Art is not one of my strong points. I drew many pictures as a child, but soon realized I couldn’t paint or sketch. Now, my daughters are drawing pictures on every page they can find. I don’t want my inadequacies with art to hold them back. So here is how we do art in our homeschool.
This post contains affiliate links.
Community Art Programs
We have taken advantage of many of the classes offered by the city. Right now, the girls are doing a once-a-week arts class at one community centre where they have created various collages and crafts. I enjoy seeing what projects they come home with, because the teacher is so much more creative than I am (and the mess stays there!).
The girls have made a clock collage, a sun catcher, a mobile, and more during this class. It’s neat to see how Sunshine and Lily each interpret the project given to them by the teacher, and create similar but very different projects.
The one thing I don’t like about community programs is that many are offered during after-school time (right before supper). That’s a bit hectic for us; I’d prefer something in the early afternoon. I know other homeschoolers who have requested homeschool programs run during the morning or early afternoon, and we’ve participated in those programs. It’s worth checking with your local program coordinator about whether they’d be willing to set up a class, and what minimum registration would be required for that.
How to find community art programs:
- Ask other homeschoolers in your area what programs they have done
- Look up kids’ programs on your town or city website
- Search online for kids art programs in your areas
In-Home Art Classes
In September, the girls did an art class with another homeschool family. My friend Anna has a friend who is an artist and was willing to come to her home and teach an art class. Anna’s oldest three girls and my oldest two did the class in Anna’s kitchen, while Anna and I entertained the toddlers in the living room. It worked out great, as I didn’t have to figure out what to do while the girls were at a class, and we had enough students to make a decent class for the teacher.
For that class, the teacher used a theme each week. The girls learned about van Gogh in their first week and Emily Carr in their last week. They used paint for most classes, but also included other mediums, like tissue paper and Plasticine.
How to set it up:
- If you have a friend who is very artistic, ask if they’d be willing to teach a class
- Find another homeschool family (or two) who’d be interested in doing a class with your kids
- Ask around your homeschool groups for a mom (or dad) who’d be willing to teach an art class
Online art classes are another great option for in-home art lessons, especially when there isn’t a local teacher available. You and your child can use the computer to access a variety of classes geared toward your child’s interests. Many of these classes allow you to work at your own pace, so you can fit them into your schedule.
Art Books & Supplies
We have several art and drawing books that the girls often pull out on their own. It works great to fill in our school day if our other subjects are finished quickly. Some of the books we’ve used include (affiliate links):
- Draw Write Now: A Drawing and Handwriting Course for Kids by Marie Hablitzel and Kim Stitzer (suitable for Kindergarten plus)
- My First I Can Draw by Make Believe Press
- Art 1 for Young Catholics by Seton Press (art and craft ideas for the liturgical year)
I also have a huge craft box that the girls like to pull out. They can be quite creative on their own (if I’m willing to help clean up the mess after) and sometimes it’s fun just to watch them explore and be creative. I suggest keeping a few supplies on hand for art projects, such as:
- acrylic paints, brushes, palettes, smocks
- construction paper, cardstock and tissue paper
- white glue and glue sticks
- stickers and ribbons
- play dough, Plasticine or modelling clay
- markers, crayons, pencil crayons
Art kits are almost as good as art classes (someone else comes up with the project and gathers all the supplies), but can be done at any time in your own home. I’ve grabbed art kits at craft stores and dollar stores. We also really like mail-order art boxes like Bayo Bundles, which arrive once a month.
When they’re all done with their projects, we display them on the fridge and bedroom walls or tuck them away into their art boxes to look at again later.
How do you encourage your kids to explore art and be creative?
I’m linking up with the Canadian Homeschooling Bloggers for this post. Drop by there for more ideas on doing art in your homeschool.