Posted on December 14, 2015
How We Use Art in Our Homeschool
Art has never been my strong point, so it has therefore been a blessing and a surprise that several of our children are very artistic! It is also an encouragement to me that home educating mums don’t have to be experts in all subjects, in order for their children to excel at them!
When the children were younger, we just provided lots of paint, play dough (at first bought from ELC, then using the homemade recipe from the Miller family books, similar to this one at 1+1+1=1 which also includes essential oils!), paper, card and craft materials (translation: household rubbish!)
Buy a small amount of quality art materials
Something I read around that time that we have since used in our homeschooling, is that buying a small number of quality art supplies will allow your children to experience different art media which are usually only given to High School and older art students, and that these supplies will last a long time because of their quality. I have found this to be true- I bought a set of oil pastels, soft pastels, watercolour crayons, and 2 quality paint brushes about 6 years ago, and we are still using them now. These supplies only get taken out when I am supervising, and not with the general ‘kid’s’ stuff.
Use cheaper art materials for ‘everyday’
Most of our art and craft supplies are very cheap, however, and I usually buy colour pencils rather than felt tip pens, as inevitably pens will dry out a few days after I bought them when someone leaves the lid off, or it rolls under some furniture. If funds allow, I try to buy colour pencils such as Faber-Castell or Staedtler, as we have found these less likely to break every time they are sharpened.
Pencil sharpener problems!
As a side note, we have a bit of a pencil sharpener problem in our family! Often a pencil sharpener will not actually sharpen pencils, (particularly, shall we say, for some people in the family for whom this is more important?!) That’s not to mention how often we manage to lose pencil sharpeners. A couple of years ago I splashed out this crank-operated pencil sharpener that clamps onto the table. This was the most I had ever spent on a pencil sharpener, but it was very good at sharpening our pencils… for about a year!
So if you have a recommendation for a good, (long lasting!), pencil sharpener that is affordable and can stand up to heavy use, please let me know!
Anyway, back to art resources! As I said above, when we started homeschooling, we used a very basic approach to art. Since then, we have gone through various approaches to art, using some bought curricula.
This is how we use art in our homeschool:
I talked previously about nature study in our homeschool in my post 10 Nature Study Resources. We use blank paper on clipboards to draw what we find outdoors, (or bring it into the house to draw, if it is moveable!), then cut this out to stick into our nature notebooks. However, Lynn from Raising Little Shoots has lovely examples of painting directly onto a notebook in her post A Calendar of Firsts.
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