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How to Include Art in Your Homeschool Curriculum


I've heard on several occasions how families feel intimidated by the prospect of "teaching" art. Here are some great tips on how to include art in your homeschool curriculum!

Many people may think that art is the easiest subject to include in your homeschool curriculum. However, I’ve heard on several occasions how families feel intimidated by the prospect of “teaching” art. They often express that they’re not artists themselves and that they have little knowledge about techniques and the process.

I love art. While I occasionally create artwork, I’m by no means an expert but I feel that this is what makes homeschooling art so much fun. I get to learn side-by-side with my children. For me, that’s exciting!

Art journal

I started this last year with my daughter. I bought her an art journal and encouraged her to draw in it every day. On some days she draws something inspired by our studies and on other days she draws whatever inspires her. I always record the date and a “title” for her drawings in her art journal.

Art books

I love using books to introduce concepts to my children. There are some amazing books available which provide art education and inspiration. Here are a couple of my favourites:

I've heard on several occasions how families feel intimidated by the prospect of "teaching" art. Here are some great tips on how to include art in your homeschool curriculum!

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I've heard on several occasions how families feel intimidated by the prospect of "teaching" art. Here are some great tips on how to include art in your homeschool curriculum!

click image to view *affiliate link*

Artist studies

Artist studies are a wonderful way to teach children about art. You don’t need to know a lot about the artist… use this opportunity to explore together! My daughter and I have done artist studies on Paul Klee and Maud Lewis. You can investigate our artist studies or feel free to create your own!

Another resource is the Teachers Pay Teachers website. There are amazing curriculum packages and artist-specific ideas which can be purchased for a few dollars each!

Art techniques

If you’re wanting to explore art techniques with your child, there are many books and videos available which teach different artistic processes.

I've heard on several occasions how families feel intimidated by the prospect of "teaching" art. Here are some great tips on how to include art in your homeschool curriculum!

click image to view *affiliate link*

Local libraries and art galleries may also offer free or inexpensive lessons as well.

Exploring art mediums

It’s important to note that art doesn’t simply mean drawing and painting. There are many mediums of art to explore. Here are some of our favourites.

* clay

* photography

* 3D art (with random recycled materials)

* Soapstone Carving Kit

* acrylic paints on canvas

* water colours on paper

* weaving

If you’re looking for inspiration for drawing you can check out this post HERE. Creative painting ideas can be found at this post HERE.

Notebooking

Last year I discovered the process of notebooking. Here’s how I use notebooking in our homeschool lessons:

* I use the notebooking site to construct a set of lessons or a study.

* With many of the pages, I set up lines for my daughter to write on and I include a box for her to draw in.

* I incorporate notebooking mostly into science because it’s a lovely way to document learning.

Online art classes

Online art classes is one of my favourite ways to incorporate art into our homeschool curriculum. Alisha Gratehouse from Flourish teaches several different online art classes. Her programs offer everything from high quality videos to printable PDF study guides. It’s very affordable and provides many fabulous lessons and resources. Just click here to check out all she offers!

Mixing with the Masters Mixed Media Workshop, Volume One

Field trips

Field trips are a wonderful way to learn about art and provide plenty of inspiration. Field trip ideas include:

* art gallery

* museum

* art shop

* art festivals

* monuments or pieces of art in your community (sculptures, murals, etc.)

Art doesn’t have to be overwhelming or intimidating. There are many opportunities to learn about and explore art with your child. You don’t have to be an expert!

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Jennifer Bly
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Author of My Kitchen, My Classroom: An Introduction to Homeschool, creator of The Deliberate Mom, Deliberate Homeschooling and regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Jennifer writes about parenting, her faith, and life with her husband and two girls. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Applied Human Service Administration Degree with a specialization in Early Learning in Child Care. 

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25 thoughts on “How to Include Art in Your Homeschool Curriculum

  • Janine Huldie

    These are great tips and will say that I used Teachers Pay Teachers fro when I was teaching in school for lesson plan ideas. So, big advocate of them myself. Thanks for sharing and hoping you are having a great week so far, Jennifer xoxo ;)

  • Amanda @ Growing Up Madison

    I am one of those parents who would think that since I can’t even draw stick figures I wouldn’t even know where to start. This is a great guide. Remember I said I’m stalking your blog for every tip I can get since I plan on homeschooling Madison when she’s a bit older. I’ve started on the basics of colors, shapes and the alphabet but never thought of art.

  • Sarah Nenni Daher

    I love art because it can speak to you no matter the medium, the artist, the popularity, or any outside influence. It’s so important to expose children to as many different mediums, and I love your list!

    Sometimes it’s also great for me to get the reminder that just letting them explore something without instruction is a powerful way to learn, too. I let her peruse through our art books and tell me what she sees and feels before we talk about them together. Thanks again!

  • Tamara

    That’s so interesting! On this side of things, my mom is an art teacher and owns her own art school. She gives private lessons to homeschoolers a lot as part of their curriculum. So I guess people find really cool ways to learn art. I find it intimidating myself, despite my mom being one! It’s less intimidating than teaching math, though..

  • Ceil

    Hi Jennifer! I stink at art, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like it. I like the creative process, even if the results are not that impressive. The list of all the different mediums is a great way to test all the ways to create. I think the joy you get from creating trumps any judgement about the result. For me anyway!

    Love the photos of the artwork on this post. They are really good :)
    Ceil

  • Jen@JENerallyInformed

    How cool is that soapstone carving kit! I am always looking for fun summer activities to keep us learning and having fun when the temperatures rise outside!

    I like your field trip idea! You can learn so much that way! Last summer we went to several farmers markets where we could talk to artists and learn about their work.

  • Michele Ellison

    We definitely need more art in our homeschool day! We used to do simple art projects when they were younger, but now that they’re teenagers, it is much more difficult. We’ve tried studying the classics and one of my boys likes to draw, but we should do more of the extra activities. I especially like the different medium ideas! Thank you for the great ideas!!

    • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom Post author

      I imagine it would get a bit more challenging as they get older.

      I confess, I have this really cheesy vision of one day discussing art classics with my girls! That would be awesome.

      I would think that art journals would be a great idea for teens. Draw, collage, whatever they like can be put into it.

  • Caryn

    Depending on the age of the children homeschooled, they could probably go on a field trip to a university and shadow an art student or professor. Or, as you mention with field trips, small art galleries often have cheap and manageable events or programs that might be great for a supplemental learning opportunity.

  • Tiffany

    There are so many ways to create art. Our nanny is an artist so she and A do a variety of art projects all the time. In fact I have one hanging on our back door right now. A loves watercolors, but mixed media is her favorite to do. :)
    An art journal is a great idea!

    • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom Post author

      You are so blessed to have an artistic nanny who loves doing those sorts of things with Little A. That’s awesome!

      We love our art journals. I’m thinking that this year, I may keep an art journal and create daily in mine too.

  • Bekki

    For me, art has been accidental. My kids are all very expressive with their art, but I tend to lack either the inspiration or the patience to allow projects to happen often enough.I love the idea of focusing on art through the summer. I fell in love with note booking as well, and think this would be a great way to focus on an artist or medium.

    • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom Post author

      Isn’t Notebooking awesome? I just love how organic it is. We’re constantly creating – and I try to make the focus more about the process than the final product.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on how to include art in your homeschool curriculum.