Art - Parents Page

Why include the Arts in Home Schooling 

Learners who participate in the arts are:

  • 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement

  • 4 times more likely to achieve in a math and science

  • nearly four times as frequently to Read for Pleasure

  • nearly twice as often to volunteer for community service  

(Study by Stanford University and Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; 1998)

Arts education makes a tremendous impact on the developmental growth of every learner and has been proven to help level the “learning field” across socio-economic boundaries.

  • Art education brings communities together and offers a language that transcends race, language, age, and ability.

  • The arts teach learners that problems can have more than one solution, that there are many ways to see and interpret the world, and that the limits of language do not define the limits of our cognition.

  • Teaching music helps learners in math, language development, and to manage their emotions.

  • The arts help learners find other ways of expressing their thoughts and feelings beyond the traditional.

The Aim of Art in Schools  

In the UK, the national Curriculum set out to teach art, craft and design, allowing pupils to explore visual, tactile and other sensory experiences to communicate ideas and meanings. Giving pupils opportunities to work with traditional and new media, developing confidence, competence, imagination and creativity.

 

They learn to appreciate and value images and artefacts across times and cultures, and to understand the contexts in which they were made. In art, craft and design, pupils reflect critically on their own and other people’s work, judging quality, value and meaning. They learn to think and act as artists, craftspeople and designers, creatively and intelligently.

The one thing it appears not set out to do is to support the enjoyment of doing art for art sake.

Arts and Well-being

Gavin Clayton, executive director of the charity and one of the founders of the National Alliance for Arts, Health and Wellbeing, says: “Evidence shows that taking part in creative activities has a positive impact on mental health. Research has shown a 71% decrease in feelings of anxiety, 76% of participants said their wellbeing increased and 69% felt more socially included.

 

As one participant says: “I feel so much better having had the time and space to do some art. It makes such a difference.”

The arts are important for wellbeing because beauty has a role in our lives. If we don’t listen to that, or pay attention, then that can cause problems. 

Following a Set Programme of Art

As our learners are home-schooled, we don’t have to follow the National Curriculum. Therefore, we don’t have to analyse every or any piece of work. We have found the compulsory analysing of any piece of work in depth, be it a book, a painting, a piece of music or a play, can act as the kiss of death upon the learner’s interest. You only have to think back to your own school days and your experience of analysing Shakespeare! We take the approach, if you are interested in a piece to analyse it - then you will do so naturally. If you are not, then it is enough to be exposed to the piece in question, to understand where it sits in wider scheme of things and move on.

 

For our learners on the Autistic Spectrum, some aspects of the Arts may not be for them as individuals. They know what they like, what they don’t and are not afraid to say so. They may never have an emotional response to a piece of art. On the other hand, they may find - as one of our learners does great enjoyment in Japanese art.

 

We have spent hours studying the Genji Morogatria Emaki, an illustrated scroll from the 12th century. Both of us have nearly become experts on Japanese block printing and the life and times of Hokusai. Can I get this learner interested in Pasco or Salvador Dali? Not a chance! And that is the very point – you will be drawn to what fascinates you and you will take the time to analyse it and look at it in detail. 

Recording Your Response 

As our learners are home-schooled, we don’t have to follow the National Curriculum. Therefore, we don’t have to analyse every or any piece of work. We have found the compulsory analysing of any piece of work in depth, be it a book, a painting, a piece of music or a play, can act as the kiss of death upon the learner’s interest. You only have to think back to your own school days and your experience of analysing Shakespeare! We take the approach, if you are interested in a piece to analyse it - then you will do so naturally. If you are not, then it is enough to be exposed to the piece in question, to understand where it sits in wider scheme of things and move on.

 

For our learners on the Autistic Spectrum, some aspects of the Arts may not be for them as individuals. They know what they like, what they don’t and are not afraid to say so. They may never have an emotional response to a piece of art.

 

On the other hand, they may find - as one of our learners does great enjoyment in Japanese art. We have spent hours studying the Genji Morogatria Emaki, an illustrated scroll from the 12th century. Both of us have nearly become experts on Japanese block printing and the life and times of Hokusai. Can I get this learner interested in Pasco or Salvador Dali? Not a chance! And that is the very point – you will be drawn to what fascinates you and you will take the time to analyse it and look at it in detail. 

Including Art In To The Learning Routine

Here, at Orchard Training we try to embed Art into our projects, where it sits naturally and can be enjoyed. For example, in our project on British Horse we look at Stubbs paintings of horses and encourage the learners to paint their own horses. The learner looks at design in our project on Chess, exploring how time, religion and culture effects the design of the playing pieces. Pencil drawing is the key medium of our project Fishing in British Rivers.

You don’t need any fancy, expensive equipment to start “doing art.”  Each project will list the resources you will need. They are written with the home schooler’s budget in mind, so recycling and basic homemade recipes are used wherever possible. There is nothing wrong with the humble colouring pencils and felt-tips, if that is all you have. We would recommend having a good quality small artist’s note book that can be used for sketching when out and about.  If you want to treat yourself then some HB, H and B pencils would not go a miss. Your biggest expense will be visiting galleries. Most of them don’t charge but some do. The main cost is the travel: plan ahead, combine the visit with other activities, take a packed lunch - just like a real educational trip.   

Art - Pril

Every Year, we have an annual event Art-pril, as the name suggests we do art in April. Every day has a different word attached to it and the learners are invited to draw, paint, make and design something that reflects that particular word to them. However, this is not just open to the learners - oh no! We would love to invite the parents along with brothers and sisters as well! Feeling ‘arty’ dust off your skills and start doing some art!

 

Visit our Calendar and find the words for Art-pril! 

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