Mahatma Gandhi has said: “There is no school equal to a decent home and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent.” The concept of home schooling as a tool to educate and train children and its importance cannot be overemphasized.
Likewise, the significance of art in the life of human beings is also quite evident. Pablo Picasso has rightly described the purpose of art as “washing the dust of daily life off our souls.”
The creative arts are important for children and teens. Kids of all ages may find an expressive outlet through art, as it breaks down communication barriers. Art can also help troubled teens gain self-understanding, learn better coping methods, and work through problems.
Home schools must integrate arts in their curriculum subtly yet effectively in order to inculcate softness, modesty, love of mankind, and love of nature in their kids. Here are some ways in which this can be done in an effective manner.
Introduce Children to Visual Art
Drawing, painting and sculpting comes naturally to children. They are easily attracted to floral patterns, beautiful paintings and sculptures. A pursuit of these art forms can be continually developed as they grow older, by devising a curriculum suited to various age groups.
An art journal can be introduced for each student and time must be spared, besides usual courses for each of them to draw. Students must be exposed to the idea of “art for a purpose” in order to understand society at large.
The above mentioned classes must be easy and fun. In home schooling, older students should be exposed to the works of masters so that hidden talents can be explored and those who are naturally inclined towards visual art forms may learn related skills.
All available multimedia resources should be used for teaching the art of drawing, painting, sculpture and photography.
Arrange Field Trips
Learning outside the classroom, in a natural environment, makes the pupil learn quickly and easily. When the aim is to teach arts to home school students, field study trips and outdoor activities must be made part of the curriculum.
Students should visit museums, art and painting exhibitions, and art councils at the community level. There, by observing the making of paintings or seeing sculptures – and above all meeting painters – will greatly motivate students.
Music and Literature
Music and literature are two art forms which are often overlooked by home schools. One should not forget that often, the journey of great fiction writers, musicians or singers starts from storytelling sessions with their parents. First, a selection of good reading material from novels, short stories, fiction and humor should be made; and then, students must be motivated to read these aloud with dramatic expression.
A student of any age will be always fond of music, and musical instruments if being played around will always attract him or her. Music classes should also be part of the home school program in order to expose hidden talents. Playing instruments like guitar, piano, harmonica, etc. may be taught from an early age. Here again, software and other multimedia tools can play a much broader role in providing knowledge of quality music.
In a nutshell, the incorporation of different arts in the home school curriculum will immensely benefit students to broaden their understanding of surrounding social disciplines. It is therefore a must for a home school family to incorporate art in its curriculum.