How to Teach the Arts Even if You Have No Artistic Talent

Jul 3, 2014

Tips to help you teach the arts to your homeschool student even if you don't have natural artistic abilities.

I am not an artist. I have absolutely no creative ability, no drawing or painting skills, and certainly no profound bits of art knowledge to share with my children. I'm pretty much lacking the entire right side of my brain. 

Oddly enough, I do have children who are very talented.

  • Michael paints, composes music, draws, plays piano, enjoys photography and even whittles flutes from bamboo!
  • Lee Anne sings and draws. She even designs and builds movie/theatre sets.
  • Alexis draws. She's begun painting, but mostly draws. She also enjoys photography, singing and dancing.
  • Lorelai loves creating art with pastels.
The arts are important in education. How did a mom with very little artistic ability (I only sing and write) raise children who enjoy art so much? I may not have talent, but what I do have is a desire to infuse art into their world. That's all I need.

Art Should Be a Part of The Educational Atmosphere

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Their talents are genetic, of course, but their love of the arts has been nurtured. Creating the right educational atmosphere is key. I want my children to have an appreciation for art and music, so I've made these things a part of our environment - our very lifestyle.

Expose the Children to Nature

Exposing the children to nature is important. After all, there are no greater paintings than the ones our Creator has already given us. Nature provides some of the most beautiful art we'll ever see. No two sunsets are the same, and God's palette is comes from an endless choice of colors. 

Early exposure to nature is important. Lorelai was born in a cottage in the woods. The very next day, I took her on her first walk down the lane. Nothing has ever calmed her spirit the way nature does. It was one of the few things that stopped her crying as an infant. To this day it is a sure-fire way to make her happy.

"The Sense of Beauty comes from Early Contact with Nature." -Charlotte Mason (Vol 1, II, Out-Of-Door Life For The Children, p.68)

Nature walks and outdoor games related to focusing on nature are important. Equally important is leaving the children to themselves with nature. The time spent alone with the sights, sounds and scents of nature are important.

"They must be let alone, left to themselves a great deal, to take in what they can of the beauty of earth and heavens." -Charlotte Mason (Vol 1, II, Out-Of-Door Life For The Children, p.44)

Surround the Children with Art
Beautiful paintings, prints or even decorations in the home can provide beauty in the children's surroundings. These don't have to be expensive things - just things which delight the senses.

Study Arts and the Artists

In our homeschool, we have picture and music studies. We also study the artist and composers. 

Art can be found online. It can be looked at in a book. There are so many places to find pieces to study. I like to buy outdated calendars. They're inexpensive because they're old, but they give us a lot of paintings to study. 

We use living books to learn about the artists and composers. Providing literature, art and music is a fine way to nurture a love for the arts and art itself.

Give the Children Art and Music Supplies

How can the kids create art with no supplies? OK, in all fairness, Alexis can make amazing drawings with a regular #2 pencil. Even so, she should have the proper supplies if she wants to follow her passion.

I try to provide the children with at least some basic supplies. Below you'll find the materials and supplies I keep on hand.

Books for Music and Art

Art for All Ages Complete Curriculum bundle
Art for All Ages

Art for All Ages is a wonderful set of books for teaching pastel art. Lorelai often feels she "isn't talented' like her siblings, but working with pastel art is something she enjoys. It builds her confidence in the area of art because it is so easy to do. We have all of these books except the Christmas edition. 

Art for All Ages Complete Curriculum bundle
SQUILT music curriculum

SQUILT stands for Super Quiet Uninterrupted Listening Time and is a superb music curriculum. With these books you can actually teach music to your child. If you don't know anything about music, it's OK. You'll learn along with your child. I highly recommend this music curriculum.

Art Supplies

Keeping an art box is a great idea. I mean - if you have a fancier way of organizing, that's super, but a box will do. In fact, having everything in an art box can be fun inspiration when the I'm-bored monster makes an appearance. The point is to have supplies available.

I keep our supplies in this.

Sample Art Supply List

Paper - lots of papers.

Color - plenty of color.
Make sure you have all the basic things like glue, staplers, clay, scissors, 
paint brushes and whatever you can think to add. Remember, some times 'art' simply means 'arts and crafts.' That's not really my focus here today, but it does happen and we must have the materials available.

If you have young children, you can get some great deals at Discount School Supply on all sorts of art products. They're not the quality pencils and paints that an artist needs, but they served my children well when they were younger and just getting started.

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