Ask me to teach Science, I'm in my wheelhouse. Ask me to teach Math, I'll go find my husband. Ask me to teach Art? I'll probably chuckle and tell you I had a hard time passing stick figure drawing in first grade. So how in the world did I expect to teach Art to my children. And how important was it, really, to teach them Art anyway?
We've all read the research that demonstrates the value of adding arts to a child's education (even as an infant), but do we agree? A May 2005 Harris Poll on the attitudes of Americans toward arts education, commissioned by Americans for the Arts, revealed (in part) the following:
- 93% agree the arts are vital to providing a well-rounded education for children
- 86% agree an arts education encourages and assists in the improvement of a child's attitudes toward school
- 83% believe that arts education helps teach children to communicate effectively with adults and peers
Knowing Electives are a good thing and actually making them happen are two different things! Motivation is tough to come by if something does not ignite your passion. So how does a busy homeschool mom make sure that those valuable Electives aren't missed?
- Plan a specific time(s) in your school schedule each week to work on Electives. I don't know about you, but if it wasn't scheduled/written down, it didn't get done in my house.
- Find a "curriculum" or other product that does the planning and decision making for you. If you're not artistic by nature (or musical, or athletic, or computer savvy), then creating art, music, and other elective projects on a regular basis for your students isn't likely to happen.
One of the biggest struggles for me was convincing myself that investing in Art, Music, and other Elective products was just as important as spending hard earned money on Math and Science curriculum. Please let me encourage you that the investment is definitely worth it. As we mention on our web site: Electives help to broaden a child's horizons, Electives help your kids discover their talents/gifts, and Electives add fun and interest to your homeschool ... all of which I found to be true for our family. Piano, flute, karate and computer programming likely wouldn't have surfaced in my kids had I not invested time and money in discovering where their passions were.
If your school year is well under way, but you haven't yet added Art or Computer Programming or a Foreign Language to your weekly schedule, now is the perfect time to do so!