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An Art Lesson & Tea Time for Families Seeking Simplicity

I Went To The Woods Art Lesson

Life is moving at lightning speed for many American families, and there doesn’t seem to be anything that will slow us down. Most children are enrolled in multiple classes, co-ops, groups, activities, sports, and quiet time is no longer a necessity. We spend less and less time in nature, we are drowning in stuff, and quality family time isn’t sacred anymore. But, whether you are a homeschool family or not, simplicity is key! There was never a time that our families needed simplicity more than now.

Upon pondering this, Henry David Thoreau’s book Walden comes to mind. In short, American author Henry David Thoreau journals through his two-year stay in a cabin on Walden Pond. His journey is based on his desire to illustrate a simpler way of life while living amid nature. He brings attention to self-sufficiency, makes scientific observations about the nature around him, and experiences a spiritual awakening. There is so much we can learn from the book Walden and Henry David Thoreau in general. 

If you are craving simplicity in life or homeschool, this is a lesson you may want to use. You can adapt it to your own homeschool however it fits best. We love to decompress with tea and literature, so tea time is fitting for Thoreau’s “I Went To The Woods” Art Lesson. 

Occasionally, we need to decompress with tea and literature. Join us in slowing down for Thoreau's "I Went To The Woods" art lesson. #homeschool #homeschoolart #homeschoolliterature #homeschoolideas

Why Use Thoreau’s “I Went To The Woods” Homeschool Art Lesson?

  • Start Combining Literature and Art: If you haven’t joined the You ARE An Artist Clubhouse yet, this is a wonderful lesson that will give you a glimpse into the simplistic and rich learning that can come from combining art and literature in your homeschool. We have an entire Literature Companion Workbook that you can use right alongside art lessons like this one with fact sheets, writing prompts, research ideas, and more!
  • Slow Down And Learn To Enjoy Your Homeschool: If you or your children find yourselves disliking or even dreading your homeschool, you may need to slow down. By using Thoreau’s “I Went To The Woods” Art Lesson, you can do precisely that. Try a new experience in your homeschool that your kids will love, art! By incorporating art into any homeschool lesson, I have found that I have happier students, a more peaceful homeschool, and it’s simple to do. 
  • Enjoy A Lesson On Simplifying Life: Whether you are a homeschooler or public schooler, Thoreau’s “I Went To The Woods” Art Lesson is perfect for taking time to reconnect to nature and ponder how important it is to live a life of simplicity. This lesson is especially good for teens; you can dive into a deep conversation about Thoreau’s views on how to live a simplistic yet meaningful life. 
I Went To The Woods Art Lesson

More “I Went To The Woods” Homeschool Learning Ideas

Here are a few ideas to get you thinking and planning your own “I Went To The Woods” homeschool lesson. Remember to adapt the lesson to how it fits your homeschool best! There is no right or wrong way to study literature, but there are many ways to enjoy it. 

Read Walden Together: That’s right, this one could be an excellent read-aloud for your high school students. You could read the book together and celebrate the completion of the book with a lovely tea time. Also, since you can use chalk pastels to earn a visual art credit, this would be a fantastic lesson to accumulate art hours. 

Tea Time & Art: If you aren’t ready to read the complete book yet in your homeschool or don’t plan to, you can enjoy a tea time and just read the “I Went To The Woods” excerpt together. (The printable is inside the Literature Companion Workbook.) This would be a wonderful option for a multi-age homeschool; even elementary children will enjoy hearing the reading along with Nana’s gorgeous art lesson. 

Inspire Your Writers: Before or after diving into a tea time or Thoreau’s “I Went To The Woods” Art Lesson, do some writing. With our Literature Companion Workbook, you will get fast facts to learn about together, writing prompts, and more. You can spark your writer’s creativity with some fun writing prompts that are already done for you. 

Have Deep Discussions: Art lessons like these can spark some memorable conversations at home. Talk about the importance of simplicity, connection to nature, or brainstorm how you might simplify your homeschool. For example, simplifying your homeschool might mean fewer textbooks and more hands-on activities like art. Or it may mean less online work and more time in nature. Find what adjustments you need to make by asking your children and get their input. 

Research Projects: If you have middle school or high school students, you might want to assign a little research about the author. Make sure you use the Literature Companion Workbook to grab your “I Went To The Woods” printable, get five fast facts to enjoy, and complete the research project. Another fun idea may be looking up more Henry David Thoreau quotes.

There are so many ways for you and your students to enjoy Henry David Thoreau’s works and Nana’s coordinating art lesson. We hope this inspires you to slow down, put on some tea, and create together. To get started join the Clubhouse and grab all the resources that I mentioned!

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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Chalk Pastels Shark Art for Kids

Do your kids love sharks? Are you getting ready for shark week? Then let Nana take you under the sea with chalk pastels shark art for kids! These easy-to-follow video homeschool lessons will teach you and your child how to draw some of the most exciting sharks using chalk pastels.

Chalk Pastels Shark Art for Kids: Do your kids love sharks? Are you getting ready for shark week? Then let Nana take you under the sea with chalk pastels shark art for kids! These easy lessons will teach you and your child how to draw some of the most interesting sharks using chalk pastels. #YouAREAnArtist #chalkpastels #sharkweek #chalkpastelssharkart #sharkart #sharkartforkids #chalkpastelssharkartforkids #sharkweek #sharks

Folks, my children have been obsessed with sharks for years. We’ve read favorite shark books, watched documentaries, and played games with a shark theme. Did you know we even tracked a Great White shark named Lydia for nearly two years with Ocearch Shark Tracker? She was over 16 feet long and traversed all around the Atlantic ocean! Discovery Channels Shark Week is an exciting time for us. It’s the perfect time to do a week-long study on the science of sharks!

Shark Week Teatime Fun for Homeschool

Art is a fabulous addition to your shark science lessons! All you need is a pack of construction paper, chalk pastels, and Nana’s shark art videos to add a bit of artistic fun to your shark week studies. Nana is fantastic at taking you step-by-step in drawing these fierce and sometimes adorable apex predators!

To make your shark week even more memorable, make it a chalk pastel teatime! We added our favorite pot of tea, strawberry shortcake with whipped cream, and iced cakes for our shark week teatime!

Chalk Pastels Shark Art for Kids

That strawberry shortcake was so delicious. I don’t think it lasted 10 minutes! Luckily there was plenty of tea and iced cakes to keep us going.

Chalk Pastels Shark Art for Kids

Shark Homeschool Art Lessons for Kids with Chalk Pastels

These shark art videos are perfect whether your kiddo is doing a shark unit study or is obsessed with sharks. Add them to your next oceanography unit, or make a collage of your child’s favorites onto the fridge!

Chalk Pastels Shark Art for Kids
Bull Shark

We love tumbling down rabbit holes of learning, and each of these sharks provided just that! So we looked up facts on habitats, food preferences, and danger levels to humans from our shark encyclopedias. Our favorite sharks included the nurse shark, hammerhead, black-tip reef shark, and zebra shark. My daughter adored the cuteness of the catshark so named for its cat-shaped eyes and gentle demeanor.

Chalk Pastels Shark Art for Kids
Nurse Shark

Sharks Homeschool Lessons with You ARE An Artist Clubhouse Membership

With the You ARE An Artist Clubhouse Membership, you’ll have access to 14 super easy to follow Sharks Video Art Lessons, including:

  • Great White Shark
  • Bull Shark
  • Spinner Shark
  • Hammerhead Shark
  • Zebra Shark
  • Night Shark
  • Black Tip Reef Shark
  • Flying Shark
  • Shark Fin
  • School of Sharks
  • Nurse Shark
  • Megaladon
  • Catshark
  • Thresher Shark
Chalk Pastels Shark Art for Kids

If video art lessons don’t work for you, then be sure to check out the Shark Art E-book Tutorials! You can view these lessons on your iPad, Kindle, and desktop. With the Shark E-books, you’ll have access to the following E-book lessons:

  • School of Sharks
  • Great White Shark
  • Bull Shark
  • Nurse Shark
  • Catshark
  • Angel Shark
  • Shark Close Up
  • Megaladon
  • Basking Shark
  • Sharks at Night
  • Hammerhead
  • Zebra Shark
  • Black Tip Reef Shark
  • Night Shark
  • Flying Shark
  • Shark Fin
  • Cookiecutter shark
  • Goblin shark
  • Whale shark
Chalk Pastels Shark Art for Kids
Hammerhead Shark

Chalk Pastels Shark Homeschool Art for Kids

There is so much to love about sharks! These fantastic fish are genuinely remarkable and are so crucial to the health of our oceans. With Nana’s lessons, there is a shark for everyone, be it the docile whale shark, the famous great white, or everything in between! Just remember to keep loads of blue, green, and gray chalk pastels on hand! With all of the blue ocean water we’ve created this week, along with the awesome sharks, our blue and gray pastels are nothing more than nubs! But we don’t mind! Now we have fantastic shark art in their place! And what’s not to love about that?

Chalk Pastels Shark Art for Kids

You ARE an ARTiST Clubhouse members not only have access to all of these amazing sharks but will also enjoy a special, live event in July! Nana will share a new shark lesson in honor of Shark Week. Complete Clubhouse members also enjoy a companion I Drew It Then I Knew It Sharks Workbook!

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 Patriotism in Your Homeschool

I am so grateful for our freedom and the blessings that come from living in the United States of America. While I am grateful every day, upcoming holidays make me spend more time reflecting on those blessings and the art of patriotism.

My husband and I are raising our children to understand how blessed we are to be free. Children need to know the sacrifices that were made by so many to protect those freedoms.

My husband even manages a Facebook page dedicated to commemorating events of national significance and celebrating them with the corresponding American flag.

The Art of Patriotism - Incorporating Patriotic Events. What better way to learn about the flag and remember its importance than to paint it.
Enjoy Nana’s ‘America’ (My Country ‘Tis of Thee) hymn lesson and Dawn’s accompanying hymn study in the You ARE an ARTiST Clubhouse! Photo by Erin Vincent

The Art of Patriotism – Incorporating Patriotic Events in Your Homeschool

We often have family discussions about those anniversaries and the meanings and importance of patriotic holidays like Memorial Day, Independence Day, Constitution Day,  Veteran’s Day, and Patriot Day.

When possible we try to attend memorial services, wreath layings, parades, celebrations (such as a fun reading of the Declaration of Independence), and other events. Our attendance at those events can honor and remember the sacrifices that have been made

These commemorations instill a sense of awe and pride in our country and its peoples. Even if there are parts of our shared history that we shouldn’t be proud of, our people have overcome, adapted, and developed. This is a great opportunity to reinforce the core values enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Incorporating Patriotic Homeschool Art Lessons

In addition to those discussions and events, I think students can learn a lot by incorporating art lessons into their homeschool as well as their celebrations and recognition of holidays.

What better way to learn about the flag and remember its importance than to paint it? There’s a proud tradition of painted flags. Artisans would apply hand-mixed paints to fine silk, allowing for beautifully complex classical banners.

Neither Francis Hopkinson nor Betsy Ross is connected to silk flags, but you can still channel their creativity (along with John Adam’s desire for ‘illuminations’) with Nana’s beautiful American flag homeschool lesson. It even includes fireworks! This would be great anytime, but especially Flag Day, Independence Day, and other patriotic holidays for the art of patriotism.

The Washington Monument - Trekking American Landmarks with Chalk Pastels
An American Art Celebration (with a free American Flag lesson) – Photo and art work by Erin Vincent.

The Art of Patriotism with American History and Landmarks Lessons

There is an entire set of homeschool art lessons on American History, but the  Constitution lesson is perfect for Constitution Day. This painting is done in a simple manner that makes it easily achievable even for elementary-aged students. Chalk pastel projects are easily woven into your Independence Day celebration (or lessons) and reinforce themes of the Revolution. 

Homeschool Patriot Day and September 11th Studies

Anytime you are studying modern history or even the events of September 11th in your homeschool, you could enjoy Nana’s Statue of Liberty in New York harbor art lesson. The American Landmarks homeschool lessons also include stunning paintings of the Liberty Bell and the Washington Monument. Additional lessons on Old Faithful, Niagara Falls, and the Golden Gate Bridge would be a great way to facilitate a discussion on all of the wonderful sites and monuments throughout the United States. You might even incorporate Nana’s Presidents Art Lessons.

Blessing Others with Patriotic Art Gifts

In addition to creating all of these lovely pictures to help students remember, use them as a blessing to others. How wonderful would it be to gift a veteran with a picture of the American Flag or this beautiful new lesson on the Statue of Liberty with a thank you for their service!

The Art of Patriotism - In addition to creating all of these lovely pictures to help students remember, use them as a blessing to others. How wonderful would it be to gift a veteran with a picture of the American Flag or this beautiful new lesson on the Statue of Liberty with a thank you for their service!

Your child might even be able to display their work at a local library or business. Displaying art is a great way to remind people to be thankful for the sacrifices that have been made. In our busy world, sometimes we need to be reminded to slow down and count our blessings. A child’s artwork can be a great reminder.

How will you incorporate patriotic art into your celebrations? What other paintings could you do to celebrate?

Dawn is a passionate follower of Jesus, wife to Chris, and homeschool mom of four. In her spare time she loves to read, hike, and write on her blog Schoolin’ Swag. She enjoys reviewing curriculum and helping moms find the right fit for their family.

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Trekking American Landmarks with Chalk Pastels

Do you dream of trekking America’s landmarks with your kids? Let Nana take you and your children on a trip around our great United States without leaving the comforts of your home. Trekking American landmarks with chalk pastels are as easy as walking to your kitchen table and setting out your chalk pastels with a pack of construction paper. Nana will do the rest.

No hiking shoes or sore feet required!


Trekking American Landmarks with Chalk Pastels: Do you dream of trekking America's landmarks with your kids? Let Nana take you and your children on a trip around our great United States without leaving the comforts of your home. Trekking American landmarks with chalk pastels are as easy as walking to your kitchen table, setting out your chalk pastels, and a pack of construction paper. Nana will do the rest. #YouAREAnArtist #chalkpastels #Americanlandmarks #Americanlandmarksartlessons #TrekkingAmericanlandmarks #TrekkingAmericanlandmarkswithchalkpastels #Americanlandmarksvideoartlessons #famousAmericanlandmarks #USlandmarkactivity

Geography has been a considerable part of our homeschool this year, folks! We’ve read loads of books, watched fantastic documentaries and television shows, tried delicious snacks, explored maps and globes. We’ve traveled the world with Nana’s chalk pastel Maps and World Landmarks lessons. Then, I discovered she had an American Landmark series as well!

SQUEEL!!!!


Trekking American Landmarks with Chalk Pastels

Folks, I would love to take a family vacation traveling route 66, visiting the monuments in Washington D.C., and exploring all of our nation’s national parks and landmarks. I dream of seeing Old Faithful, the Grand Canyon, and the Delicate Arch with my own eyes.

Unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen anytime soon. But, these American Landmark chalk pastel lessons make it easy to incorporate all the awesomeness of these extraordinary places into our homeschool.

As Nana always says, we ARE the artists, and with our strokes of pastels, we can recreate these majestic images ourselves.

Plus, these video art lessons are a perfect addition to our geography lessons!

Trekking American Landmarks with Chalk Pastels
Delicate Arch

Travel Across America with Chalk Pastels

Traveling across America with art can be an easy addition to your homeschool geography. Nana’s videos are fun and straightforward. They are designed with upper elementary in mind, but the whole family can enjoy them and learn a few things along the way.

As always, we make our chalk pastel lessons unique by making them into an art teatime with snacks and a lovely vase of flowers. Of course, an art series such as this takes longer than a single afternoon. We took an entire week! But you could space your lessons out farther than that. Do a lesson a day or a lesson per week. It’s totally up to you!


Trekking American Landmarks with Chalk Pastels

Travel the World with Chalk Pastels You ARE An Artist Clubhouse Complete Membership

Pair these art lessons with a study of the individual states where they are found. Or look up the history of each landmark. You never know where those rabbit trails of learning will lead you.

With the You ARE An Artist Clubhouse Complete Membership you’ll have access to all of these gorgeous American Landmark lessons and the companion I Drew It Then I Knew It Workbook:

  • Grand Canyon
  • Golden Gate Bridge
  • Statue of Liberty
  • Mt. Rushmore
  • Liberty Bell
  • Washington Monument
  • Yellowstone Falls
  • Old Faithful
  • Civil War Cannon
  • Niagara Falls
  • Lincoln Memorial
  • Grand Tetons

You’ll have access to everything else the You ARE An Artist Clubhouse Membership has to offer, including 700+ chalk pastel lessons and all of Nana’s Maps lessons AND these World Landmarks:

  • Eiffel Tower
  • Taj Mahal
  • Scottish Highlands
  • Roman Coliseum
  • Sydney Opera House
  • Great Wall of China
  • Cliffs of Moher
  • Stonehenge
  • Big Ben
  • Volcano
  • Plus, more to come!
Trekking American Landmarks with Chalk Pastels
Grand Tetons

Trekking American Landmarks with Chalk Pastels

There is so much to learn and explore about our great country. The American landmarks lessons are a lovely resource to add to your next U.S. geography unit study. It adds an amazing hands-on element to kids learning endeavors that help to solidify their newfound knowledge.

Trekking American Landmarks with Chalk Pastels

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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Homeschool Art For The Child Who Hates The Mess

Do you love the idea of chalk pastels, but know that your child struggles with getting messy? You are not alone. These are helpful tips and solutions to homeschool art for the child who hates mess!


My son has always had a love/hate relationship with messy projects.

I remember picking him up from his little preschool one day, and the teacher explaining that finger painting did not go well. I wasn’t surprised. I saw it when we tried to do crafts at home or played outside.

When we began homeschooling, it was even more apparent.

I would excitedly create all kinds of hands-on learning activities only to have it end in total resistance and even tears. Nowhere was his avoidance more clear than in art lessons.

homeschool art for the child who hates mess

If your child hates messy projects as much as mine, you understand. This can be a real barrier to learning and to finding enjoyment in activities intended to be fun.

The good news is, there are ways to help your child engage with art activities, even when they struggle with the mess.

Homeschool Art For The Child Who Hates The Mess

Why Is Your Child Struggling With The Mess?

The first place to start is to try to figure out what specifically is causing the resistance. For example, my child struggles with the sensory experience of having chalk or paint on his hands. My sweet friend’s daughter avoids art because she feels pressure to keep the table and her clothes clean.

Getting to the bottom of your child’s real concern allows you to figure out what to do next.

Homeschool Art For The Child Who Hates The Mess

Homeschool Art For The Child Who Hates The Mess

Knowing your child’s specific concern then allows you to accommodate the need, while still experiencing the learning associated with the activity. I know for my son, he desperately wants to engage in the enjoyment of art. He just needs a little extra help to overcome the sensory issues associated with it.

Many kids are the same way.

Determining modifications and accommodations that help access the learning makes all the difference for the child who struggles. It gives them the ability to enjoy creating without stress, anxiety, and frustration.

Tips And Tricks For Homeschool Art Without The Mess

Using chalk pastels with You ARE An Artist in our homeschool has made a significant difference in our learning. My son loves this medium in particular because it is much more forgiving than paint or line drawings (helpful for the child who is also a perfectionist!). He loves the outcome, but struggles with the feeling of the chalk on his hands and in his workspace.

Here are my favorite tips for helping my child engage in learning with You ARE An Artist lessons, despite his avoidance of the mess.

1. Latex Gloves

Because my child struggles with the sensory experience of getting things on his hands, we have a box latex gloves available for messy projects ( I also use them for handling raw meat. Win-Win!).

Introducing the gloves was a game-changer for my son. When he has the gloves on, he feels the freedom to focus on the art lesson, instead of how his hands are feeling.

It also makes for super easy clean-up.

Homeschool Art For The Child Who Hates The Mess

2. Poster Boards

In addition to wanting to keep his hands clean, my child also struggles with the chalk dust spreading off his paper and onto the table.

My solution? I have a large poster board on hand that we put down on the table first. This way, the chalk dust can blow off and still be easily cleaned.

(This is purely for my son’s benefit, as I find chalk pastels easy to wipe up, but it certainly does simplify my clean-up as well.)

Homeschool Art For The Child Who Hates The Mess

3. A Wet Cloth

With any art project, it helps to have a wet wash cloth or paper towel close by. I think this is doubly true for a child who is struggling with the mess.

Easily being able to wipe off the table, the laptop, hands, faces – anything that might come into contact with chalk dust – eases the stress and allows my son to relax and engage in the lesson.

Homeschool Art For The Child Who Hates The Mess

4. Chalk Pastel Pencils

If your child struggles with gloves or is simply not able to feel comfortable with the mess, another option is to switch to chalk pastel pencils.

These look like regular color pencils, but give you the same results as traditional chalk pastels. With these pencils, there is no need to touch the chalk itself and there is a lot less dust.

The Value Of Homeschool Art (even when your child hates the mess)

Our homeschool has benefitted greatly from adding art with You ARE An Artist.

It is an instant way to add hands-on, multisensory learning for my child who needs it most. Taking the time to figure out what he really needs in order to engage in the lessons and enjoy the activities was well worth it!

Homeschool Art For The Child Who Hates The Mess

Just look at all the lessons we’ve completed so far:

Middle School History/Geography

  • American History
  • American Landmarks
  • Ancient History
  • World Maps
  • World Landmarks

Science With You ARE An Artist

  • Inventors
  • Moon Missions
  • Solar System
  • Space Exploration

Literature And Language Arts

  • Harry Potter (one of my son’s absolute favorites!)
  • Stopping By The Woods – Robert Frost
  • The Hobbit
  • Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre

My son has learned so much with You ARE An Artist, despite the mess. It is my hope that these ideas will allow your family to do the same!

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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Celebrate the Summer Games with Chalk Pastel Art Ideas

The Games are back! The Games are a great opportunity to celebrate culture, history, sports, and healthy competition with your kids. Every family has their favorite sport to watch during these events, whether summer or winter. Gather the kids and celebrate the Summer Games with Chalk Pastel Art. Enjoy Ancient Greece lessons for the history of the Games. Then illustrate important aspects and moments of the modern Games! It’s a fun I Drew It Then I Knew It experience.

Ideas to Celebrate Summer Games with Chalk Pastel Art:

The boys and I went through a “mock Games” celebration to create activity and art ideas to go along with this summer’s games. We had so much fun learning, painting, and acting out various Games’ moments! Here’s how we enjoyed our home-grown sporting event.

How to Paint The Games Torch with chalk pastels.

Pass the Torch Relay!

Historically, the torch relay connects the initial Games of Ancient Greece with today’s version of the Games. The torch is lit and the flame passed from Olympia, Greece, to the current host location.

Symbolically, the passing of the Flame represents handing down knowledge and life through generations.

Pass the torch relay idea! The boys ran around the house, passing the torch, symbolizing the Torch Relay that begins the Games.

With Nana’s Ancient Greece lessons, my son drew the Torch on larger 12×18″ construction paper on a diagonal. He positioned the bottom of the handle about two-thirds across the bottom of the paper, then drew the torch across the paper so the flame would end up in the upper left corner. Then, we rolled the paper into a conical shape, so the bottom narrowed, and the torch was visible on one side of the cone. A little tape will keep this torch nicely rolled!

The boys ran around the house, passing the torch, symbolizing the Torch Relay that begins the Games. (During the actual Torch Relay, you can watch LIVE and recorded clips on the official Games site!).

The Games Torch Video Art Lesson

You can enjoy this sample lesson, The Torch. This is one of the many lessons for both summer and winter games included in The Games Clubhouse Edition in the You ARE an ARTiST Complete Clubhouse.

Opening Ceremonies

This might be my favorite part of the Games. I love the parades and choreography, the anthems, and colorful flags and uniforms! The purpose of the Ceremonies is to learn about the culture of the host country.

We drew a map of Japan and looked at various geography books about Japan. You might even want to trace the path of the torch using Nana’s map of Japan!

Ancient Greece Lessons

After painting the Opening Ceremonies lesson (use Nana’s Coliseum lesson to hark back to Ancient Greece as another option!), we hung the boys artwork up and marched around to classic fanfare music from past games.  Leo Arnaud’s Bugler’s Dream and John Williams’s “Olympic Fanfare and Theme” combined is a classic and well-recognized opening song. Nana also has a John Williams composer art lesson!

Let the Games Begin!

Now the real fun starts! There are so many sports represented at the Games, it’s hard to pick a favorite.

Archery, swimming, volleyball, diving, sailing, gymnastics, running, surfing. Nana has any number of sports-themed lessons for kids to enjoy. Pick a favorite, or draw them all!

I had the boys pick a few to draw, then set up mini Games competitions.

Archery – We made a bow and arrow out of a plastic hangar and chopstick, then tried to hit a paper plate target.

Sailing – The boys launched paper boats (which they made beforehand) in a kiddie pool and raced to blow them to the other side.

Tennis – The boys competed to see who could bounce a tennis ball off their rackets the most times.

Get together with the kids and invent more “Games” ideas based on their favorite sports, Nana’s art lessons, or just whatever you have around the house. Make silly versions of popular games to keep it short and light.

Medals Ceremony

The top three winners at the Games receive gold, silver, or bronze medals. In ancient times, winners received a Laurel Wreath to symbolize victory. Kids will enjoy hearing about the history of these awards during Nana’s lessons. If you have any old medals or trophies, let your kids receive them like the athletes do; we dug around and found old running medals to wear!

The Games Medals Ceremony - Kids will enjoy hearing about the history of these awards during Nana's lessons. If you have any old medals or trophies, let your kids receive them like the athletes do; we dug around and found old running medals to wear!

When my boys do chalk pastel lessons, I feel we’re all winners! Nana includes so many little details and facts as she demonstrates, that kids walk away with knowledge as well as a beautiful piece of artwork.

Every piece of art is a victory for our little artists, isn’t it? Nana champions every artist as they paint along with her. And the best prize is kids are learning while they’re painting with chalk pastels!

After the boys completed their victory pictures, we hung all our Games drawings up to enjoy. They are excited for the real Games to start this summer!

Drawing with Nana embodies the same ideals as the Games themselves: excellence, friendship and respect. With Nana as your art teacher, your children will be encouraged in all three of these areas to create with excellence, enjoy the friendship of a delightful art teacher, and to respect their work, because they ARE artists!

Drawing with Nana embodies the same ideals as the Games themselves: excellence, friendship, and respect. With Nana as your art teacher, your children will be encouraged in all three of these areas to create with excellence, enjoy the friendship of a delightful art teacher, and to respect their work, because they ARE artists!

Enjoy the upcoming Games by using these art lessons to connect kids to the historic and symbolic nature of the world’s greatest competition!

Nana is adding many new lessons to The Games Clubhouse Edition for your celebration!

Gather the kids and celebrate the Summer Games with Chalk Pastel Art to illustrate important aspects and moments of the Games!

Julie is a teacher, writer and homeschool mom. Her blog Happy Strong Home shares encouragement for cherishing children, enjoying motherhood, and growing strong families. Discover homeschool resources, natural living tips, and family activity ideas. Julie has been featured on Million Praying Moms, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, and the Melissa and Doug blog. She offers writing workshops and a “homeschool neighborhood” community to support parents in their homeschool adventures. Find Julie on Instagram to be the first to know when new workshops and community events are available. 

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Travel the World with Chalk Pastels

Did you know that you can travel the world with chalk pastels? That’s right! Let Nana take you on a trip around the world with her World Landmarks series! This is the perfect addition to your homeschool geography lessons, world history lessons, or just because!

Travel the World with Chalk Pastels: Did you know that you can travel the world with chalk pastels? That's right! Let Nana take you on a trip around the world with her World Landmarks series! This is the prefect addition to your homeschool geography lessons, world history lessons, or just because! #YouAREAnArtist #chalkpastels #homeschool #homeschooling #homeschoolgeography #handsongeography #worldlandmarks #traveltheworldwithchalkpastels

This year there has been a big focus on geography for my older homeschool student. We’ve explored different countries using books, maps, cooking, documentaries, chalk pastel maps, and now chalk pastel world landmarks! There’s something wonderful about adding hands-on creative resources to an otherwise boring subject. Art can help brings those other subjects to life!

Travel the World with Chalk Pastels

Travel the World with Chalk Pastels

We have created a delicious culture around our chalk pastels.

Teatime.

That means that we incorporate lovely snacks, beverages, flowers, and sometimes candles around our chalk pastels. We’ve been doing it this way for years and it’s been an exquisite addition to our homeschool.

Sometimes we make our own treats, and other times we open a pack of snack cakes. No pressure here.

I picked the peonies fresh from our flower garden and added them to the table. Their beauty almost rivaled that of our art and they smelled heavenly!

Travel the World with Chalk Pastels

Travel the World and See the Sights

Once the table was set we were ready to dive into our trip around the world!

You may know that Nana already has Maps video art lessons that are available with the You ARE An Artist Clubhouse Complete Membership. The maps paired really well with our geography lessons throughout the year. The World Landmarks also paired well with our map lessons.

How so you may wonder.

Try pairing the Great Wall of China with the Map of China.

You could pair the Big Ben, the Cliffs of Moher, the Scottish Highlands, or Stonehenge with the Great Britain Map! Or you could make them a part of your Great Britain unit study. Aren’t those Scottish Highlands dreamy?

What about adding the Sydney Opera House to your next Australian study?

There are so many possibilities and the hands-on activity of chalk pastels helps solidify the geography knowledge we have acquired throughout the year. It was really awesome to hear my son tell me facts related to these different landmarks and the countries where they are found.

Thank you Nana!

Travel the World with Chalk Pastels You ARE An Artist Clubhouse Complete Membership

With the You ARE An Artist Clubhouse Complete Membership you’ll have access to 700+ chalk pastel lessons including all of Nana’s Maps lessons AND these World Landmarks:

  • Eiffel Tower
  • Taj Mahal
  • Scottish Highlands
  • Roman Coliseum
  • Sydney Opera House
  • Great Wall of China
  • Cliffs of Moher
  • Stonehenge
  • Big Ben
  • Volcano
  • Plus, more to come!

You’ll also have access to all of the American Landmark lessons including:

  • Golden Gate Bridge
  • Statue of Liberty
  • Mt. Rushmore
  • Liberty Bell
  • Washington Monument
  • Yellowstone Falls
  • Old Faithful
  • Civil War Cannon
  • Niagara Falls
  • Lincoln Memorial
  • Grand Tetons

Plus More to come as well – including I Drew It Then I Knew It companion workbooks for Maps, World Landmarks and American Landmarks.

Travel the World with Chalk Pastels
Stonehenge depicted by an 7 year old, 40 year old, and 13 year old!

Hands-On Geography with World Landmarks

 The World Landmarks Video Art Lessons are designed with upper elementary to high school students in mind, but as you can see from the Stonehenge image above, they can be accomplished by anyone regardless of age. No prior skill level is necessary.

There are oodles of reasons to love chalk pastels. Making geography and landmarks more fun is just the icing on an already delicious cake!

Now tell me, what World Landmarks would your children enjoy creating?

Travel the World with Chalk Pastels

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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How To Create An Affordable Space Camp At Home With Art for Kids

Space Camp At Home With Art

Are your kids fascinated by the idea of space? Mine too! The solar system can be such an exciting area of study. Most of us still remember learning about all of the planets and space exploration when we were kids. 

Isn’t it funny how you remember certain things you learned as a child? Usually, we recall the things that stuck out the most because the lessons were exciting or had an element of hands-on education included. 

That is precisely what we are going to help you create at home! We have some exciting and affordable ideas to help you create a space camp with art in your homeschool or maybe for fun this summer at home. 

Here at You ARE An Artist, we will be hosting a week of space camp, and we sure do hope you join us. But, luckily you can also use our clubhouse membership to do an art camp based on space anytime!

Are your kids ready to blast into learning all about space? Check out how easy it is to create a Space Camp At Home With Art! #artcamp #onlineartclasses #kidsart #homeschoolart #homeschoolscience #sciencecurriculum

5 Steps To Create Space Camp At Home With Art 

  1. Grab your clubhouse membership here if you don’t have one yet to get started. Tip: One week of traditional art camp or space camp for just one child can easily cost $200-250. But get this – your entire family can enjoy a full year of over 700+ art lessons along with our companion workbooks with planners, book recommendations, fast facts, biographies, and overviews for the same investment. With our clubhouse membership, you get more value for your money! Plus, you never have to leave home, and you can access all of our art lessons at your convenience. 
  2. Make sure you have your supplies ready. You will need a starter set of chalk pastels and copy or construction paper. Yes! That’s all you need to get started. Super affordable!
  3. Choose when you will host your art camp. Honestly, art camp is perfect any time of year, but a few ideas to help you choose may be: summer, spring break, or kick off the first week of school with art camp (that is an easy way to ease into the homeschool year and get the kids excited to learn). Or you can join us for summer camp together! During summer camp, we will create traditional summer camp art projects in addition to travel camp with landmarks, space camp, and so much more.
  4. Pick your art lessons. This is the fun part! We have so many space art lessons to choose from; you could be busy for a while! You could even block out an entire 4-6 weeks in your homeschool to study space with our Solar System, Space Exploration, Solar Eclipse, and Moon Missions art courses. 
  5. Add the fun stuff. Here is where you can get creative! It may be fun to decorate solar system sugar cookies, make a galaxy cake, or planet cake pops. There are so many creative ways to incorporate snacks while you are learning together. 

Here are some of the exciting lessons you can enjoy during a space art camp at home:

I Drew It Then I Knew It Moon Missions Art Course 

  • Pad Crawler
  • Saturn 5 Lift Off
  • Headed to the Moon
  • Flag on the Moon
  • Mission Control
  • Footprint on the Moon

I Drew It Then I Knew It Solar Eclipse Art Course 

  • Diamond Ring
  • Total Solar Eclipse
  • Baily’s Beads

I Drew It Then I Knew It Solar System Art Course 

  • Solar System
  • Earth
  • Mars
  • Venus
  • Uranus
  • Saturn
  • Jupiter
  • The Plutoids
  • Neptune
  • Solar Eclipse
  • Mercury

I Drew It Then I Knew It Space Exploration Clubhouse Edition Art Course 

  • Space Shuttle Lift Off
  • Man on the Moon
  • Night Sky
  • Comet
  • Spiral Galaxy
  • Nebula
  • Mars Rover
  • Astronaut Helmet

I know! So much art to do and exciting ways to learn about space!

We followed along with the I Drew It Then I Knew It Solar System Course and Companion Workbook. If you introduce your students to the solar system for the first time, the companion workbook is perfect for guiding you from planet to planet. But even kids who have covered the solar system before will learn something new!

We had a blast drawing our way through the Solar System. Earth was another must-do art lesson for us, and then we dove into the beautiful rings of Saturn. We are still working our way through all of these exciting lessons and learning a lot along the way.

Remember, there is no right way to enjoy art camp, but there are endless ways to have fun with it! You don’t have to start with any particular lesson; begin with whatever interests your kids the most. 

Please join us for Space Camp! You can try out a sample lesson here

Once you join the clubhouse, tag us on social media @chalkpastelart and use #YouAREAnArtistClubhouse so that Nana can see your artwork! She loves to encourage your artists. 

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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Plan Art For Every Day with the Art Lesson Calendar

I am a planner by nature. I enjoy arranging all the moving parts of our homeschool and family life. But there are times when I want a “done for me” solution. Enter: the Art Lesson Calendar from Chalk Pastel! The art calendar works whether you are a planner or a serendipitous type. 

A friend recently asked me whether I write all my lessons plans for homeschool. She was surprised to learn I don’t. I told her I don’t need to, because I have so many fabulous resources at my fingertips. I see no need to reinvent the wheel.

Whether for homeschool plans or weekend / summer activities, I don’t have time to create everything from scratch! Instead, I consider myself a curator and facilitator of my children’s education, from the range of rich curriculum available. Then I arrange them into our life in a way that fits our schedule.

Chalk Pastel Art has been a key part of our homeschool the last few years because the many lessons go along with our topical studies. Plus, it is fun and easy to implement.

There are times when I want a “done for me” solution. Enter: the Art Lesson Calendar from Chalk Pastel! Great for planners or a serendipitous types.

Plan Art for Every Day with the Art Lesson Calendar

Tricia and Nana at Chalk Pastel just made my life SO much easier by creating the Art Lesson Calendar! The calendar is a beautiful visual suggesting a delightful art lesson for every day of the month. 

Now, in addition to the search feature (another favorite of mine!), this calendar helps me pick just the right art lessons for our week or month. My boys were delighted to see the Hobbit themed lesson this month, since they just got done reading The Hobbit!

Here’s a few ways parents can take advantage of the Art Lesson Calendar: 

Celebrate holidays with Chalk Pastel Art! 

If there’s a holiday, there’s an art lesson! Many holidays like Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, or the 4th of July have several art lessons, so you can create a themed week, or let kids pick their favorite picture to paint in celebration.

Beef up that lesson plan! 

If you find yourself short on content for a particular day or unit study, look at the art calendar and see what might fit your studies. The monthly lineup covers seasonal and holiday themes, and sprinkles in a variety of other lessons too! History (like presidents!), Geography (maps!), and Literature (the Hobbit!) art lessons can be combined with children’s daily reading and lesson activities. Here are 10 Ways to Effortlessly Add Art to Your Homeschool Any Time of Year.

Last-minute wins with the Art Lesson Calendar! 

Earth Day, Pi Day, Dr. Seuss’s birthday are all special events that can sneak up on me, so I’m thrilled when I can “pull a rabbit out of a hat” and let my kids do a fun art lesson to commemorate the special day. 

Did you forget it was Groundhog Day? Jump onto the Chalk Pastel Art art calendar! You’ll see there’s a video for kids to learn about this popular furry sign of spring and draw a groundhog. The kids don’t have to know you didn’t plan it in advance! 

My boys wrote essays about Presidents for President’s Day, and I quickly pulled up the calendar and there were several art lessons on US Presidents. So they both drew Teddy Roosevelt! It was an unexpected addition to our writing lesson, but their Zoom classmates were thrilled to see them share their drawings along with their papers.

Honor famous people and cultures. 

Throughout the year, we honor people who have contributed well to our society and recognize cultures from around the world. Sometimes these aren’t topics I have a large collection of resources for due to space and budget. So I am glad to let the kids explore and learn through Nana’s art lessons. Nana always gives nuggets of background information while she’s walking students through the art lesson, which I love, because I can follow up on these with discussion or extra reading later on. 

Stay in season. 

When you study nature as much as we do, the topics are always changing. Whether it’s the arrival of the robin, the blooming of dandelions, or the changing colors of fall leaves, your kids can follow along each month with nature drawings. Some months, the art calendar has a special focus, like birds in early spring, and sea life closer to June. The art calendar topics help me know I’m always sharing something timely and relevant with my kids. 

Never miss a LIVE event

The Art Lesson Calendar shares when Nana will be hosting LIVE events for members and with other artists and teachers. It’s helpful to see this in calendar format so parents can plan ahead and take advantage of these special learning times. 

No more downtime. 

Did the doctor’s office call back at an inopportune time? Or the baby spilled a cup, so you’re busy mopping the floor? Keep the kids’ hands busy creating art while you tend to unexpected interruptions. I often have my kids pick an art lesson for these moments; in the past, the boys might spend fifteen minutes browsing (and arguing!) which lesson to select. Now I can just click on the lesson for that day and away they go!

TIP: Create an Art Challenge for your Kids!

Use the calendar to hold a “30 Days of Art” challenge for your kids. See if they can complete every lesson for a whole month! You’ll have an amazing collection of artwork to share afterwards.

Planning activities for your kids can be your heart’s delight – or your worst nightmare! Yet, even though I am planner, there are days when I just want to take a few decisions and tasks off my plate. The Art Lesson Calendar makes it so much easier to prep and plan school or free time. 

The best part is, this calendar helps parents get the most out of their ChalkPastel.com subscription. Sometimes as parents we buy a great resource and just forget to put it into use. With the easy to follow plan each month, parents can be sure these lessons stay a fun part of daily life! 

Get access to the Art Lesson Calendar and all the delightful chalk pastel art lessons from Nana and Tricia with your annual Clubhouse subscription.

Julie is a teacher, writer and homeschool mom. Her blog Happy Strong Home shares encouragement for cherishing children, enjoying motherhood, and growing strong families. Discover homeschool resources, natural living tips, and family activity ideas. Julie has been featured on Million Praying Moms, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, and the Melissa and Doug blog. She offers writing workshops and a “homeschool neighborhood” community to support parents in their homeschool adventures. Find Julie on Instagram to be the first to know when new workshops and community events are available. 

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Why Homeschooling Middle School Is Better With Hands-On Learning

When my son was in his elementary years, hands-on learning seemed effortless.

Everywhere I looked, there were cute and fun options for crafts and art projects, all designed to help with learning. I incorporated something multi-sensory learning into almost every aspect of our school day.

It helped him comprehend and retain what we were learning, and it was a lot more fun!

Why Homeschooling Middle School Is Better With Hands-On Learning

As he got older however, and especially as we moved into middle school level learning, our options seemed to dwindle. It was no longer easy to find ways to supplemental hands-on activities for our homeschool.

It was harder to find options for multi-sensory learning, but it was no less important. In fact, my middle schooler needed hands-on activities to thrive.

Why Homeschooling Middle School Is Better With Hands-On Learning

Why Homeschooling Middle School Is Better With Hands-On Learning

Study after study has shown that learners of all ages do best when the material is presented in a multisensory format. Text combined with video, hands-on creative activities, and even art as a way to demonstrate understanding have all been proven to contribute to more successful learner outcomes.

The strategies behind multisensory learning are supported by decades of research, particularly Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. This theory, which was developed by Harvard professor Dr. Howard Gardner, states that the traditional notions of learning and intelligence are too limited. Gardner proposes that people can have proficiencies in different kinds of intelligences, and that teaching students in a way that matches their intellectual strengths can help them grasp tough subjects.

Waterford.Org

So, if the research proves it and we know to it be true in our own homes, why is it so hard to find options for middle school?

I think as we transition kids into more independent learning, the hands-on component tends to get lost. We assume that independent means a textbook, pen and, paper.

But it doesn’t have to be!

Why Homeschooling Middle School Is Better With Hands-On Learning

Middle School Hands-On Learning With You ARE An Artist

Finding You ARE An Artist changed our middle school completely, as it gave me easy resources for hands-on learning across our academic subjects.

For example, when my son was learning about Pompeii in his ancient history study, we created a volcano with Nana. When his seventh grade science book introduced astronomy, we completed You ARE An Artist’s Space Exploration Unit.

We have found lessons for language arts, art history, poetry time, American history, scientific inventions, and so many more, all with our Clubhouse Membership. It completely solved my problem: hands-on learning was back in our middle school!

Adding More Independent Learning To Your Homeschool

As I mentioned, I think one of the reasons options for multisensory learning dissipate in the middle school years is that we expect our children to learn more and more independently.

You ARE An Artist provides an opportunity to practice independent learning as well!

My son completes his lessons without any help or involvement from me. We pick the unit and gather the materials, then I go about my day while Nana takes over as his teacher. (The only thing I sometimes do is create my own version of the activity along side him – not because he needs it, but because I find it to be a wonderful way to connect and create together. )

Homeschooling Middle School With You ARE An Artist

When we were first getting started, I was pleasantly surprised to see that there are so many opportunities for hands-on learning with You ARE An Artist.

Here is just a brief summary of the multisensory lessons available for homeschooling your middle schooler –

Middle School History/Geography

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

Science For Middle School

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

Literature And Language Arts

  • Harry Potter (one of my son’s absolute favorites!)
  • Stopping By The Woods – Robert Frost
  • The Hobbit
  • Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
  • Lamp Post – Narnia C.S. Lewis
  • Hundred Acre Wood – A.A. Milne

Art Lessons For Middle School

  • A Simple Start In Acrylics
  • A Simple Start In Chalk Pastels
  • Art Techniques
  • Famous Artists
  • Art Master Classes

I am so grateful to have found You ARE An Artist. It’s been an integral part of our homeschool throughout my son’s middle school years. He has learned in ways that work best for his interests and needs. He has become a more independent learner. And, he had fun along the way.

What more could I ask for?

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.