How to teach kids art? As a former homeschooling mom, I know exactly what a thrill it is to have their curiosity blast into the sky when they’re given the space to explore with a paintbrush and an artist’s breathing. For inspiration on how to teach kids art, check out this great article on Early Childhood Art Teaching Techniques. It’s full of fabulous ideas for how to get your child’s imagination going while still maintaining a calm, meditative approach. Great stuff.
“How to teach kids art?” is a frequently asked question by parents today, as traditional schooling methods seem to be taking a back seat to homeschool in all areas of public education. Traditional schools usually require a lengthy application process, a long waiting list in many cases, and a high price tag in order to receive government funding. By contrast, public elementary and secondary schools that utilize art instruction as part of their regular curriculum and programs may only require parental consent in order to obtain funding from the state.
However, it should be noted that “how to teach art” doesn’t mean just what you teach your kids–especially if your kids are pretty young! In fact, you should be very careful to teach art in an age-appropriate way. You want your kids to learn about art through YOU, through the stories and experiences that you share. If you decide to do this through a blog, then you’ll want to keep the content as simple as possible. Your children won’t be able to tell the difference between your creative efforts and some ten-year-old kid’s work.
What does “art for kids” really mean? It means using everyday language (as opposed to “high-flown” or “extended metaphor”) in telling engaging and meaningful stories with children. One good example is this: You might want to tell your six-year-old daughter about some paintings she saw last week. You can start by simply telling her, ” painter saw a beautiful Lady sitting on a beach.” If you think about it, this is a relatively simple story, even for an “aged-out” adult. It will not only get your daughter interested in painting, but it will also get her interested in learning about the world as we know it and the life that she can have outside of the safe walls of her house.
Now, if you were talking about art for kids in terms of teaching kids how to express themselves through words, you would probably add a little more detail, depending on the age and maturity level of the child. For example, you might explain that a person who sees a Lady sitting on a beach with a Dolphin painted on the side of the boat feels inspired to take a trip to the same beach to paint a Dolphin. You might even add that only the subconscious idea of going to that beach motivated the person; the water and the feelings of freedom were not actually consciously considered – it was just an automatic, unconscious feeling.
How to teach kids art doesn’t have to be about “either/or,” “either/not,” or “either/when” either. We need to learn lessons that are applicable whether or not the material is presented in the classroom, the art room or the playground. It requires us to slow down and be mindful of how much information we are sharing in a particular sentence. Here are a few tips for teaching kids about content and contentions:
“Art is what art can do.” – Mark Twain. When you were sharing 4 hours ago, and today, you can still use the above quote to teach your kids. In the above example, Twain suggests that art can influence our moods, and it is possible that the sentence Twain is writing in the past was a message he wanted to share with his audience now, four hours ago. The same principle applies to any time or place that you want to communicate a new thought or idea to someone else.
“When I say that art is what art can do,” means that if you know something in the past, you can do something today to affect a change in the future. It may mean that you want to add a new phrase to your vocabulary, or it could mean adding a new perspective on a situation. How to teach kids art doesn’t have to mean teaching them about painting or drawing. Using an “estimate the time” perspective allows them to be actively engaged in helping shape their own future.