The Homeschooling Freedom Blog

In the Homeschooling-Freedom Blog you'll find new information and updates on resources for homeschoolers and homeschooling entrepreneurs

  • Are you looking for time-saving, effective curriculum?
  • Ways to include Art and creativity into your learning?
  • Strategies to save money?
  • Ideas for starting a home business while homeschooling?
  • Ways to marketing your home business more effectively while homeschooling?
  • Ideas to develop entrepreneurial skills in your children?

You'll find the homeschooling, education and home business resources you are looking for here!

May 01, 2012

Writing Thank You Notes and Relationship Marketing

Writing thank you notes, that arrives in the mailbox gets more attention than ever in our age of electronic communication. Send out cards that are personized and in your own handwriting easily!

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Nov 18, 2011

Art FUNdamentals

Art FUNdamentals is a multi-age, self-directed art lesson book for homeschoolers or anyone who wants to learn how to draw or create better

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Oct 29, 2011

Art Every Day Challenge Halloween Fun

The girls love Halloween so were happy to volunteer to put together activities with a Halloween theme for our homeschool co-op yesterday.

Earlier in the week I helped them finalize their art activities and get materials prepared for a varied age group. I helped them design mask templates, printed out directions and made up drawing sheets on the computer. They enjoyed making sample masks, Halloween cards, and artwork to give the other children ideas.

We used cut card stock for the cards and masks. The advantage of cardstock over construction paper is that it is a bit heavier weight and more light-fast, so holds up better. To embellish the cards and masks, we used cut out pieces of cardstock, crayons, markers, colored pencils and oil pastels. The advantage of oil pastels is that they show up on dark paper. You can also use Crayola MetalicFX crayons.

You can view and download some of these activities from my Halloween Activities folder on Google Documents. I adapted a Halloween card activity sheet from Enchanted Learning, although I have taught making a simple pop-up card design like this for years.

After the art creations were done, my 12 year old daughter read Halloween stories to the other children.

Art Every Day Challenge Tip:

Draw some Jack O'Lantern designs and go carve a pumpkin! Put up pictures of your Jack O'Lanterns on the Flickr Art Every Day Challenge group!

Oct 27, 2011

The Challenges and Benefits of the Art Every Day Challenge

The Art Every Day Challenge has definitely been a challenge this month for us, but we are nearing the end of the month and so far, so good – the kids and I have created something every day, and so have many other participating families.

I've started carrying my sketchbook and a pencil case with some basic art supplies in the front of a small backpack I toss in the car and bring along with me. Also, I bought a very small sketchbook in the Visual Journal series by Strathmore. It is small enough to go into my purse and I have a drawing pen clipped into the spiral binding, so I always have somewhere to capture a quick sketch. This has helped me to accomplish the art every day challenge, even when life gets hectic.

Moose Purse
sketch of my daughter's moose purse

Visual Journal by Strathmore

The girls have been bringing along a bag with their sketchbooks and basic art supplies when we go out too. This has been great for occupying their time productively in waiting rooms and other errands that aren't interesting to them. While waiting for almost 3 hours in the Canadian Consulate in Buffalo to finalize the immigration paperwork last week, we created a lot of sketches!

Waiting at Canadian Consulate sketch, Wendy Malowany

Shoes, Wendy Malowany

I've found that even when I've only had chance to do a quick sketch, the act of drawing daily has sparked many ideas for art work I will be creating later. For example, my shoe sketch gave me the idea of creating a series of paintings of shoes. I wanted to snap some photo references of people's feet at the Canadian Consulate, but they locked up my cell phone when I came in, so I didn't have a camera. Guess I'll have to find some other interesting shoes to capture another time soon.

Art Every Day Challenge Tip:

Gather some basic art supplies and but them in a bag or backpack to bring along wherever you go!

Oct 03, 2011

Art Every Day Challenge - Day 1 and 2

The "Challenge" has started and I'm including my Day 1 and Day 2 drawings here, but have created a Facebook Art Every Day Challenge Album and and will be creating album on Flickr to include not only my artwork, but the artwork of other participants in our Challenge.

I decided to do a couple contour drawings for Day 1 and Day 2. Contour drawing is a great way to get back into drawing if you haven't been regularly drawing on a daily basis because it really makes you concentrate on what you are looking at, and also has an immediacy and freshness I like.

Day 1

Ralph, by Wendy Malowany

"Ralph", by Wendy Malowany

Ralph wasn't cooperating and moved before I could finish, but the contour drawing still captures his personality in his face.

Day 2

Laundry by Wendy Malowany

"Laundry" by Wendy Malowany

If you aren't familiar with the contour drawing of Alexander Calder and Pablo Picasso,I recommend looking at them.

If you haven't joined the challenge yet, it's not too late to do so; you can join in at any time!

I'll continue to post ideas to help people get started, or continue with the challenge.

Art Every Day Challenge Idea for Today

Create a contour drawing or do a series of contour drawings.

Start with a warm-up, blind contour drawing. A blind contour drawing is when you only look at the object you are drawing and never look at your paper. You focus on the exterior and interior lines of your subject and draw very slowly. Usually your proportions are off, but it really trains you to look carefully and the finished drawings always have an interesting line quality, even with distorted proportions.

Have fun and keep creating!

Sep 30, 2011

Art Every Day Challenge: Getting Started Ideas

Our Art Every Day Challenge is beginning tomorrow, so I thought I would share some ideas to help everyone get started.

If you haven't done so already, get a variety of art supplies together and keep them in a handy place so you'll have easy access to them. You can buy a Art Bin at art and craft stores, but a tackle box works just as well and usually a lot less expensive.

Check for discount coupons for your local art and craft stores. A.C. Moore and Michael's have websites and you can sign up for their mailing lists to receive coupons via email. Often they have a 40% off coupon for one item and you can print off enough coupons for all the customers in your immediate family.

Although I love going into an art supply store and looking over and handling different supplies, I order a lot of my art supplies online, and have saved a lot of money by doing so. I have actually bought some items for less online, even with shipping cost, than I could have gotten with a 40% off coupon locally. I'll post some favourite art supply companies at a later date, but one you should definitely check out is Art Supply Warehouse (ASW)

You don't need a lot of expensive supplies, but have a good variety. Drawing pencils, ink pens, markers, watercolors, chalk or pastels, a kneaded eraser, etc.

Gather a few art books and have them handy to inspire you. Basic "How to Draw" books can help get you started, as well as having reference photos or actual objects to draw. You can't draw something well if you don't know what it looks like! Seeing is the biggest part of drawing, so look around you for interesting things to draw, and look carefully while drawing.

If you don't have a collection of art books for inspiration, today would be a good day for a trip to your local library. Look in the 700's section (Dewey Decimal system) for some inspiring art books. Creative techniques, mixed media ideas, or anything that sparks an interest is good.

I'll be posting more ideas, but here are a few topic ideas to get you started for the first day, and the first week of our challenge:

Do a series of "experimental" pages

  • Try out new art supplies you haven't used before or in a while
  • Try mixing media in unusual ways
  • Draw in crayon then see what happens when you put watercolor over it
  • Draw using pen and ink, then watercolor after it has dried
  • Create different types of textures with different media and/or technique: hatching, cross-hatching, stippling, etc.

Most of all, have fun! You'll surprise yourself at how creative you can be and how being creative every day can improve the rest of your day. I can't wait to see the sketches and other artwork people create during our challenge!

Sep 26, 2011

Art Every Day Challenge - Get Ready for October 1st

We are getting ready for the Art Every Day Challenge starting soon - Sat.,October 1st, 2011.

I ordered a great book on Friday, and am looking forward to getting it since it looks like it will really get ideas flowing for sketches and artwork!

If you'd like to join in on the Challenge, you can request to join our Facebook Art Every Day Challenge group.

The challenge will be to create art every day - sketch, paint, draw, sculpt - any visual art medium.

The challenge is for the month of October, but I plan on continuing the challenge and would love to have others continue too.

Post your ideas and send me images of your art to add to our Art Every Day Challenge album.

Sep 22, 2011

Art Every Day Challenge for October 2011

Starting in October, I am going to sketch in my art journal and have my children do the same. If you would like to join me in this challenge to create something daily, I'd love to hear from you!

No matter what you feel your skill level is in art, everyone is creative so take the plunge with me and encourage your kids to do so too!

I'll be posting on Facebook and uploading sketches on Flickr, so if you'd like to follow me, you can adding me as a friend. Just mention the Art Every Day Challenge, if I don't already know you, so I accept your friend request.

Don't worry if you aren't sure what to draw or create. I'll be posting ideas to get you started before October 1st and as we go. You can scan your work and send it to me to add to my Art Every Day photos if you like too!

Mar 16, 2011

Save Money and the Environment

Save Green the Smart Way - Save Money AND the Environment

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Dec 01, 2010

Debt Reduction Strategies

Having a debt reduction strategy to get rid of your debt as quickly as possible is the most important thing you can do in creating financial stability and freedom - for homeschoolers or anyone

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Nov 29, 2010

Contact Wendy Mills (Malowany)

Contact Wendy Mills for questions about homeschooling and running a home business

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Dec 03, 2009

The Works Team

The Works Team: cutting-edge online business training & marketing strategies for entrepreneurs who want to succeed

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Dec 03, 2009

Free Homeschooling

Inexpensive and Free Homeschooling ideas and resources. Free Homeschooling, or close to free, is possible.

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Jul 07, 2009

Strategies to Save Money

Learning strategies to save money is extremely important. for everyone these days, but vitally important for homeschoolers and those starting a new business.

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Jun 12, 2009

Ann Sieg's Renegade Marketer Ebook & System

Ann Sieg's Renegade Marketer Ebook and Renegade University can teach homeschooling entrepreneurs, and others, how to apply attraction marketing strategies to effectively build their businesses

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