Wanting to encourage art in your homeschool a bit more and help your children develop their creativity? Here are 10 ideas to help you encourage art in your homeschool.
When you hear the word “art”, what comes to mind? Usually, we think of the fine arts exhibited in a museum created many years ago by old world masters. However, art is a very broad subject that involves many different creative paths. It is also an important experience for the development of your child.
However, art is often neglected or only considered worthy once our child has completed the “required” subjects such as math and science. But, we can include art in our other subjects and use it throughout our curriculum to help develop creativity.
So how can you encourage art in your homeschool with all the distractions that compete for time every day?
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Ideas to Encourage Art in Your Homeschool
The Wide Spectrum of Arts
Calligraphy, arts and crafts, photography, filmmaking, and even architecture are all considered artistic skills. We can also include decorative arts such as enamel work, basket weaving, floral design, and interior decoration. There is pottery, handicrafts, embroidery, origami, paper arts and crafts, and the list could go on.
Let’s not assume that being artistic is merely drawing or painting. There is undoubtedly an artistic hobby that is suitable for almost any personality and interest.
So how can we awaken our children’s interest in art that will take them from consumer to creator? Here are some tips and tricks on how to encourage art in your homeschool.
Explore Different Art Forms
The first step is to introduce different art forms. We often tend to limit them to “kid crafts” and kid supplies, but there is so much more available in the world of art.
It is a good idea to have your children participate in different art activities and then decide what they are good at and what they enjoy. This means that some children may be good at acting while others have a talent for drawing and painting.
Choose for Themselves
Parents usually have a plan for their children and also try to encourage their children to pursue particular interests. It only takes watching one episode of Dance Moms to see how this can turn ugly.
Therefore, it can be a good idea to let them try various artistic activities, as it is impossible to know what they will be good at without some trial and error. It’s important to let the children choose the activity they find fun and interesting and not force them to do something they don’t like.
Giving Too Many Instructions
It’s hard to be quiet when you see your child adding color upon color to their painting and knowing it will end up a brown/grey mess. And we don’t always have to be quiet, but we do need to be judicious and optimistic.
Give them the basics information needed, but let them experiment and discover for themselves. It can be hard, but less is more when it comes to art instruction.
User-Friendly but Quality Supplies
When engaging children with art, it’s important to find a balance between kid-friendly and quality art supplies. Sure, a dollar store watercolor pan might be fine for the two-year-old, but get much older than that and it’s frustrating.
Quality material and supplies lead to a better end result. I wanted my kids to have some art projects they would want to keep and not just a box of construction paper crafts that made them question their mother’s sanity. So, we’ve used actual canvases. Not fine art quality, but many steps above printer paper.
This is also my favorite watercolor set. The Prang watercolors are vivid and have an overall good saturation. The pan-style also makes for easier cleanup!
- Pure pigments with no wax fillers provide smooth laydown and vivid colors
- White mixing tray and brush included
Nothing makes my kids happier than when I paint with them. We decide we need to have an “art project” afternoon and pull out all the supplies.
When you participate with them, you’re showing them so many things, like you don’t have to be an amazing artist to enjoy creating. They see that it is okay to make mistakes and how to adjust. And they learn that it’s important to drop all the must-dos and simply enjoy life.
That’s what creative endeavors do, they bring beauty and creativity to our lives.
Make it a Habit
In order for children to take an interest in arts and crafts, they must regularly participate in artistic activities. It’s a good idea to pick a day each week when you will have an art afternoon.
It helps you get prepared with materials and ideas, and it helps create the habit in you children. It also gives them the consistent experience that will improve their skills.
Give yourself time to enjoy the process and not be rushing towards the next thing. We often take an entire afternoon to paint and create. Some projects can even stretch across multiple days.
If you’re struggling with finding a big block of time, try devoting a shorter amount of time to following along with a drawing video. In just a few minutes, kids can practice their drawing skills.
Have a Variety of Materials
Unusual or unexpected materials can get your kids excited about art time. I loved to have the big jars full of various supplies like tissue paper squares and pom-poms for them to use for their imaginative creations.
Give children the freedom to participate freely in art and buy attractive and fun things to make it interesting for them.
- Massive amount of craft supplies in a reusable storage container with a handle
- Oppenheim toy portfolio gold seal award winner
Try Not to Stress
Art can be extremely chaotic, especially when children are involved. The mess is part of the process. If parents are overly concerned about the mess, children will not enjoy creating, and we need kids to be creative.
Here are a few ideas to help contain the mess:
- Use a dollar store disposable tablecloth to protect your table (tape it down if necessary)
- Inexpensive muffin tins are great for holding paint
- Have paper towels at the ready
- For solid background painting or overall decoupage, use a disposable foam brush for easier cleanup
This is a great option if you just can’t stand the mess, join a class or art group. We’ve done both over the years. When my older girls were quite young, they took a drawing class with some other friends held by a homeschool graduate.
We’ve taken art classes at co-ops and community centers. This is great because they see other kids enjoying art and they also get different information and instructions that they might not have learned otherwise.
Encourage Art in Your Homeschool
Parents seem so focused on career and college preparation, that their worries center on the right math and science curriculums, at the expense of other important aspects of development. Art being one of those.
We often hear people belittling the humanities in our technologically focused world. However, art and music and literature are some of the most important aspects of humanity and civilization. They help us to develop our appreciation of beauty and morals.
We’re already seeing how technology has affected our sense of goodness, beauty, and truth, and I’m not wanting to go further down that path. That is why art, in all it’s forms, is so important for our children.
Resources to Encourage Art in Your Homeschool
Diving into art can be stressful in your homeschool. We worry about the messes, the arguments, the kids that always hate their drawing. It can be exhausting.
However, it’s worth it for the effort because it helps them grow as a person.
To encourage art in your homeschool, you have to give it some thought and preparation. so here are some courses we have enjoyed over the years.
Masterpiece Society Studio
Alisha’s Masterpiece Society Studio is my favorite art course of all time. If the full membership isn’t for you (or isn’t open) you can also get individual courses in her store. This is what we started with years ago before she had the membership available.
You Are An Artist Chalk Pastel
Another art course we love is You Are An Artist chalk pastels. These are perfect for when you’re not wanting to drag out all the paints, or if you’re looking for a project to add to your studies. With everything from history, nature, and literature, you will find something to include in your unit studies.
Creativebug is a streaming service full of art and craft classes and tutorials. From quilting to cooking, you can find something your children will be interested in trying.
If you’re looking for a more formal and prewritten lesson plans from an art course, Schoolhouse Teachers has some great options. Also, since they are created by and for homeschoolers, the materials used are things we usually have on hand.
Udemy isn’t something a lot of homeschoolers consider, but it has some great offerings, and at a great price. And once you purchase a course, it’s yours, so you’re not under any time limit.