This past Monday at art class.
Last year a local homeschooling mom began coordinating twice monthly drawing lessons for homeschooling kids. The art teacher also happens to be our music teacher. He comes to our home every week and teaches my two younger boys piano and my youngest son violin.
I love the fact that we can now attend art lessons just ten minutes from our home. For the past four or five years I was driving 30 minutes (before our move) to almost an hour (after our move) for my boys to attend twice monthly art classes. I called those lessons "messy art" as they were mostly pottery, painting, and just generally messy stuff. And the mess wasn't in my house! I thought it was important though, so I took the time to bring them. They loved those classes. This fall our messy art classes didn't fit in to our schedule.
My youngest working on a perspective drawing.
He has a sample beside him from the teacher and he is working to recreate it.
Now none of my boys have an innate talent for art. By that I mean, without constant practice and instruction, I doubt any of them would be artists. However, since my oldest was just 8, I have used every opportunity I could to expose them to art and have them learn from others. I have no talent for drawing myself either, but I have to wonder if constant practice would have helped develop it to an extent where I could do something with it.
I vividly remember the first time I met Barry Stebbing from How Great Thou Art almost ten years ago. A homeschool mom had invited him to our area to do one of his three day art intensives. I only enrolled my then eight year old son and didn't plan for my four year old or two year old to participate. I knew the classes would be fast paced and it would be hard to keep up - especially for an active and highly distractable four year old!
However, he said something about his philosophy on learning art. Essentially it is this, "Art is a discipline. God has given all of us, to one degree or another, abilities in art that should be nurtured." That resonated with me and I was determined to make sure my children had every opportunity we could to explore art and what they could do in that discipline.
My middle kiddo drawing a Bioncle.
Today I realized that while the twice monthly drawing lessons are great, I need to make sure to give them time to be creative at home as well. So on their school checklist just today I added "Art. Draw something using what you learned in class this week. Fill the page. Use color. Date it." And here is what they did:
My youngest drew a Minecraft character. No surprise there.
My middle son drew airplanes. Again. Not surprised at all.
My oldest son hasn't completed this assignment yet (no surprise either) so I pulled this one from his sketchbook.
It was great today as my middle son had completed his drawing while our teacher was here for music lessons (yes, he comes to our house every week for music lessons) and he was able to give some constructive feedback on how to make the drawing better.
Overall the time and investment over the years in exposing my boys to drawing in particular and art in general has been well worth it. I would encourage you to invest time in things that your children may not show an innate talent for because you never know what talent God has hidden in them just waiting for the right time to shine.