Is art a subject you find challenging to teach in your homeschool?
I have to admit, art is something I love teaching today. But when we first began homeschooling, 9 years ago, I found it quite difficult. After all, my college background included exactly two art classes. And I never really thought of myself as an artist.
However, my husband and I were blessed with a very creative child. And I found that the more opportunities I provided for him in art and music, the more he wanted! And I discovered that there is a plethora of resources available to the homeschool parent who’d like to include art lessons. I’d like to share four of my favorite resources with you. Each of these books can equip you to teach incredible art and art history lessons---and enable you to have a wonderful time when you do it!
Art is Fundamental is subtitled “Teaching the Elements and Principles of Art in Elementary School.” However, I’d venture to say that this book can easily be used in the middle and high school grades as well. It is actually a complete 3-year curriculum of art. The first two years include lessons on color, value, texture, shape, line and form. The third year’s lessons review color and value, then teach balance, contrast, movement and rhythm. Each lesson introduces a concept, then provides a project for the student which illustrates the concept. This is a very thorough book which enables the teacher, even if she’s inexperienced in art, to teach a thorough art vocabulary and experience.
MaryAnn Kohl has written some of my favorite art books for children. I found Great American Artists for kids extremely helpful when I taught a coop class on American art; it’s equally as wonderful for at-home lessons.
Great American Artists for kids would be a wonderful complement to American history lessons, as its artist lessons are divided historically. But if you’re not studying American history at the moment, I’d still recommend it! It’s a very simple and easy way to add art to your lesson plans each week. Just pick it up, gather a few supplies, and you’re ready to go!
Schwake’s wonderful book includes 52 different art projects. She carefully defines art terminology, explains what different media and materials are, and then provides creative ways to use them. Students will learn drawing skills; various types of painting; printmaking; using paper to create art; and (one of my personal favorites) mixed media art. And even though the title suggests that this book is for kids, Schwake tells us that it’s really for “budding artists of all ages”!
Jenny Doh is both an artist and a blogger. In Hand in Hand, she collected personal stories and art projects from 20 different bloggers. Each of these is designed for parents to do with their children. So, while this is not an art lesson book per se, it is a lovely collection of crafts and creative activities that parents and children can enjoy doing together. As a matter of fact, we’ve made several of the projects in this book and given them to my son’s grandmothers, for either birthday or Christmas gifts. (Now tell me: which grandparent can resist handmade art from a beloved grandchild?)
In this book, you’ll find directions for handmade banners, books, masks, quilts, pillows---and many more!
In closing, I only have one recommendation for you. Whether you think that you are a creative person—an artist—or not….create! There is nothing like sitting down with your child and creating, whether you’re doing one project together or you each have your own. Some of our most wonderful conversations have happened when we were creating together. And, we’ve made not only treasured projects but wonderful memories!
You can find these excellent books at your local library or at Amazon.
| || |
Wren is a former Texas girl who now lives in the western U.S. She and her husband were blessed with one son, and they’ve homeschooled all his life. She and her sister Finch blog together at http://finchnwren.com/.