Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Expensive art lessons are all well and dandy but....

The Homeschool Buyers Co-op is offering art lessons for a fee. This is all well and dandy but over the years I've discovered the best way to submerge a young child in the world of art is to give them the tools and turn them loose. As an art major in college I recall countless hours of frustration with instructors who would control our every stroke of the brush or line of the pen. Mind you one of those professors has made millions of dollars selling his schlock paintings but he couldn't instruct an art class if his life depended on it. Only one gentleman among them had the good sense to give us the tools, tell us how to use them and then step back to allow us the freedom to create with those tools.

When our children were young we simply made sure their shelves were filled with pens, pencils, paints, scissors, canvas, brushes, glue, sketch pads, crafts, clay, crayons, charcoal, ink, paper, rulers and whatever else caught their fancy. We stepped back and let their creative mood take them wherever they chose to go. If they had questions we answered them. If they needed help learning how to use a tool we demonstrated. What they did with it after that was up to them. We supplied the materials. We provided the transportation and funds to attend galleries, museums and the like to spark the imagination. Art is personal. Creativity needs to come from within and by allowing our children the freedom to experiment, test and explore they produced copious amounts of prints, poetry, paintings, drawings, sketches, pottery, scripts, cartoons and more. By the time our daughter was 16 she had her own business. Our son is becoming a graphic artist and web designer.

Don't feel compelled to spend money for 'lessons'. Stock up on supplies instead and then get out of the way so your child can learn in freedom.

2 comments:

Kat said...

Wow. I came across your blog today and this particular post couldn't have been better timed for me! My husband and I were in the process of trying to find my son some affordable (therein was the problem) art lessons for Christmas. He has so much interest, and what we think is natural ability. We were shocked to discover how much art programs cost (naive, I know), even through discount programs like the homeschool buyers co-op!

I showed this post to my husband and we both feel (at least for now) that putting all of that money we were going to spend on lessons, into more materials for him instead, would be a better way to go!

Thanks!! :)

Katie
Homeschooling in Florida

Cindy Wade said...

Katie,
So glad you've decided not to waste money on expensive art lessons and will invest in materials instead. For Christmas you could give your child a gift certificate to his favorite art supply store and let him pick out his own materials. A shopping trip with both mom and dad can be fun and informative because you'll learn what your son is interested in. Our children would enter their little creations in the local state fair each fall and would win ribbons. This turned out to be very inspiring for them and gave them something to work toward each year. Save your money for future college computer graphic or art classes. Good luck!
With kind,
Cindy