The curriculum is ready. The lesson plans are in order. All core subjects are covered. It’s going to be a great homeschool year. Please, don’t forget the arts! As a homeschool mom who also holds a degree in music, I’m here to stress the importance of music education.
Music and art can be very easy to add to your homeschool, but don’t let them just be an add-on. Learning and training in the arts is very beneficial to your children. Numerous studies show that learning music is wonderful for the developing child. Music Education leads to greater academic success, this includes the verbal and auditory development. Learning to play an instrument helps to develop fine motor-skills. There are many other benefits.
Adding music to your child’s education can be easy. In the early years, parents naturally sing little rhyming songs to their children. As they’re growing, you can add rhythm to the songs. Teach them to clap along to the beat, or get a little drum. If you can’t sing well, you can use sing-a-long tapes with your children. These are free to check out at your local library. You can make some homemade instruments or purchase them.
Until the age of seven or eight, teaching children songs is a great way to learn music. They may also participate in a children’s choir or class. They don’t need private lessons yet. Children’s choirs use a lot of rhythm with hand-motions, etc. When your child reaches the age of eight, they may be ready for private lessons on the piano. If they learn to play the piano, they will also learn many technical things that will carry over into all of their musical life. They will learn to read notes and understand how music is composed. They may want to make up their own songs.
As they grow older, children can train to play other instruments or consider vocal training. Choirs are still a wonderful way to learn and provide fun, too. Many cities have homeschool choirs, city choirs, and your church choir. Instruments can be purchased “used” for a more frugal beginning.
Let your child explore their musical side, even if they don’t appear terribly musical. They will probably improve a great deal. Unless your child is a rare prodigy, they will need to be taught. Learning to play an instrument takes work and dedication. This discipline that they learn in music education will carry over into their academics.
Art education isn’t my specialty, but teaching art in your homeschool can still be easy. The beginning years, of course, can consist of paper and crayons. Don’t worry about the talent, just let them draw. Get them paints and brushes and brag on their art. They can sculpt things with some play-dough, and when their hands are stronger; beautiful clays. The sky is the limit with children and art! Keep an art center (or at least a box) filled with creative stuff. You could have colored paper, white paper, crayons, paints, clay, feathers, little odds and ends, toilet-paper ends, etc. Add scissors that are appropriate. Children will get very creative.
In upper grades, I found that the Charlotte Mason style of art education was very good. Simply Charlotte Mason explains the method very well. We tried to do this often. If your child seems to have great artistic talent, it’s important to help them pursue that. They may want art lessons. At the least, provide them with good quality brushes and paints.
I hope you’ll explore the arts in your homeschool. The benefits are worthy and the best part is the fun!
@ 2016,copyright Lisa Ehrman