The HSV Panel – ART

This week The HSV Panel answers: how do you help your homeschoolers enjoy learning about the arts?

Ellen – Enjoy learning about the arts? Wow, we are doing well if we cover the arts. I have used Feed My Sheep by Barry Stebbing to introduce and learn about painting, drawing, colors, shading, etc. The kids usually got a good laugh at my attempt at drawing. Field trips to Hunter Museum of Art and others have helped to expose them to known painters, sculptors, etc. This year I have 2 high schoolers taking Art History to fulfill their Fine Art credit.

Cheryl ~ Art has been a long time struggle of mine, so I hope I can offer support to others who struggle in this area. After he outgrew the glitter and elbow macaroni phase, he lost interest in art. When dealing with a child who is not crazy about art I think it’s best to limit art (projects and/or theory) to once or twice a week. Also, incorporate laid back activities like museum field trips, listening to classical music and nature study sketching. It’s also important to make art time fun, take an art class at a homeschool co-op or invite their friends to a weekly “Art Day” at your house.

Maureen ~ I have to admit that teaching any of the arts is one of my weaknesses, which is kind of ironic since I love crafting and music and am generally “artsy”. I have though, sought out opportunities for my kids at various times to fill those voids. We’ve been blessed to be part of a co-op that has a former music teacher as one of the moms. My kids have had some great music opportunities because of that. I realize that I can’t do it all at this point in my life, so I try to find at least one “art” opportunity for my kids to participate in each semester. Sometimes this is signing them up for a class, other times it’s trading babysitting etc. for the expertise of another mom in that area.

Mirinda ~ “The Arts” would have to be my favorite part of school- and my children’s as well. Having that creative outlet for them was very important to us because it’s what helped me as a child through some rough stuff and I understood the value in that. We do a lot of painting, crafts and creating of things but we also enjoy other forms of art. Several of our field trips last year were to the symphony, ballet and theater. It was like a new world opening up for my children and they love it! We want them to understand there are many ways to be creative and express themselves- all in a way that will glorify God.

Crystal ~ Our study of the arts in our homeschool could best be described as delight-directed. We cover various aspects of the arts broadly, exposing the kids to as many different areas as possible; then we dive in deeper when an interest in a specific area is expressed. For our family, a relaxed and hands-on approach has been the key to encouraging a love for learning about the arts.

Kris ~ We try – try being the operative word – to do artist and composer studies each month, but that does tend to be the first thing that goes when the schedule gets busy. My younger two kids take a weekly music class and my oldest has taken art, but isn’t currently. I also try to make sure that we get to a play or two each year. Finally, I like to play classical music while we’re doing hands-on projects or things that aren’t disrupted by background music. We’ve come to discover that there are actually a great number of classical pieces of which we’re quite fond.

Lori ~ For my older child (15) most of his “arts” studies have come through history which is where his interests lay. For my younger child (6) he is naturally inclined to “creating” and especially loves music. So for us it really depends on the ages and interests of the kiddos. This year our local homeschool group will be hosting an Arts Fair which will include Art, Music and Drama presentations. We hope to have a “museum” type art gallery, as well as some of the kids will do biography tables on artists, musicians, composers etc., and drama presentations through out the day. We also use movies as well as biographies while trying our own hand at creating based on the inspirations from our studies.

Laura ~ I help my kids enjoy learning about the arts by surrounding them with it. We listen to classical music every day as well as enjoy looking at books full of great art works. The girls have both taken piano lessons and one of them is an avid artist. We live in a town full of fine arts resources and I’m hoping as they get older we will be able to take more advantage of them.

April ~ At our house, learning about the arts is one of those incidental parts of our school. I keep books of art readily available for my children to look at anytime they want. Our history studies often include great books about the lives of famous artists. A piece of art is so much more interesting when we understand a little about the artist who made it.

Angie ~ Although I always think that I’m a terrible artist because I can’t draw at all, I have pushed aside my fears so that we can focus on the arts in our homeschool. Not only do we find time for crafts (which I love), but we also use Artistic Pursuits and studies about particular artists. I try to encourage a love of art through my own enthusiasm for art. In addition to the things we do at home, we do various art related 4-H projects, classes in a variety of arts in our co-op (two of which I am teaching this year), and the children have also gone to summer day camp at our local art museum. Overall, my biggest goal is to teach my children that regardless of natural ability, anyone can make and enjoy art.

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