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8 ways to raise art-smart kids

artsmart

Written by Laura Grace Weldon of Free Range Learning

My seven-year-old daughter and I dressed up for a special evening out together. After years of attending Cleveland Orchestra children’s programs and listening to stories of composers at home, she wanted to attend a “real” concert.

We settled in velvety seats, excited to see a college symphony perform.

When the music started she was silently enraptured. The man sitting behind my daughter leaned forward. I assumed he’d whisper his delight at seeing a music-loving child in attendance. Instead he informed me I was an idiot for bringing her. He was sure she’d wreck his evening, although he stomped away from his seat too soon to find out.

It’s assumed kids and fine arts don’t go together, or not till assignment-laden Shakespeare is imposed on high school students. Wrong!

The arts can be joyfully woven into children’s lives from babyhood on.

These days my kids (now teens and young adults) eagerly engage with the arts. They go to plays, enjoy new classical music scored for video games, and keep up with literature.

During a recent discussion I overheard my kids relate the theme of a current movie to Homer’s Odyssey, tied together with quotes from a Terry Pratchett book plus a cartoon meme.

Lightning fast, funny, and sharp. No curricula could possibly keep up.

Here’s the enjoyment-based way my family has gotten comfy with fine arts:

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Simple ways to get kids started with art

simpleartpicmo

The following is a guest post written by Faigie Kobre of Eduart 4 Kids.

Before I was married, I was an early childhood teacher.

I used to dream about all the wonderful art projects that I was going to do with my own children.

Then I got married and had kids. Six of them.

And I wasn’t like all of you super homeschool moms, who manage to do everything with your children that all moms do, PLUS teach them at the same time.

So I never really ended up doing half of the art stuff I wanted to do with them.

At one point, however, I did decide that I wanted to teach them to draw. I bought the book Drawing with Children by Mona Brooks and got really excited about teaching them.

I think I gave them one lesson.

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Summer art and science fun

Written by contributor Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Once a year, our local museums – children’s, history, art, and one aquarium – have a night in which, if you’re a member of one, you can rotate through all the museums. They have a shuttle that takes members from one museum to another and you can spend as much time as you like at each.

We did the tour several years ago when my kids were younger and we had a membership to the children’s museum.

We were having a blast…until we got to the art museum.
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Creativity in Your Homeschool

Written by contributor Renee Tougas of FIMBY

Creativity is a dominant theme in our homeschool and is one of our family values. Earlier this winter I wrote about my creative philosophy and shared the story of my own blossoming in this area.

I didn’t grow up thinking I was creative and I am not an artist in the traditional sense.

But watching my children grow and appreciating their creative enthusiasm has taught me that we all have the capacity to create.

I’d like to share with you some practical tips to encourage creativity in your homeschool.

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Painting Wet on Wet: Waldorf Watercolors for Children

Written by Sarah Baldwin of Bella Luna Toys and Moon Child

Wet-on-wet watercolor painting is a technique taught in Waldorf schools and enjoyed by many homeschoolers. It’s a satisfying artistic experience, and the beautiful results can be turned into lovely gift cards, book covers, paper lanterns, or any number of beautiful objets d’art.

Why Wet-on-Wet?

The intent is to give young children an experience of color, not form. Because the wet paint is laid on wet paper, the colors flow, blending into one another in beautiful, unexpected ways.

I recommend painting with one color at a time to get comfortable with the technique. Single colors can be painted as “clouds” of color with varying intensity on the page, allowing some white to shine through here and there. You’d be surprised how beautiful a painting with just one color can be!
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