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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Art Not Just Fun

We have always done visual arts at home even before starting to homeschool. My parents are artists so it came naturally to me. This year as the leader of our local homeschool group I wanted to see more added to our schedule that enriched the group. I was really lucky I stopped in a local workshop that opened up. I met a fantastic woman whose dream it is to bring local artisans and children together.
My son mixing paint for his frog stepping stone.

We have set up some classes for fall with the hopes of taking in more over the course of the year. However...I had someone ask 'will they learn any real skills'. Now perhaps it was because they don't know me that well or perhaps it's was their wording, or their view of visual arts. Either way it kind of shocked me. Visual arts is one of the most under appreciated classes. It's not about the kids doing whatever they want, laughing, and making a giant mess. Yes sometimes that does happen. Visual arts is kinsthetic learning at it's finest.

My daughter 'kissing' her turtle stepping stone.
Kids learn some very real skills by being hands on. If you look at toddlers beginning to use scissors they are learning fine motor skills. As they age they are learning other things as well. How to correctly use a paintbrush and clean up, the uses of various mediums, and to solve problems. Artistic terminology is learned and thus vocabulary is expanded. Mediums are explored and talents are uncovered. How to express oneself comes through in their art. Sharing their art children can learn public speaking, how to handle positive criticism, and take praise in a modest way. Through art they can learn history, culture, and essentially the world. I could go on. Needless to say we place a high value on learning art here and are really looking forward to getting back to it now that our school year is approaching. 

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