Friday, May 5, 2017

Art in Our Homeschool: Igniting Creativity

"Why do we have to study the elements of art and artists?" "Why can't I just create what I want; how I want?" These are questions I hear far too often from my son whenever we try to work on lessons related to art. When working with a child who has a diagnosis of Autism, it can be a challenge to get them to see the value of the skills and knowledge you are trying to teach them. Being a teenage boy doesn't help improve his attitude either.

He loves Pokémon and Pikachu - He is learning to combine his interests with his talents in creative ways.

Yet, there is value in allowing him the time and opportunity to create his own art in his own way. Allowing him to create his own art, he can choose whatever materials he wants to utilize (pastels, watercolors, acrylics, colored pencils, chalk - the choices are limitless). He is able to express himself in a myriad of creative ways. Children with a diagnosis of Autism can have difficulty expressing their emotions. Through art, they can freely express what their brains aren't able to put into words. His personality comes shining through in his creations. Furthermore, he likes to explain his creations to me in great detail, which helps him learn to be a better communicator as children with a diagnosis of Autism often struggle with the art of conversation.
Another favorite is Digimon. This is one of his digivices

A different digivice he created.

In addition, art is a wonderful therapy tool. It helps children in a myriad of ways. It helps them express emotions and thoughts that are sometimes difficult to verbalize. It allows them to explore their creativity. Art requires use of fine motor skills to cut paper, hold a paintbrush, crayons, colored pencils, pastels, and chalk, work clay into malleable shapes, pick up small gems, beads, and googly eyes. It also requires hand-eye coordination and spatial reasoning to work on art projects. While children think they are merely having fun, they are actually learning and strengthening skills.

He created his own Yu-Gi-Oh! card with a flare of the Avengers (more favorites)

Finally, allowing my son to keep his brain busy while doodling, drawing his creations or coloring, allows him to be less distracted and to better focus on the material I am trying to teach him during lessons. I know firsthand the value of keeping your mind busy. In college, I too had to doodle in my notebooks so that I could keep my mind from wandering away from what the instructors were teaching and stay focused on taking important notes.

Thank you for joining me today. Please stop by the Homeschool Review Crew site to read more about Art in Our Homeschool.

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