Without naming names, there are some in my “classroom” who are very into art, but there are some more…shall we say…reluctant artists there as well. Without taking too much of what they say to heart, because I am a true believer that an artist lives in all of us and asks to be released, we carry on with Fine Art Friday every week without allowing for complaining.
Art is important. Personally, I don’t think it should be counted as an extra or a maybe-we’ll-get-to-that-sometime type of subject in our school. But with the other activities going on in a homeschool family and other important subjects like math and phonics taking precious time, it’s not always easy to set aside time to create every week. In this post, I want to share 11 ways to create an artist and some ideas to make art easier in your home.
1. Schedule art into your lesson plans.
I am just not a very spontaneous person. I don’t do well with flying by the seat of anything. This is also true when it comes to art. For us, we do a regular school day Monday-Thursday. Then on Fridays, we catch up on anything and do art…Fine Art Friday. I love this time of the week.
The kids are happy and relaxed because they know school is finished for the week and we can just sit and create some art for a while. I will usually have an idea of what we are doing for art beforehand and have the supplies available. Usually I already have everything I need because I have a problem with buying art supplies and our art cabinet is pretty well-stocked. But I think it’s really important to plan on doing art…otherwise it’s too easy to skip.
2. Keep art supplies readily available and well-stocked.
If your kids feel like they’re going to get in trouble if they get out markers and paper, they’re probably not going to do it. Keep your less expensive supplies on a low shelf and encourage your kids to grab them when they need something to do. Crayons and markers can be found very inexpensively and kids don’t need much more to draw on than scratch paper. Save school papers that can be drawn on and let your kids know to use them.
Also keep your art supplies well-stocked. If the mood strikes your child, it’s good for them to know there’s stuff on hand.
3. Always be on the lookout for new and fun art supplies.
Maybe I’m just saying this to make myself feel better about the over-abundance of supplies we have, but either way, be on the lookout. I recently bought some liquid chalk that looks like it will be really fun when the weather warms up! Homeschool conferences are great for this. There’s normally at least one booth with a ton of art supplies. Browse around and see what you can find…you might just find something awesome to interest your reluctant artist.
4. Watch video art tutorials.
Sometimes my kids just need a break from my instruction. We love learning together by watching great art tutorials online. There are many YouTube channels you can watch for free and learn new things like painting and drawing techniques. We enjoy Art Hub for Kids and Craft Project Ideas on YouTube. They both have a lot of great tutorials.
Another idea for video art tutorials is to take an online class. My favorites right now are from Alisha Gratehouse. She just released an online workshop for multimedia art called Springtime Splendor that we are really excited to start!
5. Go outside for art.
Some art calls for swimsuits instead of paint aprons and hoses instead of paper towels. Summer is coming and what a great time to get outside and do some amazing art!
Try these ideas:
- Hang a clean white sheet on your backyard fence and let your kids go crazy with acrylic paints. Let it dry, wash it up, and use it as a table cloth.
- Go wild with sidewalk chalk. We love to create scenes with sidewalk chalk and take pictures in them. So fun!
- Garden art is really fun to do and display outside. Your kids will love seeing their art in your garden.
- Make mosaics with found items. We have made these several times and my kids love them!
6. Try all kinds of art techniques.
With all the art techniques and mediums out there, there’s no reason to stop at just one or two. Try new types of art often, especially if your child is reluctant to do art. Watercolors, oil pastels, chalks, oil paints, pencils, collage, paper, and pens are all great mediums.
Models, sculptures, origami, paintings and drawings, pottery, photography, woodworking, weaving, and crocheting are all wonderful techniques to try. Keep trying different things until something really clicks with your child.
7. Let them get messy.
Getting a little messy shouldn’t be a reason not to do art. If your child feels like he’ll be in trouble for a spill, he may not want to create. Put some old newspapers across the table, a cheap plastic tablecloth under the table, and some paint shirts on your kids and get messy!
8. Teach your kids to slow down.
Your kids should feel a sense of ownership in their creations. Slowing down and taking their time with their art is the way to achieve that. Sometimes kids want to rush through their projects because they are initially uninterested. If we encourage them to take their time and enjoy the project, to take time in their color choices and such, they will be more apt to get sucked in.
9. Turn on the tunes during art.
I love quiet…funny one, right? Four kids + quiet doesn’t happen very often, but sometimes when we are wrapped up in an art project, I like to turn on some relaxing piano music to set the mood to create. It doesn’t always work to keep everybody quiet and chilled out, but when it does…it’s sheer magic!
10. Create your own art too.
I find that when I am sitting with the kids creating as well, they pay more attention, take their time, and enjoy it more. Also, I love any excuse to do art, so I’m usually up for it. But I think we all get busy and take that art time to run off and get things done. Next time sit down with your kids, pull back your sleeves, and create with them!
11. Don’t be a critic.
I think this is my biggest tip – don’t be a critic. Art time should be a free time for kids to express themselves. Don’t ask, “what are you making?” Instead,ask questions like, “I love those colors, what else are you going to add?” or “You are so creative! What are you going to do next?” If your child feels like he has to be perfect, he’ll be turned off and intimidated to try. No grading and no critiquing, just encouragement here. Kids will be so freed by that!
Enjoy doing art with your kiddies!
What tips would you add for encouraging budding – or reluctant – artists?
This post is linked to the Hip Homeschool Hop.