I Can Do All Things - Experience with different ages & aptitudes?


I Can Do All Things - Experience with different ages & aptit

Unread post by cbollin »

Can a 5 year old with poor motor skills benefit from I Can Do All Things? He'll be 5 by the time we start Adventures, but writing is still very difficult for him. He enjoys coloring, but can't stay in the lines. He can't draw well at all. I know this is pretty normal for some kids as I've taught kindergarten before.

I'm not concerned at this point about where he is, I'm just wondering if he can actually do what is expected in the book without being frustrated. I'm very much for a gentle start and not pushing kids too hard with writing or drawing. It takes boys longer sometimes.....I haven't seen the book and couldn't really tell specifics from the descriptions about the skills required. Can anyone help me with this?

Also, my 7 your old girl, who will be 8 by the time we start adventures has a gift for art. She can draw pictures better than I can. You would think an adult did the pictures she draws. She's extremely advanced in this area. Her grandmother was an accomplished artist and I believe she's received the gift too. Would I Can Do All Things be to easy for a child like this?

Thanks for your help!
Leslie, My oldest child got frustrated with I can do all thing when she was 6. She is almost ten and now it is easier.

We just recently received a copy of "Drawing with Children" by Mona Brookes (in 1st grade Deluxe) and found it helpful. I wish I had it when oldest was starting. If a gentle start is your goal for your child with poor motor skills, I would not recommend I can do all things at this time.

Your daughter will probably like ICDAT a lot. Originally, Barry Stebbing created this series (I Can Do All Things) for children aged 6-10.
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Unread post by kfrench »

My 7 year old loves to draw and has taken off with the book. I think even I could benifit from the book.

My 5 year old is not interested so I am not pushing her to use it.

Drawing is one of those things where everyone is as different levels and the goal in the book would be to learn technique and improve your drawing at what ever level you were at. I'm sure it would work great for your 7 year old. If she's really into it you may want to purchase the videos that go with it so she can learn with Barry teaching.

With a 5 year old I think I would see if he wanted to do it or not. If not, wait a few years. They start out with just exercises in drawing like drawing straight lines, shapes, shading and putting them together. I have done a few with my daughter and was challenged, myself! I have never had much art so I can always improve.
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Unread post by txquiltmommy »

We have I Can Do All Things because we are doing Adventures. I don't make time for it daily, but when we squeeze it in my boys are thrilled. They really enjoy it. I have altered the schedule so that we can do more art second semester because I really would like to complete the book. Then again, both my boys LOVE to draw, paint, and color, so the temperment of my kids probably has a lot to do with my fondness for these two programs.

Although ICDAT may seem simple, my third grader handles it much more easily than my second grader. It is a challenge for my seven year old, yet one he does enjoy.
dd (14)
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Unread post by cbollin »


If your plans to finish the book don't go as you hope, realize you can spread it to your ECC year. ECC's art year is more connected to global craft/art projects so you would be able to continue in I Can Do All Things as well for general art instruction. ICDAT is a large book to get through in just one year.

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Ds won't do art lessons

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Mommyto2 wrote:My ds 9 in Adventures won't do his art lessons. It could take a week or longer to do one lesson. If I don't sit beside him and watch, he does a really bad job just get it over with. He knows he can color any way he wants in any of his color books and draw any way he wants on paper freestyle. But when it comes to the lessons he is supposed to do it as instructed.

Today he drew a pear poorly and then scribbled all over the orange. I don't know if I should just give up? I am tired of fighting and being disappointed at his not even trying to do it the right way or having to watch him every second.

mom to ds just turned 9
dd 5 almost 6
Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:42 pm
You know with my ds (age 12), I just decided that not everybody does art. And not everybody does art the same way. I guess it came down to picking my battles, and that wasn't one I picked.

I still read him all art lessons, whether they are art history or art skills (we are in EX1850). I want him to at least be exposed to the idea of art and different techniques and such. He has actually been picking up a lot this way.

If a lesson strikes me as a good one, I will have him do it, or at least part of it. It may be something that relates to history and I want him to put it in his history notebook, or it may be an art lesson I think might help him.

Sometimes I will do it alongside him. This can go either way with him -- make him have fun joining in, or intimidate him even more.

Sometimes after explaining the lesson, I give him the alternative of doing it or doing at least a page in another drawing book (Ed Emberly, more like goofy stick figures & such).

I also sometimes just spend time looking thru art books with him & discussing the things from the lesson in different works we see, instead of actually doing art. We have lots of books at our house :o) He also gets some art in co-op. We leave it at that.

Just some options.
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Unread post by Mercy »

Posted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:58 am

My son is not into colors at all. Any time it says to use a colored pencil he complains. Otherwise, he's ok with learning some of the techniques. So, I let him use a pencil for just about everything. Sometimes I will encourage him to color his drawing because it turned out so well and sometimes he's ok with doing that.

Anyway, maybe giving him more options?? Not sure exactly for your situation because we haven't made it that far in the book. But, I can see that this isn't really something I would battle too much. I agree with Julie, I'd continue, but not require as much. Maybe copy some off for you to do next to him and you can compare?? That might not work for you, but I'm a terrible artist so it really encourages my son. ;-)

Since you have gotten so far in the book, he must have learned something so far. Ask him how he thinks he's improved or mention how great he's gotten when you see him drawing something (outside of his lessons). It might be that he needs to really see WHY he has to do his art. And, when HE thinks he needs it, it will go much better for you.

hth a little.
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Does anyone use the "I Can Do All Things" dvd?

Unread post by tiffany »

Cyndi (WA) wrote:I'm wondering if it would help to get the dvd that goes with the program. She might think it's more exciting to watch someone teach the lesson and then try to copy it herself. I just have this feeling about it. I know it's second grade art! I'm pretty sure the boys were still eating glue when I was in second grade art!

Does anyone have the dvd, and if so, what do you think?
We the dvd's for two of their programs and find them very worthwhile. The kids enjoy it more and it improves the quality of their work by seeing the demonstration by another artist. We don't use them as often as I would like, but more often than if I was teaching it. I know some are concerned about the cost. But, depending on your family size, and the opportunity to sell them when you are finished, might make it worth your while. Compare it to the cost of art lessons outside your home. For me convenience is often a factor as well. I would rather do art at home if possible, but I can't have a private instructor come to my home. :)
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Re: Does anyone use the "I Can Do All Things" dvd?

Unread post by amelasky »

I have to add our results with I CAN DO ALL THINGS! It is my daughter's FAVORITE part of school. We did invest in the DVDs and I have to say that is why she loves the program so much. I think that she really enjoys seeing the "teacher" explain how to do the lesson and she said that is really helps her know what she is supposed to do. I have to say that the DVDs were an excellent investment. I am able to get caught up on laundry, begin a meal, etc while she watches the DVD lesson and begins her assignment. So to me it is priceless! She loves showing off her art.

Her cousins (who are in public school) have convinced me that twice a week they want to do "ART" using her DVDs because she has talked to them SO much about it. So we will have art class and Grammy's twice a week through the summer using the DVDs and the remaining lessons from ICDAT book. I think that it is designed to be a two year program, so there will be plenty of lessons to work on.

We definately think that the DVDs are a blessing to our homeschool day.
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Re: Does anyone use the "I Can Do All Things" dvd?

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

4littlehearts wrote:What is the cost of the DVDs for I Can Do all Things? Are the dvds difficult to find used? Thanks!
There was a flier in my package from MFW with a special price on the dvd set from How Great Thou ART. If you say that you purchased I Can Do All Things from MFW, the set of four dvd's is $39.95 with free shipping.

Since this flier came from MFW, I think it's OK to post this -- 1-800-982-DRAW.
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Re: Does anyone use the "I Can Do All Things" dvd?

Unread post by LSH in MS »

I used the dvds in a coop this year for ICDAT. We met once a week. I think the dvds help tremendously, as the chilren see what they are supposed to do. They are particularly useful on the painting lessons. Mr Stebbing makes some beautiful colors that inspired the dc to experiment with mixing colors. I think they are worth it. I found mine used for about $20

wife to Clifford, mother to ds (17), ds (16), ds (15, ds (13), ds (8), and ds (3)
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Using Art

Unread post by Lisa M »

Just to share a thought with those who are considering NOT doing a structured art program because their kids don't enjoy it:

Even though I have one child (my son) who insists he "isn't an art person", he accepts that learning the basics of drawing, color, and using different mediums, is simply an educational skill like others that aren't his favorites (spelling and writing). So he doesn't complain, and does the work, even if it isn't the most inspired at the time. I've explained to him that the ability to take an idea that is in his head, and draw it onto paper, is simply another important form of communication like writing and speaking clearly. He's already seen the importance when he tells his father he wants to build a fort, or lay out a garden, or any other project that takes some planning.

So for us, art education isn't about "being an artist", it's about communication. If they love to make art, that's a bonus! I'm looking forward to doing this consistently next year, as I've been hit-and-miss in the past.

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Re: Using Art

Unread post by KimberlyND »

I, too, can see benefits of doing the art even though my ds didn't like it. We have done Drawing with Children and this year, I Can Do All Things. We did it at least twice a week. We have been finished with ADVs for a couple weeks. Get this...yesterday while doing a little summer school my ds asked if we could do art!?!!! Go figure!
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I Can do All Things Questions

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Mexmarr wrote:I was looking up the I Can Do All things, wondering if I wanted to get a 2nd book for my 2nd dd. The package bundle with the DVD and supplies included looks great, and could be a nice gift request idea. Has anybody seen then? Are they for the kids or for the parents? Is there a section for individual lesson, or more of a seminar type?

I am as unartistic as they come. I have a love/hate relationship with the Drawing with Children from 1st. I pour over the book, and love the concept. But teaching it???? It totally flopped..... Please tell me that this one will be better????

I am torn between getting the 2nd book with the package and going all out, to give my kids something that I didn't have. Or just skipping art all together..... Anybody ever skipped and not regretted it?
Yes, art can vary a lot.

Here are a couple folks who raved about the videos:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 881#p49813

We actually ended up with the videos for ICDAT when we were doing GHA. I will say that my ds really likes videos and enjoyed art more when we watched them. They didn't pair up exactly, of course, but were pretty similar.

However, he isn't a good comparison because, although we loved the art appreciation over the years, my ds often did art in a co-op or skipped the actual art lessons. My dd loved art and enjoyed a few of the GHA lessons with us, but she was too old for MFW at the time :(

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Re: I Can do All Things Questions

Unread post by Pylegang »

If your not an artistic person, I think "Drawing with Children" would be difficult to implement.

It sounds like your attracted to "I Can Do All Things" because it is more laid out for you--open and go! We don't have the videos, but my children very much enjoy the "I Can Do All Things" art lessons.

"I Can Do All Things" is a good fit fit for kids under the age of 10. The lessons are short and are not overwhelming. Usually, only one skill/technique is presented at a time. The lessons give my kids a nice sense of accomplishment and have spurred creativity on art projects they do on their own.

I don't mind at all that art is not connected/integrated with our history lessons. It has been easy enough to tie the art lesson that I choose to things we do, things we've seen, to God's world, etc.
Homeschooling classically since 2000--DS grade 6 and DS grade 4.

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Re: I Can do All Things Questions

Unread post by amelasky »

My daughter LOVED ICDAT! I purchased the dvds for that program, and in my opinion, it was well worth it! They really made the art wonderful.
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Re: I Can do All Things Questions

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

I probably should wait for some positive responses before I chime in, but I'll start the "con" side of the list.

My dd loves art!!! Draws and colors and paints all the time, and pretty well. Nothing extremely talented, but well. We really enjoyed Drawing with Children in MFW1.

Neither one of us liked I Can Do All Things. We ended up skipping it during ADV because art, which is supposed to be fun, was a total chore and I couldn't make it any better for her. I felt so relieved to put it back on the shelf, I had no guilt over it. But she was doing plenty of other drawing and illustrating her notebook.

A few months ago, that unused book and all those picture cards caught my eye. I decided to order the DVD set and give them a try. My dd loves watching those art shows on PBS and copying them, so I thought this would be a neat idea. She watched a few of them, and they are very dry, very short lessons (the ones we watched), and didn't really teach anything that isn't printed in the book. She did have fun doing a few more of the picture cards, but it didn't interest her enough to keep going with it.
amelasky wrote:My daughter LOVED ICDAT! I purchased the dvds for that program, and in my opinion, it was well worth it! They really made the art wonderful.
I am so happy to hear that! Can you list some reasons why she loved it? Any suggestions on how to implement the program better?
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Re: I Can do All Things Questions

Unread post by erikdeb »

My 8yo loves/loved ICDAT, too. We are on week 8 of ECC and continue to do ICDAT on days when we have time to spend.

The only way we get it done, though, is with the DVD's. There is no way he'd be doing any good at it w/out the DVDs. I believe we ordered our DVDs on ebay. We did order the set of supplies from How Great Thou Art, and I think I'm glad we did. He did start ICDAT when he was newly 7, and parts of it were difficult for him, but he enjoyed it.

The DVDs actually teach the art lessons, they are short little videos. I can see how some would think they are dry, but they are helping my ds learn art (he is pretty good at drawing, and I am NOT artistic at all). The drawing lessons, colored pencil lessons, and some of the parts of the paint and marker lessons are done directly in the book.

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Re: I Can do All Things Questions

Unread post by Mexmarr »

Thanks for the opinions! That was just the information I needed. I am thinking that the set would be a good fit for us. Now to see if we can actually make it happen!
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I can do all things art (with Adventures)

Unread post by C4Car »

DairyQueen wrote:Did you like it? I'm wondering if it is something we will enjoy or if I should look for something else. . . I would like for them to do a variety of projects, but I need things easy to get ready or else they won't get done (toddler and infant will be on board!). . . I don't mind a mess, but I don't want to have to hold a hand through the whole process other than supervising possibly while nursing. It could be a big demand for any art program.

Mostly, I wonder if your family enjoyed the program and stuck with it through the year.
Love this program. I admit I have trouble drawing stick figures so was worried about art of any kind! For that reason I purchased the DVD set that goes with this program. It is not necessary but my boys have really enjoyed it. Art has become a highlight of their day and the one subject they ask to do. I am truly amazed at the progress they (and even I) have made. I admit I do not follow the schedule exactly. Some days they choose markers, some days colored pencils, and other days just drawing. I haven't even tackled the painting cards yet ;) but I see true progress and that is good.
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Re: I can do all things art (with Adventures)

Unread post by gratitude »

We LOVE the program! It works too. My ds8, ds6, and dd5 are all doing it together. It has taken their drawing additional steps beyond the drawing book in MFW1. I have really enjoyed the fact that my kids have learned to draw much better than I using MFW.
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Re: I can do all things art (with Adventures)

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

erin.kate wrote:Ok, I'll be the lone voice who didn't like ICDAT. :) We tried it and did the first 26 lessons or so, but just couldn't stay with it. My girls found the drawing too cartoonish and they prefer DWN to it. I am hoping that God and the History of Art knocks my socks off, though. :-)
I always feel like I'm the lone voice. ;) ICDAT just wasn't a hit with us, either. I even bought the dvd's to see if that would help, but my dd just didn't like the style. She's done some lessons off and on, but honestly it wasn't worth it. I should probably sell the whole thing because she's never used a paint or marker card, but I keep hoping that she might want to use it again. The same busy layout of GATHOA really bothers her, too - and that's with me making copies and only giving her one sheet at a time. She thinks it's messy. She has learned how to make realistic looking drawings somewhere along the way, but I don't know what made it click for her, especially since I agree that ICDAT is very cartoonish. She definitely learned shading and dimension/perception from that art company, though, but I can't say when. I'm happy to take her to art lessons across town twice a week now and let the instruction and mess be over there.

I do not believe that ICDAT is a hand-off to your child and watch them do the work kind of art program. It's rather parent-involved, in my opinion.
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Re: I can do all things art (with Adventures)

Unread post by erin.kate »

Cyndi (AZ) wrote:I do not believe that ICDAT is a hand-off to your child and watch them do the work kind of art program. It's rather parent-involved, in my opinion.
Agree. I made copies for my girls and for me or my husband to teach. It was not as fun or effective for us as DWN, but we aren't looking to become artists either. So, the method may appeal to those who want more instruction on things like shading and dimension or what-not. We did however really enjoy Drawing with Children in MFW1. I plan on revisiting that next year with ECC and K.
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Re: I can do all things art (with Adventures)

Unread post by gratitude »

Cyndi (AZ) wrote:It's rather parent-involved, in my opinion.
I have loved using it with my kids, and I do agree with you that it is rather parent-involved. My involvement though is mostly reading the directions to ds6 & dd5 and explaining things as necessary; I do think that you could do it while nursing a baby. It is something I have only done during my youngest nap time, and then it is some nice relaxing art time for me & the kids.

I think the reason we have liked it is that I really don't know anything about drawing, and it is showing me things I wouldn't know how to teach. The 'drawing techniques' are holding my interest, and the kids truthfully like the silly side.
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Re: I can do all things art (with Adventures)

Unread post by laurelmarie »

We are enjoying it. My dd and I do it together which I think makes it more enjoyable. As for actual instruction, it does have some drawbacks, some of the lessons are extremely simplistic or complicated without much instruction. Some I am not sure what the purpose of the exercise is for. But even with the downside it is enjoyable. Dd looks forward to art time each day and usually adds to her page of drawing by either taking the lesson and expanding it or just adding more drawings to her page. We did buy drawing tablets and pencil colors that we are reserving just for this art course to make it special.
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Re: I can do all things art (with Adventures)

Unread post by Mommy22alyns »

I don't love ICDAT, it's probably my least favorite part of Adv. We've stuck with it though. I haven't found it to be parent intensive at all, which I do love. I don't have to do anything more than squeeze out some paint and help wash brushes some weeks. The girls have become pretty independent with it.
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