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A Winter Homeschool Snowflake Study With Snowflake Bentley

Enjoy a winter snowflake study for your homeschool! Fun learning with a Snowflake Bentley read aloud, online winter art lessons and snowflake activities.

This winter homeschool snowflake study combines the beauty of winter with the fascinating life of Snowflake Bentley.

In our part of New England, the arrival of the first snow is greatly anticipated. It can happen as early as October or as late as January. We watch the sky and weather reports eagerly for this delightful precipitation. 

What is this somewhat magical weather phenomenon that turns ordinary dreary rainfall into a puffy playscape for kids of all ages? 

It seems hard to believe it’s simply the temperature dropping! Yet, it really is that simple. Let the red line drop below thirty-two degrees and our dreams of a white winter crystalize into reality! Our breath plumes white to match the snow, and suddenly the world is renewed! 

In our house, my boys have their boots on as soon as there’s a skim of snow to make tracks in. Snow angels, snowmen, snow ball fights, and sledding take up hours of their time until they’ve quite worn the snow out!

Whether you get snow in your area or not, you can create a winter snowflake study of this beautiful white fluffy stuff in your homeschool this year! Just gather a few simple materials to show your kids the wonder of these winter crystals.

“The snow crystals . . . come to us not only to reveal the wondrous beauty of the minute in Nature, but to teach us that all earthly beauty is transient and must soon fade way. But though the beauty of the snow is evanescent, like the beauties of the autumn, as of the evening sky, it fades but to come again.” ― Wilson A. Bentley

Learning About Snowflakes

There is no person better to start learning about snowflakes from than the man who dedicated his life to capturing these ephemeral water-stars. 

Wilson Bentley of Vermont said, “… from the beginning, it was the snowflakes that fascinated me most.” We agree, snowflakes are simply mesmerizing!

Wilson Bentley’s website contains a rich and lengthy biography, as well as several articles about snowflakes written by Bentley himself. Bookmark this site for some “mother culture” reading time as you plan your homeschool snowflake study. Bentley’s articles are written with as much beauty as their subject matter. 

Snowflake Bentley Homeschool Read Aloud

As the first person to ever capture a snowflake’s intricacy on camera, Wilson Bentley’s passion for snowflakes earned him the nickname “Snowflake Bentley.” His story is best enjoyed in the picture book by the same name. 

This read-aloud book is distinctive in that it uses two side-by-side narratives to share Snowflake Bentley’s story. The narrative under the woodcut illustrations lyrically tells the story of Bentley’s life and passion for snow. The margin text adds facts and scientific details that help the reader understand the excitement and importance of Bentley’s work. 

Bentley grew from a young boy who loved snow to a teenager who pursued his passions to a young man who determinedly persevered through failures. He knew there were “treasures in the snow” and he would gift these treasures to the world. 

And so he did. After decades of effort, he had a vast collection of snowflake photos compiled into a book: Snow Crystals. From passionate child to “snowflake authority” figure, Snowflake Bentley’s story is both endearing and insightful. 

Under the microscope, I found that snowflakes were miracles of beauty; and it seemed a shame that this beauty should not be seen and appreciated by others. Every crystal was a masterpiece of design and no one design was ever repeated. When a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost. Just that much beauty was gone, without leaving any record behind.” — Wilson Bentley

A Snowflake Bentley Study For All Ages In Your Homeschool

After reading about the startling beauty of snowflakes, children will definitely want to explore more! 

My boys took turns creating chalk pastel paintings to celebrate all things snow.

winter snowflake study
winter snowflake study

We started with the lesson on Snowflake Bentley and his camera. This lesson is perfect for older students because it’s a bit more intricate. 

The preschool lesson on snowflakes in Snow Clubhouse is short and sweet and delightful for beginners or younger students. Even a few minutes of painting with Nana helps kids to pause for a moment and consider the wonder of these tiny, transient winter gems. Nana’s patient instruction guides kids to wonder at the uniqueness of snowflakes as they draw. 

Bird in Snow is the perfect lesson to connect snowflakes to wildlife in your backyard – plus it uses black paper like Bentley’s black snowflake tray! The contrast of the chalk pastels on different colored backgrounds is stunning. 

winter snowflake study

My youngest painted Welcome Winter Snowman to celebrate the fun we can all enjoy with snowflakes! 

winter snowflake study

More Winter Homeschooling Resources

These snowy treasures of Bentley’s are well-celebrated in Nana’s Chalk Pastel lessons! Check out the ideas in this Winter Solstice celebration post. 

From a snowflake study, you can move easily to exploring other winter weather topics. Enjoy lessons on frosted leaves, icicles, beautiful frozen winter lakes at midnight and more with Nana. Your kids will see how snow, with its delicate, icy touch, creates beauty in all aspects of wintertime. 

Along with our chalk pastel lessons, we added in a few other hands-on craft activities. 

winter snowflake study

We were blessed beyond delight when the morning after painting our snow pictures with Nana, we had a suddenly snowfall! I handed out black construction paper and we rushed out to play Snowflake Bentley and collect our own snow crystals. Although I’m no photographer like he was, I managed to snap a few closeups to capture the detail of a handful of our flakes. 

The boys and I studied my photos later, commenting on the shapes, edges, and variety in our small sampling. When we draw attention to the fleeting beauty of snow, we’re teaching children to pay attention to even the smallest of things. This skill of noticing is foundational to keep our children enthralled with learning.

Later in the week, the boys and I made snowflakes. Snowflake cutouts can be simple and fun to make. Since my husband’s family is Polish, every so often, we attempt the Polish paper cutting technique of Gwiazdy (or, stars). Very similar to cutting paper snowflakes, but with more detailed cut-out designs. Just like snowflakes, no two are ever the same, no matter how we might try! 

winter snowflake study

We also designed snowflakes out of pipe cleaners. Extend this activity into a science lesson by making your own snow crystals! Kids can make actual crystal structures using a borax solution (especially wondrous if you live in an area that won’t have snow). 

You might also enjoy a Silent Winter Snow Walk using your senses. Find out how with our sister site, Homeschool Nature Study’s Outdoor Hour Challenge Instagram post!

However you choose to study snowflakes, whether reading, painting, or crafting, there is no doubt snowflakes are one of nature’s most beautiful wonders. The melt-away beauty of snowflakes never fails to melt hearts of nature lovers everywhere.

Of all the forms of water the tiny six-pointed crystals of ice called snow are incomparably the most beautiful and varied. – Wilson Bentley

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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A Homeschool Nature Study With Winnie the Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood

This delightful homeschool nature study is all about Winnie The Pooh's Hundred Acre Wood. It includes book references and online art lessons, perfect for the entire family.

This delightful homeschool nature study is all about Winnie The Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood. It includes book references and online art lessons, perfect for the entire family.

Winnie the Pooh: A Classic Read Aloud

“So they went off together. But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the Forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.” A.A Milne The House at Pooh Corner, p. 180

A playful Roo,

A shy Piglet too.

A melancholy donkey,

It’s Eeyore, you see.

A Christopher Robin, the benevolent boy,

On the 100 Acre Wood with all of his toys.

And the poetic bear, who has a round tummy,

Gladly plays Pooh Sticks and loves to eat honey!

95 years later, that beloved bear, Winnie the Pooh, still lives on in the hearts and homes of many readers. Penned by the remarkable author, A.A. Milne,  the Pooh stories leave a masterpiece of hilarity, childhood expression, and charm. Curious minds are invited deeper into the wholesome adventures of the 100 Acre Wood awakening a longing for the simple days. The tender wordplay sprinkled across these classic tales bring laughter and a light-hearted cheer. And while Milne’s whimsical talking animals stir a child’s wonder, the affectionate memories the famous bear brings, will stir a mother’s heart, forever.

This delightful homeschool nature study is all about Winnie The Pooh's Hundred Acre Wood. It includes book references and online art lessons, perfect for the entire family.

Winnie the Pooh is 100 Years Old in 2021

In 1921, A.A Milne gave Winnie the Pooh to his son, Christopher Robin Milne for his first birthday. That makes Pooh Bear 100 years old! His first name was Edward Bear and then renamed after a black bear, Winnipeg, Winnie for short. Mr. Harry Colebourn, a veterinarian, purchased Winnie for twenty dollars while traveling to serve in World War 1. This black bear served as a mascot for the Canadian Army and was later rehomed at the London Zoo where Christopher Robin Milne visited. The name “Pooh” is said to be from a swan.

Family fun with Winnie the Pooh books and family-style learning.

A.A. Milne’s inspiration for such winning stories about a melancholy donkey who once lost his tail, a dandelion-blowing Piglet, and a Tigger who loves a “golollop” of Strengthening Medicine is based on his one and only son, Christopher Robin Milne and his stuffed toys. Pooh’s endearing adventures have been translated into over fifty languages with more than 20 million copies sold! Winnie the Pooh and his friends, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, and Kanga live at the New York Public Library for all to see. This poetic bear devoted to honey, kindness, and gentle humor continues to fill the hearts of parents and children all over the world.

Where is the real hundred acre wood?

The Real 100 Acre Wood: A Homeschool Nature Study

Did you know that the 100 Acre Wood actually exists?  It is nestled in Sussex, England, called Ashdown Forest. This spectacular forest dressed in heathland and trees is the place that brought inspiration for A.A Milne’s Pooh stories and the illustrations by Ernest H. Shepherd. Ashdown forest also homes many wildlife such as deer, birds, and butterflies. We tied in a bit of geography by locating Europe, the United Kingdom, London, and Sussex, England on a map. To see what the 100 Acre Wood is called in Ashdown Forest, visit Where Is The Hundred Acre Wood? Wonderopolis is kid-friendly, offers informational reading, rich vocabulary, and fun writing activities!

All the Winnie the Pooh fun with Hundred Acre Wood Homechool Lessons, literature writing prompts and art lessons.
All the Winnie the Pooh FUN!

A Winnie The Pooh Hundred Acre Wood Homeschool Lessons

January 18th is Winnie the Pooh Day! It is also A.A. Milne’s birthday. Painting with Nana is the perfect way to honor the notable author and the famous Pooh Bear! Maybe baking a delicious Sweet Potato pie using Nana’s recipe will add a little extra sweetness to your art time and “delicious colors”.  Chalk Pastel Art has always enhanced my children’s learning experiences. One of my absolute favorite ways to incorporate art with Nana is either right before a read aloud or right after. The artwork serves as wonderful visuals for oral narration, and they are so beautiful on our walls! Coupling living books with art is such an effective way to create a unit study with minimal prep.  Let’s take a look at the engaging art lessons that sharpened my children’s creativity for our Winnie the Pooh unit study! All of these can be found in You ARE an ARTiST Clubhouse Complete membership in Nana’s Literature course, which is a continuing series. The Hundred Acre Wood Map is included in the Maps section.

  • Pooh and the Honey Tree
  • Hundred Acre Wood Map
  • Home in the Tree
  • Teddy Bear Picnic

…And it was eleven o’ clock. Which was Time-for-a-little-something…”

Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne
Enjoy a Teddy Bear Picnic Winnie the Pooh style!

Nana’s Online Art Lesson: Teddy Bear Picnic

Why not go on a picnic with Nana and a teddy bear? Grab your red gingham blanket, bring your favorite yummy snacks, maybe some “hunny”, a refreshing drink, and don’t forget those colorful chalk pastels! You will need those for this fun lesson! We joined two lovely picture books, Finding Winnie The True Story of the World’s Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattick and Winnie The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh  by Salley M. Walker with Nana’s lesson. These picture books were loved by my younger and older children. While my three and four-year-olds loved the colorful illustrations, my older children enjoyed the inspiration behind Winnie the Pooh’s name. They were also fascinated with the real black and white photos, and the real black bear, Winnie.

Home in the Tree Homeschool Art Lesson

Aw, that beautiful beech tree where shy Piglet lives! Nana surely uses “delicious colors” in this lesson with the different shades of green, pinks and reds!  I can just picture sweet Piglet hanging his clothes on the laundry line.

Home in the Tree art lesson just might be Piglet's house!

And that broken sign that reads, “Trespassers Will” brought a few befuddled looks and giggles in our household. We had to talk about how “Trespassers Will” was  Piglet’s grandfather’s name, and Piglet’s grandfather had two names, just in case he lost one-at least that is what Piglet told Christopher Robin.  

We coupled Piglet’s art lesson with a classic read aloud by , A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh. This book is a wonderful collection of short stories packed with adventures on the 100 Acre Wood! From Piglet ending up in Kanga’s pouch, to Piglet’s house being surrounded by water, Eeyore losing his tail, Pooh getting stuck at Rabbit’s house,  and so much more!

Learn to draw a map of the Hundred Acre Wood with all of the favorite spots for each character.
Even the sweet, family dog can join in Winnie the Pooh art time!

The Hundred Acre Wood Map Art Lesson for Your Homeschool

Painting the Hundred Acre Wood map provided a perfect visual that satisfied my children’s curious minds while imagining Pooh’s fanciful adventures. This delightful art lesson complements both stories by A.A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner and Winnie the Pooh.

Winnie the Pooh and the honey tree with an art lesson for Pooh and the balloon!

Pooh and the Honey Tree Homeschool Lesson

We saved this painting for last! I wanted to save this one until we were all finished with our books so my children could really grasp Pooh’s character. By the time we finished the stories, my children couldn’t wait to paint this colorful classic with Nana!

“People say nothing is impossible. But I do nothing every day.”

Winnie the Pooh
Did you know that You ARE an ARTiST Clubhouse members enjoy accompanying curriculum with Fast Facts, writing prompts and more?

Homeschool Literature Writing Prompts with Art Lessons!

Did you know that You ARE an ARTiST Clubhouse members enjoy accompanying curriculum with Fast Facts, writing prompts and more?

Paint a forest path for your Hundred Acre Wood study!

Additional Nature Study Resources

Chalk Pastel Art offers so many additional nature study resources that pair well with Winnie the Pooh and the Hundred Acre Wood! Combine Nana’s art lesson, with a nature walk, a little bit of geography, a read aloud, and there you have it! A Pooh homeschool nature study hundred acre wood style! Check out the homeschool art lessons that are available!

Sunflowers and honey bees are a perfect addition to your Hundred Acre Wood Nature Study.

The 100 Acre Wood is located on Ashdown Forest in Sussex, England, not too far from London. Ashdown forest houses many deer, birds, butterflies, and invertebrates! Enjoy art lessons with a forest theme:

This delightful homeschool nature study is all about Winnie The Pooh's Hundred Acre Wood. It includes book references and online art lessons, perfect for the entire family.
Nana has acrylic art lessons too! Enjoy painting a titmouse and imagine it living in the Hundred Acre Wood

Piglet loves “haycorns’ and was found by Pooh cheerfully blowing a dandelion. Nana’s acorn lesson with those gorgeous shades of brown!

Dandelion art lesson! This delightful homeschool nature study is all about Winnie The Pooh's Hundred Acre Wood. It includes book references and online art lessons, perfect for the entire family.
You might also like Nana’s Eric Carle Unit Study, lesson and podcast!
  • Dandelion – that bright fluffy dandelion works amazingly for a Piglet character study!
Nana and the Bear! A perfect lesson for your Homeschool Nature Study With Winnie the Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood
  • Winnipeg was a black bear, check out Nana’s, “Nana and the Bear” lesson, not only to enjoy a cheerful painting of a black bear, but also to hear about the black bear who visited Nana’s backyard! Nana and the Bear
  • Nana and Tricia are BIG Winnie the Pooh fans. Tricia and her family got to see the Winnie the Pooh Art exhibit, the original stuffed animals, art by Ernest H. Shepherd and more on their trip to the High Museum of Art. You can see the photos here.
  • Harry Colebourn the man who purchased Winnie for $20.00 served in World War 1 with a very important job, taking care of the horses. Nana has a lesson on the helmets they wore during World War 1. War Helmets Clubhouse

For your Winnie the Pooh fan, you can take a deep dive and learn with all of Nana’s lessons – with a homeschool nature study hundred acre wood style, a literature focus or both! Chalk pastel art has been a wonderful addition to our homeschool learning. Our art time has benefited my son with learning differences.

Did you know that Nana also has Lord of the Rings, Little Women, Snowflake Bentley and more in the Literature Clubhouse course for her January Literature emphasis? What a joy to learn in a hands on way in your homeschool.

Jamie Gault

Jamie is the author of A Brown Bear’s Language Arts Study, a literature-inspired homeschool mom of eight, and a former educator. She enjoys a bookshelf bursting with colorful picture books  and children’s stories of all genres. Indulging in a read aloud with all of her children around her is one of Jamie’s favorite moments of her days. Be sure to find Jamie on Instagram and visit her blog, Treasuring the Tiny Moments Homeschool, to be encouraged by all her learning adventures with her wonderful family.

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Ox-Cart Man Activities For Your Homeschool

These Ox-Cart Man activities are sure to bring this great book to life! Take a trip back to the 1800s with a New England farmer in the Ox-Cart Man. In a time when you wove your own clothes, whittled your own broom, and split your own shingles, this lyrical story takes you on a journey through the changing seasons.

Ox-Cart Man by Donald Hall is in picture book format. The story is beautifully illustrated by Barabara Cooney, winner of the Caldecott Medal.

Ox-Cart Man Activities For Your Homeschool: Take a trip back to the 1800s with a New England farmer in the Ox-Cart Man. In a time when you wove your own clothes, whittled your own broom, and split your own shingles, this lyrical story takes you on a journey through the changing seasons. These activities are sure to bring the Ox-Cart Man to life! #chalkpastels #YouAREAnArtist #OxCartMan #OxCartManActivities #videoartlessons #homeschool #changingseasons #chalkpastelteatime

Ox-Cart Man Is A Wonderful Read Aloud

After a year of harvesting cabbages, turnips, honey, maple sugar, wool, and various other goods a farmer’s family has grown, gathered, or made, the ox-cart man loads up his cart to go and sell it for his family. He walks for ten days through the countryside before he reaches Portsmouth Market.

Ten days!

My children and I couldn’t imagine going to town once per year to buy all the things we needed. Let alone walk ten days to get there and then ten days back!

And yet, the only things the farmer bought and returned home with were:

  • A Barlow knife for his son.
  • An embroidery needle for his daughter.
  • An iron kettle for his wife.
  • Two pounds of peppermint candies for the whole family to enjoy.
Ox-Cart Man Activities For Your Homeschool

Ox-Cart Man Activities For Your Homeschool

What better way to celebrate autumn than with a chalk pastel teatime with Nana’s new lesson and Ox-Cart Man activities? In her lesson, Nana took us step by step in creating our own carts loaded with homegrown and homemade commodities.

We added in a few of Nana’s other lessons to round out our Ox-Cart Man teatime, including:

  • Garden Honey Bees – to represent the honey the family collected
  • Baby Lamb – to represent the wool that was sheered in the spring and spun into yarn for weaving and knitting
  • Goose – to represent the goose feathers collected in the barnyard
  • Forest Path – to represent the ten days the man walked each way through forests and farmland
Ox-Cart Man Activities For Your Homeschool

With Nana’s seasonal tree art, you could also use this book as a springboard for chalk pastels all about changing seasons!

Ox-Cart Man Activities For Your Homeschool

We are not a self-sufficient family like the one in the book, except for honey. We do keep honey bees, and they provide us with enough honey to last all year as well as a little to spare. Harvesting honey is a family affair and pretty tasty too.

So, I brought up a jar of honey from the basement to add to our teatime treats.

Ox-Cart Man Activities For Your Homeschool

More Homeschool Lessons For Our Favorite Books

We also enjoyed the I Drew It Then I Knew It Companion Workbook exclusive to the You ARE An Artist Clubhouse Literature Video Art Lessons. It contained facts about author Donald Hall as well as writing prompts and prompts for additional research!

Did you know the Ox-Cart Man was initially written as a poem?

More Homeschool Lessons For Our Favorite Books

With the You ARE An Artist Clubhouse Membership, you’ll have exclusive access to the You ARE An Artist Clubhouse Literature Video Art Lessons and IDITIKI Companion Workbook. These literature chalk pastel lessons include:

Ox-Cart Man Activities For Your Homeschool

Chalk Pastels and Literature

The Ox-Cart Man is rich with imagery of days gone by, and Nana has a beautiful way of bringing all the vibrance and color straight into your home with her chalk pastel lessons. Her lessons pair perfectly with some of our favorite literature! How grand to enjoy the richness and depth of the written word AND the vibrant color of art.

Ox-Cart Man Activities For Your Homeschool

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

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Integrated Art For Homeschooling High School

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

What Is Integrated Art?

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

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

Institute for Art Education and STEAM

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

integrated art

Why Is It So Helpful In Homeschool High School?

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

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

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

The Foundations Of An Integrated Art Curriculum

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

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

integrated art

You Are An Artist For High School Homeschool

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

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

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

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

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

Integrated Literature and Language Arts For High School

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

History and Geography For High School Homeschooling

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

Science For High School With You ARE An Artist

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

(You can also read all about how to use You Are An Artist specifically for High School Art credit HERE)

integrated art for your homeschool

Integrated Art In Your Homeschool Curriculum

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

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

Shawna Wingert

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

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The Power of Adding Art To Literature Lessons

adding art to literature

When your child struggles to read, language arts can be a difficult, and often stressful subject. Adding art to literature lessons has completely changed my son’s ability to engage in and enjoy the stories without the pressure of struggling to read them.

What I’ve learned is that this is a powerful approach to learning, no matter what your child’s reading ability!

There is something powerful that happens when we add art to literature lessons. This is an in-depth look at why it works so well.

Art Brings Story To Life

I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me before.

Of course art makes a difference in how we can connect with literature! Bringing a story or poem to life in this most accessible way, allows a learner to not only understand the learning, but retain it as well.

For example, drawing The Globe Theatre as a part of our Shakespeare study gave my son an immediate visual reference whenever it came again in the 39 Clues Book series. He knew it because he drew it!

art and literature

The Connection Between Art And Language Arts

One of the first times I experienced this connection between art and language arts was when my youngest was only seven. We had just read a Ramona Quimby book, together as a family, and we were discussing her antics.

Without promoting, my son went over to our art supplies and began drawing a picture or Ramona squeezing toothpaste into the sink. It was a highlight of the series for my son, mostly because he had always wanted to do it himself!

When he was done with the picture, he brought it over to me, curled up on my lap, and recounted the story itself. It was a small glimmer of what I would come to know about the relationship between language arts and art for my child.

He retained the highlights of the story itself and was able to communicate his comprehension and character analysis after he committed his thoughts to the page in the form of artistic expression.

The Power of Adding Art To Literature Lessons

The Power Of Adding Art To Literature Lessons

Because this has been such an important part of his learning, I want to share with you an example of how this practically works in a real life homeschool lesson.

Earlier this year, Robert Frost came up in conversation as we discussed poetry. As I mentioned, my son struggles with reading. Poetry is actually easier for him to read because he can anticipate the words based on the cadence and flow of the language.

I knew Robert Frost was next in our homeschool learning plan.

The Power of Adding Art To Literature Lessons

You Are An Artist Homeschool Literature Lessons

Because You Are An Artist features a Robert Frost Lesson, we were able to get started right away.

Even the poem itself was included as a download, so I didn’t have to go searching on the internet. We simply printed the poem, pulled Nana up on the screen, got our art supplies and relaxed into an afternoon of poetry and art.

The Power of Adding Art To Literature Lessons

Here is how we tackled the learning:

  • We read the poem together out loud.
  • We listened to Nana and each drew our own Snowy Woods.
  • My son read the poem to me on his own, and we laughed at my crazy horse drawing.
art and literatue

It was so simple, so easy, and it was one of the most productive lessons we’ve had together in a while. He practiced reading. We enjoyed poetry together. He engaged his senses in a hands-on learning activity. It was a total win.

I found myself wishing every homeschool afternoon could be like this one.

The good news is, maybe they can!

You Are An Artist has a wealth of literature lessons to chose from.

Did you know that with the You ARE An Artist Clubhouse Membership you’ll have exclusive access to the You ARE An Artist Clubhouse Literature Video Art Lessons? And with these lessons, members receive an I Drew It Then I Knew It Literature Companion workbook filled with writing prompts, fun facts and more!

Literature Lessons For your Homeschool

Shawna Wingert

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