Homeschooling and the Arts

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iStock_000004525236XSmall.jpgHomeschooling allows for such freedom in the classroom. You can tailor how you teach subjects to your child in order to best fit their learning style. There are more opportunities to blend art into other subjects, which can often help children comprehend difficult concepts. Homeschooling also allows you to give them more freedom to be creative and explore different areas of the arts. Plus, with all the homeschools blogging about what they do, there is a wealth of really great craft projects and lesson plans that include creative task.

What makes the combination of arts and homeschooling even better is that you can determine what your child needs to learn. If you see your child is enjoying pottery more than other crafts, you can focus on it by buying a block of clay or sending them to pottery classes. Or maybe your child is a theatrical diva and really shines on the stage. You can set up plays at home or with a homeschool group, or even find a great children's theater company for them to join. If it's music your child is into, it's not too hard to find decent used musical instruments through sites like Craigslist and eBay or local instrument shops. There's even plenty of free beginning sheet music online. One of my favorite things growing up was going to art museums and galleries. Often these are an inexpensive or even free opportunity to teach children about art appreciation and help them develop their opinions of the art they see. You can even tour some museums online via amazing virtual tours without ever leaving the house.

Basically, homeschool gives you the ability to teach the classes that are so important to your growing child. While we know the core subjects are key, public education often forgets about the emotional growth of our children. It misses the point that an art class can turn a rowdy student into a focused and relaxed student. Kids need an outlet for their emotions. What better way than playing an instrument, dancing, or painting a picture? Part of art is expressing your feelings, and giving kids a way to let out those strong emotions is a gift that keeps on giving. Because I grew up with the arts, I play the piano when I'm sad, angry, or just frustrated. And I always walk away from the piano feeling satisfied and less emotional.

The arts foster creativity and thinking outside the box, both of which are desired by employers. They're also an important outlet for students who are going through some major hormonal changes and the emotions that come with them. There's not a single reason to avoid art classes, knowing the positive impact they have on kids. Thankfully, as homeschool parents, you have the choice of teaching your children subjects that will engage and challenge them. You know what your children's strengths and weaknesses are and can teach accordingly. You can help your kids express themselves through art, and that's a beautiful thing.

I spent some time and dug up a few free resources to help with arts instruction. This is truly the tip of the iceberg, so if you don't see what you like, do a quick search of the Internet and you'll find something.

Looking for some beginner sheet music? This site has a nice list of links for sheet music for beginners for a wide variety of instruments. Most of the sites even provide free sheet music!

Kids Can Have Fun has a good list of crafts for every interest. I highly recommend checking out the major homeschool blogs as they all tend to highlight crafts and what their kids thought of then. Another great resource would be to check out craft books from your local library.

Free Drama! has a good selection of plays of all lengths, one acts, and more. I also found a list of links to free scripts, skits, and plays here.

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This page contains a single entry by April Stockwell published on May 18, 2011 1:01 PM.

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