Art is an absolutely wonderful subject to cover in your homeschooling – either as a topic on its own – or to support other subjects.
Art and crafts have been the mainstay of our homeschooling – particularly when the children were younger. And there are some fabulous kids art books to support you in this journey.
I have talked before about using educational coloring books, but this just scratches the surface of the possibilities open to you when you homeschool. In a time when arts programs are shrinking in schools, we homeschoolers have a wonderful opportunity to help creativity flourish with our children.
Arts and music education programs are mandatory in countries that rank consistently among the highest for math and science test scores, like Japan, Hungary, and the Netherlands. (source)
If you are feeling a little artistically challenged then I hope these kids art books inspire you to introduce more art and crafts into your homeschool.
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Art on Display
I put these first because I just love them! These Belair books are aimed at teachers – particularly those who need to create a classroom display of artwork. But they are also a fabulous resources for us homeschoolers too.
There are lots of books covering everything from science to numeracy – using art to teach and develop skills. Some of them focus specifically on art ideas – some are more generic with other activities and creative ideas mixed in with the art. The books seem to cover ages 5-11 with variations! So for example Numeracy of Display is 7-11 whilst Rainbow Year (Month by Month language, art and assembly ideas) is aimed at 5-11.
(Click on the images below to see some examples)
Artists and Art
A lovely way to cover art is to read about the artists themselves and look at different types of art.
I think of all the books below the one I used the most was ‘Discovering Great Artists’ – although it is black and white and doesn’t show any of the paintings it talks about – it has some fabulous projects you can try to mimic different art styles. I have the most wonderful memory of the children lying on their backs under the table ‘painting the ceiling’ (paper fastened to the underneath part of the table) like Michelangelo!
If you decide to study an artist a week then a great resource is the AmblesideOnline artist schedule. All the work done for you 🙂
Learning to Draw
I don’t think you need to be good at drawing to make beautiful art, but it is a good way to start. Easier said than done, I know! The children always really loved the Ed Emberly books. They are a lovely way to create fun drawings that actually look a little like you want them to.
The ‘Drawing with Children’ book I admit I didn’t really get on with – but it might be perfect for you!
We have some gorgeous painting books but mostly for older children/adults, and tending more towards mixed media. Perhaps it was something we grew into 🙂 So not so many kids art books here but lots of inspiration.
Arts and Crafts
Of course, art isn’t just about painting and drawing. We have covered so many crafts! Everything from weaving and spinning, needlefelting, dyeing yarn and pottery! All fun and all educational 🙂
For years I kept a Craft Box filled with things the children could be creative with. Not just pens and stickers, but yarn, glue, cardboard tubes, tissue paper and so on. The perfect thing to bring out on a rainy day.
I am hoping this section will help you to be more adventurous and try something new.
So by this I kind of mean art with a purpose! For example Nature Journaling is a really lovely thing to try with your kids.
I have ‘Keeping a Nature Journal’ which is beautiful, but I did find it a bit daunting. Combining that with some ‘So Ways to Draw’ books made the whole thing seem a bit more manageable. We bought small notebooks that we took along on walks. It really does make you look around you more closely. Highly recommended!
Next up is Doodle Art. This has been shown to have amazing benefits such as increasing attention span and developing self esteem. Check out my page on Zentangles here.
More Kids Art Books?
Yes, I could go on 🙂 I wanted to cover art journaling and watercolour and using maps in art. But this post is long enough so I will have to save that for another post.
If you have a recommendation for kids art books, I would love to hear it. Just leave me a comment or come visit my facebook page.