* Southern Hodgepodge is one of our affiliates. If you purchase a copy of this book through one of our links we receive a small return in support of our blogging efforts. Though I was not compensated for this review I did receive a free copy so that I could give you, the reader, and honest review. I only review programs and curriculum I actually use. For more information read our disclosure policy.
A Simple Start in Chalk Pastels has been a delightful way for me to enhance my art program. The tutorial collection is simple and forthright which makes them easy to draw AND teach! What stood out to me most about this book is the genuine love for art this family has and conveys throughout the collection. It’s like you are there with them at their homeschool table working through the tutorials. It makes you feel like “I can do this!” because each tutorial is so simply explained, step by step, and demonstrated for you. The book has a truly unique style which reflects the homeschool from which it comes forth, abundantly sharing their love for art with others.
The 100 page eBook includes:
- Practical and simple guidelines to get you started. This portion gives you practical tips like what materials you need, type of chalk pastels to use, fixatives, storage and clean up, and advice for use.
- 45 step by step tutorials by topic each with beautiful and large photographs which demonstrate each step along the way so you can see what you are going for.
- Excellent suggestions for use with young children. This family is particularly generous in making suggestions for how to foster a love for art and encourage creativity in even the youngest child.
- Additional art resource links.
- Simple glossary of terms and techniques used.
- Additional bonus materials: Bluebird and Sky Vista video tutorial.
Some of the 45 tutorials are: Bird’s Nest, Chickadee, Sailboat at Sunset, Lily Pads, Tornado, Tree Reflection, At the Beach, To the Woods, Dogwood Blossom, Tornado, Sunflowers, Blueberries, Fruit Bowl, Watermelon, Winter Fun, and so many more.
Inside A Simple Start to Chalk Pastels:
After a quick listing of supplies and hints the tutorial takes you step by step from beginning the drawing to completion. The tutorials often offer a new angle of approach and highlight specific techniques, skills or terms applied to the specific project. This adds perfect variety so that each tutorial is enjoyable. Often additional advice and instruction is given which applies to the tutorial and teaching it. Each tutorial will only take you and your child 10 to 30 minutes to complete, just the perfect amount for little attention spans. But the tutorials also offer challenge and depth for older children as well.
On average there a 3 to 5 lovely pictures that accompany each tutorial so you know what you are trying to create and the steps you should take with your children to get there. This is so important for art tutorials. Here are a few screen shots so you can take a look inside:
Ways to use A Simple Start to Chalk Pastels in your Homeschool.
I am using Tricia Hodge’s book over a long period of time as an art supplement when one of the tutorials fits perfectly into our program. This is easy to do with this book because each project stands alone. You don’t have to go in order making the curriculum an ideal supplement that you will use forever. For example right now we are studying Claude Monet. I immediately saw how the lily pad tutorial would fit so well into our Monet study since he painted so many lily pads!
Some future uses I have in mind are doing the Tornado tutorial while studying tornadoes as part of a future Wizard of Oz unit, the Sunflower tutorial will be excellent for our Kansas unit (it’s the state flower) and using the Fruit Bowl tutorial will be great for teaching about still life drawings.
Another way that we will be using this program is for nature study. There are numerous tutorials for birds, flowers and butterflies as well as multiple scene scape tutorials. Several are perfect for putting into our nature notebooks. The Robin and Bird’s Nest are on my mind to do soon and the Tomato tutorial will come in good use for our garden entries!
You can, however, choose to use this as your art curriculum for the entire year. Actually, if you did one tutorial a week this source gives you more than the standard 36 week program! You are really getting 45 weeks in that case. It’s diversity and scope make it a wonderful resource for all ages. A Simple Start in Chalk Pastels is available from Southern Hodgepodge for $19.99. It is in PDF format.
Win a FREE Copy of A Simple Start in Chalk Pastels: