Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Homeschooling One - Art

As I homeschooled my son, I came to realize there was much more to the label "Art" than I had previously thought. Using the Ambleside Online curriculum, much of the "Art" that we covered was more Art History, in the form of artist study and studying an artist's specific works.

This suited me just fine, because as an older mom, I no longer enjoyed cleaning up messes after art projects were completed.
However, it became clear that the student likes to do hands-on stuff, too! So sometimes he got to do that at Home Depot workshops. Sometimes art projects took place as part of 4-H.
and sometimes we worked on art curriculum where he was learning specific things such as primary/secondary colors, shading and depth, etc. Often he just tackled projects because the County Fair was coming and he wanted to have art projects to enter.

One of the girls in our 4-H Club was taking art classes and learning wonderful techniques. I wanted to sign my son up for classes, but he didn't want anything to do with it. He did not want group classes, and he did not want to be taught or be required to do a certain type of project at a certain time. He wanted to continue his art "free style".

As he got older, the line became fuzzy between "art" and "craft". He no longer does paintings, seldom does drawings (although occasionally he comes up with an amazing drawing). 
Now, though, he is a craftsman of whips made out of paracord -- bullwhips, snakewhips, and I don't know all the names of the types of whips he makes. He got a blue ribbon and a champion ribbon on the bullwhip he entered at the county fair.
He has started his own business selling his whips on line (Eagle Whips on Instagram). And he loves making them!

So what I learned about art while home schooling my lonely only is to let the student lead. I don't expect him to have a career in Art when he picks his career, so what does it matter if he ever learns how to draw a picture with depth, or create a landscape with pastels, or that red paint mixed with blue makes purple? My goal as the teacher, in addition to directing my son in ways that he can learn about art, should be to introduce art in ways that help him love the art! And my son was able to pursue what interested him and then specialize in what he loved. And that is why we home school!
Our Special Homeschool {Homeschool Link UP}


  1. Thank you for sharing. I often feel so guilty not doing all the arty stuff that is out there with my Only. You have encouraged me greatly today.

  2. You are very welcome! If we look for art in what our student is doing, we can often find it is there even if we did not follow a structured program. I talked to Lee Binz, The Home Scholar, and with her fresh eyes she gave me input that my son was doing much more than I was giving him credit for. This was particularly true regarding what he was doing with his time when he was procrastinating on assignments I had given him. Instead he wanted to make whips, monkey-knot keychains, a dog collar, a belt, bracelets... All out of paracord! Lee pointed out that kids in government schools do these types of projects and get high school credit for it! So my son got some credit on his high school transcript for "Creative Crafts", and I was able to change my perspective when my son said, "I need to finish this first before I start that assignment..."

    Keep up the good work, Chareen. I'm sure you're doing a great job!