We know that including art in our homeschools is valuable, but sometimes it feels overwhelming. Where do we find the time? And what if we aren’t super artistic ourselves? Here are 10 easy ways every family can include art in their homeschool with any age!
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- Morning Masterpiece
- Art-Infused Story Time
- Historical Art Adventures
- Math Meets Homeschool Art
- Science Sketches
- Learn from the Masters
- Art Classes for Kids (in person)
- Online Art Lessons for Kids
- Fine Art Fridays
- Night of the Arts
- How will you bring art into YOUR homeschool this week?
Does your family begin the day with a Morning Time routine? It’s easy to add art to your Morning Basket!
- Encourage your kids to draw or doodle while they listen to you read aloud
- Include regular picture study in your Morning Time schedule (Rebecca Zipp from A Humble Place has some excellent free resources)
- Copy a famous work of art or the illustrations from a book you’re reading together
- Add biographies of famous artists to your read aloud loop (here are some suggestions from Read Aloud Revival)
Art-Infused Story Time
Literature and the visual arts make a great combination! In fact, there’s a whole genre of poems called ekphrastic poetry that is inspired by works of art. Look for ways to use your love of books to build a love for art in your homeschool.
- Poems and Art make a great combination! I mentioned ekphrastic poems already, but you can also experiment with blackout poetry, concrete poems, and more.
- Get in the habit of choosing beautifully illustrated picture books and ask questions while you read. What medium did the artist use? What colors did they choose and why? Do these illustrations remind you of any other books you’ve read?
- Create art projects inspired by a story you’re reading.
Historical Art Adventures
Homeschool history studies come alive when we include art projects in our plan!
- Explore different historical periods through their art. If you have young learners, consider a book like The Children’s Book of Art. Older students may enjoy Art by Paul Johnson or The Arts by Hendrik Van Loon.
- Replicate the types of art employed in the time period you’re studying. Perhaps you can draw hieroglyphics, make a medieval-inspired piece of stained glass, or attempt a self-portrait in the style of Rembrandt or Norman Rockwell. One of my daughters once enjoyed creating a Greek drama mask.
- You don’t have to come up with everything on your own. My kids loved their experience with the Hands-On History Project Kit from Sonlight!
- Keep a history journal with sketches, maps, and diagrams. This also works well when studying geography.
Math Meets Homeschool Art
STEM, meet STEAM! You and your kids will be fascinated to see the many ways math and art intersect!
- Math-terpieces is a fabulous book that teaches problem solving and art history simultaneously
- Vi Hart’s YouTube channel is a favorite around here! She helps us see math in visual art, nature, music, and more.
- Get some extra math fact practice in while coloring by numbers!
- Tangrams and pattern blocks are a great way to develop geometrical math sense and help your kids learn how shapes combine in art as well
- Hand over the bin of math manipulatives or base ten blocks and let your kids create their own sculptures and 3-D shapes
It is natural to add sketching to your science studies!
- Consider adding a nature journal routine to your homeschool day
- Encourage your children of all ages to keep a science lab notebook with illustrations of what they’re learning or of their experiments
- Think beyond the sketchbook and create murals, dioramas, or 3-D models! Even playdough is an easy medium for kids to use regularly to model their science lessons.
- Collect nature objects on your next walk and create a unique collage or sculpture
- The “I Drew It Then I Knew It” curriculum teaches science topics (and history!) through art lessons
- Create your own unique works of art inspired by nature
Learn from the Masters
Few things inspire us as much as observing the work of the great artists from the past as well as contemporary artists! It’s best, of course, if you can tour a museum in person.
But virtual art museum tours are a great option, especially if you’re worried about tiny fingers touching a Picasso. Here are a few you may enjoy:
- The Louvre Museum (Paris, France)
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met, New York City, USA)
- British Museum (London, UK)
- National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C., USA)
- The Vatican Museums (Vatican City)
- Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, USA)
Art Classes for Kids (in person)
There’s nothing wrong with outsourcing art instruction to the experts! In fact, it can be a great option for busy homeschool families, moms who feel ill equipped to teach art on their own, and kids who are especially excited (or nervous) about art.
And it doesn’t have to be cost prohibitive. Many libraries and community centers offer free or inexpensive art programs for kids, teens, and adults. Often art museums will also offer special programs, frequently themed around their exhibits. And paint your pottery shops of various sorts are easy to find all around the country. You may also be able to get discounted group rates on many of these programs if you can gather a few other interested homeschool families to join you.
Online Art Lessons for Kids
What if you still want to outsource lessons, but you need to do it from home? Online art classes can be a great fit for all ages!
Sparketh is an online art course hub with lessons for every medium, age, and ability! I have been seriously impressed by how easy the course website is to navigate. You can search courses by ability (beginner, intermediate, and advanced), subject (art, baking, drawing, painting), course type, instructor, and material. But the thing I really love is that you can also sort the lessons by length of time, which is perfect for busy homeschool family life realities! Click here and give your kids a great art education at home with 1000+ courses to choose from.
Other popular online art lessons for homeschool kids include ChalkPastel.com, Masterpiece Society, and Delightful Art Co. You can also find many free art resources, although those often come with unwanted ads and are much more difficult to navigate.
Fine Art Fridays
Sometimes it’s easier to assign art to one day a week rather than trying to fit it into the midst of your busy homeschool schedule. Some families enjoy something they call Fine Art Fridays. It’s a great way to bring the whole family together across multiple grades for some hands-on learning fun. Of course, don’t let the alliteration hold you hostage… you can enjoy art whichever day of the week best fits your family routine! (Monet Mondays, perhaps?)
Night of the Arts
When I was growing up, our homeschool group hosted a Night of the Arts as the grand finale of our homeschooling year. We could share pieces of visual art, act out a skit, or perform a piece of music.
Even if you can’t do something like this with your homeschool community, look for ways to meaningfully celebrate your children’s artist endeavors. Perhaps you could create a mini museum or art show in the living room and invite grandparents or a few close friends.
How will you bring art into YOUR homeschool this week?
I hope now you see that including art in your homeschool doesn’t have to be complicated. Don’t try to implement all these ideas at once. Pick one or two ideas and begin to simply integrate art into your daily or weekly homeschooling routine.
Purposefully including art in our homeschools fosters creativity and wonder. It can also be a way to facilitate family bonding as we make messes (and memories) together. I can’t wait to hear the creative ways you incorporate art in the weeks ahead!
You may also enjoy these other homeschool art resources:
- A Humble Place: Charlotte Mason, Picture Study, and Restful Homeschooling (with Rebecca Zipp)
- Homeschooling with Creativity, Imagination, and Vulnerability (with Carrie Brownell)
- Music in Our Homeschool (with Gena Mayo)
- Masterpiece Makers: Fine Art for Homeschool Families (with Alisha and Olivia Gratehouse)
- 3 Easy Ways to Incorporate Music in your Homeschool
- Easy Homeschool Art with Chalk Pastels
- Homeschool Music Appreciation and Homegrown Learning (a video interview with Mary Prather)
- You Are an Artist! (a video interview with Tricia Hodges and Lucia “Nana” Hames from ChalkPastel.com)
- Hands-On History Craft Project Inspired by Native American Winter Counts
- Musical Education for Young Children (with Elizabeth Nixon)
- Beauty in our Homeschools: Handbook of Nature Study, Outdoor Hour Challenge, and Fine Arts (with Shirley Vels and Tricia Hodges)