Formal art instruction often takes a backseat in homeschool life. There can be various reasons for that. Sometimes art seems like one more thing that should be done, but isn’t really a priority (and after battling over the “necessary” subjects, one might not have the energy to even think about it). Other times, there is a fear of the mess that art projects can create. It can be a frightening prospect to think about setting up the art supplies, covering work areas, and then having to do clean-up. This is all the more challenging if there are toddlers in the house. Another reason can be that homeschool parents simply don’t feel up to the task. They might not consider themselves to be skilled in art, and therefore are hesitant to even attempt to teach it.
While I can’t guarantee that there won’t be any mess involved, Discovering Great Artists and Great American Artists for Kids by MaryAnn Kohl and Kim Solga can help eliminate many of the reasons to not do art. These books offer solid art projects based on famous works of art. Each lesson introduces students to an artist and then offers a possible art project. If you aim to do one a week (we have this as a Friday lesson in my house), your children will have a broad exposure to various artists and art processes by the end of the year. Instructions are clear and easy to follow. No prior experience is needed on the teacher’s part.
These projects can be adapted to various ages as well which makes them ideal to do with multi-age groups. They are much more about process than the outcome. There is no “ideal” product to produce. They could also be used in a co-op or pod setting. Most of the projects use basic art supplies or items from around the house. You can choose to skip projects that require materials you don’t have or plan ahead to purchase the items needed.
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