels. You can paint a wonderful Easter painting with chalk pastels that you can share with your family and friends during this blessed season!

You ARE an Artist!

We can’t wait to see your chalk pastel paintings! After you finish your lesson, please be sure to share a photo of your art work right to the comments here so Nana and Tricia can comment. Or you can share on Instagram. (Just be sure to tag @ChalkPastelArt and use the hashtag #YouAREanArtist so we won’t miss it on Instagram).

Our You ARE an Artist Clubhouse members are enjoying a clickable calendar for the whole month of April. All 30 days! The calendar has an art lesson for each week day, master classes plus special messages from Nana on the weekends. There are links directly to Nana’s lessons from her Easter Video Art Lessons:

  • Three crosses
  • Crown of thorns
  • Easter cross
  • The stone rolled away
  • Easter lily
  • Palm branch
  • Easter eggs
  • The Lord’s Supper bread and cup
  • Church stained glass window

Just be sure to join us for ALL of these and more in the You ARE an Artist Complete Clubhouse at ChalkPastel.com!​ Artist Clubhouse members will also enjoy a new Famous Artist Beatrix Potter lesson, a surprise lesson Nana recorded herself from her studio (it is such fun!) and the replay of the Green Ember Gala.

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