Words and images by Kirsty Shadiac, Director at Artventure

I’m envious of your children being educated at home. Learning at home means your students have the flexibility to draw and paint and get crafty a lot more than I did going to a ‘regular’ school when I was growing up. And my instincts with wanting to do art turned out to be correct!

Today, more and more research is showing that art actually increases the quality of the whole education and learning process, whether educated at school or at home. It’s so much more than having some fun, getting messy and creating masterpieces for the refrigerator. I’ve listed my top 5 reasons for why is art is such an imperative part of home learning:

1. Art makes your children smarter!

Did you know that kids who are exposed to a wide variety of arts and crafts are more likely to have measurable success later in life? Researchers from Michigan State University found that childhood engagement in the creative arts had a very strong correlation later in life with creating unique inventions worthy of patents, coming up with ideas worthy of starting a new company, or publishing provocative papers on science and technology.

The researchers suggest that children exposed to arts and crafts are able to think “outside the square” since a lot of working with hands involves figuring out how to problem solve using creativity. After studying many scientists, co-authors Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein reached this conclusion: “The most eminent and innovative among them are significantly more likely to engage in arts and crafts avocations” than the average Joe.

2. Art is flexible

Drawing, painting and moments of inspiration don’t come scheduled on the calendar; creativity can strike at any time. Educating your kids at home gives you a massive advantage: you have flexibility! No matter what time of day (or night, if you choose!), your kids can be creative whenever they feel like it.

Make sure you always have a space with art and craft materials (paints, brushes, pastels, paper, pencils, scissors, cardboard, glue, sticky tape, wrapping paper and scrap materials) available for when inspiration strikes the kids. If your supplies are always packed away you could be missing out on moments of spontaneous creativity, and possibly moments of genius!

3. Art is beneficial to other subjects

I hear from parents who tell me about experiences where their child is getting bogged down by mathematics, science or other mentally-intensive topics. I am told that getting the kids to put their pens down and engage their creativity with some spontaneous art activities refreshes their minds, and sees children reinvigorated and more engaged than before.

Countless research papers show that the more we incorporate things like painting, drawing, music, movement and emotions, the better we retain what we learn in all subjects. So get the kids to create some 3D shapes for mathematics, paint a picture of the weather in science and draw the lead character for their English stories – it will improve their overall learning and they’ll thank you for the fun they’ve had.

4. Art gives your child a sense of achievement

There is no right or wrong in art. Whatever your children draw, paint or make, display it with pride and celebrate their creations. The best way to boost the confidence of children, especially those who aren’t as fast at picking up academic topics, is to encourage their art. By engaging in art, displaying and talking about what they’ve created, you’re building the child’s confidence. Giving the child a sense of achievement is so valuable and their motivation to learn in all areas will grow as a result.

5. Art is a way to connect with your children

Many parents tell me they love using my online art classes for themselves as well as their children because they “couldn’t even draw a stick figure” previously. This is usually because the adults weren’t taught to draw when they were growing up. So take a collaborative approach to teaching and learning; sit with your child and get stuck into an artwork of your own! It’s fun and you’re showing the child how valuable art is as a lifelong activity.

Art is creative, expressive, relaxing and inspiring. I’ve loved creating art since I was a child and I wholeheartedly believe that art is an essential part of every homeschool curriculum. As you continue on your home education journey, support your child through their learning as best you can and ensure that art is a key component of their everyday learning. Grab some art materials and get creative!

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Kirsty Shadiac

Owner, Artventure

Kirsty is an artist and mother of two from South Australia. She is passionate about teaching kids to draw and created her online classes to share with the world at artventure.com.au

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