Wednesday, October 30, 2013

homeschooling and art--just do it

I think art is something it would be easy to let slip through the cracks as a homeschooler. So are science experiments, in my opinion. Luckily, I have a child extremely inclined toward each of these things, which gives me a push to just suck it up and plan for both art projects and science experiments because that is what my girls like. I have also realized, it doesn't necessarily have to include a ton of planning to incorporate art into our school days, especially since Natalie will make anything possible into an art project anyway--today she finished coloring in fraction pies and then proceeded to doodle all over the page to make it cute :)

This month, we have made quite a few October-themed art projects and it's been super fun. I think the key is to have a handful of basic supplies on hand and then choose simple projects that use the things you already have--nothing demotivates me like having to buy a list of supplies to complete a school project, especially since I am sort of flying by the seat of my pants this year, due to moving.

I hung our projects on the wall in our dining/school room and they make us all smile :)

All the projects hanging here can be found on my Pinterest board, Kid Art. I think the spider web and googly-eyed spiders was my own idea, though. 

I find it pretty easy to tie art in with science. For example, before we made the spider web art, we watched spiders spin webs on YouTube. It was soooo amazing to watch!!! 
Here was our fave:

How can anyone think this world has no Grand Architect, huh?

The skeleton project came after Layla got really into the skeletal system one week. I think I already blogged about that one.

The pumpkin art project idea came from DeepSpaceSparkle, although we used the kinds of paints and supplies we had on hand, instead of the ones she suggested. They turned out awesome!

We had been studying the lifecycle of a pumpkin and really enjoyed this cool giant pumpkin video-the kids like to keep track of the Pepsi can:

The Owl and tree crayon resist watercolors were to go along with the book, Owl Moon, which we were reading that week, along with a little study on animals that migrate and hibernate. We found the book North at the library and found it so fascinating and educational! And the pictures were beautiful.

Here are some of the supplies I keep on hand. Even if I weren't a homeschooler, I think having these things around can encourage kids to create in any home! These are my suggestions beyond just crayons, colored pencils, markers, etc...

  • Paint--watercolors, acrylics (just the craft kind in little bottles, nothing fancy) and tempera. The pumpkins were our first time using tempera and we really like these paints! I don't buy expensive things, even though that's what the fancy kid art bloggers tell me to do, because I don't like worrying about the kids ruining them or using too much, etc... I do not, however, buy the cheapest watercolors (Roseart?)--I like the Crayola ones best. When they get messy, I replace them. The younger your kids, the more often they'll need replaced ;)
  • Paint brushes--I like the ones made by Crayola. They sell them in packs of five with different widths and we find they work great.  I don't like the ones that come with watercolors, they're too cheap.  
  • Crayola oil pastels. (These are what Layla's using in the picture above). These things are awesome and can be used in so many ways. They can be blended, they show up on dark paper, can be layered over other mediums and can be used for resist techniques. Crayola is a running theme here, I know. I think they make good products for kids and they're not expensive and can be easily found. Plus, they go on sale all the time. 
  • A table covering--for a long time I had a plastic table cloth I used over and over. It didn't make the move, but I want to spend a few bucks and have a few to keep on hand. We used one last night for pumpkin carving. They're just easier to lay out and clean up than newspaper, which we don't always have around. We improvised last week and used some really wrinkled packing paper from some of our boxes in the garage. 
  • Art shirts--I rescued three of Casey's t-shirts from the giveaway bag and keep them in our school hutch for the kids to wear for painting projects. Along with the table covering, I am more inclined to jump into messy projects if I don't have to search for old clothes for the kids to wear in case they get really messy. 
  • Baby wipes. We always have these around. They are especially handy when we use ink pads, which is surprisingly often. As for ink pads, get a few real ones and don't bother with the washable kids ones--they don't work :) For the spiders, we used pigment ink, which shows up on dark colors. I only have white in pigment ink, but it's been handy for lots of things. 
  • Googly Eyes--because, why wouldn't you? Ha!
I think that's all for now. Feel free to add ideas in the comments! You can browse and follow my Kid Art board here. Along with Deep Space Sparkle, Art Projects for Kids is a great site. And so is Alisa Burke's site.


  1. You are so good! I often fall into the trap of not getting to art and science, because we spend so much time on the basics. I even know that I can teach the basics through these two subjects, but I just forget. Thanks for the reminder! They did a great job on their projects!

  2. The spider art is TOO cute! That pumpkin video was so cool to watch.