Art is fun. Many people feel intimidated by the thought of teaching art, but it is not so complex and difficult as you might think! Very young children are pleased with the opportunity to explore texture, colour and line. With simple crafts, mixing paints, play dough, coloured waterdrops, providing glorious picture books and the opportunity to view art; you probably teach more art than you think to your preschooler, and a little maximizing of those opportunities is ample for the very young.
As your homeschooling schedule fills with LOTE, music, reading aloud, and all those other worthy activities, it can be difficult to fit in art as a structured subject. However, even those children with natural ability can lose interest if they do not have the opportunity to develop the skills needed to realise the projects they see in their mind’s eye.
But, the time factor??? And how many times have you purchased a new curriculum with good intentions, only to find you simply don’t get around to using it? I hesistated to buy a curriculum because I couldn’t see how we could cram in one single thing more. But a clever idea of the children completely changed our art landscape!
We spend a day each week visiting my parents in the country. My mother is a member of the local art society, and a very keen painter. Why not have an art group at Grandma’s?
It’s perfect! In fact, it works so well having an art group with Grandma, a neighbour, and our family, that we have also begun an art group with our homeschooling friends in the park. It is a great time to learn together and we work through two art lessons each week without adding any extra activities to our schedule.
For structure I chose Barry Stebbing’s Feed My Sheep; a curriculum aimed at children from 10 years and over. Although we have a few children younger than 10, they seem to be coping well with the activities which we adjust to suit when neccesary. The activities at first glance look like they will be a very tiresome business, but are quite enjoyable (almost addictive!) and the children are very keen to work.
I would have preferred the space that is allowed for completing activities in the book to be used to show examples of finished tasks. Sometimes the reading can be a little unclear as to details of the task, and in an activity that is designed for skill mastery rather than creativity, I consider that a loss. To that end, I will be posting examples of each lesson, both as a record of our journey and in hopes of being useful to others who choose this program. Overall, though, we are loving it!
Stay tuned for some show and tell….