All of a sudden most of us are not just mums, but teachers too. It’s been a jarring couple of weeks, but for a little while at least we’re all having to cover our children’s education. This can be difficult, especially if you’ve never homeschooled before.
While you’ve probably been provided with materials to cover maths, science and English classes, some subjects, like art class, are harder to replicate in the home. If you want to continue nurturing your little one’s creativity while in lockdown, here are some great tips.
How to replicate art class while you are home schooling
Tie art into other lessons
Setting aside time for arts and crafts can be difficult when you’ve got so much of the curriculum to cover yourself. Rather than having lots of dedicated art classes, you can give your child their creative fix by integrating art into other subjects.
Use history lessons to cover art history, teaching your children about the trailblazers of the art world.
Rather than readings, they’ll have famous paintings to look at and analyse. You can occasionally swap out essay writing with trying to recreate the great works of Picasso and Monet. By associating historic dates and events with works of art it gives your children a visual aid they can think back to.
The same can be said for geography, as they can tie back their knowledge of a location and its history to major art events and portrayals of the region. Science classes can even be made more creative through drawing diagrams.
These classes should always be learned in conjunction with the arts, as it brings humanity and meaning to factual events and figures. Integrating art will give your child a more humanist outlook on these subjects while teaching them about the figures who have shaped art throughout time.
You may be trying to limit screen time during the lockdown, but there’s no reason you can’t give your little ones their fix by making art classes digital.
Digital art created through computers is just as legitimate a form of creative release as that crafted with pens, paint, and clay.
You don’t need to invest in top of the range editing products either, there are lots of free options available to let your kids explore their creative side through editing photos, building 3D models and creating short animations. This can tie into your computer lessons too, as you teach them about the functionality and online safety. Some of our favourite tools are Osmo, for STEAM and 3D models and the app Stop Motion Studio, for creating stop motion video.
One of the best things about creating digital art is the rush that seeing it in a fully realised or physical form will give your child. You could order some cheap t-shirts and print them with the logo you mocked up together or create your own origami print outs to fold as a group to give them something physical that makes that rush even greater.
Don’t look at the computer as the enemy of product art lessons, but an extension of it.
One of the worst things about homeschooling for a child who’s not used to it is the feeling of being trapped indoors. Even cutting out the daily walk to school makes a big difference in the amount of time they spend outside of the house or classroom during a week. Some of the best classes to give them that chance to get outdoors during lockdown are art classes.
Autumn is the best season for collecting fallen leaves and incorporating them into your art classes, and there is plenty you can do when spring flowers blossom.
There is so much nature around that you can send your children off to collect and integrate into their latest collage or experimental piece. You can even channel their inner Renaissance painter and encourage them to recreate your garden scene in watercolour.
Being outdoors can help bring ideas to the surface. If you feel your art classes are getting stifled and you have a very frustrated child around the house, it might pay off to get outdoors.
Don’t make it feel like work
First and foremost, art class should feel like a completely different lesson to your homeschooled child. It’s not another hour where they’re lectured about facts or put on the spot to recite answers, it’s a chance to let their inspirations flow and show their creative nature.
If art classes feel like hard work in the home, you’re not doing them right.
One way to give art classes a sense of ease and relaxation where kids can be as creative without pressure is to hold them at the end of the day. It can be a winding down session after a hard day of learning, where they can put their excitement or frustrations to the page.
Art succeeds as an expression of emotions, rather than following a regimented set of rules, so distinguish your homeschool art classes from the rest with a sense of freedom.
Art classes should be a relief from the stress of lockdown and the pressures of regular lessons. You may have had guidance on what to encourage, but treat it like an open book where the children’s passions and creativity lead the way. Let them find that spark and run with it.
Stevie Nicks is Digital Editor at Just Another Magazine – a website that covers the topics you care about. You’ll find articles about lifestyle, travel, fashion, trends and relationships on our site – each of which is written in their unique style.