Hey Mama Monday: Mama, Arts and Crafts for the Non-Artsy Homeschool Mom
Arts & Crafts: My heart sinks when I think about leading or even participating in such activities. I’m so uncreative when it comes to art, and the idea of crafts is on par with going to the dentist. And I don’t like the dentist’s chair. I wish I loved going to the dentist or embarking upon a creative crafts project and just diving in. But both actions make me shudder. Yet, I don’t want my children to take after me when it comes to works of art . . . or the dentist. I want them to love and appreciate both.
The Irony: Paul and I have seven children. We had our first four in California, twenty to thirty years ago. Then we moved to Tennessee, waited a bunch of years, and had three more kids. As a result, our youngest is only 8 years old. But here’s that irony I mentioned: In California when we were homeschooling the first batch of kids, I decided to venture out and teach Art History. But first, I had to learn what that was. In public school where I grew up, we learned nothing of art history. But my husband Paul – the father of these seven kids – is an artist. I mean, a really GOOD artist—check out www.StudioSuarez.com, and you’ll see his bronze statues. And as such, I wanted to learn what he loved and to enjoy that which he found so fascinating. So, I figured if I taught a weekly class to about ten homeschoolers on art history, I’d be forced to learn it too.
The Good Part: I loved the subject of art history. I learned so much about the different periods and the various styles. Impressionism was my favorite. I had those kids under the coffee table and kitchen dining set painting their versions of the ceiling art at the Sistine Chapel. They studied da Vinci and Monet . . . Renoir and Mary Cassatt. Oh, we had such a wonderful time! That class was so popular! I ended up teaching Art History II to the same families. Even today, all these years later, I still love art history. But I hate crafts. And the dentist.
The Moral of the Story: Find things you enjoy and get excited about them with your kids. If your child is crafty, give them every opportunity you can and then lavish praise as they produce their little doo-dads. If you don’t want to participate in the gluey mess or the finger painting, then don’t. Just smile. That’s it, Mama. Smile and encourage. But don’t forget what I said about introducing your children to the very things that thrill you . . . the areas of study over which YOU are passionate. I hope their hearts leap with yours as you pursue new fun hobbies together.