Admittedly, I couldn’t place brush to acrylic to create a recognizable painting to save my life, but it doesn’t stop me from wanting to instill the love of art within my kids. I think art is a beautiful gift from God, and children should have the opportunity to participate in art activities, or go to a museum where they can see and appreciate the artistic talent of local or renowned artists.
Recently,we took a visit to the Monterey Museum of Art during a free entry week.
I’m hoping my daughter will be inspired to keep along her interest in art. I figure that the exposure will be enough to hopefully whet her appetite for more.
So, here are a couple of reasons art is so important in our home:
I believe art provides a means for self-expression. My kids do a lot of free form art, and all I do is provide the materials – the different paints, modeling clay, paper – whatever we need to have on hand. I put on some classical music, tie on a smock, and just let the kids absorb themselves into a world of freedom of expression.
I think it can be especially therapeutic for children. Nearly two years ago when we picked up and moved cross country away from everything dear to us (our friends and family, our home, our lives), the transition for our children (me included) wasn’t an easy one. Art really helped us to express our emotions and relieve some of the tension through watercolors, pastels, and acrylics.
Many schools have dropped art programs from their curriculum because they just can’t afford it. I think it’s very sad. I remember art being a major part of my school program as a young kid, and it’s one of the highlights of my elementary education. Funny how I remember some of the specific projects I worked on- like a mosaic made of navy beans that I made in my 5th grade classroom right before my move to another state. I remember it distinctly because it was my last day at my school in California since my military dad was moving his family to yet another state. I remember that particular mosaic being significant to me since it was my last connection between me and my life in that school, city, and state. I was sad when I left my art project on my classroom wall and forgot to take it home with me. It was my personal expression of “goodbye”.
Art improves test scores and academic performance. As I mentioned earlier, a lot of schools have to drop art from their curricula, because there just isn’t enough money or time, I suppose. But art has been known to improve the test scores of students, improving on higher order thinking skills, and even enhancing attitudes as well as social skills.
I especially enjoy the Artistic Pursuits curriculum.
Art transcends all cultural and social boundaries. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, art is a language that connects humans to one another in a very powerful, wordless way. Teaching basic art skills so that our kids can build upon those basic principles is a wonderful gift we can give our kids.
And finally, art brings beauty into the world. Everywhere you look, you will never cease to find a beautiful work of art somewhere. Art is everywhere – from the rustic beauty of nature out in the country to the art museum in the bustling city.
The beauty of homeschooling is that we get to experience a world of art every day if we only open our eyes to the possibilities – and help our children do the same.