An Art a Day takes the Blues Away

Previously posted on July 18, 2015 @

As part of my commitment to help others with practical ways to teach homeschool subjects, I am starting a series on Art Activities. This is mainly as result of teaching Art in our HomesCool for the past 12 years.

I have no Art degree. I wish I had! I attended a 6-month course of Early Years Education that had a few lessons on Art and Creativity. Somehow, I just learned along the way. I read several books on how to teach Art, observed the teachers of the special Art classes our kids were enrolled in from time to time, and read a whole lot on instilling creativity in children.

What I enjoy the most with teaching and doing Art is the amazing bonding with our children. For some reason, Art is viewed as a fun, relaxing and enjoyable time in our HomesCool so when I say we will be having Art, there are shrieks of excitement. It is also a good way to create some “downtime” for your day. I am so thrilled as well as I learn more and more and have a go as well! I think the children are also exhilarated as they see their own Mommy-teacher learning with them and in finding out that they draw better than me.

We also do Art in a more spontaneous way. I guess it’s like “Art as needed”. Depending on what we are learning in other subjects, we adjust our Art lessons. For instance, as completed the Flying Creatures series in Science (Apologia), we learned how to draw various insects, bats and birds. We even had a “Create a nest” activity from twigs! As we learned about the Solar System, we learned how to create a giant poster of the 8 planets. As we tackled Botany, we started experimenting on how to create various kinds of trees. For Social Studies, the kids drew the World and Philippine map, did sculpture with paper mâché to create various landforms, and as they learned about community and household concerns, we drew houses with the principles of perspective. For History, they began designing their own coat of arms, creating 3-D ancient homes, doing comic strips, newsletter and even an amazing Viking Ship. For Bible, we’ve done Noah’s ark, a bookshelf of the books of the Bible, Tower of Babel and our own Nativity Scene (Belen). We also learned Powerpoint skills as part of Art/Design. The older students, using Art and computer skills, produced brochures about Philippine tourist destinations, about the Earth, United Nations, and so many other topics! Art truly transcends all subjects!

These were the two books which somehow revolutionized my view of Art! I hope to be able to summarize these materials in another blog post soon.
The books we referred to in our 12 years of HomesCooling 🙂 Eventually, many online resources became available and all you have to do is…
“How to…” and type SEARCH!

Armed with some basic knowledge on some guidelines, I had to find a basic curriculum. God truly answered my prayer when I saw this in National Book Store 10 years ago, How to Teach Art to Children by Evan Moor Publications.

What I loved about this material was the ease in implementation!  We had 4 students and so something so doable and practical was really very helpful. At some point, you will get your own ideas on how to stretch and maximize the learning. You will also be able to connect it to the other subject matters. Another feature I so appreciated in this material is how it presented the basic elements of Art in part one:

  • Line
  • Shape
  • Color
  • Value
  • Texture
  • Form
  • Space

And how it will show ways in which these elements can be applied in part two.

So today, let me share the first lesson/s.

1. Line – Google about this. What is the definition of a line? What are the various kinds of a line? Can you tie this up with Math (line, ray, line segment, parallel, intersecting)? As Bob the Builder usually says, “Yes, we can!” Just spend time discussing this with your student/s. Depending on their age, you can do many things. If younger, find story books and see how they use different kinds of lines in the illustrations. For an older artist, he can research famous artists who are known for different lines. For Filipino artists, google Cesar Legaspi, Malang and even Arturo Luz to see how they prefer to use certain lines or illusions of lines in their work. You can even use body movements with a toddler or preschooler, lie down and show a horizontal! While lying down, lift legs to make it diagonal! Go outside the garden and find curly, spiral, zigzag lines! Oh, so fun! You can even connect it to the letters of the alphabet as you ask what lines are in each letter!

So, this, session on “Lines” can be stretched to maybe 2-3 sessions. The first session may not yet include any “output” but if the kids are excited to try the lesson below then let them. It can just be taking a survey of what lines can be seen at home.

The key is to first stir your children’s excitement with good exposure to the elements of Art in a fun and relaxed session.

As your children start “creating”, just give them freedom on how they’d like to apply what they have learned. Do not limit yourself on what you expect them to create. Don’t ask, “What is that? ” Wait for him to tell you what he is drawing if you can’t seem to figure it out at first.

This is a sample of the first lesson in How to Teach Art to Children:

You can use colored pens, colored pencils and crayons for a more colorful effect.

You can then give your students “free time” to draw making use of different lines like these two drawings below:

I am hoping that this helps you have a good start in teaching the basic Art elements. From lines, we will progress to shapes, colors and other elements. How exciting! Have fun in Art!

Then Moses said to the sons of Israel, “See, the LORD has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. “And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding and in knowledge and in all craftsmanship; to make designs for working in gold and in silver and in bronze.

Exodus 35:30-35

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