I know that teaching art at home can feel, well, intimidating. Especially if you do not consider yourself artistically inclined. But art can be fun and educational when introduced as a complimentary subject, or even all on its own.
When my kids were much smaller, we used to do arts and crafts a lot. Painting pictures, making paper crowns, cutting out shapes, and crafting face masks. Our floors were once glazed with glitter and glue. Which drove Chad nutso.
But as the kids got older, and our classes became more challenging and time consuming, art class often fell by the wayside. Occasionally I would teach an art class or art history course at our coop. But at home our paints dried out from lack of use, brushes turned stiff and useless.
Lately, as I have been tweaking the final plans for our school year, I decided to bring a little creative expression back into our house in the form of Art Class. I cleaned out our art box, stocked up on some new brushes, paints, papers, journals, and pastels, and pulled out my main resources:
Since two of my kids are studying World History this year, this should be a good jumping off point for us. We will also choose a different artist to investigate each month by learning some biographical information, geographical and historical facts about when and where the artist lived and worked, and about their particular style and technique. Of course, the fun part will be to create our own version of imitation art.
Another of my favorite books is Discovering Great Artists.
This book offers so many fun projects that allow kids to imitate artists like Picasso, Jackson Pollock (a perennial favorite), and Grandma Moses.
In addition to the book above, I like to get resource books from our library to augment our studies. My favorite online site for art is Garden Of Praise. Here you’ll find artist biographies, samples of the artists’ works, coloring pages, quizzes, and lots more goodies.
I also plan to visit a couple of local art galleries and museums this year, as we have done in the past.
What’s great and easy about art is that you can grab a book like the ones above and just do projects on rainy days, or you can incorporate art into existing studies you are already doing. Studying World War Two this year? Research Jewish artists who fled during the occupation of Paris. Working on a unit study of Anne of Green Gables? Buy or Craft a Nature Journal and press flowers, leaves and feathers into it. Go outside and sketch local birds or bugs. Doing Biology in Science class? Draw realistic pictures of the heart, lungs or other body systems. Reading a good book? Create a lapbook with sketches or paintings related to characters within.
See? Art is totally flexible!
I’ll freely confess that one of my kids will have zero interest in doing art this year, like every other year. And that’s okay. I won’t force it too much. art is really supposed to be fun, so we’ll keep our projects relaxed, without pushing to get through as much as possible. Hopefully my kids will be inspired to be more creative and appreciative of art this year.
If you’d like to see more Homeschooling ideas about art and many other subjects, you can check out my Homeschooling Board on Pinterest
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How do you teach art at home?
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