Resources for High School Art

Blog, She Wrote: Resources for High School Art

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Do you know your state’s requirements for high school art? In NY, students need one credit of fine art in high school. Upon thinking about it, that is rather curious because I know in high school I didn’t have any art credits- practical or fine. With our non-art oriented high school junior, we’ve chosen to do one quarter credit each year to be filled by project requirements rather than a full art course.

However, our high school freshman is an artist. She has chosen to have one credit of art during each of her four years in high school. How do we meet her requirement? Today we’ll discuss, Resources for High School Art.

Blog, She Wrote: Resources for High School Art

Online Classes for Homeschool Art

Craftsy- is a great source for online classes. We use them all the time. At first we chose only the sewing classes, but now they have many art classes to choose from. These classes are available forever and you hardly ever have to pay full price for a course. These have been worth the investment for us. Rebecca has been working on these courses:

  • Painting Trees in Acrylic- a class dedicated entirely to painting trees. For our nature enthusiast this has been a favorite! The instructor spends a lot of time focusing on various elements of trees and how to paint them.
  • Mixed Media: Pen, Ink, & Watercolor- This was a new medium for us. Rebecca had not worked with pen & ink before. The ink is permanent and besides learning basic drawing techniques, the instructor shares strategies for the watercolor wash.
  • Mixed Media Workshop by Flourish- Alisha over at Flourish has been releasing seasonal mixed media classes since the fall. We love her classes! There are so many projects she teaches and you can repeat them with different themes.
  • High School Art Plans- This post talks more about Rebecca’s art goals. She had some things in mind and we found resources to match her goals.

Blog, She Wrote: Must Have Art Supplies for a Project Based Homeschool

Materials for High School Art

Over the years we’ve gathered a lot of art supplies & equipment. We often find a new medium in classes or Rebecca will learn about something she’d like to try.

As our students have grown and matured, so have our art supplies.

Here’s a list of some newer things to our collection with a link to some of our standbys!

  • Sta Wet Palette- A paint palette which will keep acrylics and other water based paints most for weeks. Rebecca has been learning color mixing and to be able to keep color wet on the palette means she can leave a project and come back to it. We picked up the refill packet as well.
  • Gesso- For prepping canvas and other surfaces for painting and mixed media applications.
  • Art Acrylics- Long a fan of the small craft acrylic paints, we’ve enjoyed getting to know art acrylics.
  • Canvas Panels- An alternative to the stretched canvas, though I haven’t figured out how to hang them yet!
  • Must Have Art Supplies for a Project Based Homeschool- This is our ultimate list of supplies to have one hand.

Join Us for a Valentine’s Day Mixed Media Workshop

Rebecca and I will be participating in this mini two week Valentine Mixed Media Workshop. There will be ten projects taught by video instruction starting on February 2, 2015.

Valentines-MM-Workshop-300

Registration for the Valentine’s Day Mixed Media Mini Workshop is $24 and class begins on February 2nd. What a great way to celebrate Groundhog Day!

What resources do you use for high school art?

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Exploring Geography with History Quests

history-questThis post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support!

If you have any history buffs in your house, you might be interested in the post Exploring History with History Quests over at Bright Ideas Press.

Using History Quests in Your Homeschool

If you need an independent tool for exploring history, check out all the reasons for you to use this format in your homeschool. Allowing your students to explore history on their own is a fun way to give them ownership of their studies within the curriculum you are using.

What is a History Quest?

A History Quest is a simple exploration activity in which your student chooses a topic and does some quick research. This year we are using All American History Volume II from Bright Ideas Press, and I chose to replace some of the “For Further Study” items in each chapter with a History Quest of my student’s choosing. At first, I was interested in creating the Quests for my students to do, but my ninth grader suggested she research a topic and write them for me to use on my blog Blog, She Wrote. What a challenge!

Blog, She Wrote: History Quest- Civil War Uniforms

Learn More about History Quests

By visiting the post at Bright Ideas Press. Then come back here for three History Quests we’ve written for you!

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Sewing & Design Project Based Learning

Blog, She Wrote: Sewing & Design Project Based Learning

Last spring Rebecca participated in a local contest sponsored by a reuse sewing shop to create something out of recycled materials. The creation had to include denim. What started as a creative endeavor grew into an opportunity for many new authentic experiences.

The Original Design Project

The original project, called Denim Plus, required participants to refashion old denim into something new. Rebecca took the challenge head on and came up with a dress which was nearly entirely made from reused or recycled materials.

  • Eco-Fashion Design Project – This is the story behind the making of the dress. There are layers upon layers of tulle in a skirt attached to a denim bodice. Cyndi Lauper would have paid for this garment!
  • Eco-Fashion Runway Show – The story of how the designer got to be a model in the fashion show which featured the finished pieces from the Denim Plus contest along with the results of the contest. The show featured how to have a nominal number of clothing items in your closet to pair and wear over and over. The emphasis was on less is better and letting go of “throw away” fashion we’ve all become accustomed to.

Blog, She Wrote: Sewing & Design Project Based LearningThe Invitation to a Curated Exhibit

At the end of the runway show, the director of the show told us that a local gallery curator was interested in having her dress for an upcoming show last summer. We worked with the curator to prepare the curated display of Rebecca’s dress.

  • The show was called, The Common Thread: To Sew or Not to Sew, and was a collection of garments and fabrics which highlight change in the fashion industry.
  • Rebecca’s dress was chosen to represent the reuse and refashion of many materials into one garment.
  • The show was all about change in the fashion world, moving from one-at-a-time garments made with scissors, needles and thread, to unlimited quantities produced by industries that cut with laser beams and held together with seamless seams.
  • The question for us is: do they have anything in common?
  • Rebecca brought the dress in and helped to set up her exhibit.
  • Her dress was in a great spot between the adult & children’s sections of the library within the gallery and had great traffic potential!
  • The documentation she provided for the fashion contest was included in the exhibit.
  • She was the youngest exhibitor, chosen to be among well known local designers and Cornell Fiber Science & Apparel Design students.

Blog, She Wrote: Sewing & Design Project Based Learning

 

Blog, She Wrote: Sewing & Design Project Based Learning

 

Blog, She Wrote: Sewing & Design Project Based Learning

Going More In Depth with Project Based Learning

Lots of homeschoolers talk about project based learning, but what does it really mean? To me, it means involving our students in authentic learning experiences that go beyond traditional schooling activities. Part of this is moving past the superficial parts of learning a topic or skill and going to the next layer and the next so that a student uncovers new meaning and applies new knowledge in a meaningful way. What does that look like?

  • Share Work with Others- Find ways for your student to engage others with his or her work. It could be as simple as showing off for neighbors and friends to setting up a community gathering.
  • Help Your Student to Set Goals- The project belongs to the student. The best ones have the student in the driver’s seat on the leading edge of where to go next.
  • Make Plans- Have your student make plans to reach his or her goals.
  • Compile Resources- Can your student identify what he or she will need to meet these goals?
  • Make Decisions- Along the way there will be decisions to make. Help your student to get past any bumps in the road while leaving them to be the one in charge on the project.
  • Take Time to Discuss the Work- Find out how it’s going. Check in on progress. If something seems stalled remind your student of his goals.
  • Make Time for Project Work- This is essential to being successful. Often as our children get older, we think their time is better spent doing more traditional academic work. Fight the urge to regard project time as less important! Large amount of uninterrupted time for doing project work is necessary for going deeper into projects.

Blog, She Wrote: Sewing & Design Project Based Learning

High School Credit with Project Based Learning

As our homeschooled students approach high school many of us who have always done unit studies & other, more relaxed forms of learning begin to think it’s time to “get serious” about academic work and we believe that “nose to the grindstone” is more appropriate. How can a student obtain high school credit for project based learning? I think this topic deserves a whole post, but here are a few thoughts for now.

  • Determine the Course- Based on your student’s area of interest.
  • Discuss Goals- Meet with your student and talk about the skills & concepts they would like to cover during the class.
  • Remember Skills & Concepts- Which will be necessary to learn in order to achieve the goal. Make a list of the areas your student will need to cover.
  • Consider Resources- What resources do you have available to begin working toward the goals the student has set for himself?
  • Start Making Plans- Where does the student want to start?
  • Time- Once again, large quantities of time to explore are best for moving toward an authentic & independent learning experience.
  • Record Keeping- Students will want to keep track of goals met and different avenues traveled based on decisions made. Remember that a 1 credit high school course is roughly three hours of work per week.

Blog, She Wrote: Sewing & Design Project Based Learning

Lessons Learned with the Eco-Fashion Project

In the end, what lessons did Rebecca learn doing the Eco-Fashion Project? The dress took her about 8 weeks from just a thought in her head all the way to the finished dress (considering she did work on other school work during this time). The process was invaluable.

  • Design Work- Especially design for the human form rather than a doll
  • Construction- Sewing new fabrics together like denim with tulle. She had to push through some obstacles to complete her vision.
  • Sharing- Through the contest judging, the fashion show, and the curated exhibit. Sharing also happened in mentoring moments when she needed to discuss her work along the way.
  • New Experiences- Like fashion show culture & being an artist featured in an exhibit
  • Preparing Work for Exhibition- It’s not always about what you like or who you make the garment for. There are other factors and criteria. This was true for both the contest and exhibit.
  • Exhibition- When the time came for the opening night of the gallery, she was on hand to talk with visitors and answer questions about her work.

One of the things Rebecca enjoyed the most about the curated exhibit at the library was the chance to talk with others about her work. They were interested in hearing about her design and the process. She spoke with an art reviewer (see review here) from the local paper for about 20 minutes and she loved every minute of talking with another artist and learning about his work.

As a homeschool teacher, this project took a lot of her time but it was worth every moment to see her solve problems on her own and come up with a design that was whimsical and met all the requirements. Rebecca loved the chance to have her work displayed alongside well known local designers and Cornell Fiber Science & Apparel Design students. Would she do it again? Absolutely! This project experience was a win in every way!

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