Growing up, I loved to paint. Really any kind of art or crafts could occupy me for hours. I would watch Bob Ross and dream of having my own pallette full of yellow oaker and burnt sienna. I liked art class, however, it wasn’t really art, mostly crafts and projects. Then I hit high school and for two years, there was “art club.” Basically, the art studios were opened to club members for two hours after school once per week. I finally had the chance to try out oil painting, sculpture, and more. It was heaven. The only downside was I hadn’t had formal art training so I worked really hard but didn’t always get the results I wanted.
When we began homeschooling, I knew that fine arts had to be a part of our homeschool. However, as much as I love to sing, dance, act, and paint; I didn’t feel qualified to teach. I had great passion but only average talent. So, we sought out an excellent fine arts program. We are very blessed that there is a world class fine arts school for homeschoolers only 30 mins from our home. My children get to sing, dance, act, paint, and much more with some of the most amazing teachers around. One of those teachers is Sally Stansfield, Brit mom of 8, professional artist, and much beloved teacher of students aged 5-95!
“Hey, you got peanut butter in my chocolate!”
Ok, please tell me that you get that reference—I’m not that old, right! Sally isn’t just my children’s teacher, she is also a good friend. We can chatter on for hours over tea and gluten free snacks, and never actually get to the point of the original conversation. It’s okay, we’ll just pour some more tea! My children’s art skills and passion for art have grown incredibly strong the past few years since Sally took over the art program at our fine arts school.
One day, over tea, I told Sally that she had a gift she needed to share with other homeschoolers around the world. I quickly listed the technical steps she would need to take to launch her course to the world. She looked at me and said, “Okay, left brain. We can do this!” And the rest is a very short, but frenetic, tea fueled history.
What Makes Beyond the Stick Figure Different?
Well, we like to joke that Sally’s accent is the backbone of the program, but really it is her lovely way of teaching children art that inspires them to want more. Unlike most programs out there, Beyond the Stick Figure is one for the entire family. Everyone around the table, creating together, that is the aim for this program. Mom and Dad are even encouraged to get in on the act. Sally teaches art incrementally, the same way one would teach phonics or piano. She also teaches skills and encourages the students to practice those skills over and over.
Most art programs rely on mom to teach and prepare the lessons. Beyond the Stick Figure has all the lessons ready to go. All you need to do is click play! Anyone can do this program with their family. Moreover, it is not just a “learn to draw” or make piles of projects program. Children will fill a portfolio with beautiful art work, but it will be their own creation, not just a step by step project. The skills taught can be used to create new projects and expand their portfolio.
In addition, Beyond the Stick Figure teaches much more than just drawing. It includes lessons in Pen and Ink, acrylic, watercolor, and 3D design. All projects are able to be completed at your kitchen table and Sally teaches the children how to care for their supplies. Every student is treated as an art genius, capable of amazing creations.
You can read recent reviews of Beyond the Stick Figure on:
more reviews will be added as they go live!
How do you teach art in your homeschool?