I must confess, I love art. Art has been a passion of mine since I was in Junior High School. I love the smells, I love the messiness, but most of all I love making something beautiful. Because of this, I enjoy teaching art to my children. I do realize that not everyone shares this passion of mine, and for many art is one of the “if we have time” classes.
I can’t say that I really blame people for feeling that way, but I know that including fine arts education in our homeschool really makes a difference. I could list dozens of research studies that demonstrate the power that creative expression has on achievement… but I’ll spare you! I’m sure you are grateful! Anyway, one other statistic that did stand out to me was the fact that teens who were involved in fine arts were many many times less likely to battle depression and or suicidal tendencies. This tells me that art is important to our mental health.
So, with that in mind… teaching art in your homeschool can be done SIMPLY! Here are a few easy ways to establish a balanced art curriculum.
- Introduce your children to art appreciation. This should begin early with a simply appreciation of beauty… nature, people, plants, flowers, photography. As the child gets older this can become more formal by introducing them to art museums and galleries.
- Be sure to teach art history. Introduce your children to Monet, Degas, Picasso, and Van Gogh. Tell them the funny stories behind some of their famous paintings!
- Finally, be sure to experience art. Get your hands dirty and have fun! Many times I will use a theme and incorporate all three of these aspects of art education into my lessons. For example, I will show my kids famous art, then talk about the famous artists that did the work, and then try our hand at replicating something in that style. Although when we first begin to learn art, we usually use Mona Brookes book “Drawing with Children.” This is an awesome book to get kids to see lines and shapes and begin to draw.
I also use old art encyclopedias, art teaching books, and even online art curriculum. T4L has an art curriculum called Time4Art. It brings out all three of these aspects of art education, but you’ll have to make sure your child gets a chance to really make some art of his own!