We started small, scheduling one afternoon a week for watercolor painting, and I promised to stick with that. For about two months, our weekly rhythm included painting every Friday afternoon, and our painting afternoon was always the most peaceful and pleasant day of the week. Honestly. Once we developed a system for setting up and putting away supplies, the whole process became so easy I wondered why I ever avoided it in the first place.
Our weeks are a little busier now, so we don’t always get to our painting day, but I make sure to keep our schedule clear for painting at least once or twice a month. I’ve also added a drawing lesson to our weeks, and we do a variety of other art projects here and there.
Consider adding one art session each week to your own homeschool schedule. Focus on one of the following activities, or rotate different types of activities each week. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
- Painting – Wet-on-wet watercolor is the classic Waldorf art education choice and one we personally grew to love, because the resulting forms are soft, forcing children to forget about rigid outlines and instead create subtle shapes and forms. Whether you use watercolor, acrylic, or tempura paints, consider beginning young children with just one color at a time, allowing them to play with how the color flows on the page. Then add a second color. Skip the formal lesson on mixing colors and allow them to experiment on their own.
- Drawing – Regular stick crayons work just fine, but beeswax block crayons are our new favorite art supplies. I have seen the most beautiful drawings created with just the three primary colors, and I am seeing forms and shapes in a whole new way (yes, I’m learning too!) by experimenting with them. Again, consider letting your children experiment with just the three primary colors to see what they can come up with by blending them on the page.
- Sketching – Grab a bag (or make one out of an old pair of pants) and fill it with colored or charcoal pencils, a sketchbook, and maybe a small pair of binoculars. Spend an hour outside sketching the beauty of nature in your own backyard, or take you bags on the road and sketch what you see at a nearby pond, a local park, or anywhere else you can think of.
- Sculpting – Even younger children can create masterpieces with play dough, but don’t leave out your older children. Provide modeling clay or modeling beeswax and see what they come up with. Suggest that maybe they recreate things you’ve been studying (animals, people, or scenes from stories), but do allow them plenty of freedom to enjoy the process and let their creative impulses lead the way.
- Multimedia – Most of us are familiar with the standard collage activity involving scissors, glue, and cut up magazines, but you can go wild with this one. Add paint, drawings, colorful tape, or scrapbooking elements to your creations. Little ones love gluing buttons and feathers or sprinkling glitter to make truly unique works of art.
Above all, join in and have fun! Your children will get much more out of the activity if you all sit down and create together on a regular basis.
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