I am not an Artist. I am a mom. I homeschool only boys. I have 3 and they are ALL boy. Just ask my furniture/house/tables/bathrooms. I have never had an art class in my life.
I want many things for my boys, for their future and heart. One thing I want for them is an intense appreciation for all the beautiful things around them created by the Creator. If you know boys you know they don’t stop long for beautiful things. They do not often use the word beautiful.
Another thing I want for them is the understanding that its okay to try and fail. For us, art was a great way to teach all this. I began 3 years ago with 2 of 3 boys scared to use crayons. They frequently panicked knowing they could never color in the lines despite how many times I told them it didn’t matter.
We were starting a co-op with some families from our church and I saw an opportunity. An opportunity to teach a subject I never had time or motivation to follow through with otherwise. I had skimmed the book, this book.
I knew I could probably pull it off. Turns out I loved it. I loved sketching and thinking about elements of shapes. Suddenly looking at objects and drawing them made perfect sense. I wished someone had shown me how easy it was when I was younger. And now I was determined to teach these children the same thing. We ended up with 8 children in the class, ages 7-12. We finished the year with an oil painting. (My son did this oil painting. He was 9.)
Now I have MUCH to learn but when I teach Art my target student it not the one who loves to draw. It is the one who thinks he/she can’t draw. It is the child who is impatient with the process that grabs my attention. I want THAT child to know he may not go to art school but understanding color, line, space, and perspective are important in the world around him not just in art class.
My boys now beg to do art at least twice a week often sitting for an hour or more working on projects. My middle son insists on illustrating his reading worksheets. My youngest who still hates crayons loves using all the different markers I keep on hand now. They have notebooks of creatures drawn and colored, not perfectly but they no longer care. They are excited when I talk about going to an art museum and now I am excited too.
I won’t delve into all the various things creativity and drawing help children develop. That is a long list but I plan to continue the art whether we are in a class or not.
Here are some more of my oldest son’s art projects from the class 2 years ago. (These were just the final finished projects. They had many drawings and smaller projects that were not displayed.)
Also because I was new to teaching art I forgot to take pictures of all the kid’s pictures together.
I didn’t know I would love it but I took a chance. I didn’t know children would benefit from it but their mothers tell me they did. I can’t teach advanced art or prepare a child for Art school. I can’t cultivate a lifetime of creating art for a person. I can help a child believe its possible. I can introduce them to basic concepts that lay a foundation for learning about color, shape, line, and perspective.
So if you think you have nothing to offer other homeschoolers I think you are probably wrong. Homeschoolers are creative in a thousand different ways as we push, pull, and prod our children along. We can turn anything into a lesson. Sometimes those lessons are that much more fun when taught to a group.