Meet the Team: Amy Hood

We're super lucky to have the talented Amy Hood as our Art Start columnist. (If you have ever fretted about creating a passion for art in your family when you feel less-than-artistic yourself, you are going to love her column.) Amy also writes an awesome blog and is the creator of the {Art Together} ezine.


Me in 100(ish) words: I’m restlessly creative and have a strong need to express myself both visually and in words. I’m always trying to stretch and learn new ways of doing so. I’m definitely happiest when I’m learning something new or sorting out a design challenge or problem. I also love sharing this passion with other people, both kids and adults. I hope to inspire creativity and confidence in artists of all ages, and I believe we are all artists.

How I started homeschooling: We homeschooled our eldest through first grade, and then he and our middle child began schooling at a local charter school. After three years, I withdrew my middle child to homeschool him. Currently I have one child in school and two (my nine-year-old and five-year-old) at home.

My homeschool style: I believe the polite term is “eclectic.” I would say we’re all over the place. I want to follow my kids’ interests, and I trust in their inherent ability and desire to learn. That said, I do insist on math every day.

What a typical day looks like in my homeschool life: I’m up early to get my oldest out the door and on the bus, and I ask my 9yo to be ready to start the day (dressed, fed, and brushed) by 8:30. I like to begin by reading aloud, then we move onto math. After that, the days diverge. We might do project work, read in subject matter, attend an activity, or head to the art room. We’re at the library quite a bit too.

Favorite readaloud: Anything. Last year we read many of Roald Dahl’s books aloud, beginning with Boy. This past fall we read The Sword in the Stone. Reading aloud is a treasured part of our rhythm, even though my 9yo is a strong reader on his own. Nothing beats starting the day by cuddling on the couch together while I read. And when I’m really tired, my son takes over for a chapter, which is also really nice.

Favorite driving music: Depends on the day! It’s fair to say my musical taste is also all over the place. On the first warm spring day with the windows open, I’ll want Dropkick Murphys or Van Halen. Lately I’ve been rotating between The Lumineers, Mumford and Sons, Of Monsters and Men, and Imagine Dragons. If I’m driving on the way to a race, it’s got to be the Beastie Boys.

Things I like: Reading, embroidery, writing, paint on my hands, knitting, drawing, coffee, popcorn, warm sunshine on my bare skin, the beach, dancing to 80s music, tide pools, running by myself (especially at sunrise in the summer), fresh flowers on my table, candlelight in winter, birds at the feeder, deer tracks in the snow.

Guilty pleasure: I keep a supply of Justin’s milk chocolate sea salt peanut butter cups on hand, but I don’t feel guilty about it. Life’s small pleasures are necessities.

What I love about homeschool life: I wish I could say the relaxed schedule, but having one child in school means we don’t get to take full advantage of that. I love that my son is more excited about what he’s learning now that he’s not in school.