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At what age...formal art instruction?


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So here's my question...We are a very artistic family. My parents are ceramic, fiber, and mixed media artist by profession. I do a ton of my own art, and I do a lot of art projects with the kids.


When should I do a formal art curriculum...or do I need too?


Any thoughts would be welcome :)

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I've used the advice and technique outlined in Drawing With Children by Mona Brookes to start drawing with my five year. I've borrowed this book from the library a half dozen times, each time we do something new. I should probably just buy it, but I am cheap. ;) You should be able to get it from the library and see if you like it, too.


My daughter has produced some beautiful, finished work from those art "lessons" that we will keep forever. You can see some of the work at this link.




Now, she is using what she learned to draw illustrations to the stories she narrates back to me. I'm blogging about this, too. At this link, you can scroll down and see some of her illustrations. These are also going to be keepsakes.




I would start with drawing instruction. Teach your kids to produce "finished" drawings and then go from there. Drawing is easy and cheap (which I love ;)) to provide supplies for.


I'm actually trying to figure out where to go next, myself. My daughter wants to do "More!" but I don't know much about other forms of media, etc.


I actually asked a question similar to yours a few days ago on this forum. I put a link to that thread below. I was recommended a few resources that might serve you well. But, I am still looking into them, so I can't recommend them from experience. Good luck!



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It depends on your goals. One of our long-term goals was for our dc to be able to draw, paint, and sculpt (or some other media of their choice) well. We started formal art lessons early because of this. If that wasn't a goal of ours, I would probably have stuck to art history and having supplies around the house for them to experiment with.


We do lessons through a local homeschool art teacher. They all started in K. I think the K-3rd grade or so years were more about fun, but from 4th grade or so and on, they have learned the techniques of art well. My 14 yo can really draw and paint and it LOOKS like what it's supposed to be AND it's pretty, which just amazes me (I can't do any of that, though I can handle graphic design.) I thin a curriculum that teaches art techniques sequentially and systematically would be just as good, too, if you are able to teach it (I couldn't) or the curriculum had enoough hand holding.


So I say free play with art supplies and fun projects up until about age 8 or 9, then a formal curriculum or lessons.

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So far we do a lot of sculpey, crochet, rug hooking, drawing, painting, sculpting, pot throwing, decopauge, nature sketches...:glare:


But you still think we should go ahead and do formal instruction?


I do, but that's because it's our goal. :001_smile: It depends on whether that is one of the things you want to focus time and money on, or whether there are other things you think are more important. We are very artsy-craftsy, too, with a whole room full of every fabric and craft art you could think of, but I still wanted them to have the formal drawing and painting and design skills. Those don't just happen, even for a naturally talented child (one of mine isn't, two are.)

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I often wonder the same thing. My hubby and I are artistic, him by profession. But I don't feel it has to be so much a "curriculum" thing. We do art every day! My middle son has been drawing (quite well) since he was 4, and I bought him several children's drawing books. He also sculpts (imitating dad) and paints and creates 3D stuff. I draw. My older son isn't too interested in the art part of things, but he loves to create stuff--buildings, ships, cars--so I think of that as his "art." As far as art history or techniques, we cover things as they come up or we think of them. We have a lot of art books (since my hubby got his Bachelor's in art ed) and they peruse them without our prodding them to "do your art work!"


In the end, if you live in art, I think they are getting enough. Have books around, borrow some from the library (my son's favorite section), and provide lots of fun projects!

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