I’m sure you’ve heard how arts education is being cut from school budgets all over the US. For many home educators, this is one of the things they appreciate so much about the freedom they have to prioritize educational and enrichment opportunities for their children. I was contacted by Neve Spicer, founder of We The Parents, and she was kind enough to share this short article and her infographic with us.
Arts Education in schools is being backed towards a cliff edge.
In a bid to save the Arts, educators are trying to demonstrate that they enhance outcomes in non-art subjects. Yet, while it seems they do, studies rarely prove this beyond all reasonable doubt. The upshot is that, under pressure to funnel dwindling resources into core “academic” subjects (ie, math, literacy, and science), many schools are positioning Arts Education on the chopping block.
It’s time to take a stand!
Firstly, there is growing evidence that learning arts does improve academic achievement. But more importantly, the question must be asked: is the purpose of the Arts Education simply to boost academic results?
Immersed in arts, kids experience the world and themselves in a different way. They often discover a lifelong passion, develop a sense of self and identity, grow in confidence, and envision a world beyond their immediate environment.
It’s vital that we reframe the case for Arts Education.
This visual guide by We The Parents helps to do this by highlighting 51 diverse ways in which Arts Education rewards children. It is clear that learning arts cultivates cognitive abilities, nurtures positive character traits, and fosters critical thinking. As you’ll see, many of the benefits span ages, genders, and socio-economic divides; some last a lifetime; and all are backed up by studies.
There’s never been a more important time to communicate the importance of Arts Education. Scientific studies struggle to capture the subtle yet profound ways in which the arts transform lives. And so, the impetus is on us – we who experience the positive impact first-hand – to share our story and to shout about it even louder.
~Neve Spicer, founder of We The Parents
It seems like kids always love arts and crafts, and the new trend of stone painting is super popular and so fun for all ages! What’s more–you can really elevate the crafty side of this activity and use it across all areas of learning! I was incredibly inspired when I got to read through the book Stone Painting for Kids and saw so many possibilities for homeschoolers to mesh the creative with the academic! Read on for lots of creative learning inspiration, sponsored by Dover Publications.
Included in the book are ideas like:
- Geometric shapes (teach your young kids colors and shapes!)
- Numbers (early learning and math opportunities)
- Letters (early reading, spelling, and writing opportunities)
- Faces (including fun cartoon styles that kids will love learning)
- Multi-pebble flowers
- Mushrooms (SO cute!)
- Dominoes (yes! You can make your own dominoes game!)
- Shell painting (fish, butterflies, and more!)
- Chess sets (make your own set and then learn to play!)
- Multi-pebble rabbits and other animals and people
- Words (make sentences, poetry, verses, inspiration pieces, and more!)
- Flowers (combine with your nature studies!)
- Houses and Vehicles (you can make a whole town scene and create vehicles to cruise around!)
- Memory Match game! (perfect for your young kids)
- Sky scenes (including the solar system!)
- Animals of all sorts
- Tic-Tac-Toe game
- Chalkboard paint stones
- Washi taped stones
- Math and counting game ideas
- Storytelling activities
- Spelling games
- Scenes and themes you can make
- and more!
The tons of photos of painted stones and the process to create them are wonderful, and really help you understand the steps you’ll need to take to make something similar yourself. I really like it that stone painting can be as simple as your preschooler would need it to be, but also complex enough to challenge and excite high schoolers and adults.
I spent a few enjoyable hours painting stones with the help of this book, and was delighted to see that even someone like me, that doesn’t have great original ideas for thinking something up, could replicate some of these adorable concepts and end up with a fun little treasure to enjoy!
My favorite items that I successfully made were a sleeping fox, a cute birdie, a ladybug, and a pink and purple A to give to my little granddaughter whose name starts with A.
The other thing I super loved about this book is all of the inspiration to enjoy the creative side of this process, but then use the creations in the learning process in your home. Imagine how fun it would be for your kids to paint stones with letters and numbers, and later use those to learn sounds and math! You could work together with your younger children to paint simple stones with just one color per stone, and end up with a wonderful set where you could practice sequencing! For older kids, you could make a solar system set of painted stones, or write out one word per stone from a piece of poetry or Bible verse that you’re memorizing, and enjoy putting them into the right order or creating displays. History lessons can be enhanced by painting stones with homes from different cultures and eras. Nature study can be enjoyed on a rainy or too-cold day by painting stones in ways that remind you of things you’ve seen in your nature walks! Truly, the possibilities are endless, and this book is a wonderful resource for inspiring you and helping you get started.
The author, F. Sehnaz Bac, is a stone paint artist who sells her creations on Etsy, and in this book she takes us by the hand and provides all of the basic advice on how to get started with stone painting, such as choosing stones and preparing them, what materials you can use to paint and decorate them, technique tips, and more. I appreciated that the information in the book was straightforward and to-the-point, and that the step-by-step instructions were helpful without being tedious.
I was pleased to find that art supplies I already had on hand worked great for my stone painting project! The only thing I purchased for this project was a container of craft stones from Walmart for under $5. (They had bags of sea shells available, too!) Other than that, I used the acrylic paints and the paint brushes that I shared about in this post, plus my collection of sharpie markers and a white sharpie paint marker. Easy peasy!
You can connect with Dover Publications at their website, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
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English painter John William Waterhouse is best-known for his portrayals of women in Greek mythology and Arthurian legend. This collection is one of my favorites for drawing together myth, literature, history, and art. You’ll find Cleopatra, The Lady of Shalott, Orpheus, damsels in distress, and more in this Fine Art Pages set.
Currently you can get it FREE when you sign up at the right —>>> or click here.
Although Johannes Vermeer was not a popular painter during his lifetime, he is now considered one of the Great Masters of the Dutch Golden Age. You are probably familiar with his most famous work, Girl With a Pearl Earring. This month you can get a collection of 10 of Vermeer’s works to enjoy in your own home in the easiest form of art appreciation available: Fine Art Pages.
It’s easy! All you do is print ’em out, put ’em up, and let the magic happen. Post one print next to each toilet, and you’ve got the whole family as a captive audience for several minutes each day, seamlessly getting to know these beautiful works of art!
Sign up to the right ——>>>> or click here to get your Vermeer Fine Art Pages for FREE!
Many homeschool moms want to include more art appreciation in their lives, but don’t know how to begin. Today I share several different levels of natural art appreciation that anybody can implement easily and without great expense or time needed.
Resources mentioned in this video:
Sign up for our monthly freebies here
Home is Where the Art Is series
Can Young Children Really Appreciate Art? Yes! (the Boy With Bird painting is there)
Amazon resource (affiliate): Wooden Book Stand that I love so much!
To email the Homeschool Printing Company (Tell them I sent ya and they’ll give you 10% off your first order!): email@example.com
My sweet little granddaughter is only 2, and already she enjoys the Fine Art Pages on display in our bathroom. Several months ago when she saw this Rubens work: Boy with Bird, she pointed to the curly haired child and said, “Look! It’s me!” She knew her hair was curly and free just like that little child in the portrait.
The other day she was looking at the same piece of art (yes, it’s still up!) and I wondered what she might say about it now, since she has been seeing it for months while visiting us. I asked her if she liked the picture, and she pointed to it, looked at it again, smiled, and said, “Yes. It’s beautiful!” She pointed to the bird and smiled. I wonder what she thinks about a child she identifies with holding a green bird on their finger!
Immediately after she talked about this painting, she turned to the other Rubens work that is near our bathroom sink, and pointed it out, asking, “What’s that?” She was curious. Art is interesting to her. Her curiosity is already sparked, as a two year old.
I feel that she will know this work of art for the rest of her life. She has a relationship with this painting. She identified with it, connected with it, appreciated it.
None of the Rubens works on display are “for young children” or especially aimed for her age group. They simply offer the timeless joy and beauty that all fine art does. I believe that the human soul appreciates and even longs for truth, beauty, and goodness. When we see an inspiring work of art, when our hearts are thrilled by the sound of well-crafted music, when we hear a poem that reaches a part of us that we didn’t know existed, that’s IT. And young children have this in them as well.
Art is a language that can be understood by everyone, without regard for age, education, intelligence, or social status. Let your children feast on a lavish buffet of great art, beautiful music, rich language, and creativity! These things bring an intangible, innate value to each and every person that comes into contact with them, and can be brought into your home life so easily with the resources I’ve created for you at Enrichment Studies! Knowing the difference these things have made in my life and for my family inspires me to keep sharing these things with you.
To see all of our Fine Art Pages, click here.
To learn more about our Artist Studies, click here.
To check out our Composer Studies, click here.
We offer an absolutely beautiful and inspiring Great Poets collection here.
Til next time,