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Putting Art to Work Review by Sabrina Scheerer

Using art as a tool to support the development of individuals, groups, and organizations.
Including 31 art-based workshops.
Keith & Helene Chirgwin
614 93 Soderkoping, Sweden

Most people know that art is important in education. Art also has the ability to promote healing, reduce stress, and increase feelings of well-being. For many of us, incorporating art into our homeschool is challenging and often gets pushed aside to make room for subjects that feel more urgent. Putting Art to Work is a resource that could help spark some new ideas for adding art projects to your homeschool, family, work environments, or any other group of people you work with in some way. This book starts at $59.89 for a physical book or $4.99 for the e-book. It is divided into two sections: the first section explains the theory behind using art as a tool for personal, professional, and corporate growth; the second section gives detailed instructions for 30 different workshops to accomplish those goals.

So, what does a book written primarily for utilizing art in groups of employees or with coaching clients have to do with homeschooling? Well, most of the concepts in this book and almost all the workshops can be easily adapted to fit the family environment and structured in a way that uses the tools and methods presented to reach family goals.

The “Is That a Picasso?” workshop could be tweaked to make a great exercise to bring a family closer together by encouraging and building each other up. “Using Our Cultural Heritage in Education” (using pictures to enhance education and discussion on history and heritage) can be used within the homeschool to enhance history, geography, or social studies lessons. “Working Life in a Pop-Up Card” could be used in an infinite number of ways with the kids in your family, perhaps as a way to help them express their feelings in certain situations, or even just for fun. “And This Is Me by Van Gogh” is a great team-building exercise that I’m sure could benefit any family! These are just a few of the ways these workshops could be applied in a homeschool setting.

I am using the art workshops in an adapted form with my children to set family and personal goals and improve the cohesiveness and teamwork in our family. I’m thrilled to have found the inspiration and ideas I needed!

This book is a great addition to a homeschool parent’s resource library and has many ideas that can be adapted and applied to homeschool or family dynamics. Its main focus is on employees in a workplace, so it will take some brainstorming, innovation, and preparation to adapt the lessons to your family’s particular needs. This is not light reading; you will need time to read and process the information and think through and plan the workshops.

This book will also come in handy for homeschool parents who run their own businesses and have employees or who run a coaching practice to use with their clients. I am a doula and can see many ways to use this in conjunction with or as an add-on to my doula services.

-Product review by Sabrina Scheerer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September 2017