What a mess. Doing art with six children is just bound to be a mess. That’s one of the reasons I ‘forget’ to include formal art in our weekly studies. Some years I have done a great job with the extras – other years I fail miserably. Here are some of the things I have done to make art and music more likely to happen in our homeschool.
- Beethoven’s Wig I have said it once, and I have probably said it a thousand times. These cds are wonderful and nearly perfect. My children recognize the songs from Beethoven’s Wig no matter where we are when we hear them. We listen in the car, and they are one of the most requested recordings I own. The first time I listen to each album, I laugh until I cry. You can read my full review here.
- Scissors. Paper. Glue. Crayons. Accessibility. I like to keep these things accessible and pull them out at least weekly. My younger children can still sit at the table for a couple hours with just these four things to entertain them. This kinda makes up for the mess. Sorta.
- Variety in Supplies. I like to occasionally trade out the crayons for oil pastels, and the white paper for black or dark blue. The result is lovely and keeps things interesting for the kids. When I’m feeling really brave I get out the paints.
- Quality Supplies. I buy high quality supplies because I want my kids to know what quality art supplies feel like. The difference is very clear. Nothing is more frustrating then trying to make a pretty watercolor painting with cheap watercolors. We also have a good set of colored pencils and charcoal pencils for the big kids.
- Cooperative Learning. Some of our best ‘art years’ or ‘music years’ have happened when I force myself to teach those classes at our local coop. It gives me accountability to actually make these things happen. Alternatively, you could just convince one of your friends to teach the class.
- Exposure, Exposure, Exposure. Art museums, concerts, classical music, books about music and art, children’s choir at church, these things all contribute to our learning. Find out where the concerts for children are happening, and make it a point to go. We have had several universities who purposely bring in orchestras that cater to children and present their works to local school children and homeschoolers during the day. It’s the perfect time to bring young children to a concert. Free concerts at the park are often wonderful. Join a local email group or support group to find out when such cultural things are happening in your neighborhood.