Friday, August 15, 2014

Why The Arts Matter

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Photo taken at the Art Park on Pine in Albany, GA!

One of our reasons for choosing to homeschool was so that our children would be exposed to the arts on a daily basis. I know this sounds like a strange reason for wanting to homeschool and one that may not seem very important to many people, but for our family it is at the top of our list and essential for our children. Sadly due to "No Child Left Behind," budget cut backs and standardized testing pressures public schools no longer provide the arts education that is so desperately needed for a quality education.

But even in the homeschool world I see the arts struggling. There are very few homeschool curriculum's for the arts and the ones that are available are generally very expensive. Even the local classes are expensive. There have been many times over the years where I have seen and heard homeschool parents stressing over curriculum choices for the core subjects (language arts, science, math, history and geography), but I hardly ever hear them mention concerns about the arts. So today I want to encourage you to include more arts into your homeschool days.

ART is traced to Indo-European “root” at (to fit together); Latin ars means art, skill or craft.

Throughout history some of our greatest contributors (Ben Franklin, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci) to science, history, and math were masters of the arts. The arts solve problems! Without the creativity that the arts provides we don't have science and math advancements, great literature, etc. Art is about fitting things together: words, images, objects, processes, thoughts, historical periods. Art skills are life skills! And creativity drives learning!

Here are some things the arts can do for children:

-improve math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, problem solving and verbal skills
-improve motivation, concentration, confidence and teamwork skills
-connect them more deeply to the world and open them to new ways of seeing
-help them close any gaps in a their education
-get them thinking outside the box
-improve test scores
-enjoy deep forms of beauty
-help with behavioral issues
-keep and convey our cultural heritage
-open us up to other societies and civilizations around the world
-relax them
-provide a healthy outlet for emotion
-make them happy
-improve communication skills
-provide a form of self expression
-helps children find themselves

Did you know that UC Berkley actually invests large portions of their budget into a program call ARC which is a think tank for artists? If art is not important why would one of the leading colleges be investing money into it? Well it's because the arts provide us ways to confront the untouchable, to contemplate the "why", to imagine, to create. All of these things are pivotal to our countries future.

Fitting the arts into your homeschool day doesn't need to be overly difficult and doesn't require a curriculum. Think in terms of project based learning. All core subjects correspond with the arts and are inseparable! The arts can easily be incorporated into every subject. For example you can use musical notes to teach fractions, put on a civil war reenactment, play classical music throughout the day, start a nature journal, learn the dances of different cultures around the world, make musical instruments, build a kite. The opportunities are endless!

Do you incorporate are into your homeschool days? In what ways do you incorporate art?

Don't forget to enter the MEGA homeschool curriculum and cash giveaway here.

Also be sure to head over to Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog to see what my fellow crew members are blogging about this week for their 5 day blog hop!

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

Here are a few quick links to some of my bloggy friends:

Amy @ Counting Change... Again 
Shawna @ Tenacity Divine
Adena @ AdenaF 
Jenn @ Simblissity Cottage
Emilee @ Pea of Sweetness
Kathy @ Kathys Cluttered Mind
Sara @ Embracing Destiny
Annette @ A Net in Time Homeschooling

1 comment:

Kym Thorpe said...

I agree - the arts need to be part and parcel of education. For my kids that aren't inclined to music or drawing/painting, it requires even more creativity on my part to include it! My daughter is very artsy - my son... not so much.

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