As an artist myself, the thought of my children not having exposure to the arts in their education was a painful one. Which is why I decided, before my first born could walk, that I would homeschool and include the arts in every aspect of our schooling. Over the last 15+ years, my children and I have learned a lot together. And the one thing that consistently looms large in our home is that art permeates everything. Inspired Minds Art Center has asked if I would share with you what I have learned incorporating the arts into all aspects of our homeschooling.
Participation in the arts promotes pride. I'm an artist, and there is nothing more satisfying than finishing a painting and having it turn out exactly how I saw it in my mind. I have witnessed that pride in my children too. What child doesn’t want to show a beautiful painting that they have made? Or play a new song on the guitar that took them weeks to learn? Or share a story they repeatedly rewrote until the words expressed exactly what they were thinking? Or perform a dance they choreographed and practiced with their friends? Or invite everyone they know to the play they are in? Kids want to share the stories of their creations and why they are important.
Self-esteem, self-worth, and self-regard are all outgrowths of any art endeavor. There is no denying the beaming pride of my children when they come to me and say, “Mom, look at what I made!”
Art making instills a growth mindset. This one is on all of the scholarly lists but it is true. Art can be hard. You can be unfamiliar with the materials, unfamiliar with the technique, and unprepared for the learning curve necessary for the completion of the project. And it is terribly frustrating when things don’t turn out the way you planned.
Though with a little grit on their part, and a little encouragement on my part, I have witnessed how the adage, “try, try again”, not only applies to their artmaking but also transfers to all other areas of their life. My children understand failure is just a part of the process.
Sometimes my kids may make a happy accident and discover something wonderful and sometimes not so much, but they will always learn something in their failures. It’s up to them to stick with it and try again because they know that through their trying they just might end up with something spectacular.
Here's what my kids have to say about art and education:
“Sometimes making my art or playing my music keeps me from punching a wall. Though sometimes it lifts me up and makes me so happy.”
“You don’t have to be an artist to be an artist. If you really believe you can do it then you can do anything.”
“What you’re doing might be bad at first but if you keep practicing then you can do anything.”
Are you looking for ways to incorporate art into your home? Teach your child some good old-fashioned Friendship Bracelet skills. They can be frustrating to learn at first, but once kids get the hang of it, the trendiness is unstoppable!