Recently a friend of mine who has decided to home school her child approached me asking for some ideas about the art. This friend of mine admits ‘she doesn’t know what to do when it comes to art’ and I could sense her anxiety around the topic. All her other children have taken no interest in art but her youngest daughter loves to draw and being a supportive parent, she is keen to encourage her daughter’s interest.
Here are some thoughts and experiences that may be useful if you too are home-schooling your child or even if you just wish to encourage your child’s creativity and artistic side.
The biggest progress I’ve seen in students is with one-to-one tutoring, if you are home-schooling and art is not your thing it is well worth considering a tutor. Many have said to me that this is expensive when I have suggested it but, in my experience, as a tutor who has tutees the results are worth it.
Just one hour of tutoring when the skills are tailored to your child’s interests and needs can really reap results. This is no comparison to school where your child could be one of thirty or so classmates and there is no way the teacher can give such individualised attention and feedback to your child.
One of the important aspects of learning is to cultivate curiosity and this can be done if we use the child’s interests to explore the topics and skills. One of the great things about art is that we can use our interests to learn, so find out what your child’s interests are and use them to create artwork.
For example, if you child is very interested in football you could look at logos and emblems and get them to design their own. It might be cartoons or animation so you could get your child to draw a character and create a flip book and so on.
Confidence in art comes from exploring the materials widely, try to provide as many different art materials as possible and allow them to experiment. I teach students who don’t draw and didn’t draw much as a child because they were on the computer creating art.
Although there is a place for digital art confidence with materials is important and this can start at an early age. The materials don’t have to be expensive, think old paper, magazines, wool, scraps of materials, cardboard, paint, chalk, etc. A variety of materials is important, and you can source them from charity shops and jumble sales sometimes.
As much as it is temping to buy craft kits for children it doesn’t foster their skills and creativity. It is far better to show them imagery of something that inspires them and suggest ideas. Problem solving is a part of art and those children that have had to come up with the ideas themselves will be developing important skills for life. Kits unfortunately make it far too easy for children not to think for themselves.
If you can provide as many opportunities as possible for your child to see art in galleries and meet real life artists this is very powerful. A visit to one gallery could really inspire a child to take up art, it is important that children see that art can end up in galleries and that the role art can play in the world.
Encourage your child to draw simple things from life because observational drawing is an important skill which can start from an early age. Try to encourage a regular practice, rather than the idea of creating one finished drawing encourage scribbles and foster the idea that mistakes are okay and this will go a long way to help embed a love of drawing and observing the world around them closely.
Do you have any home-schooling art teaching tips? Share below…