In our homeschool, our strategy for art is not so much to treat it as its own subject, but to incorporate it into as many subjects as possible.
Many of our art projects only happened because they were tangential to something else we were learning. I push snooze on my "but-that's-going-to-make-a-huge-mess" mom alarm. Between developing fine-motor skills, synthesizing knowledge, or simply inviting more happiness into our lives, I can almost always justifying taking time for art.
This impromptu painting session, for example. began because I was making a math game requiring homemade dice. I had extra wooden cubes, and willing helpers.
We rediscovered why mixing primary colors
yields brown, predicted the 2-dimensional geometrical shapes that would result from various 3-dimensional "brushes", problem-solved how to paint the 6th side of a cube when all the other sides were still wet, and delighted in getting our hands dirty.
Keeping art supplies accessible helps. Clean-up took just a few minutes and it brought colors and smiles into our day.
Because I have [at least] one child who
loves art, we have reserved some time in our routine to make sure it happens:
[C.] takes an art class and a pottery class with other homeschoolers in the community. It is a good way to make friends who share her passion.
That's a turtle, from her pottery class.
She discovered the pottery wheel and couldn't wait to eat out of the bowl she made.
Occasionally we have a day that is normally scheduled with something like co-op, but we have the day off. Rather than fill those "days off" with our normal routine, we bring out sewing projects, study fine art from old art books, or experiment with polymer clay.
The Civil War era dress [C.] is sewing, which will surely be too small by the time we finish it.
Illustrating the book [C.] published turned out to be a big job. "I'm never going to draw a hummingbird again," she grumbled, after 24 illustrations of a hummingbird.
The time we spend in nature usually inspires an art project.
This was a field trip to an art museum. Museums tend to be friendly to homeschoolers. Children make such candid art analysts with their acute observation skills; I have blinders on compared to them. I have so much fun museum-schooling with my kids, I would strongly consider moving to Paris or London or the Smithsonian and doing nothing else.
We really enjoyed seeing the art show in the county fair. As part of her "Spectacular 1st-Grade Project" last year, [C.] entered three pieces into the contest. (She was given free entry to the fair, and won some cash prizes. It turned out to be quite lucrative-- and contagious.)
[G.] finding an opportunity for art at a nature festival.
Our history spine, Story of the World, offers an abundance of art projects. This was our attempt to reproduce some Ajanta frescos with paint on plaster. The kids remember history lessons so much better if they have a tactile experience to go with it. Side note on supplies: those blue medical trays win the prize for my favorite art supply. I use them ALL THE TIME. Paul recycled them from a medical company that was throwing them out. Seriously, find someone to donate these to your cause. They make anything possible.
Studying architecture tangential to a history lesson on the rise of Islam.
Co-op saved Valentine's Day. They each got to make their own mailboxes and valentines to exchange.
This art project ended up teaching a lot about economics and was a hard lesson to swallow. At our garage sale, I told her that she could keep 100% of the profit from selling something she made herself. So naturally, she set the price for $60. Yikes. She stood in front of our driveway for 6 hours, long after we closed up shop, ignoring our subtle suggestions to lower her price based on the market demand. She wouldn't budge.
I allow the kids to color or doodle while I read aloud. Some people can listen better if their hands are busy. A very cool homeschooling friend, whose kids were all talented artists, gave us
doodle book. Parts of the illustrations are left blank with silly prompts so that the artist has space to be creative.
[C.]'s new coloring book. Side note: my second favorite art supply is our set of
. They have so much more potential than a regular colored pencil. They are off-limits to The Toddler.
I have a feeling that soggy painting didn't make it into our permanent collection.
Neither did this very large, creepy chalk mural, which [C.] insisted we save for months and months. I actually love it. It reminds me of a