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Arts in Education - What I’ve Learned Over 10+ Years as a Homeschooler: Part III

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.

Art appreciation instills the value of craft and is a source of inspiration. We’ve all heard the saying, “practice makes perfect”, well in our house, practice makes better.

The more you practice the better results you will get. My children have experienced this concept as visual artist, musicians, and thespians themselves, and have witnessed both of their parents hone their own unique crafts.

In addition to understanding the value of practice, my children have a deep appreciation of art making because they have been exposed to great works of art by some of the greatest masters throughout human history. We have explored the art forms and tools of artists across time. We have looked at master artworks, listened to symphonies, experienced opera, and have read great works of literature, together. Experiencing great works of art has given my children both, something to aspire to and a deep understanding of the level of devotion to achieve such masterworks.

Art connects you to the human spirit. One of my daughter’s favorite stories is of the

musicians of the Jewish ghettos during the Nazi era. How they would meet secretly in cold and dirty basements to make music together - quietly. That even in the most extreme of conditions, art flourished. She finds this story very inspiring and connects deeply to the

need to express one self. Examples of creative expression happening in spite of the harshest times abounds throughout history. In every era, in every time, and in every horrible thing humans have ever experienced, the human spirit has always found a way to express itself though art.

This 3-part blog series gives just a few examples of the ways arts education has impacted my children. Obviously, I believe art is important but don’t just take my word for it. Ask my kids what they think, I did:

“Art has made us more creative.”

“Art is like a geode – even in the harshest times, art is the diamond in the rock.”

“Art can take you away from stuff you’re worried about. You get into something and suddenly you look up and three hours has passed.”

“Making art helps me to calm down.”

“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.”

“I love books. I love dancing. I love music. I love drawing. I love playing my ukulele.”

“I just love art in general.”

“Being an artist doesn’t mean you have to make paintings. You could be an artist at stacking apples or anything really.”

“Your art is your art. No one else has to like it.”

“Our notebooks are proof that art can be included in everything.”

“Writing and spelling are art. You have to learn all the parts and then put them together. Just like in drawing.”

“I love making art.”

“Studying the arts with my mom has made me the person I am today.”

“I think art in general just makes you a better person.”

Are you looking for ways to incorporate art into your home? February is Black History Month. Celebrate the artwork of the abstract painter, Alma Woodsey Thomas, by creating a colorful collage!

"Man's highest aspirations come from nature. A world without color would seem dead. Color is life. Light is the mother of color. Light reveals to us the spirit and living soul of the world through colors."—Press Release, Columbus Museum of Arts and Sciences, 1982, for an exhibition entitled A Life in Art: Alma Thomas 1891–1978, Vertical File, Library, National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

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