First Art Lesson

Mr. Bluesky is an artist, I’m not saying that as a bragging Mom, that is what he says. Not only what he’ll be when he grows up, it’s what he is now. His favorite thing is to create art. Now, a lot of the time I don’t get his art but hey, I can say the same about a lot of art I’ve seen.

We do a lot of art and craft projects here but while I come from a family of artists, I myself am not very art knowledgeable and I wanted to have a little more guidance. After reading different reviews I decided to get Home Art Studio Kindergarten for us to use this year. While I was deciding, Mr. Bluesky saw a video about the program and was very negative about it. He was already an artist and didn’t need lessons, doing her art would mean he couldn’t do his art, on and on with his complaints. I went ahead and ordered the program anyways.

He was still really complaining about the program even as I was about to play the dvd for the first time. And then all complaints were gone. We watched the lesson once, got our supplies together, and then watched it again, pausing as necessary as we did the lesson.

Painting the background.


The first lesson is about primary colors. I did have to help him some, his ability to trace his own hand wasn’t great and when it came to painting he wanted me to do the part directly around the hand so that it wouldn’t get damaged. For the background paint the lesson has you mixing two primary colors to make a secondary color. Instead Mr. Bluesky chose black for the background. Once the painting for the lesson was done, he spent the next hour or so making different monster paintings and he was mixing colors for those.

Primary Hands
Primary Hands

He LOVED the lesson! I mean jumping up and down and shouting LOVED it! Can’t wait to do the next one. It was so nice to hear and I was so relieved that it was something he will enjoy and learn from (and not money down the drain!).


100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum

A little while ago on one of my email lists someone new to homeschooling was asking for advice about curriculum. I responded and part of my response was to recommend 2 different books that I  remembered liking. I even went to Amazon to read the description to make sure that I remembered the books right and then decided I should reread them so I put them on hold at our library. The first book was 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy.

What I remembered liking about this book was the very first section where she talks you through establishing your “philosophy of education”, what you want your children to learn, and how you want your homeschool to work. She also has a great section on different approaches to education (examples: children working as independently as possible, highly structured resources that tell the parent what to say and exactly what the children should be doing) and then once you answer all these questions about your approaches you can add up the scores and see what styles would fit you best: Charlotte Mason, Unit Study, Unschooling, Classical, etc…

The next section is about figuring out your children’s learning styles and your teaching styles. After you figure out the learning styles she then rates the different curriculum based on how it works for different styles.

The rest of the book is reviews of her top picks for each subject area. So now my review.

What I did not remember was that this was a very Christian resource, that in itself doesn’t rule out books for me but, hmm, how can I say this. This book seems very in your face about it and it’s not just religion but political leaning (right) so it makes her recommendations (especially for science and history) worthless for me. I also feel that if you really want to get to know your children’s learning styles that reading a more in depth book instead of the short summaries in this one would be much more useful. That said I still say this book is worth reading just for the first section alone but if anyone knows of other books that help you figure out your educational philosophy and plan out your long term goals I’d really like to know the title (please!).


This month I was able to use two 40% off coupons at Michael’s Craft Store. I used one on a new puzzle for MBS and the other on a set of Do-A-Dot markers. MBS has been loving using these markers, though he tends to overly bang them down and also soak the paper. I like that so far he can’t open the cap on his own, so no worries of finding him using them when I wasn’t planning on them being out.

MBS liked helping to shake them.

Shaking the new marker.

He liked trying to get in the circle.

Working on the letter O.

And he liked painting his face with them.

What Momma?

Unfortunately Do-A-Dot markers are NOT as easily washed off as Crayola’s Washable Markers. It’s mostly cleaned up but you can still see faint “smudges” where the marker was. All in all they seem like a great product but need supervision if your child is the kind to paint their face (or anything other than the paper).