This post was written for us by Crystal Parker from inspiremyartist.com. Her motto is “Helping busy moms give teens the gift of art!” On her site you’ll find free art resources while she works on her online curriculum designed for homeschool teens.
Sometimes we give up on things before we even start. It's not because we don't want to try, in an ideal world, we would. We have perfectly good reasons why we can't do it right now.
But are our reasons actually good ones?
What Moms say about why they can't homeschool art:
“I'm not artistic. I feel like a miserable example to our children and in no way qualified to teach them. I can't even draw a stick figure! With no art education, I feel intimidated and afraid to teach art.”
“I would love to teach art, but I'm behind in core subjects like math and language arts.”
“I’d like to teach art, but there are too many subjects to teach and only so much available time in our school day.”
“I've tried teaching art before, but the lessons weren't as engaging as I'd hoped, they finished it too quickly and I feel like I wasted time and money.”
What emotion do you hear in every reason? Fear. Fear of failure, fear of difficulty, fear of wasted time and money. Fear.
It's a natural emotion that keeps us safe. It keeps us from touching hot burners, jumping off cliffs or running around undressed. All very helpful.
But when it's unhelpful and keeps us from doing something we should, what then? Then we need to lean in, acknowledge and identify our fears. Once we acknowledge and understand our fears we can evaluate them critically.
So let's evaluate some of those fear fueled reasons for not homeschooling art:
Reason 1: I'm not qualified.
Do you intend to teach art from scratch? If so then you probably have a valid fear.
Normally we choose a curriculum that a qualified person prepares for us. Art is no different than Chemistry, Biology or even Math. There are curriculum available.
Do you need to be an artist to choose a curriculum? No, you don't. All you need is a list of what you require. For a start think of what content, skills taught, format and level of feedback you want.
Reason 2: I'm already behind in other important subjects.
If you do not teach art will that help you catch up? Will your child work harder or longer on the subjects that he/she is behind on? Probably not. It's unlikely your child will work harder in the future if nothing changes.
What about if you do art, will your child be spending time on art when they previously would have worked on those core subjects? Let's imagine it for a moment:
Child, “Mom, I'm going to do some art now!”
Mom, “Oh, no you're not! You haven't finished your math yet!”
Child, “Oh fine! I'll do my math then.”
-Ten minutes pass-
Child, “Mom, I'm done. Can I do art now?”
So imagining this scenario we see that unless you want to be a pushover, not only is it unlikely your teen will do art when she should be working on core subjects, it is also possible that art will act as an incentive.
Think about it from your own experience, why is it easier to clean the house when guests are coming? Or why did you take electives in college?
Reason 3: I'm too busy right now.
Let's break this down: Are you too busy or is your child too busy?
You personally are likely very busy. Busy running a house, busy marking, busy helping children, busy driving to appointments and groups. Busy, busy, busy.
There is no end to the tasks a mother has to accomplish! But, you can do art without getting any busier. How? Independent learning.
When looking for art curriculum focus on ones that do not require Mom. Online video curriculums with complete material lists that also offer feedback are ideal. Buy the program, buy the materials and let your teen take it from there.
What about your child, are they too busy? This is possible, maybe they're in five different activities outside the home, or maybe they're taking all day to finish the work they have. So are they too busy for art? Here are two ways to investigate this question:
First, observe your child. Do they often come to you saying they’re bored or do you see them wandering around the house aimlessly?
Second, talk to your child. Ask them, “Do you feel like you are too busy for art? Or, “Do you think you have enough time to finish your school work and also do art?” They know how busy they are and will let you know.
Reason 4: I don't want to waste time or money.
Which will your child learn with more: a badly chosen art curriculum or on no art curriculum? Even if you make a poor choice your teen will still benefit in ways that you will lose if you do nothing. Time spent learning is never wasted.
Wasting money is a risk you can avoid by choosing a curriculum with a satisfaction guaranteed money back warranty. If the creators are confident that their program is high quality they will have a reasonable warranty.
So, what are your fear fueled reasons for not homeschooling art?
How do they stand up when you examine them critically? Please share your thoughts and insights in the comments below!
Ready to start homeschooling art today?
Visit inspiremyartist.com to get your free guide:
“The minimum a homeschooler needs to start painting with acrylics.”
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