Incorporating Art and Crafting Into Homeschooling
When my husband and I decided to homeschool, I looked forward to having the freedom to incorporate Arts and Crafts into our lessons at an accelerated level. I grew up in a home where my parents were always working on a project, be it home improvements, woodworking, sewing, or crafting. I learned early on the joy that comes from creating with your own hands and it was something I wanted to be sure to pass along to my own kids.
For many homeschooling parents the challenge to bring Art and crafting into their curriculum comes from self-doubt in their own creative abilities. Personally, I believe being ‘creative’ is like any other skill it takes practice and what better way to exercise it than to work on projects with your kids. Art, as a subject on its own, is invaluable to developing a solid sense of self-expression. That said it can also be incorporated into your other lessons to help growing minds grasp otherwise challenging ideas.
Science, in particular, is a subject that greatly benefits when combined with crafting. Using sculptures and experiments can be a lot of fun and usually help to better explain tough concepts than words alone. Janice VanCleave is a trusted name I turn to for inspiration in this field. She has written an extensive library on experiments, projects, and fun things to try in the name of Science.
History is subject I love to mingle with creative projects! Civilizations can be defined by their cultures and one of the biggest parts of any culture is its Arts and Crafts. Whether you’re weaving a basket, making a mosaic, or drawing the Great Wall of China you’re helping to develop an understanding and appreciation for both past and present cultures.
Some books, such as The Story of the World, offer additional curriculum guides that share craft and activity ideas specific to the times periods you study. And while Art History is not something normally taught in public schools, as a homeschooler, I can attest that incorporating it into your History lessons turns sometimes boring reading assignments into opportunities to work your artistic muscles.
Don’t forget about the power of Art museums either! A picture in a book can be inspiring, but coming face to face with the sheer scale of some great works of art can be truly moving.
Just because you homeschool doesn’t mean you shouldn’t indulge in some holiday fun either! In our home a highlighted day on the calendar is the perfect excuse to pull out the paints, glues, and papers. Project ideas can be found all over the internet, in books, and magazines. Like most craft bloggers Pinterest is one of my favorite sources for inspiration. Sometimes adjustments are made to accommodate different age levels but generally speaking you know what you’re kids are capable of and you can use that to challenge them further.
Over the past three years I’ve mixed more and more hands-on learning into our lessons and I’m continually amazed at the way it has impacted my children’s self-expression and creative thinking skills. It’s not always easy for kids to express themselves with words and Art opens up a number of different mediums that are easier for little hands to manipulate giving them a new voice to share their experiences, imaginations, and understanding of the world around them.