Most homeschool moms admit that the arts are important. Unfortunately their day to day practice demonstrates something different. Art, music, theater, and poetry tend to be neglected in favor of the more urgent academic areas of math, science, and writing.
It is understandable. There are only so many waking hours of the day. And the essentials must be covered. However, there are ways we can make time for the arts even in a very busy schedule.
Redeem travel time
Instead of watching another mindless movie in the van, pop in an audio CD with classical music. Music appreciation can be done as the errands are being run. The discs by Maestro Classics or Classical Kids interweave stories with the music for a very entertaining and painless way to learn about music and composers.
Keep a basket of silly poetry books in the car and take turns reading them aloud for entertainment.
Keep it simple
Don’t be deceived into thinking that a study of the arts requires carefully prepared lesson plans and hours specially dedicated to study. Wrong. The humanities can be taught simply and quickly.
Invest in a page a day calendar with fine art and look at the day’s masterpiece each day. Place a poetry anthology beside the napkin holder on the dining room table and share a single poem during lunch. Remember the power of a little done often. A daily dose of art, music, or poetry– even if it lasts only five minutes– will build a foundation of appreciation for the arts.
Take Field trips
Be realistic about the humanities. If you find it almost impossible to fit them in, could you buy tickets to events so that your children get longer but less frequent doses of music, art, theater, or dance? Art galleries, concert performances, and plays may take a whole day or evening each term, but you can feel confident that you are injecting the humanities into your homeschool routine. The bonus is that field trip exposure to the arts is usually impressive and exciting.
Invest in a curriculum
Some people need the structure of a well planned curriculum. Other homeschool moms find that investing money in a book or resource is enough to motivate them to actually teach a topic. If you fall into this camp, consider the lesson plans from Harmony Fine Arts or the Young Scholar’s Guide to the Composers by Bright Ideas Press. Both of these are easy to use guides that will get you on track with making the humanities a part of your homeschool.