Our goal is to train young people to use their God given talents to encourage and uplift the body of Christ. We encourage excellence in the visual arts, and believe in equipping young educators to provide quality art lessons to their students.
We are proud to announce the start of Visual Manna Academy. The slogan of Visual Manna’s new art program is “BE BOLD, BE ORIGINAL, AND BE EXCELLENT.” Students will spend 20 hours online studying art techniques in media on an AP level. They can even work towards the dual credit. This class will also be offered locally in a one week period in the Kansas City area. There will be eight mission trips where students will be given the opportunity to serve. Each mission trip will focus on creating beauty and uplifting the areas that they will be held in, and be part of a team effort assisting the present situation or ministry. They must complete two week long trips to complete the course. Students can choose from Kansas City, Ireland/Scotland, Israel, St. Louis, Ironton (Camp Penuel), Salem, MO, and more. On some of the mission trips, parents are welcome to be a part of the experience. Our official starting time for the academy will be the fall of 2017, but we will be taking some students online before that time.
Programs & Curriculum, Bundles and Art Resources
Our program packages and resources offer a perfect art program for Christian school, private schools, homeschools or in addition to public school as a supplement. See our Program Bundles page for details of program offering and bundles, and view our Visual Manna Store to purchase. We also have individual ebooks and ebook packages, a series of power points on the elements and principles of art. We encourage you to go to Rainbow Resources that carries our books and offer free lessons here.
Upon graduation from the Visual Manna Academy we will work on getting students internships in their area of interest in the arts. We will offer a one month internships by invitation and upon completion of Visual Manna Academy. These take place in Kansas City, MO.
Retreats and Camps
Come to the beautiful Current River at Montauk State Park for the last week of July in 2017 and do a family camp. Cost is $30.00 a day from 9:00 to 3:00. Students need to bring a lunch. Students will be drawing, painting, sculpting and spending all day doing delightful art projects all about animals.
Sharon Jeffus has a B.S.S.E. in Art Education from John Brown University and continued on in her studies to be certified to teach English from the University of Arkansas. She studied painting at Metropolitan in Denver and sculpting at Southern Illinois University.She has written over twenty books and has the internationally known company Visual Manna. Sharon wrote her first book in 1992 and developed the Visual Manna teaching method where art is integrated with art appreciation, techniques, vocabulary and core subjects. She has also written an Indian Arts and Crafts program that was rated outstanding by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.Sharon taught in the public schools in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri. She then left the public school system to write books, travel and homeschool her two children. Sharon also taught Intensive English as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Missouri-Rolla and has given presentations on teaching art to college classes including Azusa Pacific University and Columbia College and the Audubon Society. She has three AP courses that have been approved to teach. Art internships are also available. Sharon developed and presented workshops in coordination with Wonders of Wildlife Museum and Bass Pro on art and science. Her books are available in ebook form and at Rainbow Resources that has free videos of her lessons. Visual Manna Academy is offering a comprehensive art program for high school students and students graduating who want a strong foundation in art and also written communication.
Joshua Jeffus is an excellent teacher with over 10 years of experience teaching and working with young people. He studied art at John Brown University and also spent several months in Europe photographing art for Visual Manna. He is a licensed minister and a licensed pilot. He is studying business and finance and works in Kansas City, MO. Joshua has a passion for teaching art and is committed to our slogan “Be Bold, Be Original and Be Excellent!
To see what our curriculum is like, click here for free video art lessons from Sharon Jeffus, owner of Visual Manna!
We can also come to your school and offer a one week high school art program. Books and materials go with the program!
Contact us so we can help customize a program that fits the needs of your school.
More about our philosophy and goals in teaching art
“My goal is to provide educational materials for children to make them feel good about who they are. I want them to love learning and view it as an exciting discovery. No matter who they are or what their circumstance, whether it is children who view themselves as being physically different, have a learning disability, are in schools in the inner city, children who are creatively gifted. ALL children can benefit from finding their place to shine in the arts and can feel good about who God created them to be.” -Owner Sharon Jeffus
Art is the KEY!
Art is the key to unlock the mind of many children who struggle with special needs. Art is trans-cultural. It is a language that transcends words. Leonardo da Vinci said, “Art is the Queen of all sciences, communicating knowledge to all the generations of the world.” Art teaches children to be original and create. It makes learning exciting. God is a creative God and we were created in his image. We believe each child is imbued by God to be innately creative. It is our goal to bring out that special and creative individuality in each student that we teach.
In teaching core skills through art, we believe that children learn better by doing. In dale’s Cone of Learning, we see that people retain 10% of what they read, 20% of what they hear, 30% of what they see, 50% of what they hear and see, 70% of what they say and 90% of what they say and do.
Doing art to support core learning not only makes learning fun, but helps children retain what they learn. In teaching art skills, we believe it is important to introduce children to many different mediums and a variety of techniques so they have the skills necessary to express their creativity, individual thinking, and problem solving. We believe the study of master works of art can facilitate the student’s understanding of how techniques have been applied in the past. This gives them understanding of how previous masters have overcome various technical problems to express their creativity more fully. Most education today is geared to rote memorization of the facts, techniques and methods. An engineer or inventor needs to think outside of the box. Art teaches this way of thinking to succeed. Many times art is taught in a similar method to math, science, history, or English. Pressure to perform to arbitrary standards is often placed on students restricting their creativity to the demands of conformity, and to the need for expedience in measuring performance in relationship to the norm. We believe our method of teaching the core subjects through art is the very best for visual and kinesthetic learners. Creativity is as unique and individual as snowflakes. If three architects are presented with a design problem for a particular building, they will all solve the problem differently. Art is a catalyst for engineering and invention when taught properly. It generates excitement in the learning environment. So many of the greatest minds in history were independent thinkers and problem solvers. This is our goal for each Visual Manna student. In the teaching of techniques, vocabulary and art appreciation, we strive to produce students that have a well-rounded and thorough understanding of art so they can use their creativity to the maximum. In teaching of core subjects, we use art as a fun supplement to core learning!
What I Like to Focus On When Teaching Art…
I want to give what I feel is the most important advice in teaching your children to be creative individuals. Because my area of expertise is art, I want to share some very important ideas to encourage you as parent/teachers in the arts. The most important thing that art education can do is to teach children to think independently. When a younger child is showing you what is his own individual art project with happiness and joy; you are experiencing one of the great moments in education.
I believe it is far more important to allow younger children to be exposed to great works of art, vocabulary of the arts, and then a hands on project that allows them to express themselves and enhance fine motor skills than to do a structured program of learning how to draw. Most areas of the school day are very structured. Children do not have the freedom to put together materials and supplies and come up with something original. But in art this is very different. God created all the snowflakes differently and he did the same thing with children and the art that they do.
Older children do require a more structured program in techniques and appreciation, but the primary goal should be showing children that every artist has his own individual style. By showing children pictures by various artists, it allows them to break away from the heavy pressure of performing in art to a certain standard to be correct. If you can show children an Impressionistic picture and then allow them to do a sponge painting to experience the technique of Impressionism; they will certainly remember the style. Renoir created some of his beautiful paintings with paintbrushes tied to his hands because of arthritis. He also wanted to paint beautiful things because there was so much ugliness in the world.
Creativity is such a fragile flower. It is easily crushed. Perhaps you have had that happen to you. As long as you are encouraging your children in the arts and making art a joyful experience, you will find that art will be the activity that refreshes you and your children/students the most during the school day! Using our resources can help you along in your journey with your children/students. We pray not only that your students would enjoy it, but that you also would enjoy it and be encouraged that yes, YOU CAN DO THIS! And it can be fun too!
Please check out all of our offerings!