You Are an Artist! (a video interview with Tricia Hodges and Lucia “Nana” Hames from

You Are an Artist Video Interview Tricia and Nana from ChalkPastel
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What a treat to get to talk with Tricia Hodges and Lucia “Nana” Hames from! We discussed Tricia’s homeschool journey, Nana’s love for art, and all the art encouragement they provide for homeschool families.

Watch the video, read the show notes, and share with your friends!

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ChalkPastel Homeschool Art Tricia Nana Video Interview

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Who are Tricia and Lucia (“Nana”)?

Tricia Hodges has been homeschooling since 2000. She and her husband have 5 children and have successfully graduated 2 of them from their homeschool! She writes online at and The Curriculum Choice, is the author of the book Help! I’m Homeschooling! and, alongside her mother, can be found at, a place where every child (and adult) discovers that they are an artist.

Tricia Hodges from

Lucia Hames, or “Nana” as her family and online fans call her, was awarded a wonderful art scholarship from the Rockefeller Foundation in her sophomore year in college. But love intervened, and she married, had babies, and left the scholarship behind. For years she and one of her sisters painted murals in schools and for the children’s ward in their local hospital. She started pastel lessons in 2009, finally finding what she calls “her art.” Nana is on a mission to show fellow artists just how satisfying, cost effective, and easy pastel painting is to accomplish and to help all realize, “You ARE an artist!

Lucia Hames Nana from

Watch my video interview with Tricia and Nana from

Show Notes {with video time stamps}

Tricia’s family and homeschool story {2:00}

Her mother was always very creative, and that grew within Tricia her own love of creativity.

Tricia and her husband, Steve, have 5 children whose ages currently range from 12 to 22. When their oldest was 2 years old she was enjoying the local preschool at their church, but every time she left home Tricia felt a tug on her heart. She was also surrounded by wonderful homeschooling friends. Soon she and her husband felt the Lord leading them to homeschool. Her mother went with her to a homeschool convention.

HodgePodge family

They’ve always said they would take homeschooling year by year. And now they’ve been homeschooling all the way through… and plan to keep homeschooling all the way through high school the children remaining at home!

When my own parents started homeschooling back in the 80s and 90s, my grandparents were initially a bit skeptical. I was curious what Nana thought when she found out her grandchildren would be homeschooled! {3:30}

At first, Nana was actually not that supportive. Homeschooling was just not really done! “Oh my goodness, she will never have any friends!” she worried. She soon saw,however, how much information and learning there was available that could be tailored to a child’s interests, attitudes, and abilities. Her opinion about homeschooling now? “It’s marvelous, marvelous!”

It reminds me of a story about one of my grandmothers. She was a little worried when she found out my parents planned to homeschool. Later on, however, when her local newspaper ran an anti-homeschooling article she wrote a letter to the editor defending homeschooling! Opinions can definitely change.

Surprises and Benefits of Homeschooling {6:30}

The biggest surprise of homeschooling for Tricia? “An unexpected continuing education for myself.” Tricia had a great education in her own public school days, but she finally got the picture and perspective of the history timeline when she was teaching her own children.

She also loves that there is more time to read wonderful books while homeschooling.

Each of her children has a different learning style. It definitely created a challenge, but the freedoms of homeschooling enabled Tricia to tailor the curriculum and time schedules to each individual child. Tricia remarked:

“The best part [of homeschooling] is the freedom. Sometimes that can be a little scary. But if you can really rest in the fact you have your children’s best interest in mind and work out whatever is facing you…it just really is amazing.”

Continuing life-long learning continues to be a recurring theme in these homeschool conversations interviews!

Nana’s Life-Long Love of Art {8:40}

“I can’t even remember when I didn’t want to draw.” Nana admitted. Nana wasn’t a very good student in school in the traditional sense because she just wanted to paint and draw! Her parents recognized this and were very supportive, providing her with lessons and supplies.


Volunteerism in adult life provided her with the opportunity to paint in local schools. “It was a wonderful time,” she reminsced. “A lot of energy was put into the art.”

She also had quite a career in politics! All during that time, she was painting and eventually was able to get her grandchildren interested in art.

Pastels are just absolutely the answer to everyone’s abilities. They’re so forgiving.”

“There are no mistakes in pastels.”

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Even when Nana makes mistakes in her lessons (sometimes even on purpose) she’s able to show how you can keeping working and still create beautiful art.

This is so helpful especially for perfectionist-geared artists. To have the attitude continually taught to us that our art doesn’t have to be perfect brings such joy to the art process!

“No one can paint like the teacher.” We are all our own artists with our own approach. The finished project does not have to look just like the teacher’s!

Chalk Pastel Homeschool Art

How Nana’s chalk pastel lessons moved from their kitchen table to all of ours {14:30}

At first, Tricia just started taking pictures of the beautiful experience her own family was having. She later started taking step-by-step photos of lessons because of the wonderful response to the projects she was sharing on the blog.

Soon, they collected their chalk pastel projects into an ebook (A Simple Start in Chalk Pastels was the first), but then people began requesting video lessons!

Now whole families can learn together from Nana and discover that they ARE an artist! They’ve come a long way from those initial videos which used the kid’s stool and car repair lighting.

What is the value of adding chalk pastel or other art to the homeschool schedule? {17:35}

“It’s a great brain break,” encouraged Tricia. If you’re stuck on something else, you can take a break at the table and do a lesson. It’s a break for both student and parent, then you can go back and resume your other work with a fresh perspective.

“It’s a great way to enhance learning,” she added. You can especially see this with the I Drew It Then I Knew It series with history!

It’s a way to engage both sides of the brain simultaneously, which helps the child remember what they’re learning so much more easily. Students of all ages are equipped to comprehend and understand what they’re learning.

Nana attributes all she has learned and teaches to “Our Maker, the Great Artist.”

Encouraging words for the nervous, not-so-sure-about-art Mom {21:50}

“Practice. Even start with 5 minutes!” Tricia’s family would clear the dishes after lunch and do an art lesson at the table that related to something else they were learning.

“It’s very calming.”

Baby wipes are your friends to make cleaning up easy!

You can also try putting down a plastic tablecloth, or even towels all the way down to the sink so nothing would drop on the floor without easy clean-up. Chalk pastels are not that messy. It’s so easy to clean up the dust afterwards.

Another benefit of painting with chalk pastels? They’re totally washable, even out of clothing.

“Just let them draw a line… as long as they can hold a stick of pastel, let them draw that line… You have a job as the parent: ‘Look at that line! That is the best line I have seen all day!’” Nana encouraged.

Praise! That’s the key to the whole thing!” declares Nana. “The completion of the lesson is to praise it.”

I shared my own mom’s wise counsel. When you’re looking at the artwork of your young child, ask open ended questions like “Oh, I love it! Please tell me all about it!”

If you could go back in time and talk to your new-homeschool-mom self, what would you tell her? {27:30}

Stay home!” Tricia used to fret about needing to go on every fieldtrip, but it’s nice to have full, designated days of the week to stay home. You can even learn so much in your own backyard!

Homeschool High School Tricia Hodges

Those teenage years are not going to be that bad.” There’s so much fear about how awful the teen years will be. But when you’re homeschooling you’re building those relationships. Some of Tricia’s favorite years of homeschooling have been when her children have been in high school!

“Don’t fear those homeschooling high school years. The Lord will provide the resources and encouragement you need for those years, and it’s just a wonderful time.”

I agree! I’m loving the high school years with my own children!

Find Tricia and Nana online

You may also enjoy the other interviews in my Homeschool Conversations with Humility and Doxology series:

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