Do you find yourself skipping art altogether because of a failed art curriculum in the past? Is it easy to trudge through your math and language arts books and somehow get through it by the end of the year. Then you leave your art plans by the wayside?
If so, you are not alone.
I’m embarrassed to admit that even though I am quite artsy, I still have a hard time incorporating art into our homeschool on a regular basis! I’ll go in spurts. One week I might be gung ho about ceramics and have the kids get started on a project on the pottery wheel. It might even get glazed, But, it could be weeks before it actually enters the kiln. Terrible, I know.
Maybe the reason some of us struggle is because we set such high, unattainable goals for ourselves. I know that I personally can plan for great and mighty art classes in the beginning of the year but because it’s not a core, academic class I let it slide.
Art in your homeschool doesn’t have to involve a lengthy curriculum that requires piles of money, time and skill. When I remind myself of this, I then relax a bit and just go with the flow. Even though there are many awesome, in depth art programs out there available for homeschoolers, I have learned that I am just not cut out for them. Rather, I like the simple, easy approach.
For example, Sharon Jeffus has an awesome interactive, online curriculum called Art Through The Year. The lessons includes a 20 -30 minute video instructing your child in different art techniques, using drawing or painting. I love them because I can do a video with the kids every once in awhile and it’s a nice treat for them.
Since winter is now in full swing, why not pick one or two winter inspired art projects to excite our kids? Go ahead and try out some of these projects this winter!
Tree silhouette drawing
My favorite winter scene is a bare, leafless, deciduous tree in the snow. If the snow chooses to remain on the branches for a bit, even better! To create this scene in your homeschool, grab your sketchbook, and a sketching pencil, (an HB or a 2B pencil work best for this project). Have your child find a tree they want to draw like the one pictured below.
Encourage them to look at their page and figure on filling the entire page with the image of the tree. Starting from the bottom up, have them create the trunk first. Working upwards, have them find the natural “y”s in the tree and have them recreate them. Once they have these larger branches accounted for they can work on the smaller branches until they are pleased with their creation!
Nature ice sculpture
Bundle up and head outside for a scavenger hunt. Prepare a list of items from nature you want your child to find or simply see what they can come up with. Find items of all shapes and sizes. Acorns, black walnuts, pine branches, pinecones, mistletoe or whatever is native to your region. Once you have a decent collection, fill a bowl (or bucket) with water. Add your treasure. Let freeze outside or in a freezer. Remove from your container and your child can enjoy their artwork, outside!
Cookie cutter bird feeders
Don’t pack your Christmas cookie cutters away yet! I like to keep mine in an easily accessible location for all kinds of activities throughout the year, especially ones that involve Play-doh! But, I’ll save that for a different day. Today, I want to share with you a cute way to use cookie cutters this winter.
Gather the following:
- 4 cups bird seed
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tablespoons of corn syrup
- Vegetable oil
- An assortment of cookie cutters
- Cookie sheet
- Parchment paper
- A straw
Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper and rub a small amount of oil on the inside of your cookie cutters.
Combine flour, water, and syrup together in a large bowl. Add bird seed and stir together.
Place your cookie cutters on the lined cookie sheet and fill with the mixture by pressing it in with your hands.
Remove your creation from the cookie cutter and leave it on the cookie sheet. Using the straw, create a hole where you want to place the string to hang the feeder. Let it sit out for 6 hours to dry. Add string. Hang outside for the birds to enjoy!
Blow bubbles and watch them freeze
If your weather reaches extremely cold conditions and you happen to have some leftover bubble solution leftover from the summer, why not trying to blow bubbles outside and watch them freeze?
Snowflake sugar painting
Print out a cartoon snowflake like the one pictured or give your child an extra thick black market to create their own. Have them follow along the lines with glue. Take a paper plate filled with colored sugar and pour onto the image. Gently shake off the extra sugar and wait for their creations to dry!