Originally Posted by sunanthem
Really, I think people dont realize that with homeschooling you arent the only teacher for the whole time your children learn at home. We have many adults who influence our kids lives... there are just sooo many resources with homeschooling, so many ways you can vary your approach to suit your child and family; so many oppurtunities for learning out there.
This is so true, isn't it? My son was interested in electricity (yet another thing he wouldn't learn in public elementary). We did a variety of things, including reading books and using snap circuits. But my father works with electronics in his job; he's a technician. So my father happily talked to my son about what he did in his job and he gave him a circuit board that he had made in a training session. Ironically, my father is one of the people in my life who is critical of homeschooling. He is one who would say, "but they only have one teacher!" We, of course, don't see it that way.
Originally Posted by sunanthem
I dont think kids get alot of art in school; they are cutting alot of those programs out; where as there are plenty of ways to introduce art to your kids.
I missed the reference to art in the OP. I'm not an artist but this is an area that the kids and I are passionate about. And it's so EASY to get involved. I have found that we are easily able to do much more with art at home than the kids would ever get in elementary school. First of all, art for children is largely exploration and exposure to techniques. It's fun and easy to introduce pointillism, cubism, and monotypes to kids. There are so many painting techniques and styles that seem to naturally appeal to children (like cubism).
We visit our local art museum on a monthly basis. Because the kids are not in school, we have ample time to do this and there is no obligation (i.e. "there will be a quiz...") to suck the joy out of the experience. We've seen a wide variety of artistic styles in the museum. Sometimes, it's as simple as reading the card and saying, "This is an oil painting. Do you see how the paint looks thick and literally sticks out on the canvas? The artist did that on purpose. It's one way of using this kind of paint. What do you think? Do you like it?" The most meaningful thing I can say to my kids in the art museum is, "What do you think it looks like?" Kids will really surprise you with their observations and interpretations. And with art, there really is no wrong answer in interpretation. I've had a 2 year old tell me some obscure sculpture was an airplane. His interpretation was not wrong and he was developing a sense of critical thinking and imagination in just answering, "What do you think it is?"
I see the school field trips come through the art museum periodically. My kids get annoyed and shush them.
It seems nearly impossible to enjoy the art while being in the midst of all that cacophony! And there's peer pressure to laugh at the art and be cool. I don't think they're getting nearly as much out of their experience and they are only taken once in the entire year.
I had no idea what a monotype was until we found a handout in the art museum in our favorite section. My son wanted me to read it to him. When we got home and got out paints, he painted some tissue paper and used it to stamp designs on his paper: a monotype. It's so easy to try things! Edited to add: I might be using the wrong word here. I don't know where his art hand-out is. There's one method that involves painting on glass to stamp and another that involves painting on paper to stamp. Anyway, you get the idea...
There are many wonderful books on art for children. We own an Usborne one that is good. The books use simple language to describe the difference between surrealism, cubism, impressionism, whatever. I've found that it's easy for me to learn along with them. Our local kindergarten (or first grade) would not even begin to scratch the surface of what we've done.
My older son has taken art classes from time to time. They're scheduled at times when the kids are out of school, but it's still very easy and inexpensive for a homeschooler to take a formal art class. He took watercolor painting and clay. He greatly enjoyed both. There's nothing that says a homeschooler can't take a local class.
From what my sister tells me, "art" in school is still limited to every child copying something that teacher has made in a prescribed time period. I see the local school art hanging on the art center wells. While I am sometimes taken with a particular painting, my sense of "Wow" goes away when I turn the corner to find 10 other absolutely identical paintings. I realize there is value in copying the work of others. My son learned and honed several watercolor painting techniques by doing just this. But there is a time for free art and I don't see this in our local schools.
Anyway, that's my long-winded way of saying that art is very easy to "do" in a homeschooling family and that our local schools do a very poor job with it.