Today is day 2 of Homeschool Essentials. On day 1 I shared with you one of most essential although basic items Book! Today I’m going to talk about our our art supplies! (shhh, there is a big giveaway at the end of this post)

I know what you are thinking… Geeze Crystal, Homeschool Essentials? Books and Art Supplies? How basic can we get?  That’s my point though!  Why complicate things when the basics are what really matter.

Why art supplies? Art supplies open up the world to my children so that they can take what they have learned and manipulate it, engage it, practice it, and expand on it.

In our home my children will devour a stack of books on a topic and then go and create their very own projects with our art supplies based on what they learned. Let me give you an example from the past. A couple of years ago we were neck deep in a study of the Medieval Period. We have had a blast with this topic. What boys wouldn’t? Medieval means knights, castles, sword fights, jousting, and horses. Our library cart has been filled to the BRIM with every book our library can find on the subject. They’ve poured over these books for hours.

Our Art Gallery

Eventually these books find their way to our art table. Nearby is a cabinet filled to the brim with paints, pastels, construction paper, scissors, colored pencils, water colors, markers, drawing pencils, glue, craft sticks…. you name it! Supplies come flying out and they spend hours inventing the very things they read about in the books. If things go well they’ll use their creations to reenact the stories in the books they read. This process goes on for weeks. I can sit back and watch immense amounts of problem solving, planning, negotiating with one another, rethinking, retooling, improvising, and improving. I have learned the best learning happens when I don’t interfere. My job is provide the materials and perhaps some advice if asked. That’s it!

The art table – though most projects end up so big they do them all over the house.

That year they’ve created a room sized castle from cardboard with GREAT detail. They beg cardboard from just about anyone. Fortunately for them their grandparents work in a place with an abundant supply! The castle came down and went back up, refined, from time to time. They made their own catapults, bows and arrows, and long spears.

Noah wrote an illustrated book on everything he knew about the Middles Ages. It was all his own idea. He used the supplies I had on hand, and created what I would have called a report if I had assigned it. I didn’t assign it though, he dreamt it up on his own, and I would say he did a far stellar job because it came from HIM, not me.

Our art cabinet.
We do have rules for the art supplies. They do have to ask me before they take something out but ONLY because I don’t want them digging out all of the paints 15 minutes before we have to leave for an appointment. It is also up to them to clean up everything every time. If they do not then they will lose access that thing they left out. No one wants that to happen. They do a good job over all.

Between the books and the art supplies my children engage in learning in a deeper and broader way than I ever would have imagined. My role is to provide the stuff and then get out of their way.
Yes, an abundance of art supplies… essential to our homeschool!

These days their art creations look a little bit different.  During a year long study of ocean life my Noah created an aquarium.  He used clay, tools, and paint to shape fish according to pictures.  Recently after studying the nation of Mongolia they worked together to create a miniature ancient village. Their project making has grown and matured with them.  I

Now how about we see if you can win some art supplies, or books (the essentials of homeschooling) for free!  On to the giveaway!

It’s Back to (Home) School time!!

It’s that time of year when many homeschoolers are busy preparing for a new school year.  Some of you may have already started your new year, and some of you may have never stopped!

I’ve gotten together with a great group of bloggers to make getting ready for the new school year just a little bit easier and hopefully a little less stressful for you.  How does $250 sound in helping you buy curriculum, books, games, puzzles, and educational supplies?  Two people will win a $250 gift card to the online store of their choice (choices are Rainbow Resource, Christianbook, or Timberdoodle).

We know homeschooling can put a financial strain on families – whether it’s from living on one-income or buying curriculum for your children – the financial aspect of it can be stressful.  Our hope is that we can bless homeschool families so they can purchase the curriculum and supplies they need (or maybe a want you can finally splurge on) for their school year.

To enter for your chance to win, simply use the Rafflecopter form below to enter.  Now I know that is quite a few entries for you, but each of these bloggers generously chipped in their own money to bring you this giveaway, so I hope you will take the time to do all of the entries.  And hey, the more entries you do, the better your odds are of winning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends August 4th, 2017 at 11:59pm ET.  Must be at least 18 years of age.  Selected winners will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prizes, or another winner will be drawn.  Please be sure to read the Terms & Conditions upon entering the giveaway.