Thursday, May 10, 2018

Homeschool Art Lesson: Sketchbook Drawing

Something that I have learned about homeschooling over the past year is that other moms (me included) love to ask questions and share homeschooling ideas, lessons, and curriculum. One question I have had people ask me is how I teach my homeschool art lessons. Since I am a classically trained artist, as well as someone who has been creating art her entire life, I feel I have something to share in this department. So for those that have asked (and for those who haven't) here is an example of something my kids and I have been doing for art class that I feel any homeschooling mom can do with her kids regardless of art experience.  

I am teaching this lesson kids ages 3,6, and 9 but this can really be useful at any age as long as they can hold a pencil. The reason I began with this lesson is I wanted to start our homeschool art with fundamentals of art techniques, and then I will go on from there for future classes.

When it comes to art making one of the most basic starters is learning how to use a sketchbook. Sketchbooks are important because they teach the artist how to observe the world around them looking for details they may miss if they are not looking. It is also great for record keeping, journaling and planning... I will share examples on using sketchbooks for those purposes in future posts.

To begin, there is really no wrong thing to draw when you are using a sketchbook. A sketchbook is for sketching not for final drafts, and knowing that helps relieve some of the pressure of making art that "looks good". When I teach this lesson I have my kids go outside and draw anything they see that interests them. When the weather is bad we do this same project inside... it really can be done anywhere. My goal isn't to guide them too much on subject matter because I want them to find it on their own. This may be uncomfortable for kids at first because it is new, but in my experience it becomes easier over time, and the kids love finding things to draw. Whether you as a homeschool parent know how to drawn or not you can still have your kids look for interesting things in and outside of your home and draw it themselves. here are examples of work my children have completed.

 This is from my 3 year old. I think its our chicken coop. The subject is not as important to me as the experience of looking for interesting things to record in their sketchbook is.

My baby helping me take photos of another chicken coop drawing.

This one was drawn by my 6 year old in his bedroom. He and I just drew what we saw from where we were sitting.

This lesson is great because it can, and in my opinion should, be done over multiple art lessons as a way to make using a sketchbook part of the artistic process, and it is very low cost. I use simple 5x7 wire bound plain sketchbooks for the kids that were very inexpensive. Here is a link to one that I bought and like. This one was nice for me because it came in a 3 pack and I have 3 kids but it does come in smaller quantities. Other than a sketchbook the only other supply needed is a pencil.

So this is an inexpensive way to get your kids looking for details in the world around them, it will help teach planning, record keeping, and note taking that can be used in future lessons It will also help improve their overall drawing abilities naturally over time. I go out with the kids a few times a month and they always enjoy it. We live in the county but the same principles can be applies no matter where you live or where you draw. 

I have more examples of my children's work and mine on my Instagram page linked here.

I hope you liked today's post thanks for reading and happy drawing!


  1. Great idea, grown -ups should try it too! I don't do it often enough, but enjoy when I do :)

    1. I agree Diana, this art lesson can really be for any age :)