Every homeschool parent schedules time for reading, math, science, and social studies but are music and art included in your curriculum? If not, you need to reevaluate your lesson plans and find ways to incorporate the fine arts into your child’s schedule. Music and art not only help children become well-rounded adults who can speak on a variety of topics but also help them understand the common core subjects better. A student who studies music will better understand math concepts and may even be able to learn a second language faster than a student who has never been exposed to music education. But why is art important?
Art is a creative outlet that literally anyone can utilize, even those with “no artistic ability.” Simply coloring in a coloring book qualifies as art and can be a stress reliever for parents and children alike. Art doesn’t have to be complicated or perfect, it just needs to be creative. A piece of construction paper, a cup of glue with a Q-tip paint brush, and a few pieces of cut yarn can yield a masterpiece when studying the letter /Y/. Follow up the craft project by asking kids to explain what they have created or, for older kids, write a description of their art, and you have successfully transitioned from fine motor skills into language and reading territory.
When art is part of a homeschool curriculum, it gives students an opportunity to express their feelings, practice fine motor skills, use their imagination, and showcase projects they are proud of. Incorporating art into common core subjects can help students understand the concepts, timelines, or ideas in a deeper way. Ask a child to illustrate a favorite book and he will start to think about the characters and settings in a new way. Encourage a student to create a visual display to explain a challenging math concept such as dividing fractions and she will grasp the concept much sooner. Help your child design and put together a costume or diorama of a period in history and it will be forever cemented in his mind.
Parent/teachers can teach art history with trips to local museums or virtual visits to galleries around the world. Students can mimic great works of art or recreate famous styles such as Picasso’s abstract pieces or Andy Warhol’s iconic soup can imagery. When kids are exposed to a wide range of artistic styles and mediums, it allows their own imagination to soar.
But art education doesn’t have to be limited to learning about great artists or as a teaching tool but can simply be about having fun and being creative. A trip to a craft store with a budget and an idea can transform a rainy afternoon into an art bonanza. A bucket of craft sticks can become a house, a picture frame, or a marble run. Googly eyes can transform an odd sock into a new friend. Glitter glue can turn an ordinary piece of paper into a frame-able piece of art.
Art doesn’t only encourage expression and imagination but helps children look at the world through a variety of lenses and start to understand things at a deeper level….isn’t that what school is supposed to do?
For 15 years Mimi Rothschild has been privileged to help hundreds of thousands of homeschoolers educate their children at home. The MorningStar Academy is a private online Christian school offering diplomas and teachers. The Jubilee Academy is an online Christian curriculum provider offering over 150 full year online Christian courses for PreK-12.