Art according to www.dictionary.com is “the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.” To me, art is a way to express yourself and your feelings that is out of the ordinary. As I have written in previous posts, one of the areas that appealed to me with Waldorf education is the importance of art and handiwork in the everyday curriculum. Our typical week involves at least two days of creating an art piece in our main lesson books depicting what was discussed or taught. When I initially looked at the curriculum, I immediately thought, “Sims will not like this but Sawyer and Parks will love it.” Well, Sims has completely blown me away with how much he loves to depict what he has learned.
Beginning in January, the kids also started taking an art class through our local parks and recreation department. So far, they have learned about Monet, Renoir, Matis and a local artist who uses collage and mixed mediums. Every week the kids look forward to this class and learning about the different artists. They have even brought out a lot of our art books at home with the many different artists they have learned about. The kids also started music back up this semester with Sawyer on the violin, Sims on the drums, and Parks taking an intro music class in which he learns piano, violin, recorder, drums and the pipe organ. We have been at it for about 6 weeks now. This week I began to feel overwhelmed and to think that maybe we should back off. Then I heard them play their instruments and saw how much they enjoy the art of music. Now, their “art” of music is far from the definition above and to most I am sure it is more like noise. However, I know how much they enjoy it and can see how they are using it to express their feelings.
Another exciting part of our homeschool is art appreciation. Just as the kids see the beauty in nature and take the time to observe nature, they also see the beauty in art and take the time to observe it all over. They are able to discuss what they do and do not like about an art piece and how it makes them feel. (Unfortunately, they also are able to tell their siblings how their music makes them feel which is not always the nicest…smile.) They are also realizing the talent, patience, and perseverance it must take professional artist to create such amazing masterpieces.
How do you incorporate art into your homeschool? Do you see value in it?