What did we do for homeschool art? Considering that our children inherited the genes of two drawing/painting-challenged individuals, my husband and I were lucky to have Montessori principles to give our children an enjoyable – even rewarding – experience with homeschool art.
1. We had an easel with paints available for Will and Christina to use when they were younger. Will and Christina chose when they wanted to paint. They learned to use an apron and to close the paint jars and clean the paintbrushes at the end of each painting session.
2. We had art projects throughout the year. Will and Christina could do the art projects together or separately, depending on their interest. They typically enjoyed working together, each at their own level.
In Montessori schools, children don’t do art projects as a group like they do in most day-care centers and nursery schools. Instead, the teacher introduces an art project at line time (the group time when the children sit on an ellipse or circle taped to the floor). After it is introduced, the project is typically placed on a tray on the art shelf. The children might work on the art project one at a time, or two or three children might decide to work with the material together. In the same way, I had art projects available on trays on shelves in our homeschool.
3. We emphasized art appreciation. There are wonderful Montessori-oriented materials for that. We used the art postcards from the Child-Size Masterpieces series as well as visits to art museums and lots of books on artists.
3. As Will and Christina grew older, their interests dictated their art direction. Will learned to draw 3-D designs from a book and enjoyed that as a major focus of his drawing. Christina enjoyed 3-D drawing books as well, but she was more interested in crafts. We had friends and small groups of homeschoolers with similar interests to encourage Christina’s interest in sewing, knitting, crocheting, needlepoint, and beadwork.
5. Performing arts is where our homeschool really came to life. But that again came from our children’s interests. Will enjoyed performing as part of his figure skating, and Christina was always a dancer and performer.
What part of the arts captures your child’s interest?