From a Distance
“You should see the things my daughter
has drawn. She loves to draw, color, and
paint. I just wish I could find a way to
cultivate her gift, but I don’t know a thing
about art. Any suggestions?”
“We’re interested in expanding our kids’
awareness of God’s creation by including
the arts alongside their academics. Any
Ioften hear statements like these from parents concerning edu- cating their children in the arts. Whereas many subjects, such as
mathematics, literature, writing, and
science, offer a fairly straightforward
methodology for teaching, art, being
more abstract and subjective in nature, can present a seemingly daunting
dilemma when it comes to choosing a
path of instruction. As a homeschooling parent and professional artist and
teacher, I’d like to share a few tips that
Art that has a logical
foundation can be taught
systematically, and an
online environment is
ideal for this.
will give direction and peace to helping your children learn art. A good art
education is a lot closer and affordable
than you might think!
Consider the Lilies
We homeschool our kids for a number of
reasons, one being that we want to foster
a Christ-centered worldview. “Consider
the lilies . . . ” (Luke 12: 27). The arts are a
wonderful means to respond to God as He’s
revealed Himself through His Word and
Creation. I have heard people teach that
science is essentially the naming of God’s
creation. I would say art is the ascribing of
it. When we draw or paint, we are consider-
ing life around us. This worldview is foun-
dational to my own teaching method.
Art With an Agenda
My brother, an English teacher in Illinois, gave me a bit of advice regarding planning effective lessons for class.
Brendan suggested that I establish what
I wanted students to learn by the end of
the semester and then design each class
to lead students along a path to reach
that goal. It was great advice! I do the
same thing before I start working on a
blank canvas—why not with teaching?
Students often have asked me, “Mr.
Chambers, how will I know when I am
done with my painting?” The answer:
“When you’ve achieved your concept
(purpose) for the piece.” The same teaching principle applies to teaching art as a
curriculum, and particularly so for distance learning, i.e. online art courses.