I’ve mentioned previously that I’m not a big fan of doing art. Between gathering supplies and the mess it makes, art was frequently put on the back burner. But perhaps the biggest hindrance to doing a formal art program was that I had the kids working at their own level. While a leveled art curriculum sounds good in theory, it means unique materials and assistance required for each child. The biggest problem was my children aren’t motivated to do art on their own. I got lots of whining about not being able to do the project or just having no idea what to make when choices were given. This, despite using what I consider to be excellent materials.
Atelier came to my rescue. A DVD-based curriculum, Atelier’s greatest strengths addressed my family’s weaknesses:
- One level can be used by multiples ages (I’ve had 5-13yos working together)
- The video clearly demonstrates what to do
- The video shows children’s imperfect approaches to the project, reducing the I-can’t-do-it’s
- Uses mostly easy to obtain, inexpensive materials that can be bought at the beginning of the year
- The guidebook even shows you how to set up the materials for each student
- If you show the video, the kids will hound you until you do the art 🙂
I’ve been delighted by what my children have achieved. Working together really gets their creativity (and okay, competitiveness) going.
There are some drawbacks, but I’ve been able to address them, so you could, too:
- Some projects are a little on the childish side for the older set. My 13yo hasn’t minded, adding humor to his work.
- It’s not inexpensive. The Level 3 package (one year’s worth) which we purchased, retails for $155. I purchased mine from eBay for less. You may be able to purchase used. If you have multiple children like I do, the price is much more reasonable.
- The videos are dated. I’m not sure when they were produced, but it was more than a few years ago. My kids haven’t complained and the quality of the instruction more than makes up for it.
- It could be tougher to use with one child. Consider creating a co-op for art with other families. You can split the cost and the work and you’ll all have more fun.
- The over-sized paper can be hard to find. I purchased mine on Amazon.
The best way I’ve found to motivate myself to use an art curriculum like Atelier is to schedule it. We do art on Tuesday afternoons, unless we have a conflict. I should note that Atelier’s program also includes teaching on the great artists and artwork of history. We just haven’t used that part yet. I’m working on getting the tougher stuff (for me) out of the way first.
Here’s a link to a blog post describing their use of Atelier using the same Level (and even the same project) I’ve displayed here.
What do you do to get art into the school day?
If you're struggling to get things done or to make significant changes in your life, it pays to consider whether you're at war with your inner rebel. Are you:
- Giving your rebel too many rules? Are any of the rules extreme, seemingly stupid, or put in place to please others?
- Asking your rebel to do something far too easy for her? Have you neglected to give her a big challenge, preferably with some competition thrown in?
- Neglecting to give your rebel the opportunity to be unique or to lead others in the process of change? Are you inadvertently encouraging her to follow the sheep?
- Disrespecting your rebel by putting her down? Are you asking her to follow the advice of someone who's a hypocrite or has few credentials (even if that's you)?
- Heaping on the guilt, in an effort to motivate your rebel, for tasks that aren't vital to sustaining important relationships?
You might consider referring to these questions whenever you seem to be experiencing resistance to change. You might also consider a related article on how feeling obligated can produce resistance.
The truth is, however, that even after addressing all of these potential rebel stumbling blocks, you still may not have the change you want. I've been there! In those situations, it's time for a Super Power solution.
One of my favorite changed rebel stories is that of George Mueller. More than a rebel, he was a conniving thief! He attended a prayer meeting with a friend with the intention of making fun of it later at the bar. But hearing the Word of God brought him up short. He continued to attend those meetings until he felt compelled to submit his life to Jesus Christ. George's life changed radically. But one thing didn't change; George was still very strong-willed. He ended up becoming an example of what radical faith can do.
In the same way, your inner rebel is likely to keep her strong will. God can use that strength to do great things. But perhaps like George, you need to hear the Word of God and you need to bow the knee to Jesus Christ and His purposes for your life. That's my prayer for you.
Who is wise? Let them realize these things. Who is discerning? Let them understand. The ways of the LORD are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.
The Rebel's Guide to GTD – Guilt
Rebel's Guide to GTD – Respect
The Rebel's Guide to GTD – Superior
The Rebel's Guide to GTD – Challenge
The Rebel's Guide to GTD – Rules
The Rebel's Guide to GTD – Intro
In my book, So You’re Not Wonder Woman, I describe the resistance to change as being the fault of our inner brat (a label borrowed from Pam Young). When I think about what brats need, my first thought is a good whoopin’! That’s where the brat analogy breaks down.
When our inner brat doesn’t do right, we often try to whoop her. We berate, punish, and lay down the law. That might work if we were really dealing with an undisciplined brat. However, my recent experience raising a strong-willed teen has convinced me that we are not dealing with inner brats, but inner rebels. Trust me, you do not want to whoop a rebel!
I realized that although I knew what to say and do with respect to the real life rebels in my life, I was not applying those same principles when it came to the rebel in me. After beginning to practice rebel-friendly principles for self change, I am enjoying increased productivity and peace. If you want to make important life changes, achieve your goals, and get things done, you need to learn how to relate to your inner rebel, too. In a series of upcoming posts, I will share strategies for getting along with your rebel so you can get great things done.
The Rebel’s Guide to GTD – Change – conclusion
The Rebel’s Guide to GTD – Guilt – part 5
Rebel’s Guide to GTD – Respect – part 4
The Rebel’s Guide to GTD – Superior – part 3
The Rebel’s Guide to GTD – Challenge – part 2
The Rebel’s Guide to GTD – Rules – part 1
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